Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – December 2009

Merry Christmas from Ukraine! –Thanksgiving was last week. I thanked God for each of you on our team! Like Paul said, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.” Colossians 1:3-4 Now we
Thanksgiving with our house church
are looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior! God is love! He loved us so much that he gave us a Gift - His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. He wanted to make it possible for us to have a relationship with Him through simple repentance and faith. Salvation is a free gift! But, as we know, it cost God everything! We pray that this season you will rejoice in our Savior and look for His second coming each day of the New Year!

Secure In An Insecure World published in Russian! This is the cover. A Ukrainian friend who lives in London wrote, Steve, just wanted to say how proud am I to know you and to have an opportunity in the past to work with you. Your book is amazing opportunity not just to improve on one's marriage but also to be re-assured in Christ love. And, those Christian who failed in the past (btw this subject is hardly raised) to be re-engaged with Christ and even more believe in his Power and Word and for others get to know the Lord and be saved. I live in the West London, and how little people know God in this part of the world, I mean West Europe. I think I had such a privilege to be born in Kiev and to get to know Christ and saved.” Christmas Gift Idea: Order a copy of Secure In An Insecure World (in English of course) for your friends! It could change their lives! Go to to order today and receive it before Christmas!

You know that I seldom speak about money in these letters, but this is the time of year when people are looking for ways to give. Our support has dropped off over this past year with the economic crisis. Please consider sending a special gift for our ministry. Here is the address:
Great Commission Ministries
PO Box 7101
Winter Park, Florida 32793-7101

Thank you to those who have faithfully supported us over the years! It means so much to us, and even more to the Lord!
Church Conference in Odessa Timmy Powers and I took 14 men from Kiev down to Odessa. We taught a conference on the church to several small groups of believers. They recently began to function under Christ’s headship (leadership), to meet in homes, and encourage each member to participate. A group of 15 believers also came from Moldova to join us. Timmy, myself, Stas from Moldova, and Maxim Nickolaev (pictured at right), each taught. It was a rich time studying God’s word together and enjoying fellowship with like-minded men and women. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for them! They are charting new waters with God.

Please Pray For:
  1. The Ukrainian leaders we mentor to be humble, teachable and walk with Jesus daily.
  2. The Awaken Conference Jan. 2-6. Steve will be speaking several times.
  3. Grace and Merry are coming to Kiev for Christmas & we will attend Awaken together. Pray for God to make this short time of growing in our love for each other and Jesus.
  4. God to powerfully use Steve’s book to save unbelievers & transform believers.

With Christ’s Love,

Steve and Danelle

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – October 2009

Fall Greetings from Ukraine – What a beautiful time of the year- its cooler, the leaves are changing and its harvest time! Fortunately, Steve now has a Nimbus 2000 to zip around Kiev and avoid all the terrible traffic! An owl brought it last month for his birthday.

European Summit We met in Berlin last month for our annual leadership summit. These are the men with whom I am linked heart and soul to make disciples and plant churches in Europe. Herschel Martindale, (centered on the couch) along with Joe Dunn, (back row -4th from right) came to participate with us. Discipleship, leadership and equipping others were discussed, and we had excellent times praying for the Lord to send out workers into the harvest.

Discipleship on the Run Danelle, Ivan and I went to Germany, where Ivan and I ran the Cologne marathon on October 4th. Ivan’s first marathon! Training with Ivan over the past six months afforded us numerous opportunities for fellowship. God used this time to build this young man’s new faith, as well as mine! Two are better than one! The believers in the Cologne were very kind and supportive. We enjoyed excellent fellowship with Lori Goering, the Fords, and the Bonnets.

Secure In An Insecure World in Russian soon! It has been translated, and will soon be published in Russian! Thank you so much for praying with us for this project. The truths have already transformed the lives of many Ukrainians who read the English version. A resent testimony from a young man:
“I will be sending a copy of your book to someone who I love dearly. Would you please pray for her? She is trying to find herself right now and I am praying and hoping that God will reveal Himself to her and guide her into His will for her life. Thank you for your ministry, and may God bless you.”

Please Pray For:
  1. Many from City on a Hill Church to embrace discipleship.
  2. These disciples to multiply and many unbelievers turn to Christ.
  3. The young adults we meet with on Tuesday night would take real steps of faith.
  4. Our child raising conference October 31st would equip young families.

Yours for Christ!

Steve and Danelle

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – September 2009

Clemson Community Church Reunion “As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3 In August over 200 majestic ones (and their children) gathered in Clemson for our church reunion. God started the church 35 years ago through Herschel and Mardean Martindale, who also attended the celebration. Everyone agreed that it was a rich time of fellowship, worship and testimonies of God’s faithfulness. All praise to Jesus Christ for the transformed lives, disciples, and churches planted from our humble beginnings! Special thanks to the Smiths, Barrie Sergio, Kirby Player, Clemson Community Church and countless others who worked hard to make this a memorable time.
Our Daughter’s Wedding Stephanie and David Shirley were married on August 8th. “What God has joined together,” is exactly the miracle we observed on that special day. It was a beautiful celebration of God’s grace and love. Stephanie plans to graduate in May from UGA with a degree in Education, and David with a Masters in Counseling. Please pray for the new couple as they adjust to marriage and finish their degrees while living in Athens, Georgia.
Visiting Supporters Danelle and I were able to meet with many of you personally, as well speaking at Riverbend Community Church, the Rock KSU (photo) and Sanctuary Baptist Church. Thank you to everyone for your kindness and love this summer. It is always refreshing to experience sweet fellowship and to sing songs to Jesus in English! We wish we could have met will all of you. Maybe we will be able to next time we are in town.

Book Signing Steve had his first book signing at Sweet Spirit Christian Bookstore in Atlanta. It was fun and successful. His book is being translated into Russian with the goal of printing it this fall. Please pray for the translation to be excellent and for God to use it in the Russian speaking world to build secure, Christ-centered people and marriages. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please go to our website, All of the proceeds will be used to print the book in Russian. One friend in Dallas bought 6 copies for Christmas gifts.
Ministry in Ukraine – Year 5! Wow! We are starting our fifth year of ministry in Ukraine. God has given us a clear vision of what He wants us to do – make disciples of Jesus who will make disciples. It is simple, but will take 100% of our devotion and love, the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. We also need your prayers, your fervent prayers! Please intercede for us & our disciples.

Yours in the love of Jesus Christ,

Steve and Danelle

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – July 2009

Running For Life Camp.
God did beyond what we imagined during our first running camp! He answered our prayers - 20 high school students participated in Running for Life in Kyiv, Ukraine. We had a fantastic team of 5 Americans come to teach running, basketball, Ultimate Frisbee and share their faith in Christ. The students were enthusiastic about sports, soaked up the love and attention, and openly participated in our small group discussions. They heard 14 different testimonies from Ukrainians and Americans! (left: Margaret & Emily share their testimony as Maksim translates.) Our goal was to develop relationships with the parents as well as the students. Therefore, on the last day we held a track meet and invited the parents. We were delighted that 12 of them came. Many of them expressed their deep gratitude for what we had done for their children. A number said they wanted to continue the relationship and invited us to their homes. Every Saturday morning at 9am, I will meet with students who expressed an interest in going for a run, hanging out and continuing our spiritual discussions. Your prayers were an integral part-thank you!!!

Dima & Aaron with their boys Anya, Luda, Alona & Nastia Anya defending Sabina with ball
Sasha shares (left) what
he liked about camp.
The American team. Steve draws in the sand
sharing Christ with Anya.

Making disciples of Christ,

Steve and Danelle

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – Special Prayer Requests

Kiev Running Camp
June 15-20, 2009

Dear Ministry Friends,
This is a special request for prayer for our Running Camp next week, June 15-20, 2009. We have worked hard this past month to recruit 23 high school students from 6 local schools. There are 5 Americans coming to coach, lead discussions, share their testimonies and lead the camp. We have hired translators, made plans for training, discussions, showing Christian movies, and we even have two Ukrainian Christian Body Builders (Power Team) coming to share the gospel one afternoon.
It reminds me of the verse, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31. We are ready, but we need God to bring about the victory: to prepare the hearts of these young people to hear the truth, to fill us with love and wisdom, to save the parents of these students, and to give grace for the unexpected.
Please pray:
  1. The students to show up. They are 13-17 years old and unpredictable.
  2. Their hearts to be open to the truth and come to Christ for salvation.
  3. We would speak boldly, with compassion and wisdom.
  4. For physical strength and health and safety.
  5. For their parents to come on Saturday to the competition.
  6. That Jesus would be glorified!

Thank you for standing with us before God’s throne of grace,

Steve and Danelle Nelson

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – May 2009

Greetings from Ukraine - where it is finally warm and green! God is showing off His power and beauty with the flowers and new life that surround us. The transformation of the earth reminds us of the power of the gospel to transform lives. The miracle of the new birth in Christ transforms us, holding us spellbound. And it should! We are spellbound at God’s grace that has allowed us to be here in Ukraine and witness lives being trans-formed. Sometimes the transformation in people seems slow and sometimes it seems to happen overnight. But, it is all God’s work. He began it, and He will finish it. We are blessed to be part of GCE, working alongside missionaries with a similar passion (photo). Here is what we have seen recently of God’s transforming grace.
Great Commission Europe Staff -April Conference

House Churches We continue to meet in our apartment on Sunday to worship Christ, build each other’s faith, and reach out to our lost family and friends. Danelle and I have been refreshed by:
- Listening to Vlad and Lena ask heartfelt questions, seeking to grow as young parents.
- Helping Dima and Marina reach out to the lost at the Autistic School. Dima has also helped me recruit students for our sports camp in June.
- Hearing Sasha, a new believer, pray for his roommates and his sister to come to Christ.
- Encouraged by Sergei taking the initiative to share the gospel with some Mormons.
We so much want them to “get it”; to run with the Holy Spirit and make disciples of their fellow countrymen. Pray for us as we mentor them and several house church leaders in the Kiev area.
Family Affairs We flew home last month to hear Grace sing at her final recital. She sang like an angel! Danelle, our other daughters, and our daughters-in-law prepared food for the reception. And thanks to the Batchelors for cleaning up! It was a rich family time that made good memories!

While we were there another major event occurred. Stephanie & David Shirley got engaged! We are so happy for them! David is a godly young man who loves the Lord Jesus and treats Stephanie as his princess. He’d better! ☺ They plan to get married August 8th in Atlanta, and will live in Athens, GA. David is in graduate school and Stephanie has one more year at UGA.
Running Camp We are presently recruiting high school students to attend our running/sports camp June 15-20. Alan Parrish and a few other coaches are coming to help teach running techniques, lead discussions about health and share the gospel with these young people. We hope to have about 20-30 students attend this event.

Steve’s New Book Do you know someone who is considering marriage; or perhaps a teenager or a single person trying to understand love and relationships? Steve has written a new book, Secure In An Insecure World, addressing our insecurities, fears and doubts that often lead us to unwise, and even desperate decisions regarding marriage. Steve’s book is filled with real life stories from his years of interaction with college students. He offers practical ways to find love and contentment before marriage. To read more or order a copy, please go to We published this book here in Ukraine and plan to use the proceeds to have the book translated into Russian. We are excited about the possibility of these truths transforming lives in the former Soviet Union as well.

Prayer Requests:
  1. God would capture the hearts of those in our house churches with His love for one another and the lost.
  2. God would bring students to our camp with open hearts and save many.
  3. God would lead our House Church conference in Kiev, May 21-24.
  4. God would start many new churches outside of Kiev.
  5. God would prepare David and Stephanie to have a Christ-centered marriage. 2 Corinthians 11:3

We are yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Steve and Danelle

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nelson Newsletter - March 2009

Running Camp plans crystallized during last week’s meetings with Alan Parish and the coach, Vladimir Fedorets. God is answering our prayers! The two camps will take place June 8-12 and 15-20. Please pray for the students to attend the camp that God wants. Pray for them and their parents to be open to the gospel. Pray that God would assemble the team of Americans to come and serve these students.
House Church continues to grow as the Spirit of God changes lives! Danelle and I are thrilled with the small group (13 people are involved) that meets in our home every Sunday. This past month two unbelievers, Victoria and Eugene, have attended our meetings. Pray for their salvation. Ask God to empower the believers to lay down their lives for others, and to start new house churches in their homes. We are asking God to bring revival here!
Kostia and I had an excellent time last Saturday talking about knowing God personally as we ran and walked in the park. We met through our English club several years ago and have become close friends. He is a lawyer whose father deserted them, his only brother died in an accident and his mother, with whom he lived, passed away last June. Kostia has shared with me his hardships, as well as his dreams. Please pray for God to open Kostia’s eyes to his need for Christ.

Additional Prayer Requests “but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.” Acts 12:5
> Pray for the folks in our house church to multiply; lead others to Christ and make disciples.
> Please pray for our European staff retreat April 8-12 to be lead by God and building to all.
> Pray for Danelle and I to effectively disciple leaders. We are mentoring house church leaders.
> Pray for many new churches to begin as a result of our preaching the gospel in other cities.

Thank you for standing with us financially and prayerfully,

Steve & Danelle

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nelson Newsletter – February 2009

Hello dear friends! How are you holding up? Our world is changing rapidly and leaving many of us uncertain, afraid, and anxious about our future. Isn’t it comforting that we know the One who holds the future in His hands? “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 Satan attacks our faith to destroy it. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16. We too sense these attacks on our faith, and covet your prayers! Thank you for praying for us, as we fight the good fight of faith here in Ukraine. Here are some recent answers!

Marriage Conference We had ten couples and a few singles attend our one day marriage conference. God answered prayer by preparing their hearts to receive the word of God. Danelle and I both taught, and there were good questions and a lively discussion at the end. Ukrainian marriages desperately need instruction, encouragement, and good role models. Maxim Rakovich translated the teaching, and we plan to put them on our simple church website where anyone who speaks Russian can listen to them, it is also in English. Timmy Powers and others have done an excellent job with this website which reaches out to all the countries of the former Soviet Union. Check it out!
Sasha Neskuba is a young lawyer who began attending our English club last year. Last summer I shared the gospel with him personally. During that time, I asked him, “Sasha, if you were to die today, would you go to heaven?” He said he knew that he would not go to heaven. He thought some day he would become a Christian, but he still had more questions. Then, two weeks ago, his roommate had a dream in which Sasha died. After hearing the dream, Sasha remembered our conversation from last summer, and knew he would have gone to hell if he really had died. That day he asked Jesus to save him! Please pray for his spiritual growth.
Running Camp will be held the last two weeks of June! We are in the process of planning a camp for high school students interested in running. Alan Parish, a coach and teacher from Rome, Georgia, is coming over in March to meet with Coach Vladimir Fedoretz and I to plan the camp. Please pray for the Spirit of God to lead us and draw many to new life in Christ as a result of this camp.
Please pray for us as we continue to study Russian so we can be more effective. Pray for revival in Ukraine; a movement of the Spirit to embolden each Christian to love the lost and share the gospel.
We hope you enjoyed our latest ministry video – Running to Win. You can watch it by going to this site:
We thank God for you and pray for you often!

Steve and Danelle

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nelson Newsletter - December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! What a joy it is to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to freshly wonder that God became a man for us! Our God indeed loves every person in the world and wants them to have eternal life, abundant life, and new life through Christ! It is our prayer for you to experience Christ in 2009 in a very real and deep way.
God graciously gave us seven wonderful children. Here are some of their highlights from 2008.
Scott and Maria gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, James Stephen Nelson, in October. They are in love with him and each other more and more every day. They feel that God has been trying to teach them many invaluable lessons. The financial crisis has brought challenges to Scott’s business. They ask that you pray for their needs and that they listen and pay attention to God.
Micah and Whitney both just graduated with their Masters in Fine Arts.  This August Micah spent two weeks in China during the Olympic Games, premiering a documentary commissioned by Coca-Cola.  He won a regional student Academy Award, and was a national finalist for an experimental short film he produced.  Whitney was recently featured in Peach Magazine in their 2008 "Movers and Shakers" issue as "The Artist".  This spring she will exhibit in her first museum group show, and she was awarded three artist residencies.
Matthew, Julie, and Jasper continue their frigid adventures in New York City where Matthew is working towards a Master of Fine Arts (; Julie manages her seamstress business (; and Jasper is learning dance, vocal performance, art, gymnastics, and culinary craft, all within the six hundred square feet of their apartment ( Recent accomplishments for the trio include: Matthew's successful completion of his first semester; Julie's ability to scale four flights of stairs and go through a narrow Subway turnstile while sporting a purse, diaper bag, stroller, six bags of groceries, a new vacuum cleaner, and a squirming two year old (seriously); and Jasper's uncanny expansion of vocabulary, hair growth, and mastery of the summersault.
Matthew and Amanda continue to learn about marriage and enjoy being together.  Matthew started a new job as a purchaser for a display manufacturer. Amanda has worked for two years at the same financial company. They are thankful to have their jobs, but need prayer because both of their companies have had several layoffs. They are leading a Bible study group with their church, Trinity Vineyard of Atlanta, where they are deeply involved. They also like peaches! This photo was taken on the Newton farm in Millen, GA.
Stephanie finished the first block of the Early Childhood Education Program at the University of Georgia. She made the UGA Ultimate Frisbee A Team. This spring she will travel with the team to a number of meets, so please pray for safe travel and opportunities to share the gospel with the girls on the team. Most are not believers.
Grace recently finished her first lead-role in the opera The Medium at Shorter College. She is currently working on the opera Cinderella, where she will perform as one of the step-sisters. Next semester she will have a lighter class load, so she will be looking for a job. Please pray for her to find the exact job God wants her to have.
Merry is enjoying her first semester at Georgia College and State University. She has been active on the campus by participating in intramural sports, leading a Bible study in her dorm, and hanging out with her new friends. Also, as Hall council President, she loves to plan and participate in events in her dormitory. She is very glad to be back in the States so she can see her brothers and sisters more frequently. But, she is also looking forward to her visit to Ukraine in January.
These are financially challenging times in which we live, and we need God’s grace and peace to sustain us. A few of our ministry partners have had to cut back on their giving this year. Danelle and I need your financial support to continue our work in Ukraine. Please pray about sending a special gift to our ministry, or increasing your monthly support. Make your gift out to GCM, using the address below. Please know that whatever you do, we are deeply thankful for each of you, and the sacrifice you make each month. We cherish your friendship and look forward to eternity together with you and our Lord!


Steve and Danelle