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 (matthewstudio.com); Julie manages her seamstress business (juliesews.com); and Jasper is learning dance, vocal performance, art, gymnastics, and culinary craft, all within the six hundred square feet of their apartment (jasperruns.com). 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