Monday, November 1, 2010

Nelson Newsletter – November 2010

Greetings Fellow Workers!
Recently I noticed how Paul often referred to his fellow Christians as “workers” in the gospel. That is what we are too! We are working in God’s fields, the harvest of souls. Jesus Christ is building His church, and He is using us, His workers! Last month we asked you to pray for, “the believers we work with to have a greater passion for the lost.” God heard and answered your prayers! Here is a beautiful story about how He used a young Ukrainian mother’s hardship and pain to have a greater passion for the lost.
A Beautiful Story of Sacrifice
Our friend Alisa’s invalid grandmother had Alzheimer’s. The total responsibility for her care was thrust upon her, because Alisa’s mother was unwilling to care for her own sick mother. Therefore, Alisa’s grandmother lived with her family in their small apartment in Kiev. All through her pregnancy, and later caring for her newborn baby, she fed, bathed, and cleaned up after her incontinent grandmother. Alisa struggled with the situation, but more often than not, she sacrificed her life in the power of God’s Spirit to love her grandmother. Alisa was an amazing example of Jesus’ love!
Her grandmother died a few weeks ago in her husband’s arms as they were bathing her. How could God use such a tragic situation for His purposes? He changed Alisa and her husband’s character, refining and purifying them daily as they sacrificed. Then, a few days after the funeral, a friend of Alisa’s called her out of the blue. He asked her how she was able to care for her grandmother for all those years. She told him it was all because of God’s grace. Then, she powerfully shared the gospel with him! Where did this power come from? It came from walking with Christ daily, trusting Him for the grace to serve her grandmother. Since she had her mind on eternal things, she was ready to speak about salvation to her old friend! Her example reminded me of this verse from 1 Peter 3:15 “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” I think we should all ask ourselves, “Is Christ Lord in my heart?” and, “Am I ready to give an account for the hope that is in me?” Alisa’s example speaks a powerful “Yes!” to me!
Prayer Requests
  1. Pray for each of the believers in Ukraine we have worked with to be devoted to God’s word daily, learning how to build each other’s faith, and be powerful witnesses of Christ.
  2. We return to America November 1st for our daughter Grace’s wedding November 14th. We thank God for her fiancĂ© Ward Bearden. Please pray for them to start this new marriage with a strong dependence on God and love for others.
  3. Pray for us to have an encouraging and fun time in America with our family and friends. We hope to see many of you!
  4. Please pray for Steve as he speaks at the Faithwalkers conference in Asheville, NC right after Christmas.

We thank God for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve and Danelle