Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – December 2012






Dear ­­Friends,

Our Creator loves us dearly and desires a personal relationship with us! This time of year we can especially reflect on His amazing gift of Jesus Christ that makes this relationship possible. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) God loves sinners like us! He came to forgive us, not to condemn us! If we simply turn from our selfish life (in sincere repentance), and to Christ by trusting in His sacrifice on the cross to pay for our debt, we will be forgiven (saved eternally), and enter this personal relationship. Can you think of anything more magnificent, anything that gives more peace and hope, or anything our world needs more than this? Now, let’s “Go tell it on the mountain. Jesus Christ is born!” Let’s seize the opportunities to share the good news this Christmas with our family, friends, and strangers.

Raleigh Marriage Conference Berk and Barbara Wilson invited us to speak to the NC State students in their church about marriage and relationships. On November 2-3 Danelle, Grace, Ward, and I taught using material from my book, Secure In An Insecure World. We were pleasantly surprised to see over 60 students show up on a Friday night for the first session! They were eager to learn how to have healthy, godly relationships. Grace and I then ran the hilly Raleigh Marathon (26.2 miles) the day after the conference. Yeah, Ouch! It was her first and my 16th. I was so proud of her!

Faithwalkers After Christmas Danelle and I will attend the GCM annual Faithwalkers conference in Asheville, NC. Steve will teach a seminar on lifestyle evangelism, and we will both help lead a seminar about marriage.

New Grandchildren David and Stephanie welcomed Nathaniel David Shirley into this life on December 1st. All are doing well. Danelle is there now helping them get some rest! Whitney is expecting a baby girl around Christmas and Maria is expecting a little girl in March. We love being grandparents and being able to love and influence them! We look forward to each of them coming to Christ some day for salvation!

Financial Blessings Danelle and I thank you with all of our hearts for your generous and faithful support this year. We are honored to be on the receiving end of your sacrificial giving which enables us to serve our Lord Jesus in this ministry. Please pray for our support to stay strong and consider giving a special gift at this time. You can give on line on the GCM web site (see below). Our account number is 5951. Thank you so much!

Prayer Requests

  • Many Saved in 2013. God would save many people at Emory, and throughout Georgia and the Southeast.
  • Disciples. Pray for faithful and fruitful disciples who are passionate about Jesus and people.
  • Faithwalkers Dec 27-31. Pray for our seminars and for all to grow in our devotion to Christ and His cause.
  • Our Financial Needs Pray for provision for our ministry in America and overseas in 2013.
  • New Grandchildren A safe labor for Whitney at Christmas time, and for Maria in March.



We love you all,


Steve and Danelle

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – October 2012

Dear ­­Fellow Missionaries,

Ukraine Mission Trip Thank you for praying for Danelle’s mission trip to Ukraine. She said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to travel to Ukraine for a women's conference in early October. We were together for 4 days at a retreat center outside of Kiev. It was a special blessing for me because most of the women I was close to when we lived there were at this conference. Our speaker, Audrey Jose, used the stories of Rahab (a prostitute), and Esther (an orphan), as the basis of her teaching. Her messages obviously spoke to the ladi­­­es from the rehab centers and the young women who had been orphans.  This led to many deep conversations during our small groups sessions and free time, especially since I already knew the personal needs of so many of the women.  It truly was a gift of God for me to be able to be there and minister to some women that I dearly love.”

Danelle (center, 2nd row from top) with the ladies


Atlanta Drug Rehab Center Steve was invited again by our Russian friend, Maxim Bagdon, to speak at the drug rehab center in Canton where he works. It is always a pleasure to teach these young men the Bible and explain how God can change their lives, give them hope, and empower them with His love. They are eager to listen and interact with me, even speaking in Russian at times.




Clemson University Outreach Brian Bridgeman and I had a fruitful two days evangelizing on the Clemson campus together. I did some public preaching which led to some in-depth personal conversations, and even one student dumping water on my head. ☺ Two young ladies we met attended the church service the following Sunday. Thank you for interceding!





Prayer Requests

  1. Oct 25-26 Southeast Leadership Meeting in Columbia, SC.
  2. November 2-3 Conference. Teach students about marriage and relationships at NC State, using Secure In An Insecure World.
  3. Nov 4th Raleigh Marathon. On Sunday my daughter Grace & I will run the 26.2 miles. Her first marathon!


Yours in Christ’s love,


Steve and Danelle

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nelson Newsletter - September 2012

Dear Ministry Partners,

­­­Ukraine Mission Trip Danelle leaves Monday, October 1st to help with a women’s conference in Kiev. She will assist Kenyon Powers in serving women from the rehab centers, post orphans from Kiev, and others from the churches in Odessa and Kiev. Danelle will also spend time with numerous women she discipled while we lived there. She will ret­­­urn October 9th. Pray for a safe trip and a fruitful time!

Atlanta House Church God has been answering your prayers for the ministry at Emory University. A few weeks ago a student named Abe gave his life to Christ! It is curious how God works when the circumstances aren’t what we expect. This young man was the only new person to show up to our first meeting, when we thought there would be four or five. Somewhat disappointed, I decided to begin by sharing my testimony. Forty years ago some Clemson students asked me, “Steve, if you died today, would you go to heaven?” I told them I was unsure, and I really didn’t know how. Then I explained to Abe how I turned from my selfish life to Christ, surrendered control to Him, and from then on I knew that I was going to heaven. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 God says we can be sure of going to heaven, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

I asked Abe how he would answer that question. He didn’t think he had eternal life, and thought he had to earn his place in heaven. He revealed to us that he had been very upset over his failure to obey God, and it became obvious to us that this was a Divine appointment and God had prepared his heart. We explained to him the gospel of grace, and he responded by asking God to forgive him for his sins and for Jesus to save him! My son in law, Ward, has joined us in this outreach too. Please pray for Abe to grow and for many other students to be saved.

Clemson University Outreach I was invited by GCM staff Brian Bridgeman to join him in evangelizing on the Clemson campus October 4th and 5th. I will do some public preaching too. It has been many years since I have spoken on the college campus, so your prayers for Brian and me, and for those we meet, are coveted! Thanks.


Yours in Christ’s love,


Steve and Danelle

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – August 2012

Nelson Newsletter August 2012

Dear Friends, But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 What do you boast in? This verse, which we used to sing in our meetings years ago, reminds us that we should only boast in the cross of Christ. I have no other basis (achievement) which makes me pleasing to God, other than the work of our Lord on the cross. With that fact solidly in mind, we are free to live for Christ, His glory, and His purpose. Thank you for making it possible for us to spread the gospel of God’s grace here in America and around the world! We boast in the cross of Christ as we share our latest news!

Steve teaching about the church to students at LINC
Removing 100,000 Africanized bees!

LINC, St. Petersburg, Florida In July Danelle and I were invited to speak in St. Petersburg at LINC (Laborers Impacting Nations for Christ), a Great Commission Ministries training for college students. We went for a week, participated in prayer, evangelistic outreach on a local college campus, taught on the church, and spoke at the local church service on Friday night. Before we left Atlanta, Pastor Mark Trujillo asked if I would do a bee removal in his rental property. We discovered, after we opened the wall, that the bees were Africanized killer bees! Brandon and I were stung, along with many others in the neighborhood. But, we got the job done. Praise God! On our return trip we stopped in Gainesville, Florida to speak with some church leaders for three hours about starting house churches and making viral disciples. Pastor Matt Gordon invited us to help them. God blessed the time, and we enjoyed seeing their desire to reach the lost and grow.

Ukraine Danelle is going to Ukraine, October 1-9, to participate in a women’s conference. Kenyon Powers invited Danelle to come help with a women’s conference she organized. Danelle will also spend time with numerous women she discipled while we lived there. Please pray for her time to be fruitful!

Atlanta House Church Our house church has been growing in their love for the lost. Recently, we have been saying our testimonies to each other on Sundays, and now we are writing them to get them printed. One lady led her brother to Christ recently! Also, one young man will begin college at Emory University, and he wants to reach the lost and make disciples on his campus. He asked for our help, so we plan to go weekly to help him. Please pray for students to be saved. Our daughter, Grace, and her husband, Ward, plan to help us in this outreach too. Pray for our daughter Merry as she begins her new job with Habit for Humanity in Americus, Georgia at the end of this month.


Steve removing killer bees   Danelle evangelizing on a
local college campus


Yours in Christ’s love,


Steve and Danelle

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – June 2012

Dear Friends, thank you for your effective prayers for Tanzania! Our first week was spent at a school for orphans in southern Tanzania way out in the bush. There was no electricity or running water. We held Bible studies for the students, and 3-4 of them gave their lives to Christ at the end of the week!

Then we traveled to Mwanza, in northern Tanzania. We spent two entire days listening to the pastors describe their ministries and the challenges they face. We taught them and reminded them of God’s faithfulness and all sufficient grace. We drilled wells in two of their villages. We would drill the well and then share the gospel with the crowds which gathered to watch. Another 10-12 gave Christ their lives!

Some of the most encouraging results were with young Christian men like Detrick and Alfred, pictured below. They exhibited teachable hearts, and could be some of those we work with in the future to spread the gospel and make disciples across the country. Please pray for us to maintain communication, which is not easy. Another blessing was how our team became close as we loved and served one another, working hard drilling wells and preaching Christ. There are more pictures of the mission on our web site.

Detrick (goggles), Alfred (center), Lee( hat),
Luke (far right)
Steve sharing the gospel after a day of well drilling

Prayer and Praise

  1. Tanzania: Hundreds heard the gospel and about 15 gave their lives to Christ!
  2. All had diarrhea, some got stung, others had infections & parasites, but nobody got hurt. Praise God!
  3. Dozens of pastors and leaders were encouraged and trained. Pray for them to grow and reach the lost.
  4. Two New Granddaughters: Danelle arrived in NY on May 16th, just in time to help Julie deliver Emilia Dewey Newton. Amanda gave birth to Wilhelmina Hart Nelson on May 25th. Thank God, all are healthy!
  5. Danelle and I enjoyed the Great Commission Pastors-Wives conference June 18-20 in St. Louis. The fellowship was rich and the teaching challenging and refreshing to our faith. Thank you for your prayers!
  6. July 15-21 Pray for Danelle and I as we teach students at LINK in St. Petersburg, FL. We will stop in Gainesville, FL on the 21st to speak to some Gators who are interested in functioning as a house church.


Neanda, a Christian teacher at the orphan school
Our team taught & encouraged pastors and leaders for 2 days Detrick (far right, in glasses) leading Bible study at the school
Some students I shared Christ with on the ferry Carrie and Melinda leading women’s Bible study


Yours in Christ’s love, Steve and Danelle

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – May 2012

Dear Partners in the Gospel,

Danelle and I praise God for each of you! We are acutely aware of our dependence on your prayers and support. In this newsletter I will be highlighting prayer, especially since I am leaving May 16th for Tanzania. Your intercession is invaluable for our success. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1 Our team has been praying together every Wednesday morning at 6am because we know the Lord must save souls and build His church in Tanzania, because we can’t.

In this letter I also want to encourage you to “devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 Remember, we don’t have a separate “prayer life,” we have a relationship with Jesus Christ 24/7, and to have a healthy relationship with Him, we must “pray without ceasing.” God tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 to not be anxious about anything, but instead to pray about everything. Then He promises to guard our hearts and minds with His peace. Hallelujah!

Tanzania Why go to Tanzania? God opened the door to go to Tanzania and evangelize through a few nationals that Matt Gordon and the church in Gainesville, Florida know. These men share the same vision of starting a church planting movement in their country. We are going to work with them to find other men and women who also want to make disciples all across Tanzania, especially in the villages. The villages have had little opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ.

What will we do? We will spend the first week in the capital, Dar Es Salaam, teaching orphans in a Christian orphanage. Then we will travel to Mwanza to go to villages in that region. There we will drill wells and evangelize, seeking to make disciples who will start new churches. Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Matthew 28:19

Rehab Center Maxim and Sveta Bagdon recently invited me to speak at the rehab center in Canton, GA. I was impressed by their hunger for God. I spoke about relationships and used my book as a reference, leaving them copies to study. Please pray for these men and for Max and Sveta in this new ministry. (She was my first translator in 1994).Max invited me to teach them on a regular basis. We spoke a lot of Russian since they all had a Russian heritage!

Prayer Requests and Praise Report

  1. Tanzania, May 16-June 10 Pray for God to prepare hearts, save many, raise up workers to take the gospel all over Tanzania. Pray for our health, safety, and unity. Pray for God’s wisdom and discernment.
  2. Atlanta House Churches Pray for them to grow in Christ and reach out to others while we are gone.
  3. New Granddaughters Pray for Danelle as she goes to NYC to help Julie with her new baby, due May 14th, and then Amanda’s baby, due June 1st. Pray for safe deliveries and healthy babies.
  4. Timmy and Kenyon Praise God, they are both doing well after having their gall bladders removed!

Your partners on mission…Steve and Danelle

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – March 2012

Dear Friends in Ministry, Thank you for your prayers over the past month for all of our travels and service. Here is a brief report.

Student Conference In February Danelle and I enjoyed teaching singles and college students from the University of Florida about marriage. There were over one hundred enthusiastic young people who came. After each teaching, we had a time for questions, and then broke up into small groups for discussions to talk about practical application. We used the principles about relationships from Steve’s book, Secure In An Insecure World. The folks from Gator Christian Fellowship made us feel very welcome. Thank you!!

Latvia On February 17th Danelle and I traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to work with our dear friends and missionaries, Timmy and Kenyon Powers for three weeks. The first week we went to Riga, Latvia for the first time. The young people there were eager to listen as we spoke about God’s desire to reach the lost world and make disciples through their lives. It was encouraging to us as well as we recounted how God challenged us in a similar way 38 years ago through Herschel Martindale. We challenged these Latvians to also follow Jesus Christ and fish for men, train them, and function as His body, the church. We also spoke of practical ways to spread the gospel using our testimonies. The very next week several of them told unbelievers how they were saved! Please pray for these two young couples (below) who are leading.

Alice &Andris Dekants, Danelle, Timmy & Kenyon   Marta, Amelija & Raimonds Logins

Odessa Trip We took the overnight train to Odessa and had an encouraging time with the people there. We were very encouraged by Gannadi and Leana and their family, seeing them grow in their personal walk with God, as well as the faith of their teenagers. We spent all day Sunday with the house church at Leana and Misha’s. We are always amazed at how people are drawn to them and are affected by them.

Rehab Center Maxim Nicolaev invited Danelle and I to speak at a meeting with all of the rehab centers in Kiev. There were about one hundred gathered to hear us speak about salvation and how to over-come addictions and sin. I shared God’s promise from Philippians, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God began the work in them and He would complete it by His grace and Spirit. I encouraged them to rest and trust God with their lives, their all. Then, as Danelle shared her testimony, they hung on every word. Maxim thanked us several times and said he had never heard us speak with such clarity and influence. Praise God, it was all Him! It was so cold inside that we spoke with our heavy coats on, but the Holy Spirit warmed our hearts and bodies!

House Church Conference On March 30-31 we will go to Columbia to join in a house church conference with believers from Riverbend Community Church, as well as others from the southeast. We will seek God to make us more effective in lifestyle evangelism, and to see Ephesians 4:11-16 become more of a reality in our churches.

Family Update My mother fell last week and fractured a vertebra in her back. She was in a great deal of pain initially. Praise God, she is getting better! But it is difficult to walk and will take weeks to recover. On a positive note, both Julie and Amanda are doing well with their pregnancies. Please pray for them.

We visited our Beekeeper friend Nadia in Kiev

Prayer Requests

1. House Church Conference March 30-31. Pray for us to hear from God, encourage one another, and be doers of God’s word when it comes to loving the lost and serving the saints.

2. SE Leaders/Wives Meeting April 13-14 We will meet with pastor’s and their wives for two days of fellowship, encouragement and prayer. Pray for us to more effectively make disciples in our region.

3. Tanzania Mission For God to prepare our team and the nationals for this May 16-June 10 mission trip. Please pray for God to provide the finances necessary to go. Thank you all very much for your support!

4. Timmy and Kenyon Pray for their current health issues, and for leadership development in Ukraine.

5. Mom, Julie, and Amanda Pray for my mother’s recovery. Pray for Julie and Amanda’s pregnancies and deliveries in May and June respectively.


Grace and Peace from God our Father,


Steve and Danelle

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nelson Newsletter – February 2012

Dear Ministry Partners,

Thank you for your special gifts at the end of last year and for your continued monthly support! Danelle and I are amazed at the team God has provided for us to be able to spread the gospel and make disciples. Because of your generosity and faithful giving, we have been able to continue in building God’s kingdom here in America and overseas. Here are some events that your partnership and prayers make possible.

Faithwalkers Conference God showed up at our annual Great Commission conference in Asheville, NC. There were over 800 eager learners who were inspired by the teachings and enjoyed the sweet fellowship with dear friends. I taught two seminars and participated in a round table discussion about overseas ministry and they all went very well. Thank you for praying!! Please follow this link to listen to any of the teachings:

Singles Conference Gator Christian Fellowship invited Danelle and I to lead a conference February 10-11 (This weekend!) for singles and students from the University of Florida. Our goal is to prepare these young people for marriage by teaching them how to be secure in God’s love. This security in God will enable them to make a wise decision about who they marry, and for all the right reasons. We will use material from Secure In An Insecure World and other Biblical principles for Christ-centered marriages.

Ukraine and Latvia We will fly to Ukraine February 17th for 3 weeks of ministry with Timmy and Kenyon Powers (in the photo). Please intercede for us as we help teach three conferences in Latvia, Kiev, and Odessa.

Family Update We have some exciting news! Our daughter Julie, and our daughter in law, Amanda, are both expecting little girls this spring! Please pray for everyone’s the health and safety. Here are other requests…

Prayer Requests

1. Singles Conference February 10-11 Pray for us to meet the needs, and for everyone to have a desire to please God and trust Him with their relationships.

2. Latvia and Ukraine. Pray for wisdom to discern their needs, and equip them to make disciples who will multiply throughout each country. Ask God to unite our hearts with our old Ukrainian and Latvian friends. Pray for an effective and encouraging time with the Powers and Hensons.


Yours in Christ’s unfailing love,


Steve and Danelle