Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nelson Newsletter – April 2010

Dear Ministry Partners,
This month we decided to do something different. Danelle recently wrote two devotionals for Faithwalkers based on our ministry in Ukraine. We thought you would enjoy them!

clip_image001It is hard to believe that we have lived in Ukraine for nearly 5 years! Our first two years were spent intensely studying Russian with our teacher, Galina. During our first year of class, Galina’s father died suddenly, leaving her as the only caretaker for her invalid mother. Galina’s mother was very unhappy and difficult, and demanded her constant attention. God had given us a special love for Galina, and she for us, but her circumstances motivated us to pray for her even more. While we knew it was likely that we would rarely see each other after we finished our two years of Russian, but we knew we would always be friends.
Many times we spoke with Galina about God’s loved for her personally; about Christ’s death on the cross for her sins. Although she was interested, she wasn’t ready to make a commitment to Christ. And so, it was with great joy that we recently received the news that Galina had become a Christian. We went to see her last week, and we all cried and laughed as she told us her story. She said, “One day I was complaining to myself that I was all alone and without hope. Then I heard God’s voice in my heart say “Who’s alone? I’m with you!!” At that moment I knew it was true and I gave my life to God.” While we weren’t the only ones who shared the gospel with Galina over the years, she said our love and care, and discussions about salvation by grace, were a vital part of her decision to become a Christian.

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” II Corinthians 9:6
clip_image001[5]A young lawyer named Sasha attended one of our English clubs. Many times we would weave the gospel through our lessons. Sasha even met with Steve privately a few times to ask questions about how to know God, but like Galina, he was interested, but not ready. That is until his roommate had a dream in which Sasha died. Sasha took it to heart, and realized that if he had died, he would have gone to hell. At this point he started to reflect on the things Steve had shared with him about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and immediately decided to trust Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Sasha has continued to grow as a new follower of Christ. Just last week he and Steve had lunch together, because he wanted to learn how to more effectively communicate the gospel with his family.
As I have reflected on our afternoon with Galina, and Steve’s lunch with Sasha, I am reminded that these times are just a sneak preview of what heaven is going to be like. We will see people that we have shared Christ with who later became Christians, but we never knew it! Or we will see others we have lost touch with who have continued to be faithful and obedient to Christ. In heaven we will be able to hear all the stories when we meet together again! Our hearts will be exploding with so much joy and happiness that we will barely be able to stand it!
Finally, when I think of people like Galina and Sasha, it motivates me to notice the people around me and recognize they ARE either going to be in heaven or hell. God will use every instance that we show love to someone, take a risk, and tell them about Jesus. We may see the results on this earth – or maybe not until heaven! Therefore, let’s sow bountifully!

  1. Our trip to Odessa April 21-25th to train the new house churches.
  2. Our trip to Moldova April 30– May 3 helping with house churches.
  3. Wisdom to help City on a Hill church here in Kiev, & the group meeting Tuesday night.
  4. Wisdom about a sports camp here in June, & simple church training in Moldova in July.
  5. Effective transition of the new believers at the Rehab center into ministry in normal life. We just opened a 2nd center. Praise God for the 25 men have come to Christ in the past 18 months!
  6. Continued health & a safe delivery for our daughter Whitney & our new grandson, who is due in early June.

Yours in Christ’s love,

Steve and Danelle

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