Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nelson Newsletter – December 2010

Merry Christmas Dear Friends!

What a wonderful time of year to remember how rich we are because Jesus Christ came to earth to be our Savior, and we are united in Him! “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3 We pray that you will be filled with praise and thanks to God for His Gift during the Christmas holidays and all year long!

Grace’s Wedding Our daughter Grace married Ward Bearden on November 14th. It was a glorious time centered on our Savior! Grace and Ward share the same purpose in their marriage, to seek first God’s kingdom in all that they do. Please remember to pray for them as they need God’s strength to grow in this new relationship.

Grace and Her Daddy Ward and Grace Bearden Leaving Bridesmaids – Her Sisters & Sarah
Thank You! We thank God for your friendship and partnership in the gospel of Jesus Christ! We greatly appreciate each of you who give regularly and/or pray for our ministry; it is indeed a team effort. Please prayerfully consider supporting us with a special year-end gift to enable us to continue working in Ukraine to spread the gospel and make disciples. If you desire to do this, make your gift out to Great Commission Ministries and mail it to the address below. You may also give on line if you prefer. Thank you again for your love for God and people that enables us to serve overseas. We included a page of testimonies of the men and women in the rehab centers who we are serving. Their lives are changed forever because of God’s grace. Enjoy!

Prayer Requests
1. Our remaining time in America with our family and friends to be eternally profitable.
2. Steve’s teaching at Faithwalkers December 27-30.
3. Our financial support to remain strong and for year-end giving. Thank you!

Yours because of God’s Gift,

Steve and Danelle

“There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7

My name is Oksana and I am 38 years old. When I was 23 I started going to church, repented and was baptized. But two years later I found myself back in the world. Of course, then I thought that nothing much had happened, because I lived as I had before I repented. And to be honest, I liked living for myself and doing my own will, not God’s. My heart was far away from God. So I started using different drugs, became a drug addict, and began to treat my friends and relatives as if they were dead. I do not know where I would be now, and what would have happened to me if not for God! For 13 years I was in the "wilderness" until the Lord showed me the truth and the truth is that everyone reaps what they sow. Every choice we make today will have consequences in the future.I began to ask myself: “What do I want? What is the goal? Why am I doing what I am doing? And in general - where am I going?”
Not everyone has the courage to look into their heart and honestly admit - this is who I really am. How many of us have things we will not tell our friend or even admit to ourselves? I realized that my selfish desires (more accurately - lust) will never be satisfied, I will never have enough, and most importantly - I'll never be happy pursuing addictions and selfishness. This state of addiction, which everyone experiences  in someway in their life, leads to depression and emptiness. I finally dropped my hands and knew there was nothing else to do, but to turn to God.  I thought - if you are really depending on Him, then everything is up to Him. Now I'm at the rehabilitation center and I am immensely happy! I thank my God that He gave me wisdom to make the right decision and I pray to Him, so that noone and nothing could separate me from Him!
My name is Volera, and I have lived all my life in Kiev. I was the third child born in a typical family when my Mother was 41 years old. Mom and Dad worked all the time, so basically I grew up on the street. At the age of twelve, I was already registered as a juvenile delinquent. I was stealing, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes. Soon I started using marijuana, then it was on to hard drugs and I became a slave to them. For a couple of years my sin was covered over in beautiful wrapping: going to interesting clubs and bars of all different sizes. But then reality set in. I alienated my loved ones by deceiving and lying to them. There were numerous scandals, sickness, many tears, and eventually imprisonment. I was disappointed in everything: in my choices, in my beliefs and, of course - in life. There was no point to my life- no purpose, no joy, and no peace. Instead, there was only a vast emptiness, and all of this because of the deceptive beauty of sin. I buried a lot of my friends, acquaintances, as well as my elderly parents. I realized that all I was doing was a dead end. I was totally broken, lonely, and no one needed me. I had nothing and I did not want anything. So I came in brokenness to God. I was able to get into a rehab center and it was the happiest time in my life. All this time I stayed at the feet of Jesus Christ. He has blessed me with a whole hearted devotion. And now my whole life and all my time belong to Him. I now serve God in one of our rehabilitation centers. I realize there is no greater purpose to life than helping people to find and know Christ. I am a very happy man because of His mercy and love for me. To Him be all the glory and praise.
My name is Maxim, and I am thirty-one years old. Thirteen of those years, I was hooked on alcohol and drugs. One night I realized that I had no way out, and I asked God to change my life and help me to regain the trust of my parents and my family. I promised I would serve Him if this occurred.
On April 12, 2010, God begin to answer my prayer. I had reached the point where I could not work or do anything productive. God miraculously opened the door for me to become a part of a Rehab center. At first it was strange- the men prayed together often. No one smoked. I thought, “This is not for me.” I would sneak away to smoke on my own. One of the brothers serving in the center found out about me sneaking away. He was very gentle, but said that I could not keep doing this if I wanted to stay. I thought, “What awaits me if I return home?” The brother asked me to think about my sins and the harm it brought to others. He said that God was giving me a choice. I began to think and pray, and to read the Bible. I began to understand that I was a sinner in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. On June 6th, I repented and was born again by God’s Spirit. On August 28th I was baptized, and now I understand "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." I have put my heart in His loving hands and I ask that He strengthens and nurtures it, just as He wants, I will submit to His will. He says: "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light". I simply trust Him and thank Him. Without Him, I have no life. I cannot imagine losing what he gave me - His eternal love, I pray to need Him and cling to Him until the end of my days and to let Him do what he wants in my life, which is in Him and from Him . "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Cor. 13:13)

My name is Sasha, I am 47 years old. I was an alcoholic and drug addict. I filled the emptiness in my heart with vodka, drugs, and women, but it did not help me to find true joy. Then in 2009, Christ came into my life. I cannot explain in words how Jesus has set me free. After 32 years of smoking, in one fell swoop the Lord delivered me. And in the same way, the Lord delivered me from the rest of my idols, which were very many. The Lord cleansed my heart from all defilement, and replaced it with His love. Now I gladly yield my heart to Jesus and will serve the Him until I enter eternity!

My name is Lena, and I am 21 years old. It was not long ago that I was depressed, not sure about anything in life and only interested in sin.  I'm not sure you can even call what I had life. I was totally lost in this world. I was addicted to drugs for over four years. In my heart there was a void, which I tried to fill with drugs, alcohol and other artificial pleasures. This feeling led me to despair. I turned to my faithful friend, who had been freed from drug addiction and lived with God. And after listening to his advice, I went to the rehab center. When I went, I did not know where I was going and what was going to happen. I was very scared and worried.  The first days in rehab were very difficult, and many times I wanted to leave. But, thanks to the prayers of the sisters, brothers, and, above all the Lord, I stayed here. God really changed my life and my heart. I asked forgiveness for my sins before God and received him into my heart as Savior and Lord (ie, gave my entire life into his hands). And He gives me many miracles and great joy! He fills my heart with His love. I thank God that He loves us as we are. I thank Him that He extends a helping hand when it seems that everything in life is over.
Friends! I beg you, turn away from sin and cry out for help to God. He is sure to help! Give your problems into His hands and He will bear you in His arms!

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