Nielsen Family Autumn 2021 Update
It’s mid-October and we are well into Autumn. For us here in Lake Chapala, this means our beautiful rainy season is coming to an end. Clouds still lace the sky, but rainstorms have slowly come to a stop. To us, this has been a reminder that every season of a gift from God.
The Message Version of Ephesians 5:16-18 doesn’t pull any punches:
“Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
This is a bittersweet season for us—but mostly sweet! We drove our sweet daughter, Destiny Rose, to the airport early in the morning on September 30th, packed to the gills with her luggage and backpack, her eyes glistening with dreams of what lay ahead and welling with tears at the prospect of saying goodbye.
Goodbye’s are not easy—but kingdom goodbyes are so worth it! Sowing a little seed of suffering for God’s purposes always yields a mother-lode harvest of fulfillment. As parents, we know the feeling. We said goodbye so many times over the years as we traversed the missionary life and stepped out in obedience to God’s call.
I (John) am reminded of that classic chapter written many years ago, in Max Lucado’s second book, “No Wonder They Call Him Savior.” It addresses the issue of leaving. Here is a snippet:
The gospel is full of rhetorical challenges that test our faith and buck against human nature:
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
“Only in his home town and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
But no statement is as confusing or frightening as the one in Matthew 19:29:
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
The part about leaving land and fields I can understand. It is the other part that causes me to cringe. It’s the part about leaving mom and dad, saying good-bye to brothers and sisters, placing a farewell kiss on a son or daughter. It is easy to parallel discipleship with poverty or public disgrace, but leaving my family? Why do I have to be willing to leave those I love? Can sacrifice get any more sacrificial than that?
…Airports. Luggage. Embraces. Taillights. “Wave to grandma.” Tears. Bus terminals. Ship docks. “Good-bye, Daddy.” Tight throats. Ticket counters. Misty eyes. “Write me!” Question:
What kind of God would put people through such agony? What kind of God would give you families and then ask you to leave them? What kind of God would give you friends and then ask you to say good-bye?
Answer: A God who knows that the deepest love is built not on passion and romance but on a common mission and sacrifice.
Answer: A God who knows that we are only pilgrims and that eternity is so close that any “Good-bye” is in reality a “See you tomorrow.”
Answer: A God who did it himself.
We want to take this opportunity connect your with Destiny’s journey, if you haven’t already. Below we are providing a link to her blog, where you can subscribe and get her regular up-dates (always filled with adventure). As we parents, we hope you will pray for Destiny. By doing so, you will bless us.
We are praying for so many right now who are struggling with all that is going on across the world. We have friends in Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe who are all facing harsh challenges related to all that is going on in the world right now.
I (John) will be attending the Reawaken America Event in San Antonio next month. This is going to be an amazing time of rubbing shoulders with fellow prayer warriors and patriots from all over the country. As I am sure you are aware, our nation is fighting for her life right now. This is truly bigger than Republican vs Democrat. It isn’t politics as usual. It is a battle between good and evil, darkness and light. It is really exciting to see how many people across the country are waking up and coming together under the banner of truth! In Our December newsletter we will give you the full rundown on how things went!
Thanks to all for you love, prayers and support!
In His might Grip,
Thanks to the prayers of so many warriors going into battle for me, I arrived without ANY TROUBLE on the beautiful island of Hawaii Kona!! I praise Jesus because when my body is weak through stress or worrying, His Spirit in me is made strong:) He knew I would get here with no trouble at all, so it was silly that I even stressed about it in the first place!!
When arriving at KOA airport, I was welcomed by the lovely YWAM staff who carried my luggage & packed it into this huge truck. They then welcomed me on board their YWAM bus that would drive us all the way to campus where we would go through the checking-in process! I was amazed at everyone’s sheer humility in wanting to serve me, feed me, encourage me, & just love me without even knowing me in depth. I met so many friends that I had made online which blessed me so greatly & everyone was bubbling with the joy that only comes from the Lord for this new season of adventure we’d be on!
I love these strong people more than I can even describe. Each one so powerful, a lion/lioness in the Kingdom, chasing after Jesus in every situation. Im constantly inspired by their fierce unconditional love for all things from the Lord it inspires me to even greater depths of true friendship with my sweet Jesus & wowww I just can’t get enough!!!