Our missionaries are normal people from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to serving and following Jesus wherever He calls them. Want to meet them? Check out our Missionary Directory.
Bryan and Kara Nelson
We are newly married and our ministry is in the field of technology and providing community while sharing the Gospel in Europe. Our ministry will be to install data networks in Word of Life Camps around the World to help alleviate problems with communications. We are be stationed in France and work primarily with Word of Life camps throughout Europe. When we are not on a project trip we will be working with the Staff in France to help run special events and summer camp. We also will be doing some outreach with the refugees in the Paris area as there is a HUGE need here. We are called to be poured out for the sake of the Gospel and to spend our days serving others to the best of our ability so that others may come to know and love Jesus Christ.
I honestly never saw myself as a missionary or going overseas full time mainly because I never felt called or led to it. My skill set and education do not match that of a traditional missionary. I do know I have an obligation to give or send and have sought to support missions. In 2010 I co-lead a missions trip to the Philippines. I had a great time on the trip and God worked in my heart and I grew in ways that I would not have in any other environment. In 2012 I co-led another missions trip to Ethiopia. I worked at Word of Life Florida at the time and I was challenged by my boss at Word of Life to pursue a short term missions trip with Word of Life to help install technical systems overseas. I met Miguel Mendoza at the Director's Summit in Schroon Lake NY in the spring of 2012. He explained to me the need in France for a phone system, security system, and upgraded data infrastructure. I went to France in the spring of 2013 for a scouting trip to see what the costs would look like. In one of my many conversations with a missionary friend there in France we talked about doing what I was doing in France, and discussed being full time for Word of Life across many of their camps throughout the world. I began praying for direction on this matter. When I got home, My grandfather challenged me on the same thing as my friend Dave did - going full time around the world with Word of Life setting up technical systems where ever the needs lead. God provided ALL I needed for the project in just 2 weeks for the project in France and I returned in July of 2013. While I was there, Kris Stout was the guest speaker at camp in Dinan. We met for lunch and I broached the subject. He saw how God was working in France with the project I was able to put together and encouraged me to move forward - & to go full time. When I see God open a door in front of me, I want to walk through it until it closes. That is exactly what I feel happened when the Lord called me to serve in Europe and then so quickly confirm and provide for the need there! I desire to be a missionary with Word of Life because I see the need and God has opened the way and given me a talent I can use for Him.
I was born into a Christian home, and since being a student at Word of Life Bible Institute I have felt the call to be in ministry in some form. Be it teaching a Sunday School class, serving others on the hospitality team, or helping in the church nursery I wanted to be serve and help bring the good news of the Gospel. However, I didn't responded to the call for full time until meeting Bryan. Through life experience and recognizing our deep need to nurture and cultivate a sincere relationship with our Savior I began to soak up the Bible and all that it teaches us about Jesus and His ministry. This led to a stronger and stronger desire to help others experience a TRUE and life changing relationship with their Savior. I am able to do this by helping build relationships, providing a place for people to hear about Christ's pursuit of us, and giving people an opportunity to share their struggles with. The emotional needs we have as human beings is something we must not do alone and Christ uses community to help us support one another in pursuing Him. I desire to help people seek and find sweet communion with their Savior and experience His goodness. Word of Life provides many great opportunity to do this with the programs they offer, both through summer camp and throughout the year with other outreach events they provide. Along with the ministry Christ has blessed him with, Word of Life, and other ministries in Paris that minister to both natives of France and refugees, I am able to share the good news of the gospel and follow the calling He has given me. Which is to provide a space of community and a sense of belonging to all who are hurting. Together Bryan and I have a heart to serve others in the ways that God has enabled us to. We desire to be obedient to the calling He has put on our hearts and we will use our talents for Him!
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. - Ephesians 5:2