Hello today, friends, and greetings from Roca Blanca, Oaxaca, Mexico! Laura and I have created another blog report from the last several months of works and blessing here in Oaxaca and environs. We hope you are edified and encouraged through it!
God’s abundant blessings to you in all! Until next time…
Dave and Laura Nelson
Dear Pastor Don and members of Grace Chapel,
It was so good to be with you all in service a few Sundays ago. We appreciated the opportunity to share about the work in Oaxaca and to worship with you all. We also enjoyed getting to be with you a couple of Wednesday nights and being able to fellowship with some of you on other occasions while in Corinth.
Thank you all so much for your very generous offerings for Pastor Oscar and Gabby for the Puerto Angel Church construction, for the orphanage, and for the student scholarship fund. I have communicated with Pastors Oscar and Gabby to share with them that the offering for them was in the amount of $14,519.20, and they were extremely grateful and encouraged to know about it. We were communicating on Messenger and Gabby sent back an emoticon with tears pouring from its eyes when she knew the amount! That will help them to advance greatly with the construction!
We are also extremely grateful for the amazing offerings that your church has given us to be able to purchase a truck to take back to Mexico. We were blown away by your generosity!! We had not dreamed of being able to purchase the truck without putting some of it on credit, but with your generous offerings that totaled $20,100 plus a couple of other offerings, the amount not only of the truck but also the camper, Mexican registration, and the cost of the trip back to Mexico was covered. God indeed does exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or think! We are very, very grateful. May God bless each of you for your extreme generosity!
We appreciate so much all that you all have done for us and for the ministry of Roca Blanca in Oaxaca, Mexico, and we look forward to continuing to partner with you to spread the Gospel of Christ!
In His Love,
Dave and Laura Nelson
2020 Mission Trip Testimonies – Over the next few weeks our mission team will be sharing their testimonies from the March mission trip. Follow along here to read the latest and see photos.
Brady Pratt Testimony
The mission trip to Mexico was a truly incredible experience. I would highly recommend going to Roca Blanca to anyone. It’s amazing to see the impact they are able to have throughout Oaxaca and how many lives are changed through their ministries.
I had the opportunity to help with the medical missions at Puerto Angel, and in the village at Tierra Blanca. Though it was sad to see some of the conditions these individuals had been living with, it was definitely rewarding to be able to help them out. They were always extremely grateful for anything we could provide for them, even if it was just vitamins.
The trip had a major impact on all of us that were able to go. It’s always humbling to go to a different place and see all the things we take for granted daily. Many of the people there have so much faith with nothing while we have everything and so little faith. It’s something I think everyone should see.
Jonathon Galbreath Testimony
First, let me thank Jesus for calling me and providing me with everything I needed to go on this mission trip. God really showed up and showed out. It was amazing how far people would walk to hear the word of God. We are so blessed here at home. It changed me so much and made me love in a whole new way. Jesus allowed our team to shine so bright and He changed people’s lives. He gave us so much spiritual power while we were there. I really believe he was preparing us for what we were about to come home to too. Last but not least, I am so thankful for all the prayers from my family and our Grace Chapel family back home.
Cathy Lane Testimony
Good morning Grace Chapel! I’d like to first thank Grace Chapel for the opportunity to participate in the Rocca Blanca 2020 mission trip. I was truly blessed to experience God’s love being lived out daily by the amazing members of the mission team. Each and every member of the team showed up daily in a way that not only represented Grace Chapel as a loving, compassionate, and giving church, but served others miles away and demonstrated God’s love. The love in the team members’ hearts was apparent in their interactions with the children, the patients, the church members, the villagers, drivers, cooks, and they everyone encountered. Each team member demonstrated Grace Chapel’s devotion to God and desire to spread the good news of the Gospel. I witnessed each and every Rocca Blanca 2020 team member serving in whatever capacity he or she was assigned with grace and humility.
I am grateful to be asked to share my thoughts of our trip the same week Brady Pratt and Jonathan Galbreath will be sharing theirs. Brady and Jonathan are amazing young men and each worked hard to make the mission trip a success. It was a blessing to witness the joy, dedication and enthusiasm they demonstrated as they worked to make the trip a success. Their love of life and others was evident as they jumped in and worked wherever asked. It was truly amazing to witness two young men who were ready to serve the Lord with a happy heart. The influence of Grace Chapel’s Christian men and women was lived out through them on this mission trip. It was inspiring to fellowship with the Puerto Angel congregation. Their joy in worshipping God shown on each members face and was contagious. You couldn’t help but receive a blessing in their open air service in such a beautiful part of the world. They were so excited to have us with them to worship and praise God. This community of Christians is working hard to build a permanent dwelling in which to meet and worship. They are excited and determined to make their dream of having a place to honor and serve God a reality. The hardships and road blocks are not stopping them from trusting God to provide a church building where they may meet. They demonstrated joy in their hearts when we visited the future church site and we saw the work they have already done to make it a reality. God is alive and well in Puerto Angel. His people there are singing his praises. Although it was in a tongue that I do not understand, it sounded a whole lot like “He’s got the whole world in HIs hands!”In a world of chaos and uncertainty, may we all remember He holds us with His hands. Whom shall we fear? May the Lord bless you and keep you.
KB Edge Testimony
First off, I want to say that it was such a privilege getting to go to Mexico for the second time. I also want to thank Mrs. Laura and Pastor Don for putting this trip together. We couldn’t have done it without them!
While on this mission trip I met new friends, and got closer to people on our mission team. Melody Joy is now one of my closest and dearest friends. We talk almost every day now and keep in contact. Melody was one of our translators who is 18 years old. Whenever you meet people in Mexico, there is always a language barrier that is hard to break. With Melody, she is fluent in English and in Spanish so it was very easy to communicate with her. Even though she lives thousands of miles away and we don’t even look alike, we really connected and she will always be close to my heart. I cannot wait until the next time we see each other and share all the God moments with each other.
Well, it’s pretty obvious that when you spend a whole week with each other you’re going to get really close. Erika Talley, MaKaden Barnes, and I really hit it off and made a super connection. Even though we are very different in age, we still knew the trials that each other went through. Whenever we got back to the US, we had many sleepovers and got to talk about life together, which was great.
This trip to Mexico has also really opened my eyes to see how blessed we are in the US. Bertha, a translator who comes down from New York every year, said some very wise words while we were there. She said, “You can’t really explain to people who haven’t been here about the miracles that have happened because they haven’t seen the miracles.” This really opened my eyes because when we got back to the US everyone was going to start asking questions about the trip. These wise words opened my eyes to see that I can explain everything that happened, but people just won’t understand because they haven’t experienced it. I can’t wait to see all of these people again in Mexico that I fell in love with! I will never forget their sweet faces, and every time I think of them, I will say a prayer that God is working in their lives.
Rebecca Timms Testimony
This was my first mission trip and has been on my “Bucket List” for a while.
I wanted to be used by God to help others. Turns out it helped me more. The mission trip recharged my spiritual battery and gave me a new motivation to spread the gospel.
The most moving moment for me was the Sunday the team attended church service at Pastor Oscar’s Church in Puerto Angel. This was our first full day in Mexico. The HOLY SPIRIT was alive and at work! Despite the language barrier, members of our team prayed with people and over people. I believe through the power of God, lives were changed and touched that day.
I was most impressed by the mission team members. I believe each person stepped up and served their purpose. It made my heart full to watch the young adults on our team working hard and sharing the word of GOD. I feel very blessed and thankful to have been part of God working in and through this mission team.
Can’t wait to go again.
Sonia Berry Testimony
The 2020 mission trip to Mexico was amazing. I have wanted to have this experience for 20 plus years. It was on my bucket list you could say. In the spring of 2019 I began attending Grace Chapel just before the 2019 mission trip. There was a lot of talk about it. I had time to sign up, but I did not. Over the years, I had other opportunity to go different places but the lord was not ready for me to go. So the 2019 team returned, each giving their testimony. I decided that day, I was going on the next trip. I prayed about it for almost a year the lord allowed everything to fall into place for me to go and I was not disappointed. The team of 19 were the perfect match. I now have 18 new friends that the lord placed together we were all in different phases of our Christian walk but we all worked well together. Personally I have never cried so much and laughed so hard. There were several unexpected adventures but so great fun for the opportunity to serve. The people we met were so giving and loving. Some have very little but they offered everything. I witnessed healing and miracles I saw Grace Chapel to be a very gracious church. With there gifts and offerings be proud of the leaders of this church. They have Jesus in there hearts. Thank you Don Elliott and dr. Pratt for your kindness and love for all of us.
I’m sorry to tell you, but you have two different kinds of cancer. You need to get to the nursing home – it’s your mother. There is nothing else we can do – we are closing the doors. In a four year span, I battled cancer, lost my mother, lost my job – had to find a new job and move then ended a 5 year relationship. I cannot begin to tell you my testimony about the mission trip until I show you how my Lord and Savior worked in my life and how He had a plan all along for me and I truly believe the Mission trip was one of those plans.
I will begin by saying that I believe God had plans to bring me to Grace Chapel for many reasons. After everything I had just gone through, I was ready to show anyone and everyone how He had brought me through so much and how much stronger I was because of those things. Soon after I started Grace Chapel, Brother Don said, “We are going on a mission trip……”. I was about to explode on the inside with excitement because I knew immediately that God wanted me to go so I could show His light.
It was such a blessing to be around the church family on the trip but it is beyond words for getting to meet so many wonderful people in Mexico. I prayed so hard for God’s light to shine through me so those over there would know that He loves them and they can get through anything when they accept Him in their heart. Though I didn’t speak their language, I let God lead me and loved all the hugs, squeezes, hand holding and smiles I received. I wondered so many times during the trip if I was there to help them or if He was using them to help me.
It was hard not to fall in love with some of them and I wanted nothing more than to bring them back home with me. I had to put my trust in the Lord and know He is their protector and He is the one that will care for them. I encourage you to read everyone’s testimony about the trip because there were so many blessings that it shows God is still moving. To this day, I don’t know where all of my seeds were planted on the trip for Him but doesn’t it feel amazing when we do what God tells us to do?
At the beginning, I was asked to lead the construction team but once we arrived, God had different plans.
With all mission trips, you must learn to be flexible. This was my first mission trip to visit the mountains in Central America where I met some amazing individuals. I helped my wife, Kristy, with the children’s ministry which was really awesome. I experienced two earthquakes and much more. As for every mission trip I’ve experienced, God humbled me to the core. I’ve become so close with the mission team and made new friends in Mexico. It never gets old to experience Gods miracles and see him work.
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was watching a lifeless baby be healed and watching a miracle happen before my eyes.
God speaking through Kim and Kelly is something unforgettable. God used each individual that went on this trip in very significant ways. I love you all and I’m so thankful for your support. And I can’t wait to revisit Mexico next year.
My name is Cade Plunk, and some of you might know me. I know a lot of you at GC as family and friends. I love you all and thank you for prayers and even support for this mission trip. Many of you were called my “prayer warriors” praying hedges of protection over me! This mission trip began for me many months before it launched or even a year before. As soon as Tim, Cristy, and Makaden returned from their first mission trip to Ronca Blanca, Mexico, they told me stories about their trip and how lives were changed. They shared how they even received more than they gave. This first caught my eye. I had never had the drive to attend a mission trip until this point. After that I decided I was going to go; I felt the calling! I finally met all my funds about 2 months out from the mission trip and just doing that was God saying “Go!!” to me. Once I was finally in Mexico I was blown away right off the bat by just driving down the highway: there was so much poverty. Once we arrived in Puerto Angel, I was amazed by the love that people had: even when they have nothing. I later found out that I would not be able to do construction work because of complications. However, the Lord had other plans for me, I worked in the medical and actually learned a good bit. I’m still so thankful that the Lord found ways to use me when I thought I would not be useful.
Margaret Rushing Testimony
I don’t know what to add to what others have said about this amazing experience that changed lives in so many ways and of the miracles we witnessed on the trip, so I will tell you what an incredible impact it has made on me.
After living nearly seven decades, I never imagined I would be going on my very first mission trip. I had missed the first few information meetings for I had no intention on going. When I was told there were two spots still available, I wondered into the meeting room where they were collecting air fare. I impulsively wrote a check. The next Sunday we were to introduce ourselves and give our “calling.” I froze! I did not think of myself as a seasoned Christian. What was I doing here? I had no specific agenda or any particular skills to offer. I just wanted the joy back in my life. You see I had isolated myself from friends, church, and even some family for the past two years. I felt I had lost my purpose along with my husband.
By jumping in and taking that leap of faith, what I found was a reason for being, fantastic accepting friends, and an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever.
God has a use for us at every stage of our life and Christian journey. By putting myself into His hands trusting God, I have a renewing of my spirituality.
With that said, I want to thank all of you for allowing God to work through you to.
Erika Talley Testimony
Over spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to Roca Blanca, Mexico & various other places in Mexico. During our time there we got to experience a very different culture & a whole new presence of Jesus that I never had experienced before. I have seen God work many powerful healings in and around my life before, but what we got to see and feel on the trip was totally different. Once we first arrived in Mexico, it was like my whole attitude changed. All fear was gone, & all expectations vanished. It was just me being completely vulnerable to what the Lord had to offer and how he wanted to use me. I had already said, “Yes Lord, I am here for whatever you’ve called me to do, please use me in a mighty way.” I have no doubt that God used our whole team including me to not only bless others, but we were blessed ourselves. If I could use one word to describe our trip, it would be Powerful! The salvations were powerful, the healings were powerful & the amount of love I felt from our heavenly Father was absolutely powerful. I am so grateful to Grace Chapel & the ones who made it possible for me to experience this.
I want to thank everyone from Grace Chapel for all the support that was given to the mission team that went to Mexico this March. We knew that prayers were being lifted up everyday while we were there for safe travels,health, and spreading the word of the truth of Jesus. We were so grateful for Don as he guided us through airports and also guiding us spiritually as we formed a mission team. Dr.Pratt and his sister Laura are both so dedicated to healing people physically and leading them to Jesus.Laura’s work at the mission base at Roca Blanca is truly amazing.There are many stories that I will leave to other team members to tell about all that happened there. I wish that everyone could experience worshiping on top of a mountain in a church with a dirt floor and feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving through every soul present. As I reflected on this I realized that when the Holy Spirit is present as we worship that we are on top of a mountain, no matter where we are on this earth.
When the apostle Paul referred to Psalm 19 he said everyone should know about God because nature proclaims God’s existence however this does not cancel the need for missions because the message of God’s salvation found in his Word,the Bible,must still be told to the ends of the earth.Grace Chapel you are spreading the Word. Your sister church in Mexico is spreading the Word.
Thank you for your missions
Thank you all for your giving hearts & especially your prayers.
Special Thanks to Gracie & Brooks for their donation to the Children’s Ministry- it was very much appreciated & the kids loved it!
This was my second trip to Roca Blanca.
I was blessed to have witnessed a lot of miracles!
Anel, an 18 month old baby girl that was practically lifeless brought back to life!
Isau, an 8 yr old little boy that would no longer speak after he witnessed his dad’s tragic death able to have a conversation with me.
I witnessed a young boy healed in Tierra Blanca that was so sick he could not even walk into the church building.
I had the privilege to pray healing over women that said their pain was gone after prayer.
One lady with depression did not even know why she was there after prayer.
Grace & Melody, our interpreters were Heaven sent! They were such an inspiration to me even at their young age of 19.
ONE of the highlights of this trip for me is actually a praise that I would like to share with you. It wasn’t with a child although I mainly worked with the children’s ministry.
It was with a curious 32 year old man named Unel in Puerto Ángel.
As a business owner of a marine dealership that sells boats, a salesman’s perfect sell is a customer that comes in ready to buy, already knows what he wants, no convincing needed, it’s just an easy sell.
Bro Don has a saying that I had never heard the second part of it before this trip.
Curiosity killed the cat
Satisfaction brought him back
As I was waiting to set up for the children’s ministry, I had both of my hands full of these bracelets & cards that tell the gospel in Spanish that I had purchased for this mission trip.
My intentions was to find Kim & Kelly because I thought they could use them in their prayer ministry to help bring souls to Christ. This curious man spotted them in my hand & ask me in Spanish were they a gift for the kids or was I just handing them out to everyone. WOW, talk about God opening a door! I took 3 years of Spanish & I am not as fluent as they are, but I did my very best & I ask him in Spanish if Jesus lived in his heart. He said no. I thought at first he might not have understood me, so I began to tell him about my Jesus. I read the card explaining the gospel telling him what each color of the bracelet represented. I decided to ask him again if he knew Jesus & if Jesus lived in his heart. This time he said no he doesn’t, but I have a bible at home & I want to start reading it so I can know Jesus. He was ready! He wanted Jesus in his heart. I ask Jesus’, which is amazing at leading people to Christ, to come help me with my Spanish so this curious man would know without a doubt that Jesus lived in his heart. That man prayed & ask God to come into his life, he chose to follow Christ that day!
Going back to the saying:
Curiosity killed the cat
Satisfaction brought him back
Thank God this man was curious & I know he was satisfied spiritually that day!!!!
Brought back to life!
God did not give us a spirit of fear
He gave us a spirit of LOVE!
We may not speak their language as well as they do, but we can show love & that is what all of us did on this mission trip.
He gave us a spirit of POWER!
The POWER to heal & we all witnessed a lot of healing, physically & spirituality on this mission trip.
He also gave us a spirit of a SOUND MIND!
Be smart & make wise decisions.
Thank you again for allowing me to be the hands & feet of Jesus. I can honestly say I returned feeling more blessed than I was a blessing to them.
My prayer is for more opportunities to share God’s Grace with others. A piece of my heart will always be in Roca Blanca!
What an amazing time in Mexico! As you’ve read from other mission team members, we were all so moved by the things we saw and experienced during our week there. In Puerto Angel we got to attend the Sunday morning church service with our Sister Church and Pastor Oscar and Gabby. As we walked up the dirt path to the church, we heard the most beautiful voices singing and we knew the presence of the Lord was in that place and among all of us. Some worshipers/singers have a special place in my heart because of a Kingdom connection and their gift to usher us into the Throne Room of GRACE. Andrea is one of the precious girls who I really connected with in Puerto Angel. When I think of her and those we encountered and connected with, it makes me long for God’s goodness in their lives and keeps me tender to lift them in prayer.
Being in this beautiful coastal town, worshiping with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and caring for physical and spiritual needs in the town’s basketball court area set the tone for our entire trip. Melody Joy and Grace were two teenage translators who helped us as we ministered in medical clinics, children’s outreach, and prayer needs. We were expectant, and we saw God work in miraculous ways. Kelly and I got to pray with many people and see the power of the Holy Spirit work in and through us. As with last year, the Lord gave me special ability to communicate in Spanish more than I could have imagined. Our love grew for God, each other, the Church, and the many beautiful souls we met.
We traveled up the Sierra Madre mountain range to the village of Tierra Blanca and really got a taste for what most of us think of with a foreign mission trip. The hot, rougher conditions didn’t matter compared to the excitement we saw on the children’s faces and the healing that came both physically and spiritually. It was here we felt two earthquakes and saw God bring even more breakthrough, healings, salvations, and so many God moments.
Laura and Dave are wonderful hosts and it was very special getting to see Doc and his sister have time together (for his birthday week)! There are so many experiences, names, and faces etched on my heart from our time there. After a short while in Mexico, just knowing in part what we were all experiencing—from your prayers to God’s miraculous touch on many souls—I told Kelly that I finally understood more of what the Scripture says in John 21:25…“Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” Praise the Lord!!!