Every time we heard a missionary speaker during our early years of marriage, we would ask ourselves, “Could God use us in that ministry?,’” say Wayne and Melody Nelson. Finally an opportunity fit, and WorldVenture appointed the Nelsons in 1983 for ministry in Cote d’Ivoire. In July 1985, they arrived in France for language study and a year later in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to work with the Centre de Publications Evang_liques.
After several terms of ministry doing literature production, field administration, and administrative support for the missionary children’s school, the Nelsons began looking for another field of service. Their route was detoured first by cancer when Wayne was diagnosed in 2000 and successfully treated in 2001, and then by further education as Melody used the extra time in the States to finish her master’s in ministry degree from Moody Graduate School. In late 2003 WorldVenture opened a new field, South Africa, where the Nelsons worked with Walk Thru the Bible, where they were exposed to resources to empower the Christian church.
In May 2008, after a leave of absence for their daughter’s successful bout with cancer, Wayne and Melody arrived back in Cote d’Ivoire and began working with students who wished to improve their English and with the Theological Education by Extension program (PEDEBE: Programme d’Enseignement D_centralis_ des Eglises Baptistes Evang_liques) to re-enter and reprint all of the workbooks. –God has brought us back to the country where we began–with all of the resources we have picked up along the way!” They are now teaching English at Bethel Bible Institute in Korhogo, continuing to work on the PEDEBE workbooks, and active in their local church. “