Van & Ressie Nelson
International Pastor Care

International Pastor Care

Pastors minister to their congregations but who ministers to Pastors?

To whom does a Pastor turn for friendship, a confidant, a mentor, or a listening ear?

With whom can a Pastor pray when the weight of his flock is on his shoulders?

With whom can a Pastor share his heart when he needs a friend?

The purpose of International Pastor Care is to impact the world for Jesus Christ by building and encouraging Pastors, their wives, and Christian Leaders so they in turn can equip believers for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). 

Van and Ressie Nelson provide encouragement and friendship to those they minister to. They travel to these Servants at their place of ministry, walking with them, listening, caring, and praying. 

The Nelsons are Missionaries serving with Energize Ministries in International Pastor Care. Their ministry is a partnership where others are involved. Van and Ressie are leading the way but it is the partners who pray, provide, and encourage them as they go. The Nelsons are responsible to raise their entire ministry finances.

About Us

The Nelson's hearts for pastors and their wives grew out of their backgrounds and ministries. Today, they make their home in Winston-Salem, NC.

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Countries We Serve

The Fine Print

Many years ago God called us to serve in Norway and Sweden. Our hearts are still there but because of our work we are not allowed to be permanent residents. As a result we make our home in the USA. Since Norway and Sweden are part of Europe there are travel limitations. During the times we are not in Europe we have the same ministry in the USA and other countries.

Norway & Sweden

Purpose: Every trip to Norway and Sweden is with the intent to encourage Pastors and their wives and Church Leadership. Our goal is to strengthen these servants in their personal lives as God uses them to build their ministries. 

Sweden - Evangelistic Cooking Teams

Purpose: Evangelism using a cooking class as a means to reach out to unchurched individuals. The cooking team is a team of three to four individuals who are above average in cooking with an ability to teach the recipes and share their testimonies clearly. The cooking team normally serves a Saturday morning full American breakfast in addition to an evening meal.This is a 7 to 10 day trip.


Purpose: Trips to Finland are with the intent to encourage and strengthen Pastors, their wives, and Church Leadership so they are better able to build their ministries. As with other trip we serve as an encourager, confidant, counselor, consultant, and friend. The end result is producing stronger Pastors and Christian Leaders who in turn build the ministry where God has called them.

Curacao and the Caribbean

Purpose: To serve as a church and ministry consultant along with meeting with Pastors and Church Leaders for encouragement. These trips are closely associated with Word of Life. 


Purpose: We will be joining the Word of Life team at the Bible Institute for a week of encouragement. These are 7 day trips. Ressie travels with me. The trips to Hungary usually include trips to Norway, Sweden and Finland. 

Countries We Serve


Purpose: Pastors throughout the world need encouragement, assistance, a friend, and more. Often, pastors and churches need a consultant. Some face obstacles where they can best be served in their own homes. Others pastor two and three churches. Reaching out to these individuals pays eternal dividends. Though the ministry focus is overseas, in the time at home Van and Ressie continually have input into the lives of Pastors, their wives, and their churches.


 Purpose: We join the Word of Life team at the Bible Institute for two weeks of teaching. In 2018, Van taught The Gospel of Matthew and a course on Discipleship along with a conference on Discipleship. Trips to Ukraine usually include trips to Norway and Sweden. 

Special Note

There is no charge for our ministry to those hosting us. Sometimes we are offered lodging and a meal but often we are not. We go expecting open hearts and nothing else. Your prayers and gifts enable us to go.

Future Service



St Martin


Interview from Norway

Listen as Gabriel Stevens shares his heart. Gabriel is the Youth Pastor of Skien Baptist Church, Skien, Norway.

Interview from Sweden

Pastor Magnus Gustafson is the Pastor of Nådons Mission, Malmő , Sweden. You'll be moved as he shares his heart for Sweden.

Details of the Ministry

International Pastor Care

International Pastor Care exists to provide encouragement and friendship to Pastors and Christian Leaders. The theme of the ministry is - "Build the Man and He Will Build the Ministry." This theme becomes action through offering friendship to Pastors and Christian Leaders.


Most people give one shot at confidentiality. Anything shared with me is strictly between the Pastor, me, and God. This is where it stays. 


We may or may not offer direction. We do not travel with a box of tools to fix problems or situations. If direction is needed we do our best to offer suggestions that will build the pastor so he in turn can be more adequate in building the pastorate where God has placed him.


Having served as a pastor Van offers an understanding heart. Every church, ministry, and pastor are different. This means he cannot necessarily relate to every situation but he offers a heart that is understanding, sympathetic, and watchful as the pastor shares.  

Listening Ears

It is my desire in getting to know a pastor to learn about his family, ministry, and walk with the Lord. If he chooses to share ministry issues I am there to listen. It is my desire to listen if the pastor chooses to talk.

Prayer Partner

Regardless of the level of friendship that grows with a pastor I want to be able to add the pastor to my prayer list, praying for a specific area of his life that may or may not be ministry related.

Details of the Ministry

Prayer Partners

As we connect with Pastors and Christian Leaders there is something we want them to know. This is not our ministry. We represent a team of Partners who stand with us in prayer, praying for people they will never meet, most of whom they will never know about, but holding us up in prayer, daily, as we Go With Love.

Missionaries Serving With Energize Ministries

Van and Ressie are missionaries serving with Energize Ministries.  Energize Ministries' Purpose is to provide proactive, preventive care to pastors, ministry leaders, and their families; and to continually engage the body of Christ to do the same.

Energize Ministries

Partners with Word of Life

The Nelsons served as missionaries for over 17 years with Word of Life. They served in the USA, Sweden, and Norway. These years also included ministry in Hungary, Argentina, and Canada. Today they have a very close fellowship with Word of Life in Europe and the Caribbean.

What Do You Do?

One question we are often asked is, "What do you do?" We mimic the Apostle Paul who obeyed the commands of Jesus Christ. People talk about the Great Commission but how many practice it like the Apostle Paul. No, we do not plant churches. We grow churches by caring for pastors as an Encourager, Confidant, Counselor, Consultant, and friend.In Acts chapters 14, 15, and 21, Paul speaks about strengthening the churches, most of which he started. How did he strengthen churches? By evangelism and discipleship, by encouraging, building up, preaching, teaching - fulfilling the Great Commission. Jesus set the example and gave the command. It is our responsibility to obey by going into all the world, preaching the gospel, and while we are going, make disciples. We are Going With Love for God, for those who know Jesus Christ, and for those who need to hear about Jesus Christ.  

The Simplest Gift Means So Much

On one trip, a Sunday School class gave a small contribution to share with a pastor in Sweden. Ressie stayed at the hotel while I took the pastor out for coffee and a small bite of pastry telling him this was a gift from the class. He said, “Go back and tell them thank-you because we don’t get to do this because it is so expensive.” He then opened his heart. I sensed his pain and prayed with him, seeking to encourage by reassuring him that he would be repaid when he stands before God.

A major amount of confidentiality is expected in this type of ministry. At times the information and pictures from trips look like a travelogue. Though we see breathtaking sights and want to share them with everyone, we never want to divulge confidences when someone shares their hearts. Know that your prayers and financial contributions are for the express intent of “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12

About Van & Ressie

Van & Ressie Nelson

Being reared in a Christian family, Van had loving role models. While his father was a Pastor, both his parents were integral in teaching him how to love by God's example.

Van's interest in ministry began at an early age. When he was just 16, listening to God's leading he began serving as the Music Director of the church his father pastored. Feeling the Lord's push toward the pulpit, he eventually joined his father as the Associate Pastor.

While in college God brought a young lady by the name of Ressie into Van's life. Today they have four grown children, and five grandchildren.

In addition to being an Associate Pastor, Senior Pastor, and Missionary, Van has served three churches as an Interim Pastor. He and Ressie have enjoyed loving congregations needing someone to walk with them through times of transition, embodying Paul's example in Philippians 3:14: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Van has extensive training and experience in curriculum compilation, devotional writing, and manuals for various ages and church leadership. As a passionate believer in the practice of discipleship, he meets with several men on a regular basis, offering his hands in prayer, further providing proof of his love for leading people, and the organization and mobilization of each and every individual toward their God-given purpose in life. Along with theological training both Van and Ressie have degrees in Music, being lifelong lovers of the arts.

Seeing their marriage as not only a blessed union, but a partnership in God's will, Van and Ressie use their collective heart for missions and helping others. Together, serving over 17 years with an international mission organization, Word of Life Fellowship, they have ministered to a large portion of the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as South America. Today, though not on staff with Word of Life they partner with Word of Life, involving students in their ministry and introducing pastors to that ministry.

Though Van and Ressie were not allowed to stay in Sweden or Norway because of Visas, God never changed their hearts. They make frequent trips to Scandinavia ministering to pastors and Christian leadership. Their hearts have always been open to the people around them, each time reaching out in love. They have made as their official mission: to serve God and His servants. 

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My Commitment

Yes, Van and Ressie, I want to partner with you to impact the world for Jesus Christ by building and encouraging Pastors, their wives, and Christian Leaders so they in turn can equip believers for the work of the ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-13).

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Links to Partners

Energize Ministries

A ministry with a purpose to motivate churches to care for pastors, their wives, and family.

Energize Ministries

Word of Life

An international youth ministry serving in over 50 countries with Bible Clubs, Camps, and Bible Institutes.

Word of Life

Life Impact For Eternity

Focusing on youth in Eastern Europe through Camps and Evangelism.

Life Impact for Eternity

Travel Savvy by Becky

Travel assistance to make your vacation or business travel all you want it to be.

Travel Savvy by Becky

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