Phil and Kris Nelson, along with their children, Daniel, Tim, and Laura, are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship serving in Nampa, Idaho. They share that it is always a joy to work and be a part of the ministry of MAF around the world.
Phil returned to work at MAF’s headquarters in 2011, after spending 20 years in Papua, Indonesia, as a pilot/mechanic. Phil and Kris lived at five different bases during their time in Papua, where Phil flew and maintained a variety of types of piston and turbine powered aircraft, operated on wheels, floats and amphibious floats. His years of service have uniquely prepared him to work with the many folks preparing for overseas ministry.
Phil is now working as a Maintenance Instructor in the Training Department at MAF's headquarters. He shares, "I have always enjoyed doing maintenance. During our last two terms I had the privilege of training and mentoring several MAF staff as mechanics. I found it very rewarding, training others and seeing them be successful." Now Phil is able to do this on an even larger scale in MAF’s Training Department as he helps evaluate, train and prepare MAF's future mechanics. Phil has been tasked with developing MAF’s turbine engine training curriculum, including the building of a turbine engine run up stand.
Kris homeschooled their three children the entire time they were in Papua and continues to do so with Laura. Daniel and Tim are attending college. Kris has received training and has started working as an educational therapist. She finds great satisfaction in helping children that have a variety of educational needs to become more successful. Kris is also involved at church, working with youth and leading Bible studies and is still active in mentoring several young Indonesian women via Facebook.
No matter where they live, Kris’s desire is to use her gifts to see others come to faith, grow, and mature in Christ. Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up," is the verse that keeps Kris persevering. Kris also shares, "It is great to see the growth in our kids, as I teach them. They are growing in wisdom and faith as well as in academics. While overseas they learned a lot about being with people of another culture – now they are learning how to live out their faith in the American culture."
Phil was born and raised in Michigan. He accepted the Lord as a high school senior, during a Young Life retreat. Following high school, he attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, graduating with a B.S. in Aviation Technology. He also earned a Commercial Pilot’s License with Instrument Rating, and his A&P mechanic’s license.
Kris was born in Wisconsin and came to the Lord in high school. Her spiritual growth came through involvement with the Navigators in college. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education. Phil and Kris met on a short-term mission trip to Hungary in 1988, and were married in 1990.
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in the Nelsons’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.