Mark Nelson lives and serves with his wife Lívia in Estonia, investing in a new generation of people in search of God’s calling for their lives and role in the church. Their vision is to see people grow closer to God through a commitment to God's Word and a strong spiritual life as the foundation for any future ministry.
Mark moved from Canada to Estonia in 1996 and began working with the United Methodist Church and the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary. When One Mission Society developed a connection with Estonia in 1997, Mark joined OMS Canada to help facilitate his ministry in Estonia.
Since 1996, Mark has worked with the Baltic Seminary as a teacher of Bible and theology and since 2014 as academic dean. In 2002, Mark was given responsibility to develop a missionary internship program to indigenous ethnic groups in Siberia. This quickly outgrew the Seminary and was organized as the missions work group of the Estonian Evangelical Alliance. Mark served on the Evangelical Alliance’s board, with responsibility for foreign missions and the task of developing opportunities for Estonians to become involved in missions, specifically to unreached people groups inside Russia. In 2017 Mark stepped back from his responsibilities for foreign mission in order to focus on teaching and training disciples of Christ and mentoring potential leaders for the church in Estonia through the Seminary and through less formal programs.
Mark was born and raised in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. He studied at the Nordic Bible Institute in Sweden, at Briercrest Bible College in Canada, and at Tyndale Theological Seminary in the Netherlands. Mark was ordained as a deacon in the United Methodist Church in Estonia in 2010. He has two children, Katarina (born 1998) and Karl (born 2002).
Lívia is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2007 she joined the first mission team to Estonia organized by the Methodist Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In summer 2009 and 2010 she led summer mission teams from Brazil to work with and encourage Estonian young people. In December 2010 she packed her bags to move to Estonia where she has lived and served in a variety of roles.
In 2013 she was asked to take responsibility for a small congregation in the village of Viitka that did not have a pastor. For three years she was responsible for teaching, leading services, encouraging and raising up the members of the church. Since 2016 the lay people have taken full responsibility for the congregation.
Lívia currently serves as mentor to the national youth committee of the Methodist church, providing teaching, advice and encouragement.
Mark & Lívia were married in 2017. They see their primary calling in Estonia to build up believers through teaching and example, encouraging them to fulfill the calling that God has given them.
Spending of funds raised by One Mission Society is confined to programs approved by the organization. Each restricted contribution designated toward such an approved program or project will be used as designated with the understanding that when the need for such a program or project has been met, or cannot be completed for any reason determined by One Mission Society, the remaining contributions will be used by One Mission Society where the need is greatest.