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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc



Serve #35

There are some people you can just tell were made to serve and protect others. Sergeant Tim L. is one of those people. With his football player-sized frame, calm demeanor and warm smile, Sergeant Tim creates an atmosphere of peace whenever you're around him. You just feel protected in his sphere. But this isn’t just about Tim being a good guy, or even a cop. It’s about a man who believes in making a difference. Tim's also a coach for the North Community High School Polars football team in North Minneapolis, where he coaches both the offensive and defensive lines of this highly successful football program. Along with his big frame, Tim has a big heart for positively impacting those around him. It's obvious as he talks about how much he cares for the boys on the football team. He knows being a positive role model for his players can influence them for years to come. When asked about his own influences, Tim spoke of men like his dad, his own high school and college football coaches, and many others who encouraged and helped form the man he is today. During our ride-along, Tim's great big heart for people shined even brighter as he talked about the unsheltered people of our Metro Area. He serves with the Homeless Action Team that helps people find housing and work towards a more secure future for themselves. His passion for serving was genuine and contagious. I could see it, and I could hear it in every word he spoke. I could see why he was recently recognized as Officer of the Year.

Sergeant Lawrence thank you for making the world a safer place, but more than that, thank you for making it a better place by being who you are – on the job, and on the field of life. Thanks again for letting me ride along.


Story edited by Scott Whitman



Best wishes,

Shawn Nielsen Mobile. 612.750.2593 Studio. 763.498.7375 Email: shawn@nielsen-studios.com LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nielsenstudios1 Web: http://nielsen-studios.com Blog: http://nielsenstudios.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nielsen.studios.inc/             "Tell Your Story"      

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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc



Serve #34


The backstory for this Serve begins in November, 2018 when I first met Cathy. I had approached her as the representative of Mobile Hope Dayton. Meeting with Cathy and a handful of other women who are residents of the mobile home park in Dayton, Minnesota, we discussed offering portrait sessions for the great residents of the trailer park. I saw upon first meeting with Cathy that the heart of a servant was evident as she spoke of her love for the people of the park and her opportunity to serve them. She helps with homework, personal issues, and getting resources of various kinds to the people who need it. Sometimes I saw a tear fall as she talked of the opportunity to be there for others as needed and how privileged she felt to be able to be a part of the residents' lives on a regular basis. Cathy, while she maybe would not say it of herself, is what I would call a “Jesus with Skin on”. Cathy told me she serving because of the song, "Here I am Lord" and to reach out to people. She is helping change lives on a regular basis. It's amazing to see. It's a real love for people that transcends what our human minds can understand.

I am a blessed man to have had the opportunity to serve alongside this woman and the organization she is a part of.

There are regular people like Cathy, like you and like me making an incredible impact in the communities all around us. Get out there and serve, you will change a life!




Best wishes,


Shawn Nielsen


Mobile. 612.750.2593

Studio. 763.498.7375

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nielsen.studios.inc/             

"Tell Your Story"      

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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc


American Faces #24

Every once in a while you meet a real life superhero – the kind of person that actually saves people from despair and destruction. I met such a man. His name is Tensaie (pronounced: Ten-say) and he embodies the meaning of American Faces. I first met Tensaie this summer on a photoshoot for Metro Transit in Minneapolis where he was one of the supporting cast. At the time, I had no idea of the impact this modest man was making in the world. But when Metro Transit recently used one of the photos from our summer shoot to create an Instagram post about Tensaie and his mission work, I realized I had to know more.  

Fast forward to November 27, 2018. For this installment of American Faces, I shot another photo of Tensaie in front of his church, Ethiopian Zion Evangelical Fellowship in St. Paul, Minnesota, and afterwards we sat in my vehicle and I listened to this quiet superhero tell his compassionate story.

Tensaie told me his journey to the United States first began with a one-year prison sentence in Ethiopia. He had been detained over a disagreement with the communist government in power at the time. After his release he fled to Sudan where he stayed for five years. He was granted political asylum by the U.S. Government and brought to the States in 1991, where he lived first in Iowa (3 months), then Washington D.C. (17 months), and finally Minnesota, where he earned a BA degree in Business Administration from the University of Northwestern (St. Paul) in 2008.". He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1997.

Tensaie’s story only became more powerful as he told how his heart was moved for his Ethiopian people, especially the precious children. Tensaie spoke with care and compassion as he told of seeing children digging in trash for morsels of food to fight off pains of hunger. Tensaie told me how his heart was so moved by God through these sights that he felt he had to do something.  That ‘something’ was to start a program for children in Ethiopia called Resurrection Orphanage:

Launching an orphanage that would impact the lives of Ethiopian children with no family to care for them presented a daunting financial challenge. Tensaie and his wife knew that the God who called them to this mission would also provide the means to make it happen. So Tensaie and the other faithful orphanage founders prayed, and launched the orphanage in 2012. Now a recognized 501(c)3 charitable non-profit corporation, Resurrection Orphanage is already changing the lives of eight girls and seven boys in two separate home-based programs. These precious young ones are being nourished by food, their minds are being educated, and their future stories are being rewritten.

Tensaie’s passion for serving his Ethiopian people, and the loving hearts of the people who helped him begin the orphanage, are things not of this world. His is a passion built on a faith in Christ and His Great Commission. Tensaie knows the changes now happening in Ethiopia are because of Christ, enacted by a government no longer under communist control, but led by a prime minister who genuinely cares for the people and who is, himself, a Christian.

What an incredible impact this Ethiopian-born American Face is having on the world! Children’s lives are being changed, and Ethiopia's future is looking brighter each day because of people like Tensaie.

As you read this I hope your heart was stirred, and if, like Tensaie Umeta, you too want to change the future of a child, you can make a tangible financial impact by connecting with Resurrection Orphanage at these links:

Change one child’s future... and you might just change the world.


Best wishes,


Shawn Nielsen

Mobile. 612.750.2593

Studio. 763.498.7375

"Tell Your Story"      

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