Monday, April 30, 2007

Our first talk...

Thanks to those who prayed for our first ever missionary husband wife talk... It went really well. It was a great experience to reflect and recount how God has prepared and then brought us to a place where we are willing to leave it all to go to Africa. If you by chance want to hear this talk at your church, let us know... We would love to share what God is doing in our hearts and how he is leading us to Zambia.

In the world of Julia

Julia went to play with her friend Madeline today. Madeline's mommy, Ms. Jenny, picked up Julia to go their house and had quite the funny conversation. It went something like this:

Julia: My daddy is moving to Zambia.
Ms. Jenny: Really, are you moving there too?
Julia: No, we are moving to Africa. My daddy has to work, so he is going to Zambia.
Ms. Jenny: Wow. Are you excited.
Julia: Yes, I am.
Ms. Jenny: Are you scared?
Julia: Yes, I am scared of the lions.
Ms. Jenny: Why are you scared of lions?
Julia: Because they roar. Are you going to come and visit us?
Ms. Jenny: Yes, I would like too.
Julia: That would be nice.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Our life as we prepare for Zambia

Stephanie and I do our first missionary talk this Sunday at Northlake, titled, "Why not us? How these words changed our lives." It has been interesting reflecting over the past year and few months on how God led us to this place. Pretty crazy...

We took inventory of our house today, making a list for each item:
Keep, Sell, Give Away..

A bunch of crazy emotions were experienced during those couple of hours, a sense of "Wow, I have so much stuff," to "I don't want to sell that," to "Whew, it sure feels good to be almost free of this stuff."

We are putting together a Missionary board thing (for lack of better word) to put up in the foyer on Sunday. I have seen these missionary boards a lot over years, but I never really expected to have one myself.

I told my Chocolate and Vanilla story to my kids tonight. Chocolate and Vanilla are two bunnies that talk and they go on adventures with three little girls named, Kamryn, Bradyn and Julia. Anyway, the story took place at the Woodland Park Zoo where they met a giraffe named Geoffrey who shared about what Africa would be like. It was a good one:)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't miss out...

Don't forget to occasionally check out our other blog... Here is the link!
A Sermon A day

Today's sermon of the day is from Wayne Grudem, a professor and overall cool guy, who speaks on being filled with the spirit. I covet this sermon especially for everyone to listen and live... Check out the website often for great sermons to encourage, challenge and equip you in your walk with God. You can click and listen right from the computer, or you can download by right clicking on your mouse and "Saving target as..." to your desktop. You can play from there, copy to a CD or sync to your IPOD or mp3 player. And if you come across any good sermons, let me know!

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

129 days and counting...

I have this cool little widget on my home page that lets me know how many days until we leave for Zambia. Every morning when I open my internet, this little countdown clock reminds me of the amount of days that are left until we board the British Airways jumbo jet and head out to Africa. This morning I was reminded that we have only 129 days left. That doesn't seem like very many days to me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Allen Zambia Prayer Letter Update – April 2007

The Allen Zambia E-Letter Update – April 2007

Psalm 116:7 - Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
I read this Psalm on the second to last day of my High School mission trip. After a 10 day trip to Guatemala with the college group, and with a few days to rest, I headed with 21 others students and staff to the inner city of San Francisco. After a deeply enlightening and challenging trip, I was flipping through the Psalms, looking for a Psalm for our worship time, and this verse jumped off the page and encouraged me greatly. I read it, reread it and then just heaved a huge spiritual sigh. I proceeded to thank God over and over for his faithfulness. After more than 15 ministry trips and 20 camps over many years of ministry, I once again witnessed God’s faithfulness to me as a leader and servant of his young people. It also had a new meaning to me as I realized that this very well could be my last ministry trip that I would ever do as a “youth pastor.” My role was shifting and my landscape was changing and what I had known for so many years was now preparing for some major upheaval. It was a moment like when you are hiking and catch a glimpse of the view below, this moment reminded that God is indeed good to me, and I can rest as I prepare for what lies ahead.

Our transition to full time missions in Africa is coming into focus at an alarming rate. We were given permission to buy our tickets for Zambia by the home office this past week and we have now officially purchased them. We leave Sunday evening, September 2 at 6:40 pm. While this is exciting, it is also a heavy dose of the reality that is now upon us. To give you a little taste of the flavor our lives the days, I give you our world:
We will have two families look at our house this week to possibly buy or rent.
We have purchased 5 duffel bags of the 15 we are going to need to pack our life into as we head to Africa.
We spoke at our first official small group gathering last night
We are leading a seminar next week at Northlake titled, “Why not us? How these words changed our lives…”
We are going to Utah for a family reunion and my cousin’s graduation.
I speak one night at a men’s conference for Crossroads Bible Church in two weeks about how God us to Africa. I am looking forward to being with these men for a day.
On Mothers Day, I will be speaking at Islands Community Church in the San Juan Islands. Yeah, there are worse places to spend Mother’s Day.
I preach at Northlake on May 20, finishing up my three part “series.”
We put together a calendar for the next 6 weeks of details that need to be done: Paperwork, sorting through belongings, meetings and much, much more.
In the midst of this crazy schedule, we are committed to finishing strong at Northlake.

Hence, if you haven’t figured it out by now, we need your prayers!J
A few facts:
We currently have 88% of our outgoing funds and 70% of our monthly support pledged. (So yes, purchasing our tickets was a step of faith!) We are so excited to see God meeting all of our needs through the generosity of you all. Just some info for those of you wanting to be involved financially. Steve’s last day at Northlake will be July 15, and our missionary salary from ACTION will begin on August 1st. So, it would be extremely helpful if you could possibly begin giving in July so that we have some money in our account to receive in August. Some of you have told us verbally that you wish to support us, but haven’t sent in a pledge sheet yet letting us know of your intentions. It would be great if you could send in that pledge sheet (it was sent out with our first prayer letter) to help us with our planning. (If you need another one just let us know).

To mail in a donation send it to: ACTION International Ministries, PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398. Please specify if the money is to be used as a one time gift for our outgoing expenses or if it is to be the beginning of a monthly pledge. If you prefer to give online there is a link on our blog that will direct you to the ACTION website where you can give online.

We have 59 people who have signed up to partner with us in prayer. Our goal is to have at least 70 (and hopefully more) giving us 10 prayer partners each day of the week. Please email us or call us to let us know if you would like to join the ACTION Allen team in this way…… We are hoping to plan some summer get-together/good-byes throughout the Bellingham/Bellevue areas. We’ll let you know the details soon!

We still can’t believe that all of this is our new, upcoming reality. For all the changes and trials and adventure that lay ahead, we thank your for your partnership and friendship.

Thanking God for you all,
Steve, Stephanie and family – Our Africa blog – Our family blog - A new blog I have started with a link to a new, great sermon daily. There will be some familiar preachers and some newly discovered favorites.

Blessed to be a blessing...

Check out this link on Dwayne Wade, a basketball player with the Miami Heat. A refreshing change on using the platform you have been given to make a difference in the world! I don't know Dwayne that well, but I am encouraged by this article. We have all been blessed to be a blessing... May our lives count to glorify God to serve others.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Home"less no longer...

I'm back home. I got in Sunday and it feels great. I got huge hugs from my girls, some wonderful kisses from my wife and some wonderful home cookin'. I took a hot shower, slept on a comfortable bed and woke up to some snuggling little girls. Wow... What a reversal to the situations I witnessed just a few short days ago. Men sleeping on the concrete, women pushing around their shopping carts of belongings and little kids watching ambulances and police cars and listening to sirens. My trip to San Francisco to work with the Center for Student Missions was such a great trip. It was amazing to have exposure to the inner city, to experience poverty and homelessness firsthand. I came away thankful for my parents, my education and primarily my relationship with God. I think above all I was enlightened as to my and all Christians responsibility to love, serve and help the poor...

Jeremiah 22:16 (NIV)
He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?"
declares the Lord.

This verse especially really rocked my world. Throughout the Bible, it is clear that we are called to serve the poor. To know God is defend the cause of the poor and needy.

I think I used to think it was a calling... I am not called to work with poor. According to this and so many other verses, the poor and needy are the heartbeat of God. And, I haven't found any verses that say that this excludes poor people who are lazy, addicted to drugs or bent on making bad decisions.

During my second day there, I met a homeless lady named Loretta. We had a short 5 minute conversation while on a bus. She told me, I just wish I could have a house with a kitchen. I was so moved by her simple plea, I said, "Loretta, I will pray for you everyday for the next 30 days." I have prayed for her every day, and also for Clay and Willie.

I think we have a calling to do what Jesus came to do...

Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
[19] to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

A good week... Thanks for your prayers!


Monday, April 16, 2007

"Home"less no longer...

I'm back home. I got in Sunday and it feels great. I got huge hugs from my girls, some wonderful kisses from my wife and some wonderful home cookin'. I took a hot shower, slept on a comfortable bed and woke up to some snuggling little girls. Wow... What a reversal to the situations I witnessed just a few short days ago. Men sleeping on the concrete, women pushing around their shopping carts of belongings and little kids watching ambulances and police cars and listening to sirens. My trip to San Francisco to work with the Center for Student Missions was such a great trip.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Will work for Prayer!

So, you may be thinking, I really want to pray for Steve and Stephanie and so I came to this page hoping to find something!!!! Wallah (not sure how to spell that word), we have the perfect opportunity for you!!!

I (Steve) leave for my second mission trip within the month this Saturday to go with 17 high schoolers and 5 staff to immerse ourselves into the culture of inner city San Francisco, rubbing shoulders with the prositutes, homeless and society's down and out... I will be there from April 7-15... I really appreciate your prayers for our family... It is has been a busy fewweeks...

Here is the link to Center for Student Missions in SF you are interested in looking at it!
Thanks so much!

Monday, April 02, 2007

We're #2!!!

Oh yes, the Allen Clan finished #2 in design with our Zambia themed race car at the Northlake Awana Grand Prix. Eat your heart out!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

So good to be back...

I arrived home at 3:00 pm to not only the warmly familiar Sea-Tac airport, but a beautiful woman and three little excited ladies yelling, "Daddy, Daddy!!!!!" What a great surprise!!! The trip exceeded all expectations and hopes. A great team who worked so hard, never complained and bonded amazingly won the hearts of the Mayan people of Agua Dulce, by putting on crafts, lots of "Pato, Pato, Gonzo" (duck, duck--goose!) and fun skits. We helpd construct a house for a man whose house was badly damaged in a flash flood land slide... It was a huge job and the team worked so hard. We also worked at Berea Bible Institute for a morning and visited the Kairos House (a Christian run house for parents and children whose kids are staying in the hospital, but can't afford a hotel or room--an amazing ministry!!!). It was a phenomenal time. Thank you so much for your prayers!!! They were heard! Here is a link if you want to look at some more pictures!!!