Friday, May 18, 2007

Prayer E-Letter #5


May 16, 2007
Dear Friends and Family,
So last Sunday we were on the way home from San Juan Island (I preached at a little church called Islands Community Church). On the ferry, I set Mommy free to do some reading while Kamryn, Bradyn and Julia let everyone on the ferry know that they were there. During a hand washing break, I said to Bradyn, “Let’s go search for Mommy, and the first person who finds her, wins.” She thought for a moment and then asked, “What do they win?” I said, “A big hug and kiss from Daddy.” And she responded, “Hummphh.” Well, she didn’t actually say that, but her anti-climatic, “I want something better than that like a treat or something” face said that. I said, “Brady, there are so many kids in the world who would want nothing more than a hug and a kiss from their daddy as the ultimate prize.” Again, I emphasized, “There is nothing else that some kids would rather have than to have a mommy and daddy to hug them.” That didn’t seem to work much wonder in her, but it sure did for me. As I reflected on that insight, I thought of the million orphan kids in Zambia, the orphanages that we will be working with, and the kids without families with whom my family will soon be spending time with. And, it gave me a lesson, on Mother’s Day of all days, which I hope I will not soon forget.

This morning I was talking to a friend who lost his wife a few years ago. I asked him how Mother’s Day was for him and his family. He admitted that it was tough on him and he confided how he regrets not having spent more time celebrating these special occasions. After he talked a bit more, I shared with him this conversation with Bradyn and then I said, “I’ll bet you would give anything to just have one more chance to celebrate with your wife.” He shook his head and the silence spoke volumes. These two conversations come in the middle of a four week series on thankfulness that I have been teaching to the high school and college students at Northlake. What powerful reminders to continue to grow in gratitude and revel in the daily gifts of God. I am learning that thanksgiving is one of those commands of God that really is for our own good. Thanksgiving is the antidote for worry, the opposite of greed, the secret of contentment and the answer for pride.

Later this evening, I was adding in a few more names of people who wanted to be on our Africa mailing list, and as I typed I grew increasingly grateful by the amount of people who have committed to pray for us and/or financially support us. As I am both teaching on thankfulness and learning to be thankful, I am enjoying the many opportunities that I get to write “thank you” to friends and family for loving us to Africa and for committing to partner with us in Africa. There is something extremely humbling and freeing about saying “thank you” and it feels wonderful to have people behind us.

We have much to be thankful for:
We have now reached 100% of our outgoing support and we are at 81% of our monthly support. Isn’t that amazing? Thank you! (If you do want to partner with us monthly, please go to http://www.aliveinafrica.com/ and click on “Become a financial partner” button…)

We sold our house! Our neighbors who were renting their house are buying ours. We will be closing and moving out on July 29. (important prayer note: They pulled out so we haven't sold our house... Aughh!)

I am baptizing our neighbors, Jerrad and Kelli Krause this Sunday. It is a neat story of how Kamryn invited their son Travis to AWANA and then over the next few months, the entire family started attending church. I have been meeting weekly with Jerrad, and Stephanie has been meeting with Kelli. They have become good friends and we will really miss them.

We celebrated our 9th anniversary with a little getaway in Seattle.

Again, thank you for your support! We would love to hear from you!!!

The Allen Family

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