Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anyone need a ride?

We just received a picture of our new (to us) automobile awaiting us in Africa!!! It belonged to a missionary in Malawi who wasn't able to keep it due to duty and taxes as it was an import from Zambia. So, he sold his beloved car to us! It is a great thing to receive a car in Africa from someone who loved it and treated it well. Most of the missionaries only have one car as will we, but you need a good four wheel drive car to get around, especially during the rainy season. So, there it is!!! Only 66 more days until I get to drive our new car from the right side of the car on the left side of the street.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prayer Letter #6

On behalf of my family, I want to thank you again for your prayers and generous support for our upcoming trip to Africa. We find ourselves not only saying “thank you” often, but also growing in our understanding of the utmost importance of gratitude. Lately, I have been reading the sermons from John Piper’s Romans series for my time with the Lord in the mornings. It has been so good. (All of John Piper’s sermons and articles are available for free at desiring – You can not only listen to the sermons, but you can also read them. Amazing!) This morning I read his sermon on Romans 1:16-23 entitled, “Proud people don’t say Thanks.” What a great title and what an even better sermon!!! He wrote, “Gratitude is the echo of grace reverberating through the hollows of the human heart. But proud people don't need grace… Proud people don't say thanks.” And because we love His grace and yours, and we so need, need, need His grace and yours, we shout out to the many that have blessed us, prayed for us, given to us, encouraged us and loved us a huge, unabashed THANK YOU!

Our worlds have/are/will changed/changing/change… (pick your tense:)

MY JOB: I am officially done at Northlake Community Church. I will be on paid vacation until June 30 and then will begin to live and work as a missionary. I want to thank those at Northlake for the encouragement and support that they have given us to enable us to take this step of faith.

OUR HOUSE: We have signed a two year lease with a family who is moving to Bellingham to accept a tenure-track position as an English professor at WWU. They are a neat family, and are excited about living in Bellingham.

OUR LEAVING DATE: We will be leaving for Zambia on September 2, 2007 at 6:40pm on British Airways. We will fly through London enroute to Lusaka, Zambia.

OUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT: We are so encouraged by the response to our needs and have reached 100% of pledged support for both our outgoing and monthly support needs. If you have desired to give towards our trip to Africa and haven’t yet, and still feel led to, please know that anything we do receive that is above and beyond our monthly salary will go towards pastor’s conferences in Lusaka, orphanages, HIV/AIDS and other needy and worthy causes. We are excited to put God’s money to good use!

OUR SUMMER: So the question we get now is, “What are you going to do all summer?” There is a lot to do! Stephanie and I will be tag-teaming in our attempt to get everything done. Stephanie, the master-detail Jedi will be buying, packing, storing, calculating and organizing. (I love my wife, let me count the ways). I, the not so detailed one, will be reading a bunch about Africa, Church and Elders, and studying for a few speaking opportunities this summer, including a wedding of former students, Aaron and Megan. I will be transferring computer programs and software to our new laptop, learning a bunch of new, needed programs, calling and meeting with supporters and doing a bunch of other details necessary for our trip.

OPEN HOUSE(S): As of now, we have four open houses (aka celebrate and eat with us and other friends) scheduled this summer. Hopefully one of these times will work for you.
In the Bellevue area:
· Sunday, July 22 we will be meeting at Joe and Judy Rehfeld’s house from 2-5pm.
· Monday, August 14, we will be at Jayson and Julie Turner’s house in Carnation from 5-8pm.

In the Bellingham area:

· The first is on Sunday evening, July 15 as part of our church evening program called “Sunday Night Alive.” We will be sharing about our trip and have plenty of time afterwards to enjoy some great conversation. No RSVP is necessary.

· The second is at Jamie and Jenny Collin’s house in Ferndale on Saturday, August 18 from 4:00-7:00pm.

All the houses have plenty of room for kids and families, so come one, come all but before you come, please RSVP!!!! Thank you so much for your continued support. Stay updated, encouraged and/or laughing at one or all of our blogs!

Thank you again, and again, and again, and again… With much love,
The Allen Family

Thursday, June 14, 2007

80 days in counting...

Today is my last day. Closing out emails, reformatting computers and signing up for extended insurance... I officially become a missionary tomorrow! I guess that isn't true. We are all missionaries, but my destination changes. From Bellingham to Zambia...

Kinda weird, exciting and terrifying all in one!

Thanks for checking out the blog and just another reminder that if you sign up on the email thing to the right, you can stayed tuned to all the news!!!

God bless,

Steve Allen

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Saying goodbye is hard to do...

We had a great youth staff celebration dinner/meeting tonight. There were 20 of us reminicing on great memories of the year and sharing about our plans for the summer. I was also able to give a gift that shared about each person. In the end they suprised me with a neat photo album with letters from students and staff in all three ministries and many of them shared very, very meaningful things about Stephanie and I. It was a very special evening and I am just in awe of the people's lives that God has allowed me to be a part of over this past 2 1/2 years. It is difficult to say goodbye, and it is verses like this that keep me going... Acts 20:24 - However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Thanks for your prayers...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just say no to Spam and yes to us!!!

You may have noticed a little box to the right that says "enter your email address." Now if you are like me, you don't enter your email anywhere because when you do that Mr. and Mrs. Spam like to visit your house... Let me assure you that this little box will result in absolutely NO SPAM!!! But, what you will get is the blog that we write emailed immediately to you... What does this mean? Well, it means being updated when the updates happen, it means be alerted when the alerts go out, it means being in the know when there is stuff to know... So, sign up and enjoy no other visitors to your email home except our family and our life to be in Africa!!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My last Sunday...

Well, tomorrow morning I have my last Sunday at Northlake. It is a bit surreal. I will have the going away party on July 15 at Northlake, but tomorrow is my final official Sunday. I will have going away lunch on Tuesday with my co-workers, a volunteer HS/MS/College Staff BBQ at my house on Tuesday night, and my last day will be on Thursday. I would appreciate your prayers that I have a great conversations and finish my week well. Our summer schedule is coming into focus with different weeks at churches, visiting friends and preparing/packing to to move. We will be posting our schedule soon, complete with some BBQ's planned and cities we are going to be visiting. We hope to see you soon!

Thanks for all the support!
Only 85 days until we leave!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Time is ticking...

5 updates...

We are down to 90 days until we leave for Zambia...

In case you haven't heard, we leave September 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm.

Our house is in the process of being finalized and leased for 2 years by a neat professor couple from Seattle.

My last day at Northlake is June 15. (picture is of a HS youth group we had!)

We are 100% on both Support and Outgoing... THANK YOU!!!

Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

About Zambia

Zambia is a country in south central Africa; it’s a little bigger than Texas with a population of about 11 million.

- English is one of eight national languages; the native language spoken in Kitwe is Bemba.

- Although officially a Christian nation, up to half of the population follow Islam, Hinduism, or traditional ethnic religions.

- The primary industries are mining, agriculture, and tourism.

- The average yearly income is $400.

- Life expectancy averages 38 years.

- The unemployment rate is 80%.

- Up to 650,000 orphans live in Zambia; 100,000 of them live on

the streets, many due to death and abandonment from AIDS.

- About 32,000 infants are born HIV-positive each year in Zambia.

- There are 400,000 people in Kitwe.

- Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world is located in the southern part of the country.

- Zambia is second in the world to Uganda with the highest number of children being orphaned due to AIDS. It is estimated that 34 percent of all children under the age of 15 years are orphans. Approximately 80 percent of the population in rural areas lives below the poverty line and more than half of the children are chronically undernourished.