Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pastor's Conference, day 2




Wow. I am beat. From the upper 80 temps (more like 90ish inside the brick building), from speaking and talking to and with pastors, to just the billion of little things that have just coincidentally:) gone wrong this past week, from car trouble to shades falling down to children going crazy to miscommunication and more than I can remember just all of sudden going haywire this week... I have one more day, and I have to admit that I am loving it, though. Talk about a hungry bunch of pastors, ready to devour the word and worship Jesus. Oh, I wish you could be there to hear them sing. I am not sure i will be o.k. with just standing still in a church service anymore. A couple of memorable thoughts... A lady pulling me aside and saying, "I really need a bible. All I have is this one, and it is a nyanga bible. Could you please give me a Bible." I had another guy show me his well marked and worn original 1611 King James Bible. "Do you have a newer Bible I could have?" Another guy had pages falling out of his English World Translation... "See , look, the pages are falling out, could you get me new bible please?" I have a had a few of you respond back to my previous blog, looking for ways to help provide Bibles to pastors. Thank you so much!!! As a mission, we have some donated Bibles. I will look into seeing if we can find some Bibles here and how much they cost. And I will let you know how you can help! One cool thing is that I have two requests to teach the same conference but to different compounds. One is a called Kanyama, and the other is a little bit out of Lusaka. I have met some great men who love the Lord and are serving as pastors to some difficult, grief filled places. I can't even imagine what it is like doing the work that they do. I am in awe of these men and women who sacrifice so much. They have continually expressed how appreciative they are the training they are receiving. I was giving one pastor a ride home yesterday and I asked why he didn't eat during the lunch. I asked if he was fasting and he said yes. They are having a crusade this Friday and Saturday at his church plant, and the whole church is fasting for two days. He said, "This is something we know well in Africa. We know that we can do nothing without God working. There are so many opposing forces like witchcraft and alcohol and much more that we can't do anything without praying and fasting. That is one thing you will need to learn about Africa is that you can't do anything like this crusade or the conference without some serious prayer and fasting." Hmmm... I was humbled and encouraged. We have one more day, where we will finish up Romans 12, have communion, pass out some more books (as the pics show me doing today) and enjoy some more worship!

Thanks again for your prayers!

Who Needs an Xbox when you have a ...





a rock, stick, or a ball of garbage?” I have seen so clearly how play is an international language. Kids just know how to play no matter what they have or don’t have. Where in the states, kids want video games, Ipods, hand-held game, and new computer games, these kids in Zambia are masters at inventing games with the most common of things. I have seen little cars made of wire, car parts and/or cans. I have seen games played with bottlecaps, rocks and/or sticks. I have seen jump rope with old binding material, and soccer played with basically garbage tied together. Time and again, I find myself smiling to myself as I drive through different compounds and see children having a blast being kids with essentially nothing. It is a good reminder, especially this time of year with Christmas approaching that life is not about getting gifts but it is about the gift of all gifts. This gift of Jesus, born in a place much like a compound, to save the world from itself and give us the true meaning of life. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and I believe that is true. We have been overwhelmed by those who have sent gifts for the children in the orphanage for our Christmas party. Last year the leader of this orphanage did not have any kind of party for Christmas because they had nothing to give. This year with the help of over 40 of you, they will have a Christmas party, gifts, your pictures and letters and the opportunity to see the real meaning of Christmas in action. Thank you for blessing us this Christmas by blessing them.

Thank you for your love and support!

The Allen’s

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pastor Conference, Day 1






Thanks to you have prayed for our pastors conference. It was a great day. The place was packed out with pastors, elders, deacons and leaders. It was great seeing faces that I recognized from the previous year who had come back to hear more about inductive bible study and expository preaching. We are teaching verse by verse through Romans 12, and so today we spend the morning with Romans 12:1-2 and the afternoon in Romans 12:3-6. I taught the principles of inductive bible study and then showed how to create an outline to preach the passage expositorily. And after teaching these principles, I preached a sermon from the passage. It was an experiment that I personally really enjoyed. There was teaching for the head and preaching for the heart. The pastors and leaders were great to be with and we really had good time, despite a rain storm that was so loud, nothing could heard above the deafening roar of rain on the metal roof. Tomorrow, we will continue our journey through Romans 12. Another Action missionary, Luke Whitfield, will teach Romans 12:6-8, and then I will finish the day with Romans 12:9-13. They are so hungry to learn and are very enthusiastic about the possibility of Action Zambia starting a bible college in Zambia. I was thinking today about the seminary that attended where I learned how to do Inductive Bible Study. That 3 credit class was around $1000 dollars. The average pastor here probably makes $3 dollar a day or less. Needless to say, they can barely afford to live, let alone try to pay for Bible training. I have been so blessed to be able to attend seminary and learn, and it so great to be able to offer these free classes and eventually a bible school to these pastors who are so hungry to learn. Another interesting side note: I asked today which version the pastors used. I could see quite a few old Bibles so I asked, KJV and a bunch of hands went up. And then I asked about NIV, and more hands went up. There were a few other versions. I then asked how many of you need a Bible and almost all the hands went up. As it turns out, many of the pastors there borrowed a Bible to bring to the seminar. The other thing these pastors need is a condensed paperback concordance. I had some great conversations with pastors and look forward to building deeper relationships with these pastors and leaders. Thanks for your prayers. I will keep you updated!

Pastor Conference, Day 1

Thanks to you have prayed for our pastors conference. It was great day one

Monday, October 29, 2007

Too many blog thoughts...

Yesterday we were talking about blogs and Steph said, "I have a bunch of blog I need to write." I nodded my head and said, "I do, too." But between the preparation for the conference that starts tomorrow and Stephanie's Martha Stewarting the living room, it is has been a bit crazy... So, in order to give you a bit of something to look forward too (at least we live in our fantasy world that people look forward to our blogs), we present to you the blogs titles of the blogs we want and really hope to write sometime in the near future:)

Steve's Blog
African T-shirts
Who needs an X-box, when you have a...
Church planting and my preaching experience last Sunday
Truman Show Mentality
Memorize a book this year.
Kamryn has a lot to say
Jermaine

Stephanie's Blogs
Worship experiences
Our new and improved living room
New Horizon's performance at the United Nations
New Horizon Orphan Christmas Party response
I love my husband so much (I made this one up, but I am hoping she writes one like this:)
Budgeting in Kwacha

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Flexible...

I met with Pastor Mwale again today. I went with the intention of meeting with the elders, but Zambia and many third world countries have what is called (they call it this) "BMT - Black Man's Time," so Pastor Mwale and I chatted in his home for a bit. We talked about his family of 11. I had him give me the children's name and age. They started with Martha at 28 and went down to John at age 8. (John is a real cutie.) We talked about conference and about communion and some of the differences and so forth. We then went to the elder meeting. Because their was a youth meeting happening in his one room church, we met outside on a bench in the shade. One of the elders prayed and then Pastor Mwale said, "O.K. you talk now." I hadn't really prepared for that, as I wanted to be a part of their meeting. But, I did anyway, talking about orphans and widows and how the church should be the ones who are reaching out to these vulnerable people and the leadership of the church should be setting the example. It was a good time, slightly awkward, but a good time.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Humbled and encouraged...

Today I met with the pastor at Chaisa where I will be teaching at a conference this next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (I will be doing a verse by verse inductive bible study/Expository preaching seminar while going through the entire chapter of Romans 12.) It was a good meeting. Pastor Mwale has been a pastor in Lusaka for the last 25 years. He is enthusiastic, passionate and he loves the Lord. As I was getting ready to leave, he told me that he and 2 other pastors were going to pray all night from Saturday until Sunday for the pastors conference. He said that, "Prayer is the key that opens the door." I was very humbled and encouraged and as I have said before and is showing itself to be true, that I think I will learn more than they will from me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good morning...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good morning...

If you are reading this in the morning, meaning this morning, October 25, 2007, I just wanted to say good morning. I have on my computer the Bellingham time and weather. I have thought about you while you slept all night while I have been studying at my computer. As you start your day, be encouraged that God is already there, He watched you while you slept, and knows what lies ahead of you. He loves you dearly. So take a moment to wait on Him for His words to encourage and sustain you, to guide and to guard you, and to forgive and to empower you...

Lament. 3:22-24
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
[24] I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
[25] The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
[26] it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Don't forget about the Allen ladies...

Not that you would ever forget about us, and not that we are vainly absorbed in ourselves, but there is another blog that is more Allen than Africa and contains quotes, anecdotes and some fun pictures. We don't update it nearly as much as this one, but it is just a reminder to check there occasionally if should so desire... We have just updated it today! Follow this link there!
Thanks!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Batteries not fuel lines and orphans...

Today after meeting with a pastor, I got in my car and realized that I had left a light on and the battery was dead. Hmmm... What to do in the middle of a compound? They tried pushing, 5 guys trying to push this huge car. Finally, they got it up on to the street, but on a flat road, I just couldn't get it going fast enough. It was funny how one guy was trying to give me advice on how to turn the key while it was going. He had never driven car and didn't really know that turning the key while pushing it won't start it. Pretty soon a hord of african guys are all out giving their advice on what is wrong. I know that it is the battery. I try calling all my teammates. Nothing. Pretty soon one guy is saying we need to prime the pump. So they remove the fuel lines and try sucking the gas from the tank to get it pumped. One young guy got a mouth full of gas. It all happened so fast. I kept trying to tell them it was just the battery but they were like no, its the fuel thing. Meanwhile, I am in the middle of the street, a compound this flanked by an outdoor market, a bar and a main walk way. I felt safe because of the pastor and his friends, but just, well, I guess just the center of attention. Finally, I got a hold of a team member, and the two wonderful ladies brought their car and jumper cables out and saved the day. I guess just one more crazy adventure of living in Africa. And, I thought well this is embarassing sharing this with ya'll, but you know, it's life. I gotta share the good with the bad. And though I was late for my date night, I did have some more good time with the Pastor from Chaisa. The son graduated from school and is having a hard time finding a job. The unemployment is just very difficult. He has a heart for orphans and so he just started a community school in his dad's church for the oprphans in the area. He is the lone teacher for 160 kids right now, kids that without him, don't have a school they can go to. He teaches 40 at a time. I will be going on Friday to observe and we are hoping to partner with them in just being a resource... Pray for Robert and for us as we figure the best way to come behind them and help them...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Teacher Kamryn

I have been wanting to show this picture of my little teacher Kamryn. It is so cute to watch her teach Julia how to spell and do math...

Teacher Kamryn

I have been wanting to show this picture of my little teacher Kamryn. It is so cute to watch her teach Julia how to spell and do math...

The curls came out...

Kamryn got her braids out this week. The frizzines lasted but a few hours...

Home away from home


as




Stephanie and the girls went to New Horizons Orphanage this past Thursday. It was a great spending time with the girls, dancing, having fun, using the cameras and building relationships. The New Horizon's orphanage is an all-girls orphanage with 20 girls, ages 5-13. They hope to do this every Thursday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The view is good from here...

























































My family and I had a great time at Hillside Baptist Church yesterday at the Cross Project AIDs/HIV Graduation. There were three churches who combined together to take this 5 month class together, and so it was great to see these churches unify in graduation. It was so fun watching their enthusiasm in receiving their certificate of participation. I preached on fear and used David and Goliath as my springboard in helping us draw correlation between our fear of AIDS and the Israelites fear of Goliath. God has been good in giving me good teachers who give good advice in how to relate and teach better to an African audience and it made all the difference. It was a fun experience teaching and it gave me hope that I will not only be able to communicate, but also will be able to enjoy it or rather, be enjoyed. I still have lots to learn, but I am thankful for this encouragement. I will try to post another podcast with the worship and a snippet of the talk... I have heard from different people that it has been helpful and fun to hear the different worship styles. On a personal note, I have been really impacted this week by my study of fear this week. So, impacted that I started a new blog... Well, not really a blog, but a place where one verse on fear a day will keep the devil, worrying and dismay at bay! Check it out and be encouraged! Here is the link: www.d0-not-fear.blogspot.com

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Just so you appreciate it" blog

Please don't take this as complaining at all... I just want to give you some "perspective." I remember the day when Stephanie and I made the huge splurging step and got broadband cable internet. It was very difficult to justify spending the $60 bucks a month, but with online banking and blogging, we just bit the bullet. Well, being here for almost two months has shed new light on the internet. We pay over $250 dollars for internet here. Thankfully we are splitting it three ways, but what is crazier is that you only get 10 gigs per month. And if you go over, it will cost you big time, plus they slow the internet down to like dial up speeds. In addition, this last week, apparently we had a spy ware problem, so it was at record slow speeds. I called in to find out why it wasn't working and they said there is unusual high activity, maybe a spyware problem. They said I needed to download a spyware program. I tried, but it wouldn't work to download because it was so slow. And so after a bunch of phone calls explaining my situation, they said I could come down to the office to get a spy ware program to kill the bad people in my computer. So, I did and loaded them up and saw the bad people and wanted to kill them (the spy things on my computer) but it required that I pay money. So, I go realllly slow to try and pay the money, but apparently, they no accept my money because I am in Africa, I guess. So I wake up early this morning and I am still in the same boat. I can't download spyware, I can't buy it, I can't call anyone because Skype doesn't work with slow internet. Aughhh... So, my friend Tim calls and has a free spy killer thing and we get it killed:) I called my internet company and they say we will call you back in 20 minutes. I call back in 45 minutes. Everything is good, they say. It is still no good I see. I call back and they call back and finally, internet is working, sort of... So, enjoy your unlimited movie downloads and picture sending for only $60 or less... And be patient with us slower friends of yours... The podcasts while seeming like a good idea might not be so feasible... We'll see!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trying to make sense of it all...

The other day I looked around and I shook my head, "I can't believe I live in Africa." It certainly is different here. I have tried my best to share in these past blogs what my eyes see, and my ears hear and my mouths tastes and my fingers touch and what my nose smells. I have so many blogs that I want to write and often through the day I'll think to myself, "Wow, I ought to put that in the blog." But, when the internet is having a down day like this past weekend or life is just busy, much of what is sensed either doesn't make sense or there isn't time to convey it all...

What I have heard lately:
On the way home one evening, I heard 3 guys singing as they walked down the hill... It was beautiful. African words, harmonizing, loud, and beautiful.

Mzungu, Mzungu - Whenever a little child sees me or my kids.

Mwauka Bwanji - It means good morning, but my kids yell it out the car no matter what time it is.

"Hello, Boss." It is what the guards call me, and pretty much what most Africans refer to me as.

106.2 - A Christian radio station but most of the songs are in an African language...


What we see:
Sun -Beautiful sunrise every morning and Sunsets every night and sun throughout the day. Did I mention that it is sunny here.

Lizards - Wow, I never knew there existed so many lizards.

Brick - Everything is made of brick. Everything.

Staring - I went somewhere and what did I see, everyone always looking at me.


What we taste:
Nshima - we love this corn meal staple over here with chicken and relish.

Water - After it has been boiled, Calcified and purified.

Fried grasshoppers - Well, not yet, but a member of the team is looking forward to the rainy season because they are huge and they are good.

Not Fast Food - Subway is the only fast food from america. Weird living in a place with no fast food restaurants at all.

Homemade Bananas - nothing like a banana from your own backyard:)


What we are touching:
Lots of things - The girls must be getting sick of us always saying "Go wash your hands!"

Our kitty - So cute.

Dust - Our house gets dusty. Every night we have to wash our feet.

What we are smelling:
A lack of emission control: I think that if I were back home I would go to an emission control place and shake their hands and say thank you for what you do.

Smoke - People from all over burn everything from leaves to trash to really anything.

Sewer - sometimes you get the big whiff while driving and it doesn't smell so good.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A party for the ages...










We hosted a party where we were able to serve our workers and give them a fun day off. We had a great time of jumping on the trampoline, playing volleyball, soccer, riding bikes and much more. We fixed tacos and fruit salad, and made cookies. For most of them it was the first time they had ever had a taco. It was a good time and probably what ministered to me most was just listening to them laugh. One guard is going through a very difficult marriage issue that is too personal to write on a blog. Another lost a spouse, another is going to school full time and working full time, so for him it was such a nice break. They laughed so hard, deep belly laughs, while playing volleyball and this kicking game. As they left, they expressed such respects and gratitude, and yet I wanted to say thank you to them. At the beginning, it was a bit awkward, but the international language of play kicked in and before long everyone was having a great time. Some cool memories include watching Miriam, our househelp's son, learning to ride a bike for the first time. Here he is, the same age as my kids, and he has never learned to ride a bike. I pushed him a bit around the yard. He kept trying and trying. Another was watching Julia bond with Miriam's daughter, Slyvia. They were so cute together. Bradyn is so good with meeting people for the first time and becoming best buddies. All in all, a great evening! I will put pictures in tomorrow... Internet is reallllly slllllloooooooowwwwwwwwww.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Braids



Kamryn has gone "native". Miriam braided her hair today.

Some new furniture


We bought some new furniture the other day. It was quite the adventure. We had heard that a store called Lamise was a good place to buy furniture. But, no one was around to tell us where Lamise was. So, we looked on a map we had which showed that it was in the industrial district. So, last Saturday morning when it was about 90+ degrees we set off with the whole family to go find Lamise. We found the store, or actually the factory. But, we didn't realize this until we were talking to someone about furniture and they told us that if we wanted to have some furniture made we would first need to go over to his brothers store on Freedom Way and pick out our fabric. So, we headed over to the other store. When we got there, we realized that this was the store we should've gone to in the first place. Anyway, we found a bright red sofa set, it is great in our front room which tends to be a bit on the darker side, especially in the evening. It's going to look even better when we give the walls a much needed coat or two of paint. Can anyone guess what color we are going to paint the main room??? Anyone know me well enough??? Put your guess on the comment for this blog. (This is Steph writing.) You already feel a bit out of place driving around town as a mzungu (white person) but you can imagine how much attention you attract when you have a bright red sofa on the top of your Land Cruiser.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Contentment - part III

I am still thinking a lot about contentment these days. I don’t think I have ever realized the importance of contentment to the health and growth of a person’s relationship with God. I was giving one of our guards a ride home a few days ago and I missed the turn. We took a different turn a long a bumpy, dirt road. We ended up picking up some of his friends who went to his church. As we came up on this small house that they lived in, I noticed a sign painted on the brick… It said, “6 But godliness with contentment is great gain” and it quoted the verse, 1 Timothy 6:6. I smiled and appreciated the reminder, especially in this poor compound that was full of broken down houses and difficult circumstances. As a family we have been memorizing Philippians and we have reached the part where it says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances.” He goes on to say, “I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” So, I have been wrestling with why contentment is great gain, and how to learn the secret and why it is a secret. I had an insight this morning that part of being content is being thankful.


In a situation that is difficult, and which has the potential to sweep us away from being content, I realized that if you can step back and review the circumstances, and be thankful for what you do have instead of what you don’t have, it is much easier to be content. For example, we used this thankfulness idea during our bible time this morning of not being able to eat gluten. So instead of complaining about what we can’t have, we spent some time being thankful for what we could. Living in Africa, immediately we realized that just having food is a blessing. So, we could just stop there and that would immediately change our attitudes. But, what about the fact that we found out as early as we did which saved a lot of pain and damage to the intestine. We are thankful that the world is realizing gluten and so we know what we can and can’t have. I am so thankful that there are tests so my girls don’t have to be sick like I was for many of my years before I found out. And of course, that mom is such a good cook that we don’t even notice the lack of gluten. I could go on, but you get the picture. So, what could have been complaining and thus sin, we have turned into praise and thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. “ So, in striving to be content, and thus becoming thankful, we have obeyed God and his will for our lives, thus leading to godliness. Godliness with contentment is great gain. But, if you reverse it you understand that godliness without contentment is great loss. We will miss out on godliness if we aren’t content and I think this is because contentment is so much a thermometer to our spiritual lives. It measures our spirituality in a sense. If we are content, than we recognize God’s sovereignty and goodness, we have stepped back to be thankful and actualized it into our lives and we treasure and value God more than that for which we don’t have.

Contentment is living at peace. Being content is not an accident, but it is learned, practiced and experienced. A lack of contentment exposes an area of ingratitude, selfishness or a lack of trust. Contentment then is a warning light of sort, exposing areas that we have made idols for ourselves and cherished something more than God. It shows us where we have cherished something more than God, because by its absence, it shows us that we don’t think that God is enough.

Contentment - part III

I am still thinking a lot about contentment these days. I don’t think I have ever realized the importance of contentment to the health and growth of a person’s relationship with God. I was giving one of our guards a ride home a few days ago and I missed the turn. We took a different turn a long a bumpy, dirt road. We ended up picking up some of his friends who went to his church. As we came up on this small house that they lived in, I noticed a sign painted on the brick… It said, “6 But godliness with contentment is great gain” and it quoted the verse, 1 Timothy 6:6. I smiled and appreciated the reminder, especially in this poor compound that was full of broken down houses and difficult circumstances. As a family we have been memorizing Philippians and we have reached the part where it says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances.” He goes on to say, “I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty, I have learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” So, I have been wrestling with why contentment is great gain, and how to learn the secret and why it is a secret. I had an insight this morning that part of being content is being thankful.


In a situation that is difficult, and which has the potential to sweep us away from being content, I realized that if you can step back and review the circumstances, and be thankful for what you do have instead of what you don’t have, it is much easier to be content. For example, we used this thankfulness idea during our bible time this morning of not being able to eat gluten. So instead of complaining about what we can’t have, we spent some time being thankful for what we could. Living in Africa, immediately we realized that just having food is a blessing. So, we could just stop there and that would immediately change our attitudes. But, what about the fact that we found out as early as we did which saved a lot of pain and damage to the intestine. We are thankful that the world is realizing gluten and so we know what we can and can’t have. I am so thankful that there are tests so my girls don’t have to be sick like I was for many of my years before I found out. And of course, that mom is such a good cook that we don’t even notice the lack of gluten. I could go on, but you get the picture. So, what could have been complaining and thus sin, we have turned into praise and thankfulness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. “ So, in striving to be content, and thus becoming thankful, we have obeyed God and his will for our lives, thus leading to godliness. Godliness with contentment is great gain. But, if you reverse it you understand that godliness without contentment is great loss. We will miss out on godliness if we aren’t content and I think this is because contentment is so much a thermometer to our spiritual lives. It measures our spirituality in a sense. If we are content, than we recognize God’s sovereignty and goodness, we have stepped back to be thankful and actualized it into our lives and we treasure and value God more than that for which we don’t have.

Contentment is living at peace. Being content is not an accident, but it is learned, practiced and experienced. A lack of contentment exposes an area of ingratitude, selfishness or a lack of trust. Contentment then is a warning light of sort, exposing areas that we have made idols for ourselves and cherished something more than God. It shows us where we have cherished something more than God, because by its absence, it shows us that we don’t think that God is enough.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Podcast #2 - Some amazing African worship

So, I am not sure what you thought of the podcast debut, or where this idea of Podcast will go, but experiment I must in creating new ways for supporters and friends to be able to join in the ministry and in our lives in Zambia. I had a friend who was very encouraging in his email about the blog and how much he appreciates being able to follow along in the journey. He said that he has some missionaries that he supports in closed countries who are not permitted to write or share in detail about what is happening. I was really struck by that and it really helped me appreciate this freedom to in essence to bring you along into the world that is Africa. Even in other parts of Africa, either technology or freedom of religion or both would limit this unique opportunity immensely. So, while I have both freedom and technology, I will take full advantage of it and hope that your heart and understanding for the world grows as well as your insight into the Allen Family!!!

So, here is the second podcast. It is a short snippet of a worship service, with a little prelude by me. I am not a radio announcer by any means, and I don't have the time to be a perfectionist, so I guess, just go with it:)

The song translated means Stop what you are doing (meaning evil) and rush to Heaven and find your place in Heaven... (When you hear the Milo that means place...)

Great song!!!

Here is the link to the sound clip!
Here is the link to the ITUNES podcast link if you want to subscribe and download them onto your IPOD.
Here is the link to switchpod where you can listen to the clip and set up a feed with RSS or Yahoo or others...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Alive In Africa is now a podcast...

Yup you read it right and now hear it live (or at least the same day.) I am experimenting with a podcast from Lusaka, Zambia to your computer, providing snippets of life in Zambia... This is an experiment, so don't hold me to it, but I am going to experiment with doing a multi-weekly podcast of life in Zambia. From sermons and worship in churches, to interviews with pastors and my family, from scripture to hilarious moments, we thought we would up the ante on this blog thing to all our friends and supporters about what life in Zambia is really like.

Here is the link: http://www.switchpod.com/p12570.html
You may have to register first... Just create a user name and password and then it will take you to the page... If you want to just listen, you can play the audio to your left!

This first podcast is a snippet of my sermon, which I put on, again, just so you can hear the translation, and the people in the church. The microphone and speaker is really bad, so it will sound grainy and crackly... It is the system, not the recording...

Tomorrow I will give a little of the worship!
If you do have an ipod, then you will be able to set it up for automatic download. If you don't and just want to listen in, click the link above!

Thanks,
Steve

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Orphan Sunday...













(Note: to see a short video I put together of the orphan sunday, click here!)

Thanks to you all who prayed for my preaching today and for Orphan Sunday. I believe the message was well received, but I have such a long way to go in preaching effectively and efficiently. The Zambians are very gracious even though I hardly know their culture and can't speak their language. I spoke on Orphans and God's heart for his people to sponsor, adopt and come alongside those who have no fathers and mothers. I asked at one point if they know any orphans and all of them immediately responded. Orphans are a way of life here... Crazy. I am learning things, like how to adapt a message to a story telling society. I felt like even in this message, I was so much more relaxed than in my previous time I preached. But, it is so difficult. Everything I know and I have experienced, all of my analogies and illustrations and personal experiences are so foreign to them. One example that I caught on to too late was an illustration about a boy throwing starfish back into the ocean. There were 1000's of starfish caught on shore and there is no way they were all going to survive... One boy started throwing the starfish into the ocean one by one. A man watching this called out to the boy and told him that his efforts were useless. There was no way he was going to be able to save all the starfish. It was won't matter, the man said. Then the boy picked up the starfish and said, "well it matters to this one." It was a great story to share how though the odds of saving all 20 million orphans is overwhelming, we can change the world for one and another one and another one. It was a great story, except, most of them have never been to the ocean and have no idea what a starfish is:) But all in all, it was good. They were especially excited during the sheep and the goats parable... They love Heaven.

During the Orphan Sunday, there were hundreds of orphans there with many different churches. What a day. It is hard to find words for what it felt like to be in the room with so many kids whose Dad and Mom are no longer alive to protect, provide or love them. It was beautiful to listen to them sing and laugh and smile. They couldn't stop staring at our blond hair girls. It was cute. It was really hot but our girls were troopers. On the way there, Kamryn asked if we could adopt one of these kids. I thought that was cute. Kamryn loved the dancing. Actually, we all love the dancing. Kamryn said, "I just couldn't resist not dancing." We came home hot and beat, but thankful for these experiences both for myself and for my family. Thank you for your support and enjoy a few pictures and a roughly edited video! I just wanted to give you a flavor for the 2 hour program. Pastor Mwale is the one who brought everyone together for this day. What a great man who has such a heart for orphans. I look forward to telling you more stories of this man who has faithfully served this church for 21 years.

At this event, I saw a couple pastors I recognized from my trip last year. It was great to see them again, and to see all that God has done in this last year to bring me back to Zambia again with my family. We have a conference planned on October 30, 31 and November 1 to teach again on inductive bible study and expository preaching. We are going to be teaching verse by verse through Romans 12, teaching how to study and then actually preaching the message. How great it will be to have another conference almost a year to the date that I was there last year...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Electricity







Hey, Steph here. I've been wanting to write about electricity for a while and I'm finally getting to it. I find the plugs and outlets to be quite challenging. I took some pictures of things in our house to show you. The first picture is the standard outlet in the wall. It is made to fit a 3 pronged rectangular plug. The only problem is that very few appliances have a 3 pronged rectangular plug. So, in picture number 2 you can see an adaptor. These are very common here. Picture number 3 shows a round small 2 pronged plug. Picture number 4 shows a large round 3 pronged plug. Picture number 5 shows the power strip in my kitchen which can take both small and large round plugs. So, you have adaptors for all of these different types of plugs. It can become quite challenging. For example, I bought two bedside laps for our room. The lamps had the large 3 pronged plug. So I got a power strip which had the 3 pronged round openings which plugged in to the rectangular plug and plugged in Steve's lamp. The only problem was that my lamp couldn't reach all the way. So we needed another extension cord which could plug into the 3 pronged plug and take a 3 pronged plug. This type of cord was difficult to fine. But finally, Steve scored one day at the store and found it in stock. So now, I too have a light on my side of the bed. One drawer in our kitchen is designated to all different types of adaptors. I have no idea if you will find it interesting or not, but it's just one of the things that I have to chuckle about.
The other interesting thing is that electricity here is pre-paid. We have a little box in the pantry which tells us how many units of electricity we have left. If we are running low it will start to beep at us and we then go down to the electricity store and buy some more. The rates just went up by 40% on October 1, so on Sept. 29th I went down to the electricity store and gave them almost a million kwacha (about $250) to stock up at the old rate. She looked at me like I was crazy. The guy before me gave her 20 thousand kwacha. People here just buy a little at a time because that is all they can afford. Not the white mzungu lady...she stocked up to try to save money.