Friday, April 30, 2010

Shucking corn

We visited Rhoda's old orphanage and when we got there they were shucking
corn. Well, actually not as you would normally think about it. They do take
the outer layer off, but they then proceed to remove each kernel of the
dried corn. They will then take all the corn to the hammer mill where it
will grind it in to a flour they call mealie. It is the staple food here in
Zambia. So, the kids didn't even wait to be asked and began to unkernel the
corn as fast as they could. It was a fun experience for our kids and it was
cool to see the full process of corn to mealie. Davern, the director, is a
hard worker and he is doing all he can to get the orphanage to the point
that it is economically sustainable. Growing corn is the first step in that
direction!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A busy man.

Well I used and abused my good buddy and pastor/elder Jamie during his trip
here. He spoke at two churches, a pastor's conference and then just finished
speaking for a week of team teaching on elders at Action Pastor's College.
It has been a memorable two weeks with he and his family. Thanks Jenny and
Northlake for sending us the Collin's Clan!

A cause for celebration

I am taking a break from my Africa blog to celebrate a very special occasion…  Enjoy!

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. – Amy Bloom

In America, some statistics say that 50% or 1/2 of all marriages end up in divorce. One survey I discovered that only 52% made their 15th anniversary and only 5% made their 50th anniversary.

 

So, for those who are married for 50 and more years are among the 5 percent, an elite crowd indeed. 

 

I don’t know many people who have been married that long…

 

But, I am now proud to say that my parents are among the 5%.

 

Congratulations to my parents, Tom and Marty Allen, who were  married on April 26, 1960 in Denver, Colorado. 

 

I didn’t expect this occasion to affect me like it has, but what can I say, I am very, very proud of them.  It is difficult being in Zambia, trying to talk on an internet phone that keeps cutting out, when I really just want to give them a hug, let my kids lather them in grandchild affection and let them know how thankful I am for their example. But, unfortunately, such is not the case. 

 

Instead, I must resort to using the ‘ole blog to publish to the world how much I appreciate my parents!   Now, my parents weren’t perfect.  I don’t think you fully appreciate being married and having kids until you are married and have your own kids.  It is then that you realized, “Wow, this marriage and having kids thing is hard.”  I am just so grateful for all they endured, sacrificed, shared and gave to us. We had a great time growing up, amazing memories of camping, swimming and waterskiing.  My mom was an amazing hostess and our house was a revolving party with friends and relatives having a great time at our house.  My mom is the ultimate giver. She gives like no one I have ever met. My dad is wise, strong, a visionary and also detailed. Together they formed an impenetrable duo that not only loved each other through thick and thin, but, worked side by side at their own business. They were and continue to be best friends, partners, and lovers.  What son can ask for a better example than we had for how to stay committed and in love with your partner than we had?  Fifty years later, I can see that there love still grows. As for their children, three sons and their wives. I imagine we brothers would argue about who has the coolest wife.  Combined, we three brothers have now been married for 21, 12 and 12 years, respectively for a total of 45 years.  Talk about  a great start of a legacy…  So, thanks Dad and Mom for loving us as you have loved each other.  I look forward to being home in December to celebrate with you both and all our family. Until then, cheers and many more years of celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Allen

ACTION Zambia

www.aliveinafrica.com

 

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Progress in the form of a video...

We had a braai (a BBQ) with a the short term team from Illinois to celebrate all that God had accomplished through their visit. It was nothing short of a miracle to see five chalets roofs go up, a tonga kitchen and finishing the roof on the Insaka. It was a great evening to celebrate...

I was down in Livingstone last Friday where I spoke at Youth Baptist Fellowship of Zambia. There were about 200 students 17-25 years old. The retreat was a success. But, the students were sleeping in tents outside the church. The only problem with that is that it poured down rain that night and morning and it was pretty miserable. So, Cassius, the guy who was in charge of the retreat, was a bit frazzled to say the least. I shared with him about Ciyanjano Conference Centre and explained our vision for being a retreat center for conferences like this one. He was more than interested. A retreat center, roofs above our heads, a meeting place and a beatiful, remote location for an affordable price... It is a no brainer! These kind of affordable conference centers that are focused on reaching to the poorer compound churches do not exist in Zambia. That is why we are so passionate about providing this for churches in Zambia. Cassius and I are heading out this week with some of the leaders from the ministry to check out the conference site. So, we are making progress and we covet your prayers as we continue to seek people in the states to partner with us financially and prayerfully!

Here is a video recap of the short term team... Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Right of Way

So, we were in Livingstone this week. We were coming out of a local shop, and suddenly Kara yells out, "Elephants! Over there!" And sure enough, a HUGE elephant came out of the bush and crossed over the main highway leading to the falls. And three more HUGE elephants followed... I was a little miffed that the Elephant didn't wait for me to go first. I had the right of way.  If you want to check out more pics and stories of our trip, click here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Too Fun!

Seeing Zebra is always cool! The Collins and Allen children are having a
blast in Zambia!!! Just thought we would share a few pictures!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No rest for the weary...

Jamie Collins, my buddy and elder from my church in Bellingham is here these
next two weeks with two of his four children. They arrived last night
around 9:30pm and I had him up this morning at 6:00am to join me at a
pastor's conference. (He agreed to this madness!) We had the 25 pastors from
our two pastor training programs. But we also allowed them to invite two of
their leaders from each of their churches. So it in total, we had around 65
people. I spoke on Leadership Training, and Jamie spoke on Humility.
(Another pastor, Bruce, from Tracy's church also spoke on the gospel.) We
had a great time as you can see from the pictures where Patson was leading
worship with his mouth and his dancing feet. Tracy was surprised with a
very touching honoring of him from the pastors that he teaches. Tracy is
heading home for a furlough from May to August. It was really inspiring to
see how much these pastors appreciate how much we have sacrificed to be in
Zambia. Jamie did a great job teaching, really engaging the pastors and
leaders and sharing from his heart and life. I know that he was also very
encouraged to be a part of the singing (and dancing) as well as the
fellowship that took place. One of the best parts of the morning conference
was our meeting location. It was our first conference out at Ciyanjano and
it gave us a great vision of what is to come. One of the reasons we wanted
the pastors to come out there was to see the value of a place like Ciyanjano
for their church retreats whether it be the whole church or youth or
whatever. So, it was a great morning...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wow.

I ran across this picture of Rhoda a year ago. I couldn't believe it. So, I
put this picture (before) and a picture from now (after) to give you a
visual of the change. Amazing, isn't it? And for those who wonder how hair
can grow so fast, we will tell you our hair growth secret. It's called
extensions... Most of the women in Africa use extensions! Just thought you
might like to know!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Adventures in Zambia

We are back from our anniversary retreat… It was a great time! I try to reserve this website for ACTION Zambia ministry stuff as much as possible. But, if you want to see some pictures of our adventure and hear about our great time, go to our our family blog: www.allenladies.blogspot.com for some sweet pics!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reuniting...

We went back to the Rhoda's orphanage to visit again... Thought I would
share some sweet pictures...
Off to anniverserate this weekend with my bride. Be back on Monday!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

12 reasons to celebrate.

12 years ago today, April 4, 1998, a certain young lady made my life by
pledging to unconditionally love before a crowd of people. She also made me
cry, by surprising me with a song. I actually cried twice on that day, one
for the song and the other during a time of prayer that we had away from the
crowd of people. I guess realized love can break even the most manly of men.


So, to honor 12 years, I hereby give 12 reasons to celebrate:
12. We are still married.
11. We would have married earlier if we could have
10. We love each other more today than we did 12 years ago.
9. We have moved to Africa and have lived to tell about it.
8. We have acquired five daughters in 12 years, and two in one year.
7. Our parents are still alive and we love them. We love our cousins and
brothers and uncles and aunts and grandparents, too!
6. We have good friends here in Africa that we are so thankful for and good
friends back home praying for us.
5. We still laugh together and love to have fun.
4. We are still growing in our relationship with God and are growing
together in some significant ways.
3. We still look somewhat like we did, 12 years ago... Baby faces!
2. We are still best friends.
1. We are celebrating our anniversary at a safari Lodge this upcoming
weekend. Lions, Elephants and Giraffe with your best friend!?!?! That is
pretty cool if you ask me!

Thanks for remembering us in your prayers as the mission field can severely
test and pummel even the best marriages. We thank God for his grace, his
daily, sufficient, wonderful grace!!!!

Friday, April 02, 2010

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth...

My teammate Luke just happened to be in the right place at the right time… Check out this link to learn more about the severity of the flooding and also see Luke get his 15 minutes, er, 15 seconds of fame!  If you thought you were having a bad day, this might give you a bit of perspective… It is beyond imagination, really.  Please continue to pray for the Zambians! We had one lady who is staying at the tents outside the stadium come to our house for food. She said, “We are struggling…  No food!” Needless to say, we shared some food and charcoal. But, how little for such suffering. 

 

Click this link here!

 

Thank you!