Friday, September 30, 2011

Let there be light!

So, I mentioned something in a previous post about a really cool solar light idea, especially for third world countries where a lack of windows and electricity keep a house dark, no matter what time of day it is. Well, Patson and I really wanted to try this and so we decided to experiment on this pit latrine (or outhouse). You can find the link here!

But, first, we needed to make a roof for the pit latrine.


Here is the bottle we will be using. Just water and a bit of bleach. You'll be amazed at how this will work!

So, we made the roof.

And put it on.

As you can see, now with the roof on, it is pretty dark inside. Once he attaches the roof and puts cement in between the roof and the base, it will get even darker. Kind of important to see what you are doing, especially in this specific room.

Dark as dark can be!

With the pieces of wood supporting the tin roof and Patson's weight, he was able to make the markings for where the bottle should go.

He made a few nail marks and then chiseled a circle just a little smaller than the bottle.

You can see the wood under the circle, helping prevent major dents in the roof. His son held the board up to the roof.

Let there be light!!!

What a difference it made!

We got some thick wire to help keep the bottle snug in the hole and then he will use silicone to keep the water from leaking in.

Pure 55 watts of solar light, straight from the sun. Hard to get more green than this.

So we decided invite a neighbor over to look at it. We told her we would do her bathing room/toilets for free so we could continue to practice. She was very intrigued, but needed to ask her landlord.

Needless to say, Patson was very excited about the improvements and I put together a little flyer for him to advertise his new business:) You can see it below! We'll see where it goes from here! Needless to say, this could be a huge, huge blessing and opportunity for Patson and the community! Let there be light!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Being "on mission"

I have been back from my trip to Kenya for a few weeks. Even though it was
such a quick trip, it continues to affect me. I have been on a lot of
mission trips as a student and as a youth pastor. And now I am a
"missionary." I see a lot of people come to Zambia to "do" missions. It is
a very different perspective watching short term missions from the mission
field. So it really messed with me, when, I, a missionary, went on a
mission trip with another short term mission trip people. I remember what
it is like to be on mission trip. You are focused. You are all about other
people. You are working together. You are "on mission!" You notice ever
kid. You love the culture. You are adventurous. So, when I went to Kenya, I
was "on mission." And I was. Except, it was weird because I knew the culture
and I was comfortable in poverty. I had an advantage over the short term
mission people. And here is what has been messing me up since. My life is
to be "on mission." I am a professional missionary. It is what I do. And
yet, Lusaka is now comfortable. I have subtly settled into life as I did
back in Bellevue or Bellingham. I have my pastors I teach. I have my
preaching and my ministry. But, what the trip to Kenya did was reawaken my
heart for doing mission here in Zambia as a missionary. I have seen some
changes since I returned. I notice the kids. I love the people. I am
listening to what God wants to do in me. (Or at least I am trying to.) I
have noticed that simmer down a bit but it still is sticking. I guess the
point I am making is that whether you are a "missionary" or a normal person
living in your familiar land, we are all called to be "on mission"
missionaries. Our work is our mission. Our home is our mission. Our
neighbors are our mission. We are to live with eyes open and hearts open and
lives open to mission. Life can be such routine and in some ways, that is
good and normal. But, let us not forget why we are here on earth, to live
the great com"mission", to love people into the light of Jesus. That
grocery clerk is not just there to scan your meat. The nurse is not there
just to check your blood pressure. The friend of your kids is not there just
to occupy your kid. We are always on mission, sent by God to bless people
for the glory of God. And take it from me, if a missionary can forget to
live missional, how much easier is it for those living in the norm. Stretch
yourself, pray for people, take a different way home, stop and help a
stranger... Live missional and enjoy the mission life, every day.

I think the most important thing though on living is missional is doing it
with people. The mission trip was such a huge success because we were on
mission together. Co-Missional living. Most missional ambitions usually end
the same way new year's resolutions do. Unless you are walking with people
through it all, it won't last.

Lastly, you can do missions without even leaving your couch. Pray. Never
underestimate the power of prayer to change a nation...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Students teaching students teaching...

2 Timothy 2:1-2 - 1You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.


This verse is such a motivator for us... We teach so others will teach who will hopefully teach others...   We enjoyed a couple of Veritas graduations this past month and I thought I would share them with you as a reminder of our greatest goal, is that our pastors would be  entrusting faithful men who will teach others... 



Steve and Stephanie Allen



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sata wins

We were just awoken by a Zambian friend at 1:00 am in the morning that they announced that Sata has won in a historic transfer of power... Even though the Zambian economy has grown 6% over the past few years and there is more infrastructure and new buildings than ever before, the people want change.  Goes to show that even though the rich are getting richer, the poor are still suffering. They have a voice. And their voice is heard. And what is crazy, from our house, we can hear the celebrating...  What does this mean?  Wow.  Who knows...


Here is the election news:


And, here is the wiki info on our new president:


All I know is that Abraham Lincoln has nothing on this man’s perseverance; four times he has tried for president and finally, at age 74, he has won...

It ‘s a new day in Zambia that has begun very, very early for us;) 


I am tempted to go see the celebration. But, I think I will choose to listen to it instead!


More later!!!


Steve and Stephanie Allen



Monday, September 19, 2011

Making do

We see a lot of creative making do in the compounds around us, but I had never seen this. A bubble making invention, blowing something through a cut off hose. Not sure what the brown liquid was that enabled them to make the bubbles, but some questions are better not asked.  I recently saw another invention and I want you to click the link here so you can see how these solar lights could transform the Zambian houses where there is no power. I am hoping to try my first one next week and dreaming even of helping some pastors get some employment through these lights... I’ll keep you updated! 

Sayin' Goodbye isn't fun

We have been saying our share of goodbyes these past few months for a
variety of reasons as people head back to the states for furlough or babies.
The Hiltys were our latest and Rho is pictured hugging her friend Ireen
with all she's got. They are leaving next Saturday for the states until

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Someday I hope you get a chance to worship with my wife when she is leading
a church service. This has been one of the highlights of my time in Africa
is to see her blossom into a gifted, humble, Spirit-led worship leader...

Don't Kubeba

Well the presidential election is a few days away and campaigning has
reached a feverish pitch. Here are a few pictures of a stream of Sata
supporters five kilometers long. I don't think many need to learn how tense
elections are in a country in Africa. There are so many issues at hand and
the threat of violence has caused most to cancel classes, ministry, work and
their plans this week. Please pray with us for peace and fairness to
abound. We would love to report back at weeks' end how great things went...
Oh, "don't Kubeba?" What does that mean? It is the slogan for the opposing
party which means, "Don't tell" anyone you are voting for Sata. Honestly, it
is a brilliant slogan that may do some damage against the current president,
Banda. We'll see what happens. My predictions: If Rupiah Banda wins in a
landslide, there won't be much rioting but if he wins close, the Sata
supporters will riot because they will fear that the voting has been
tampered with "again". Banda is like the Republican president and Sata is
like the democratic president. Sata is favored by the poor as a man of the
people where Banda is favored by the rich who is bringing in lots of
foreigners along with their money and investment. Some have compared Sata to
Mugabe in Zimbabwe which has many in his country a bit nervous, especially
the foreigners. Anyway, there is the political landscape in a nutshell.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Trip To Nairobi in Video

My Trip To Nairobi ( click this link to watch the video!)

I went with Patson Sakala to Nairobi, Kenya last week for 5 days. After a short term team from Indiana came a few months ago ( help Patson paint and complete his community school, they wanted Patson to visit Kenya and get a vision of a ministry that has the same heart and passion, but is about 10 years ahead. So, it made sense for me to go with him (I know, rough life), since he had never been on a plane, never been to an airport, never been in a hotel room and a bunch of other nevers... What a great time I had, seeing an amazing ministry, loving my time with the Trader's Point Mission group, enjoying Patson's awe of being in a plane for the first time, and just his general passion for life. We also saw some incredibly hard things as well. I took over 350 pictures, and condensed them down to a short 40 or so, put some music in it and there it is... Take a few minutes to enjoy this video. I am pretty sure you will be encouraged and moved...

If you are interested in learning more about Mission of Hope, click here...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I hate goodbyes...

I have had a great time with Jeff but all good things except Heaven must end
sometime... So, I said goodbye this morning and I am left to relishing the
memories... I included a bunch of pics here... You know it feels a bit
awkward at times always putting these safari pics in, like I am trying to
rub it in. It is a little rough of a life to have to give people who come
over a chance to see the other side of Zambia, but someone has to do it...

Here is a picture of Jeff speaking at the Ngombe pastors' fellowship.

Our last day here, we went golfing. Why not? Jeff loves golfing and we had a good time! Now he can say he has golfed in Africa.

Jeff taught in Romans 6-8 to the Action Pastor's College.

On Tuesday, after class, we had to give Patson a ride home because his bike was broken, really bad. Jeff decided then and there that Patson had to have a new bike. And he had just enough money to make it happen. Normally Zambians are very reserved but Patson was so overjoyed he gave Jeff a monster hug. Knowing Patson and the financial struggle he is under continually, this was a huge, huge blessing!

We went to Livingstone and went on a safari. This elephant right here wasn't happy about that and sufficiently scared us something good.

We saw a baby Rhino with his mommy. AMAZING!!!!

You can see if you look closely, Elephants crossing the river and the spray from the Victoria Falls just behind it...

Jeff getting a kiss from a giraffe!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Preaching x 4

It is always a tricky job hosting a pastor from the states, to know how much is too much and yet balancing that with the desire to give them a full experience. I am not sure I will ever learn the exact balance but I do know that our Sunday was FULL. With two preaching messages at two different churches and two messages at a leadership conference, needless to say, Jeff was a bit beat at the end of Sunday. But, many were encouraged by his teaching so we are thankful for that.

Pastor(s) Mumbi(s) leading True Worshippers Bible Church in Kanyama... A cool father and son duo leading this church are in our ACTION Pastor's College!

Here Jeff is preaching at Sanctuary of Grace Church in Makeni, just up the street from Mumbi's church. This church is led by Bruce Kaumba who is also in our pastor's class.

Here Jeff is talking with Pastor Bruce about the land where his church tent was stolen.

We had a time of prayer with Bruce and his leaders about this land and the future of the church.

Bruce and his wife Christobel had a son 11 days ago!!!

Jeff preached at the conference about Gospel Transformation.

After the conference, we gave the Veritas Graduates their certificates. Always a fun time of celebrating.

Here is a picture of all the people who graduated from the second module in the inductive Bible study course that we taught Bruce and that Bruce taught these students. Our prayer and challenge to them is that they will then teach others. A good day!