March 18, 2009

Playing with Big Sister

Check out Nathan playing with Big Sister, Lacie! She did not realize Mommy was taking a video so we did our best to get her to say hello on this one. Again, too cute of Nathan trying to walk and just listen to the kids laugh and laugh...brings such joy to our hearts to hear them playing together and laughing together! We truly are blessed as a family. Thank you, God!

March 16, 2009

Watch Me Learn to Walk!

Check out Nathan learning to walk....

Too cute with his walking toy! He can get around fast now...won't be too long before he is walking alone. Oh no, he will be into everything faster and more often and he gets in everything quite fast right now! :) Watch out world...Nathan is ready to make his mark on his own!

March 11, 2009

Allen's African Adventures - March 2009

Allen's African Adventures
March 2009
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" Phil. 3:14
Dear Prayer Partners,
Yes, we are still here and going strong. We want to say thank you to those that sent birthday greetings to Monica last month and most recently to Nathan over the weekend. It is hard to believe that our little boy has turned one year old already. It seems like yesterday that we were all praying for him to not come early and for a healthy delivery. God is so good, huh? :) We have spent the last several weeks going strong in ministry and we are pressing onwards each day, week and month. We are thankful for you prayers and support for our family, ministry, team and the Swazi people.
Highlights from the past several weeks....
- God has opened the doors for a brand new work in the Lesivovu area, south of Manzini, here in Swaziland. Steven showed the JESUS film three different times to a total of over 600 people. A Bible study has been started on Saturday afternoons with about 50-60 adults, youth, and children regularly attending each week. There is several men in the community coming and we are excited as this is rare to have men faithfully attend. Steven was called by the indvuna (chief's assistant) for this area as he wants revival services to occur next. Plans are being finalized for these revival services to start next week. Pray for Steven as he leads these services and for hearts to hear about the love of Jesus!
- The garden project at Hawane Baptist is going well and the church is happy to see the crop growing just as well as old, traditional farming methods. Remember, Farming God's Way does not burn the fields prior to planting and other methods commonly used as well. Pray for Steven to have opportunities to share this farming technique with other churches and communities in coming months.
- Our team was sad to release Julia Tarr back to the USA as her two-year term ended in February. Continue to pray for Julia as she has accepted a new position as a children's assistant at First Baptist Church Tifton, GA. She starts her new position this month. Pray for all the transitions to yet a new place to live, minister and serve the Lord.
- Our team will also be releasing Kimber Ringler back to the USA at the end of April. Pray for Kimber's final weeks in Swaziland to finish well and for great closure with the Swazi people, our mission family and friends. We will miss Kimber greatly and thank the Lord for all she has done for Him during her time with us. Our team is praying through personnel requests for future needs to be added to our team so other folks can join us soon.
- Continue to pray for someone to fill the much needed Manzini request! We are trusting God to send us the right person, couple or family to serve Him in Manzini! :)
- Last month, a volunteer team from the South Roanoke Association in North Carolina came to serve in the eastern part of Swaziland as well as a time of visiting the Shiselweni region with the Myers. Steven was able to assist Bert Warren in leading his first volunteer team for a few days and it was a special time of serving together. Three of the team members were with Steven back when he came to Swaziland the first time in January 1999. A very special event that took place while the team was in Swaziland was a baptism service at Vuvulane, thus making this outreach group a new church. Praise the Lord! We are thankful for all volunteers that come to serve in Swaziland as they give of themselves, their time and resources to reach the Swazi people for Jesus Christ!
- Plans are being finalized for our National Easter Services next month, April 9-12, and there are a few issues that need to be finished soon. Pray for our leadership to make wise choices on behalf of all our churches and how their decisions impact all the people, not just a few folks. Pray for the schedule, speakers, logistics, etc. to go smoothly and for lives to be changed forever. The theme is, "The Grace of God".
- Our company has a large mission meeting scheduled in Johannesburg April 15 - 20. Pray for all the missionaries as they are traveling from several different countries to attend the meeting, planning/logistics still to be finalized, speakers as they prepare to share, mission business to be discussed and more importantly, for God to draw each of us closer to Him and to one another as a mission family.
- Pray for Lisa Warren's father, Lloyd Clairborne, scheduled to undergo surgery for a blocked carotid artery on the 17th of March. Pray for peace and comfort to Lisa's mother. Pray God will guide the surgeon's hand as He alone is the Great Physician.
- Pray for Wayne Myers' families' health issues...continue to pray for his brother Terry diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Pray also for his youngest brother encountering circulation problems in his left leg due to diabetes.
- On a personal note, our family is taking a much needed holiday to Cape Town for a few days at the end of the month (March 29 - April 4). Pray for a time of rest, safety and special memories as a family.
Lacie's Little Notes:
I love going to school and love my new teacher this year, Aunty Pushpa. I am learning lots of new things and excited about being with all my friends. I have also started gymnastics and love going each week. I am looking forward to our family trip to Cape Town in a few weeks so I can play in the ocean, see marine animals and be with my family. I also love going to the Sibebe children's Bible study each week with Aunt Kimber and Gogo Shandu. I am asking lots of questions about believing in Jesus (pray for us parents to have wisdom and discernment in sharing with Lacie!) which is really exciting for me to understand more about God's love.
Nathan's Notable Notes:
I am now one year old!!! I am not quite walking but gaining more confidence each day in standing and holding onto anything in my path. I am on the go all the time and keep my parents hopping to keep up with me. I love playing with my big sister as she makes me laugh and laugh. My family is enjoying cooler weather these days and my daddy says it feels like fall weather back in the USA to him. I have four teeth now and enjoying eating more table foods.
***Remember, we live in Africa and there is no guarantee that our e-mails are received or even sent out correctly. If you have written and not heard from us, please write again. We would rather receive e-mails two times than not at all.***
Thank you for your faithful prayer support!!!
Steven, Monica, Lacie and Nathan Allen IMB missionaries serving in Swaziland

Children having Bible study at the new work area, Lesivovu

Pastor Jimmy Moore from FBC Washington, NC, leading a baptism service at Vuvulane Baptist

Our Swazi mission team....front - Lacie Allen, Wayne Myers, Barbara Myers, Lisa Warren and Julia Tarr. back - Steve Allen, Monica Allen, Kimber Ringer and Bert Warren. (Nathan was sleeping and the Warren kids were in school)