Greetings from the good 'ol USA! :) Our family arrived in the USA on March 27 after a very long plane ride and now trying to get our feet underneath us. We have had lots of problems with our email server but we are praying the kinks are all worked out now. Keep praying we can stay in the land of the internet and communication! :)
We enjoyed one week of being at Steve's parent's area in northwestern North Carolina and Easter weekend with family before we started off for our first round of travels. Last week, we were at our company's stateside conference for debriefing and further training. It was nice to be with other colleagues that are literally serving all over the world. The kids enjoyed being in classes for their different age groups. Right now, we are up in Havre de Grace, Maryland, where Steve was born and raised, hanging with his brother and family for the week. It has been great spending time with family and catching up with one another's lives. We have also started sharing with Bible study groups, churches and schools about our lives and ministry in Swaziland. We praise God for these contacts and opportunities to share how God is moving in the kingdom of Swaziland. We will be heading to one of Steve's sister's house in western Maryland this Saturday to spend several days with her family. Then, we will return to North Carolina later next week. Our family will then head to Pineville, Kentucky on April 26-28 to share with Clear Creek Bible College and a church. Steve met folks from this college while he was in Israel last year on his archeological dig.
Ministry is continuing in Swaziland with Al and Belinda Jordan holding down the fort for us and we are so grateful for them being there to serve with the Swazi people. We heard amazing reports that our annual Swazi Baptist Easter services (Thursday - Sunday) went very well with no major problems. This was great encouragement to us as the past two years have had huge issues that caused conflict among our leaders and churches. Both Hawane and Lesibovu Baptist churches are pressing on with their building projects and have slowly begun building/dedicating their plots of land to start building their own church buildings. Praise the Lord! Continue to pray for the ministries in Swaziland and for the Jordans as they press on with the daily days in and out of life in Swaziland. Our team leaders, Wayne and Barbara Myers, have moved into their new house, just 2km down the road from where they were living. Pray for them as they are sorting through the final boxes and getting house set up for the final time, we pray.
A huge praise for our family is that we have found a place to stay while we are in West Palm Beach in July - September. One of my Monica's closest friend's growing up, Jennifer Story Peavey, has a family member that has recently moved to assisted living. Her condo is available for us to use and it fits our budget, too. Thank you, Lord!!!
We should be getting a permanent cell phone to use while we are in the USA until September sometime this week. We will send out the number when we receive it. Until then, feel free to email us through this address or we have set up a temporary gmail account to use as well - email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from many of you and we appreciate your ongoing prayers. Our family is adjusting to life back in the USA - crazy traffic, busyness of life, parks around every corner for the kids to play, too many choices, huge portions of food at restaurants, church services in English, great family times/memories, free internet, missing friends/school for Lacie back in Swaziland (she has had the hardest adjustment of us all!), times of naps and rest, etc.
Attached are photos Al and Belinda Jordan, Maria Shandu and Steve with the kids as well as our family on the day we left Swaziland for the big trip to the USA. Enjoy!
Blessings and prayers,
Steve, Monica, Lacie and Nathan Allen
IMB missionaries serving in Swaziland