November 22, 2011

Nathan's school photo - 2011

Check out out our little man's school looking like a little man...adorable! :)

Lottie Moon Emphasis

Hey everyone! We are still alive and pressing on with life and ministry in Swaziland. I know it has been like forever since I have had the chance to sit down and blog. Hoping to do more blogs in coming days and weeks. We did want to express our thanks to everyone that supports the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. We hope to emphasize different areas that the Lottie Moon Offering assists us personally here on the mission field. Because of YOUR gifts, we are able to drive out in the truck (bakkie) provided by our mission board to rural areas to teach and tell the Swazis about Jesus Christ. THANK YOU!!!!

May 1, 2011

Allen Family May Update

Hello everyone!

It is hard to believe that we are in MAY now! Wow...where did almost the first half of 2011 go already??? Lots happening and we are excited for the days, weeks and months ahead.

Our recent Easters services with many of our Baptist churches was an amazing time to reflect on all God did by sending HIS ONLY Son, Jesus, for ALL of us! It is such a blessing to worship with our Swazi brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of them we do not get to see too often so it is great to catch up on how everyone is doing in their own lives. Our kids were able to participate with the kid's worship and Lacie was even in the children's play on Easter morning. She had the only English line in the play as it was in siSwati but she was the angel that said, "He is not here!". What a testimony to share with others!

God continues to bring new people to our new outreach group at Ngowane, which is about 1.5 hours away from our house. The past couple of Thursdays, we were not sure what to expect because it is school break here in Swaziland but more than 50 people are waiting to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. This past week, the indvuna (chief's assistant) and his assistant both came to the Bible study. It is HUGE for community leaders to participate in Bible studies and shows us that God is ALL over this new outreach group. Continue to pray for leaders to rise up within this new group as they are already requesting to start meeting on Sunday mornings. Pray for wisdom as we proceed to serve alongside this new group.

Pray for our Baptist convention as they meet this Saturday, May 7, to evaluate the Easters services and for the convention to serve together in unity with all decisions.

Pray for Kym Pennington, our True Love Waits International consultant, as she is with our Swazi mission team this month to lead TLW trainings in three areas. She will be with our family May 16-18 to lead a training in the Hawane area.

On May 23 - 31, we have a team of five people coming from Clear Creek Bible College in Pineville, Kentucky, coming to serve with us. They primarily will be serving in the Ngowane (Hhohho region) and Lesibovu (Manzini region), our two newest outreach group areas. Pray for this team to have MANY opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the Swazi people!

On May 26 - June 30, Katy Hallock and Hunter Johnson will be serving with our mission team throughout Swaziland working mostly with children and youth. One big event they will be co-leading with one of our Swazi pastors, Pastor Mkhosi Fakudze, is our National Youth Leader's Retreat on June 3-5 in Manzini. Pray for their time in Swaziland to bear MUCH fruit and for amazing times with the Swazi people and our mission team.

On May 31, our team is blessed with SIX summer missionaries coming to serve with us for the months of June and July. They will be mostly living out at homesteads in the Shiselweni region sharing the True Love Waits message. Pray for Reh, Tori, Elizabeth, Adam, Tiffany and Jonathon as they prepare to come serve in Swaziland and for ALL the God-size opportunities while they are here with us.

Lacie starts the second term of school on May 3 (school term will be from May 3 - August 12) and Nathan starts on May 10. Pray for the kids as we adjust back into school routines, activities and all the ministry happenings, too.

As you can see, lots happening in the coming months so pray for strength and excitment to press on with ALL God has for our family, ministry and team in the coming weeks. May His name be continually praised!!!

Let us know of ways we can be praying for you and your family as well.

Thank you for your faithful prayer support and hope to hear from you!

April 10, 2011

An Update to an Update for the Allens

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Greetings from Swaziland! So much is happening right now that we wanted to update everyone on several items...

Praises/Prayer Concerns:
- Steven is leading a baptism service at Peace Baptist Church today and praising God that the weather is beautiful. Pray for those that are being baptized that they will stay strong in their new relationship with Jesus!

-Kids and I are home today as Lacie has yet another ear infection and keeping her low for the weekend to rest. She is doing much better and plans to return to school this week. Schools begin their term break after this week (schools close from April 15 - May 3 or May 10, depending on the school).

- Steven was able to visit the new work area with some of the members from Hawane Baptist Church this past Thursday. He was also able to meet the indvuna, chief's assistant, and was granted permission to proceed starting a Bible study. God keeps opening the doors! Pray for this new work to grow strong with a solid foundation of God's Word and Truth!

- Our recent missionary meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, was one of the best mission meetings we have ever attended. So many of us came to the meeting tired and worn out but left with a very refreshed heart and spirit to press on with all God has for our various ministries. We thank First Baptist Orlando for sharing with us in preaching, worship and leading our children. You all were amazing and God used you!

- Praise the Lord that we received word from the Minister of Finance that the container of 648 in-home care kits can come into the country tax free! Woo! Hoo! Pray now for the tranportation issues to get the container from Durban (nearest port to us and only one day drive) to us quickly. Pray for our team as we seek to train our churches in passing them out to the right people that needs these buckets.

- Our churches are busy planning our annual Easters services (Thursday - Sunday, April 22-25) as it is a time of them to come together for preaching, worship and fellowship. The group that met for the Convention was small but they were able to proceed with making final decisions for the services. Pray each life will be touched in a special way during the Easter services.

- Pray for our missionary team as we are looking towards a very busy American summer months with lots of volunteers and teams coming to serve with us, especially from May - August.

SPECIAL REQUEST: (sent out by our prayer advocate, Barbara Myers)
In recent weeks political developments throughout the Middle East and Africa have been major headlines. As country after country struggles with inner conflict and turmoil, others watch hoping it will not happen to them. April 12, 13 and 14 the trade union in Swaziland has called for strikes in Mbabane, Manzini and Nhlangano. Although strikes and discontentment are not new to Swaziland, in view of current events there is need for concern. Political heads of our country are calling the strikes against the law and rumors of military preparedness are spreading. What will be the outcome? Please pray these strikes will not end in riots and the military/police will not be called to provide order. Chaos usually follows when the military or police get involved. Pray peace will prevail over the nation of Swaziland.

Our family is busy planning ahead with petrol for vehicles, generators, groceries, running necessary errands over the weekend and Monday. We will try to write with an update during these days if we still have electricity, phone and internet. It is all in God's hands!!!

Let us hear from you as you are able to write!
Thank you for your faithful prayer support!!!

March 30, 2011

March Update from the Allen Family

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Greetings from Swaziland! Life has been busy and keeping us going but wanted to share a few praises and prayer concerns with everyone.

Praises/Prayer Concerns:
- Recent baptism service at Hawane Baptist Church on March 20, we saw 9 people baptized, including our daughter, Lacie. Praise the Lord! Check out my photos and a short video on my home page on Facebook.

- After much prayer, prayer drives and seeking the Lord, God is opening a door for a possible new work outside of Piggs Peak. The contact is through one of the families that attends Hawane Baptist Church. We were scheduled to visit there last week but the family needed to postpone until next week. Pray God opens the door completely if this is HIS plan to start a new outreach group that could move into a new church.

- Lesibovu Baptist Church is now finished with the walls of their new church building. They now will work on the roof and windows. Go God!

- Mphembekati Baptist Church has been relocated to a new piece of property as their church was too close to the community school. Pray for the church to continue to be a light in their community.

- Our family, along with missionaries from all over South Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, will be gathering this week in Johannesburg for our annual mission meeting. First Baptist of Orlando has sent a team to lead us in preaching, worship, encouragement and helping take care of our children with their own VBS type classes. Pray for safety as everyone travels, good health for the whole meeting...we typically seem to catch something at these meetings! :(, God to be with us in everything, great fellowship and refreshment for all.

- We are in the waiting mode to receive a container (approx. 600 buckets) of home care kits with Baptist Global Respones (BGR) into Swaziland. Our governement has approved the container to come in but we are waiting to see how much is the cost or if any. Pray the finance office will make a decision very soon and for them to find favor with seeing how these buckets will greatly assist their country. Pray for our team as we seek to train our churches in passing them out to the right people that needs these buckets.

- Our churches are busy planning our annual Easters services (Thursday - Sunday, April 22-25) as it is a time of them to come together for preaching, worship and fellowship. Many loose ends needs to be finalized and pray for our Convention as they make final decisions at their meeting this Saturday morning.

- Pray for our missionary team as we are looking towards a very busy American summer months with lots of volunteers and teams coming to serve with us, especially from May - August.

Let us hear from you as you are able to write!
Thank you for your faithful prayer support!!!
Steven, Monica, Lacie and Nathan Allen

February 27, 2011

February prayer update

We realize it has been awhile since you have heard from us but we are still pressing on. In the past several weeks, our family has been adjusting to the new school schedule/activities (feel like Mom's taxi!), three out of four of us were hit with the flu for several days, busy with ministry and dealing with life in Swaziland (phone out, internet down, getting things fixed, learning to wait). We look foward to all God has planned for our lives in the coming weeks.

- God is continuing to bring folks across our paths that need to accept Jesus into their lives. May all these new believers press on in their new walks with Jesus.

- We were able to baptize 9 people in the last month and several more are awaiting baptism, including our own daughter, Lacie.

- Steven started a new discipleship group with one of our churches to encourage them each week. The group consists of about 12 women that faithfully keep Peace Baptist Church going each week.

- Steven finally was able to do a prayer drive to check out a couple new areas for ministry. He came to a fork in the road and asked the folks along the road which was was better to go. He ended up on a road that took him about 1.5 hours away from our house. He said it was a good prayer drive but no open doors at this time. Steven hopes to check out another area soon.

- We have had LOTS of rain and enjoying cooler temps!

- Thank you to everyone that sent birthday greetings to Monica!

- Lacie and Nathan are enjoying their new schools and meeting lots of new friends. Nathan only goes Monday and Wednesday mornings, although he would love to go every day. Not yet!

Prayer Requests:
- Pray for Steven as he is currently teaching at three different Bible studies each week as well as a different church each Sunday to encourage our Swazi believers. Pray he is able to get the "office" time he needs to accomplish all God wants him to do each week.

- We have a few volunteer teams coming to serve with us in Swaziland in coming months. Pray for their preparations as well as open hearts for the Swazis during their time in Swaziland. Clear Creek Baptist College is coming in May, Hunter Johnson and Katy Hallock are coming in May/June, First Baptist Church of Washington, North Carolina are coming in June, Pastor of FBC Washington, NC and his wife (Jimmy and Karen Moore) are coming to Swaziland in July for part of his sabbatical leave, some of the camp staff of Camp Worldlight (Florida GA/Acteens camp) are coming in late July/August and there might be more! :)

- We will be attending our annual missionary meeting in Johannesburg March 30 - April 4 (our family is leaving on the afternoon of April 3 so Lacie does not miss another day of school). Pray for all the missionaries traveling from various parts of Southern Africa, including some of the islands, to this important meeting. Pray for First Baptist Orlando as they bring their pastor and team to share in worship as well as teach classes for all our missionary kids.

- Pray for our Baptist Convention of Swaziland as they are busy planning for our National Easter Services in April. A venue has been located, which is usually one of the hardest items to accomplish. The services are from Thursday - Sunday and a chance for many of our churches to come together for the Easter holidays. May the true meaning of Easter be shared and lives changed for eternity. Pray for all the logistical items still needed to be finalized.

- Nathan will have his 3rd birthday on March 7. Pray for a special day for our little bubba!

- Our crate from the USA has made it to African soil but it is in a warehouse in Durban. There has been a trucker strike in South Africa and we need one of those trucks to deliver it to Swaziland. Pray it is resolved soon and if possible, in time for Nathan's birthday!

- On March 2 and 3 (this Wednesday and Thursday), Lacie and I will be going to Johannesburg for updated appointments for Lacie's ears. She will be having an updated hearing test, CAT scan on her left ear and an appointment with the ENT doctor. Pray all the appointments go well, safety as we travel and our boys do well staying back in Swaziland. We plan to schedule a corrective surgery for Lacie in April. Side note: Lacie was born with an extra bone near her eardrum in her left ear causing what the ENT doctor thinks is her 30% hearing loss. It is now enough of a different in Lacie hearing similar words as she is reading more.

As alwasy, thank you for your faithful prayer support!