The last couple of months have been a whirlwind. I (Allan) got to spend a month in South Africa (see previous blog post and FBpics of the trip) doing the behind the scenes, not-exciting work of ministry that makes the exciting parts of ministry actually work… meaning; banking, sorting out visas, purchasing a container, buying a 4×4 vehicle. Okay that last one was pretty cool. (Clever (staff guy) was able to get a much needed vehicle (see his blog about it). So exciting to see someone get their first car!) Each of these specific tasks is around 15 times more complicated in South Africa than they would be here. One of the best parts was being able to stay in a house together as a staff, and taking time to strategize and pray. We are excited for what God is doing and how we get to be a part of it. More about that to come. After a month of being away in Africa, I returned to Michigan to find my wife living on the edge of insanity with our two kids. So we packed our van and took a cross country road trip to Austin, Texas. Nothing cures insanity like being in a car with 2 kids for 2 days straight. Lie. Annie almost lost it when she realized I was serious about imitating US presidents from each of the States we drove through. I did some stunning impersonations of Obama (ILL), Bill Clinton (ARK), LBJ (TX), George Bush (TX). I’m not so sure how accurate my version of Gerald Ford (MI) and Benjamin Harrison (23rd Pres from Indiana) were. I even threw in an Elvis (TEN) impersonation while in Memphis. He may not have been a president but he was certainly a king. Nonetheless
we I had a blast. Once in Austin, our gracious hosts the Dagani’s (Rachael is one of Annie’s bff’s since childhood) arranged a house for our stay, aka, free accommodation. Amen. Annie and the kids spent time with Rach and her boys while I attended the VERGE14 conference. VERGE is a disciple making conference designed to equip folks in the values and vision of missional community. I love the emphasis of everyday mission and the centrality of the gospel in that. You can read more about some of what I learned at Verge on our AR Ministry Blog here. It was incredibly challenging and encouraging. After the conference, we had some down time to enjoy our friends and the best of Austin, aka, Franklin BBQ. God surprised us after a long month of business in South Africa and insanity at home, He took us to Austin to be refreshed and encouraged. Thank you Lord. On the three day road trip home we got to visit the amazing Tu family(L) whom are pastoring in Decatur IL with Tony Cafey (Moody friends). We also got to see the awesome McEwens (R), our friends in Indy whom we haven’t seen since they left to do missions in Italy. While the 3,200 mile drive produced a gas bill equivalent to the annual budget of a small African country, it was well worth it. As we met with various folks along the way and shared bits and pieces of what God is doing through us and what He is teaching us in our family and our ministry we are more and more excited and committed to the vision He has set before us. What a privilege we have to serve orphans and widows in Jesus name. What an honor to equip and disciple servant leaders in missions. I forget this some days, even in Africa when I am standing in line at the bank or sorting through government requirements. This thing that we do, that we get to do, is a privilege. So thank you for supporting us, for joining us and being in this with us.
– PRAYER REQUESTS –
• Thank God for a successful long trip to South Africa >> Austin and back.
• Pray for additional volunteers for our next year-long team being sent to Lusaka, Zambia. If you know of anyone who would thrive living and serving on a team in Africa, encourage them to consider joining us! Find out more here!
• Pray for further support as we are underfunded. You can download a PDF of our support letter below. If you or someone you know is interested in supporting our missionary family!
Annie, Skylah, Judah and Allan
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9