17 October 2015

Moved the blog

  Hello  everyone.   We just launched a new website for our ministry at www.allowthechildren.org.  Please go there and take a look.

 We have moved this blog to the web site.     Click the blog on the options at the top!

24 September 2015

The Pastor Training Project

This important project is bringing training to men in four countries who are pastors, evangelists and cell group leaders-- who are already leading and teaching.  They are able to multiply and teach others also.

Sep 2015    Pastor  Rene  Gonzalez and his wife, Irene  taught pastors and wives in Nicaragua.

Oct  2015   Dr. Shean  Phillips will  be going to Haiti to conduct our very first pastor training for that country  

Oct  2015   Matt St. Clair and Don Updike will be going to Burundi, Africa to train pastors.

Nov 2015   Jim Warner and  Brian Hoffman will be going to Nepal to train pastors.

26 August 2015

Allow The Women

 Allow The Women-- to attend school and to work their jobs, to go about their daily lives and to meet their responsibilities. Many girls in developing countries struggle with how to manage their menstruation. Disposable products  are rarely available and financially unattainable. Girls might miss five days of school every month for lack of a solution for this problem. Women might  lose income from their jobs.  A recent problem is  the earthquake in  Nepal. Many families lost everything they had.

 We are doing a project to make re-usable menstrual pads. We hope to provide them to earthquake affected women in Nepal and also a set for every teen girl in our sponsorship program in all of our countries.

Walkways for the Blind children

   The  School for the Blind in  Burundi, Africa has three buildings.  The children constantly move among them. One is the dorm where they live. The dining room is in one and classrooms in the third.

 The ground was rough and uneven. Muddy puddles formed both a safety hazard and a chance to spend the remainder of the day with wet feet.  ( The blind cannot see the puddles.)   There are other needs and projects  waiting to be done, but it blesses me to see these permanent walk ways built.  There are three of them-- to protect the way between each of the buildings.

02 July 2015

Sponsorship Project

Most of you who read our blog or receive our newsletter already sponsor one or more children.  We appreciate you so much.   We need more sponsors, especially for some children who have waited for a long time.  We are hoping that some of our  faithful sponsors  might help us reach out to some areas outside our own circles to some  relatives or neighbors who might be willing to do what you do.   We can send you a photo of a child who needs a sponsor and a fill in card.   Would you  talk to someone you know who might be interested?  If you can find one more sponsor, you multiply  the help you are already giving.

There is no obligation and no need to explain if you do not find a sponsor. No need even to send anything back.  You  can keep the photo and use it to pray for the child.   Contact us!

Orphaned in Nepal

   Sabita and  Jeewan are orphans-- not because their parents died.  As far as we know, both are still alive.  But both have abandoned the two children, leaving with no contact for some time.  They were living with grand parents until the earthquake, but the house was destroyed and the grandparents are struggling for survival.  Sabita and  Jeewan have come into one of our children's homes in  Nepal.   We will care for them and educate them, disciple them in God's Word and someday launch them into life where we hope they will lead and minister to many others.   Life is hard.   Earthquakes are hard.  Yet our God uses the hard things to move his people to the places he wants them to be.

Nepal and the devastation

 During our visit to Nepal, it was easy to drive through parts of the capital city and forget that an earthquake happened here. But turn a corner and  a reminder might loom before us-- a building crumbled to the ground or an empty shell dangling the reminder to all  who pass. A five story building might have uprooted and now leaning against its neighbor building.  Or-- it might be standing as if unaffected, but a closer look  reveals frightening cracks, as if one more small shake might bring it down.  People were still living in tents, whether their building stood or not. If it still stood, there was the fear that something might bring it down.  The ground still shook almost daily.  I was aware of some of the tremors and sometimes I heard about them from others or read in the daily internet news.                                                    

Outside the city, whole villages have been destroyed.   Houses built  from mud and stone went down with the first  tremors.  Some of them can be rebuilt from the same materials, but in other cases, the ground was left unstable.  The people need to move to another place and start life again with nothing. The suffering is impossible to grasp, especially as rainy season is upon the land.  The rains make shelter a critical priority and  it needs to be more than fabric tents.  The rains mean the time of planting -- and those who miss planting also miss reaping. The agricultural cycle is a fact of life in the village-yet the land that the family owned might be gone, or no longer habitable.

Please pray for our people in  Nepal.   Even if they have no personal loss, the suffering is all around them.  Allow was able to help as we wired earthquake relief funds to four different areas.  Our trusted partners carried food and water, tents and medicines to people that the government agencies seemed to forget. Now we are busy with plans for a new children's home to  orphaned and homeless children from one village which was forced to move.                    

A House on the River

This is the house of one of the new children in our sponsorship program in the Amazon.  Actually, it is a better house than most.  It is the home of the pastor and his family for this village. The ministry in the Amazon is very much like our work in other countries.  The people are poor.  We want to disciple and educate children from believers' families to be the next leaders for the community.  We want to support and encourage and enable the evangelism already in progress in the villages.  Let the church in America and her resources stand beside these dear believers as they labor in the Amazon.

09 June 2015

Children of the Amazon

Boats are a way of life on the  Amazon.  Children paddle their way to school and home again. One school we visited was three classrooms, the only building in the area that was still above water and it only barely so.   Flooding this year was higher than in  many previous years.  We have taken some children of pastors into our program  for sponsorship. We hope to  help and encourage them in  their ministry work.

Amazing Amazon

  In the last week of  May 2015, I  spent a part of my life on board this boat.  We  zipped along  waterways, like roads, in the Amazon  River, braving  hot sun, sudden  torrential rains, fellow boaters and river creatures.  The driver, that is the man handling the motor at the back, used a GPS device to navigate  canals that looked identical to me. Unlike  American waters, there were no recreational boaters here.  Everyone was going somewhere, usually with boat loaded down as ours was--with supplies, livestock and children.  I noticed that dogs seemed to enjoy the experience more than other animals.  The best part was the beautiful scenery and of course the ministry among the villages. The worst part was sitting with no back rest for hours.  I suffered  from my lack of  Spanish fluency, except when we stopped in a village.  The indigenous people did not speak Spanish which put us all on a level field.  Life in the village was like villages in many places where we work.  Homes were simple shelters,  Food was home grown-- plentiful in harvest and perhaps scarce at other times.  Fishing is important. Many of these villages have a church building and a body of believers planted by the missionary who was hosting me.

22 May 2015

The Earthquake House in Nepal

  An earthquake house is one that will not kill you if it falls. We are building one of these for the Action Love Children's Home.  It is basically structured from bamboo and sheet metal.  Rainy season is rushing towards us and this  should be a good shelter from the rain.  Even more than that, it will be a place to call home and a place where the children can sleep without fear.

Beginning in the Amazon

The  Amazon-- with everything  going on in our ministry right now, it  might  not seem to be the time to expand to a new ministry area.  Yet, plans for  a survey trip  to  South  America have been in the works for over a year. This is not the first time that conflicts, distractions and even overwhelming events have come just at the time when we were about to open a new ministry project.  Please pray for the people-- especially the children-- of the  Amazon and whether it is time  for Allow to begin work among them. Next week, 27 May, I will be flying out to visit two ministry areas with the intention of establishing relationships and possible ministry partnership for sponsorship of children and possibly pastor training.

Church Planting in Bangladesh

We had a special blessing a few days ago, when we received the photos of this church dedication in the mountains of  Bangladesh.  It is hard to describe the significance of this.  The church is made of of mostly newly baptized (older) kids in our children's Home and it is built on the land purchased for the home.  It is a light in a very, very dark place.  It is a place so far up, that though Bangladesh is said to be 98% Muslim, the Muslims  do not have a foothold here YET. These are tribal people who probably never hear the  Name of Jesus, either. Our children are learning.  They are getting an education and also a good foundation in  God's  Word.  Our girls are already past an educational level that few women have obtained in this place. When we launch these kids they will be leaders among their people. Leaders prepared to reach others as no American ever could-- even more than a city Bangla missionary could do.  They are tribal people. Some of them will fall away, just as happens in our US churches.  But SOME of them, will be strong, growing believers and they will BE this church.  They already ARE the church.  Praise the Lord.  Now another special blessing.  This church building is not completed. It still needs the tin for the roof, a toilet, and some other construction things. It also needs overhead fans, musical instruments,....   A pledge came today from a donor who will provide  EVERYTHING still needed for this church.  He will also fund the dorm building needed  to separate boys and girls and enable us to increase the number of kids  in the home.  This is a huge WOW. 

Church planting in Burundi

Please keep a careful watch on the news from  Burundi.  Their elections are scheduled late in June. A recent government takeover was stopped, preventing what our missionary contact felt sure would be the beginning of another long, bloody war.  He tells us that he and his family  can hear gunshots at night, but they are  still able to move about town. He has two tiny little girls and his wife is expecting another baby in the same week as the elections.  I think that none of us would blame him if he got his family out of there, but he soldiers on-- doing the work he was called to do, and the Lord is blessing it. Read the words directly from him as he reports to us about the building of church building that we have funded there:
As far as the church plant on the property, that is having to be delayed a little bit, one factor is the political situation (in the current political climate it would be difficult to take large teams up from the city to help with the initial evangelism efforts etc...),  The other factor is that the nearby village church that will be helping with the plant is in the middle of its own construction (currently like 30 people sit outside every week cause their building is packed and can only hold about 120). So the local leadership here in the city decided that it would be best for us to help that church finish its expansion project before working on building the building at the new property. They already have a  new foundation and are hoping to start building the beginning of July.  It would not be good to very quickly build a good sized building for the new church plant on the new property when the mother church is still stuck trying to accommodate the people they have! 
​  ​
Things are always more complicated here in Africa than I would like :) But I guess it is not just Africa.

Living in Tents

 I am writing this note in  May, 2015, not quite a month since the first major earthquake shook Nepal. Since that time, smaller tremors, and aftershocks continue to plague the land.  Building that cracked, but remained standing  after the first event may fall anytime as the ground shaking continues.  Recovery  is a challenge under any circumstances, but nearly impossible when "another one" could come at any time. Many of our people are still living in tents, even if their house  was not damaged. They are searching out clean water and  cooking as best they can. Please pray for  Nepal-- that the shaking  will stop and the rebuilding can begin.

15 May 2015

He came up through our program

 His father died some years ago, leaving  his mother a widow with three children.  We  joined in with sponsorship to help the children remain in school.  One sponsor stuck with him to  help him even through a  university program.  He  is scheduled to graduate this year with a degree in engineering, but  he spent this week working with our relief team, carrying needed supplies to the people.

Personal tragedy in Nepal

 To us, sitting in  America and just watching the news, it is just one pile of ruble after another.   But each one of those piles is a personal  tragedy to a family in  Nepal-- a family that was probably already struggling to survive.  This is one of the villages where  Allow works and where we  delivered supplies  this week.  People in the US sent checks to our office.  We sent  wires to Nepal.  Our partners bought food and tents, cooking oil and  bottled water. They loaded trucks and carried  the supplies to places like this one.

07 May 2015

Earthquake in Nepal

On 25 April, the people of Nepal suffered a major earthquake.  We could only sit and wait as (thankfully) report after report came in from our partners to  inform us that they were safe.  Devastation reigns throughout the country. More orphans were made.  Thousands of families became homeless.  None of the partners and leaders working with Allow The Children died or suffered a serious injury. All of them were up and ready to help others in a remarkably short period of time.

God's people in the US gave generously, allowing us to send five emergency wires to our close partners-- quickly making a difference all over Nepal.

08 April 2015

Urgent Needs in Nicaragua

The wheel was broken and the hand rests were in shreds.  Maybe those things could be repaired, but the boy had outgrown the chair-- and there was only one  remedy for that. How could I find  a new wheelchair on an island community  deep in the country of  Nicaragua?   And if I could find one on the main land, how could I know that it was the right one for this boy and how would I get it  back to him?

The boy is  Jesse, the son of a pastor in Nicaragua.  He has been in our sponsorship program since we started on the Island of Ometepe. Like all of the others, his family lives on a minimum of worldly goods.  Prices are high for anything brought to the island on the ferry.  Fortunately, volcanic ash makes fertile soil and lots of good food grows  almost year round.  But the island cannot grow a wheel chair.

It was exciting  for me as I watched the Lord answer each question-- that is, those about which chair, how to find it, how to get it back to the island.....  One  issue was already resolved-- that  of how to pay for the wheel chair.  Assuming  that we could find the chair and resolve the logistic issues             (which we did)  the Allow  The Children  Urgent  needs  Fund  exists for situations like this one.   Many people give  generous un-designated gifts which we  use for needs like this one.  During travel in country, we often come upon needs that just cannot or should not wait for fundraising or  search for a specific donor. It is a joy to be ready to meet needs like this one and to know that the Lord has used many hands along the way to accomplish His provision.

03 April 2015

What was I doing in Haiti? A new sponsorship program for children of pastors.

What was I doing in  Haiti?  In most of our ministry countries, we have a sponsorship program for children of pastors. I love to do these  for several reasons. (1)  Pastors are an easy group to define and manage. The appreciate the help and they use the funds wisely for their child.  (2)  It gives some real help to laborers on the field who are often serving without any compensation at all.  (3)  It is the first step towards other projects  such as pastor training,  funding an evangelistic outreach, supply  Bibles and discipleship literature  (4)  Contacts with widows and orphans who need our program.

 I do not know how our work with develop in  Haiti.  There are certainly plenty of opportunities.  As we build these relationships with pastors, we  may be able to organize medical clinics as an outreach tool or  many of the other projects we are doing in other countries.

We took about 15 children of pastors this time. As we find sponsors for these and build the  program, we will  probably move up to at least 30 children. It is exciting to think of the new directions and the many new  projects to come as we serve in  Haiti.

What was I doing in Haiti? Committee meetings with ministry leaders.

What was I doing in  Haiti?  Mission trips can be exciting, adventurous, productive and inspiring. I love that kind of trip and many others do as well. But managing a sponsorship program requires a lot of just plain admin work.  I need to meet with the leaders of each of our ministry  programs and a lot needs to be accomplished within the time I am able to be with them.

On this day,  one committee drug  a table out to the beach and we had our meeting at the sea side. It was a wonderful reminder of the spectacular beauty of Haiti. Haiti is struggling with profound poverty, the devastation of the earthquake, crime, fraud, filth and drought.  It  would be difficult to find many places on the planet where daily life is more challenging than Haiti. At the same time, the Lord has blessed this island.  There are little pockets of believers who are busy working for the spiritual harvest. It is a privilege and a joy to partner with them.

What was I doing in Haiti? The children of Chacha Mountain

What was I doing in  Haiti?  The children of  Chacha Mountain would not have any education at all, if not for a few church leaders and their wives who give their time to teach and disciple. It is not an official school in any sense.  There is no government  funding.  There are no materials, not even desks to write on.  Most of the children do not have a uniform. But over 100 children come each day to learn reading, writing and arithmetic and they  are taught from  God's Word. As Haitian believers invest in these children, we have the opportunity to be a part of it with them. We are hoping to sponsor children in this program with the money going  for the school needs and a daily nutritious lunch.  It takes several hours of hard driving to get up the mountain to  Chacha.  If ever there was a place where there is nothing, this is it.  If ever there was a place that could be called the "ends of the earth" this is it. Poor? There is no water, except what is collected from the sky.  Toilet?  Until recently, there were not even  outhouses. Clothing?   Require a long trek down the mountain to the market to buy  supplies of any kind. Jesus said if we do it to the least of His  brethren, we do it to Him. It would be difficult to find any more "least" than these.

What was I doing in Haiti? A new church plant

What was I doing in  Haiti?  I visited this new church plant  in a small village outside of  Port-au- Prince.   They filled the  shelter with people on  Sunday morning in a neighborhood that did not even exist a year ago.  These people were  displaced by the 2010 earthquake and were among the thousands living in "tent cities," temporary shelters created by government and aid groups. They were relocated to this place and  we have an evangelist working to plant a church among them.  This tarp  will be nearly worthless when the rains come. It is torn and damaged in many places.  This little body of believers need a modest, one room cinder block building  for worship and teaching, a center of ministry in this new community.

What was I doing in Haiti? Visiting our children's homes.

What was I doing in  Haiti?  I was visiting our children's homes, taking  new photos and reports, talking with the leaders for the ministries for accountability, encouragement, trouble shooting future planning and assessments of the needs of the children.

The Hope for Life Children's home needs a new kitchen, but so many other things as well.  Which project should have the priority?  Which ones could be accomplished better  or with less expense if pursued along with another?   For example, should we build a kitchen or work on a whole house which would include a kitchen?

02 April 2015

Where The Pulpit Was ( The Slum Ministry in Nepal)

Pastor Daniel is standing where the pulpit of the slum church once was.  The city demolished the building and many homes  in order to build a retaining wall.  The "homes" were makeshift shelters made of scraps of all kinds-- but they were all these people had. Now, we have more than 100 displaced families struggling to survive. In addition to the destruction of the church, we had a shelter which was home for 3 widows  of the church.  And--- we had a little unofficial school for the small children in the slum. About 100 children were coming daily to learn reading, writing and arithmetic and  God's  Word. It might be the only education and the only opportunity to hear of the  Savior for these little children.   Allow has already sent some emergency help for this ministry. The partners on the ground have identified a place for the church to meet temporarily and another place to rebuild.   We need to include the widow shelter and the slum school in the new plans as well.  Praying for the Lord's abundant provision for these things in His time.

08 March 2015

The Slum Church

 In the slums of the capital city in  Nepal, stood this modest concrete building where a little church   was born and  grew.  Over 100 people gathered weekly  within its walls for worship and various prayer groups throughout the week.  A widow's home attached to one side and a few toilets  were built behind it. In  Feb 2015, the city decided to build a retaining wall along the river in the slum. This church building was  bull dozed down along with many  of the makeshift homes that are typical in the slum community.  People who have almost nothing were running through cold and rain to salvage their few belongings from the bulldozers.  It is a horrible scene that I  can barely imagine and one that I am glad to have not witnessed. The church found a place to meet temporarily, but another building of their own is badly needed.  Praying for the Lord to show us each step.

Burundi in February

The February trip to  Burundi  included pastor training, Bible teaching for children,  new photos and  reports for  sponsorship and the creation of one new sponsorship program in  Burundi.   As in all of our ministry countries, the people struggle with poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and climate issues.  In  Burundi, we also work with a school for the blind and a school for the deaf-- all children who are   truly the least of  His brethren. They have  serious needs and very little resources to meet them.  It is an incredible privilege to be part of this work.

06 January 2015

Christmas Trip to Nepal 2014

Our Christmas trip to Nepal has become an annual scheduled event.  The project is important because we make a visit to every sponsorship program  to get progress reports and new photos of the children. It is a huge project because the Nepal ministry is huge.  We have children sponsored in children's homes (which are not really orphanages).  We have children, who live with their families, sponsored under churches. Some of the churches are quite a distance to travel.  We need to take a  1 hour flight to reach the area of one of the programs.  It takes about two weeks to  visit them all. At each stop, we gather the children for the Christmas story.  We distribute Christmas bags.  We  line the children up and take the photos--and each child must fill in the progress report that will be given to his sponsor.  I talk with the leader of each ministry about any questions or problems he has had.  We talk about children who are ready to "graduate" and finish our program and  about new ones who need to come in. We take a team of women for this trip because we need many hands to complete all of the tasks. The Christmas bags are the first big task.  By the time the team arrives in  December, we have already gathered the items to make up the contents of the bags.  I have carried  the things to Nepal in previous trips throughout the year or they have been purchased in  Nepal.  Typical contents are toothbrush,  Christmas craft, school supplies, candy.  Some years they have received  T-shirts,  hats, shoes,  Bibles,  English- Nepali dictionary.  All of these need to be packed individually  in a bag  marked with each child's name.  Any letters from his sponsor needs to go into the bags as well. For  Nepal, we need about 500 bags. Wow.  We are grateful for our team.

Pam and Rebekah

When we take mission teams into any of our countries, we usually have sponsors with us who are eager to meet their child. It is always a special moment, but this one stands out from the rest. Pam is among the sponsors who started with us in the very beginning.  I wish that  I had  kept a record of exactly who it was who first joined with us back in 2003, the one who was  FIRST to be attached as a sponsor with a child.  I do not remember.  I think there were just so many tasks to be done when we first started, that now my memory blurs.  But Pam was certainly  one of those in the first group and what a tremendous encouragement they were. Pam and that group were the ones who first confirmed to me that a genuine ministry had been born- and in its infancy, it demanded my constant attention.  Rebekah was still an infant when her sponsorship started.  We have taken care of her for a long time and will probably continue until she graduates.  When I wrote to her older sister that  her sponsor was coming to Nepal, the reply came very quickly. "Pam  Aunty is coming?"   Yes.  After years of writing back and forth, exchanging photos, Pam   Aunty made a trip to  Nepal and the two met. Sponsorship makes genuine relationships with real people and it meets real needs.  We are never going to know what Rebekah's life would be if  Allow and  Pam had not come along.  The sovereign Lord could certainly take care of her in many other ways.  But I am humbly thankful that He let us be a part of it.   I love this job.