Can I tell you a story? Good, because I was going to do it anyway.
Here we go!
20 years ago today my family started out on the road in full time evangelism! My parents started out on the road from a church in Michigan with two engagements on the books right next to each other and nothing else; no idea how they were going to provide for their four little children. To make matters worse, they’re little 1-year-old Josh had gotten the chicken pox and given it to my mom and myself. But, in spite of the difficult and the world screaming at them to give up, they stepped out in faith and trusted God would sustain them in the ministry to which He had called them!
20 Years Later
This ministry has expanded so much larger than what we could’ve ever imagined. Allen Ministries has given birth to a missions organization known as Hope Missions International, which operates in the country of Uganda and has a thriving orphanage there. This ministry that was started 20 years ago on a totally leap of faith has become the life support for 13 children and 2 widows in Uganda, Africa! God is doing great things and today is a day we remember 20 years of ministry.
I’m 20 years old, so this ministry has been my entire life. I’m four months older than the family ministry… well, four months and 9 days older. This is all I’ve ever known. So today is almost like a birthday today…well, a four month and 9 day late birthday. I can’t help but be overjoyed as I look back upon my life and this ministry and see God’s blessings in and through my life.
I’ve been incomplete until this year, half a man; less than half really. I surrendered my life to Christ’s salvation for my sins when I was 13 years old, but I never truly let go of all of me until this years trip to Uganda. God used each one of the memebers of the team this year to change me in some way. For 7 years I wasn’t able to grow in Christ because I wouldn’t let go of my pride, arrogance, conceit, and selfishness. That all changed this year.
I approach this 20 year landmark, this 20 year altar as a memorial of where I came from. You never leave a memorial in front of you, it is always left behind for you to look back on. I’m pressing on in my newfound life, forgetting those things which are behind, reach forth towards those things which are before. 20 years… it’s hard to believe, but I’m just now starting to live.
Josh was the first to get sick back when we started, but I didn’t catch anything until the actually day we went into evangelism: today 20 years ago. Well, 20 years later, Josh is sick again… I hope this isn’t a sign.
It’s been a fantastic journey.
I’ve learned so much and had such a great time on this wild ride. I’ve made it. We’ve made it. 20 years. Still together. Sure, things have changed a bit. We’re no longer a family of ten or even 13 who live on a bus full time. We’re still a family, but only 8 of us continue to travel full time. Though the face of the ministry has changed, the purpose of it has not. We desire to see Christ glorified in all that we do, and strive to make the maximum impact for Him in every area of our lives! To God be the glory, great things He has done! This is the first 20 years of a ministry. I look forward with anticipation and excitement to what God has for the coming years.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist