A word from author, Erin Stevens â€¦
I am delighted to introduce a face you may recognize and a humble heart that deserves a spotlight all her own. My friend and roommate â€“ while serving in Uganda, Africa â€“ Danielle Allen of the Allen Family is my special guest this month. Traveling on a bus with seven other people is not for the faint of heart, but this is a special girl with a profound call of ministry on her life. Now itâ€™s her turn to take a solo. Letâ€™s listen in â€¦
Erin Stevens: Beginning with some Allen history 101 â€“ for those that may not know the story of the early days, share with the readers where and when your parents met and how they began their ministry.
Danielle Allen: My parents met in Hattiesburg, Miss., at William Carey College. When they first met, they didnâ€™t like each other at all. My dad was a country boy from Louisiana, and my mom was a city girl from Florida. They were both in the music department. With some clever matchmaking, they were thrown together with a trumpet and soprano duet. The rest is history. They were married seven years before they began this ministry. My dad was the pastor at a church in Michigan when he began to sense God was calling them into full-time evangelistic ministry. He was afraid to tell this to my mom. When he finally told her what he believed God was calling them to, she admitted she had been sensing the same thing and had been afraid to tell him. They sold their house, bought a motorhome, and hit the road with my four older siblings. I joined the scene a year later.Â
Stevens: Is there a place of ministry that you go to on a regular basis that is memorable to you personally? If so, what is the story behind it?
Allen: One of my favorite places to minister is Freedom Mission in Louisiana. We have been a part of their yearly bible conference for as long as I can remember. Freedom Mission is a ministry for recovering addicts. Throughout the years of being there, I have witnessed the power of God transform lives, I have been inspired by those who have given their lives to His service, and every year, I leave encouraged and strengthened to continue my own ministry. Â
Stevens: Is there a hobby outside of your music ministry you enjoy that the readers might find intriguing?Â
Allen:Â I love to sew. My interest in sewing began a few years ago when I had an idea for a cosmetic bag that was white on the outside and bright and colorful on the inside. It carries the message that real beauty comes from within. I have sold these bags across the country. My sewing skills are still young, but I would like to eventually design unique, modest clothing. I believe we can point people to God even with the type of clothing we choose to wear. I would love to demonstrate that belief with clothing specifically designed to honor God.Â
Stevens: Is there a book you are currently reading or recently have read that has impacted your life?
Allen: I recently finished reading, â€œIf I Perish,â€ an autobiography on the life of Esther Ahn Kim. She was a Korean Christian who spent six years in a Japanese prison during World War II because of her faith. As an American, I am protected from the type of persecution she suffered. While this is a great blessing, it also comes with its disadvantages. I have never experienced the power and grace of God the way Esther Ahn Kim did. Though her trials were great, her God was greater.Â
Stevens: Is there a scripture you consider to be your life verse?
Allen:Â One of my favorites is Psalm 61:2 â€¦ â€œFrom the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.â€Â A life of ministry can be crazy and stressful. I love this verse, because it reminds me that when I am overwhelmed with the pressures of life, God is my Solid Rock. I can cry out to Him no matter where I am, and He will lead me to Himself. Â
Stevens: Since Iâ€™ve had the privilege to travel to Uganda with your family and share your heart for this country, Iâ€™d love for the readers to better understand what your role is behind the scenes in this missions outreach. Also, describe what this ministry means to you personally.
Allen:Â The mission work in Uganda is literally at the heart of everything we do. I am deeplyÂ passionate about ministering to teenagers and young adults. Last summer, while in Uganda, I was privileged to lead, with my brother, a leadership conference for young adults where I taughtÂ several young women how to be leaders in their generation. I am also very involved in a program we started called the Straightway Education Project to protect girls from trafficking. Ugandan girls are very much at risk for trafficking. By enabling teenage girls to stay in school, the Straightway Education Project protects them from that risk. Additionally, I am the accountant for our ministry. I know that sounds boring, but it is essential to the efficiency and integrity of the ministry. I am blessed that God has given me the opportunity to be involved in His work. He truly is an awesome God.
Closing thoughts from Erin Stevensâ€¦
I told you that reaching people and shining the light of Christ is at the center of everything she does. You never know what corner of the world you were meant to reach. Wherever God has called you, I urge you to live the life He gave you as vivaciously and passionately as Danielle Allen endeavors to live hers. May we be challenged to answer the call. â€œSpeak Lord, for your servant is listening.â€
And thatâ€™s my take on it.
Until next month, Scoops fans.
Connect with Erin on Twitter at @photosforkeeps and on Instagram at @photos_for_keeps.
By Erin Stevens
First published by SGNScoops Magazine April 2018.
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