This is the first unit of Hope Children’s Village, our orphanage in Uganda, Africa. Our ministry has been partnering with Ugandan nationals to do great things for God in Uganda. You can learn more about my family’s mission work in Uganda, and about the country itself at our new website that I helped build: www.buildingwithhope.com
The pastor whom we work with in Uganda, his name is Sam, was in a very serious motorcycle accident yesterday. Sam was driving on his motorcycle and another man, whom witnesses say was trying to show off for his girlfriend, hit Sam’s cycle with the one he was driving. Now, at this point, no one was seriously hurt, but the two men were sitting on their cycles and things were getting heated between them. Then, from nowhere, another motorcycle crashed into both of them.
The last we knew, Sam was unconscious and taken to a hospital nearby. The hospital said that he may have broken ribs, a possible concussion of some kind, and a broken wrist. He also may have some internal bleeding in his head. However, this hospital didn’t have an X-Ray machine or a CT scanner. While Sam was at the hospital, his wife, Ruth called our missionaries on the field there in Uganda, the Sutton Family, and they immediately went to be with Sam at the hospital.
Since that hospital didn’t have the proper equipment to help Sam the Suttons drove him to a hospital that did. But the power wasn’t working at that hospital, and they didn’t have a generator to power their X-Ray machine or CT scanner. So, the Suttons drove Sam back to the other hospital, which did have a generator, but just didn’t have any of the proper equipment. Currently, they’re waiting for the power to return, and the hospital with the generator is keeping Sam stable.
Mom did get an email from Sam yesterday afternoon, so he is conscious, he thinks he has broken ribs, he says his head hurts, and his left wrist hurts as well. The situation isn’t good, but it could be worse. Keep Sam in your prayers as you pray for the ministry work going on in Uganda, Africa.
You can find out more about the Suttons and their ministry in Uganda at www.suttonsonmission.org and you can follow our ministry page on Facebook for more updates on Sam.
Hi! This is Jared again, and I’m excited to share that we have begun the construction on our new bus! Here’s is what we did the first day. This is what the inside of the bus looks like currently. This is where we start our building project. It’s not much to look at, but it’s a whole lot to work with.
These pictures are from day one. We layed the groundwork, literally. Day one was all about ripping out the old, rotted floor so that we could lay down the new floor. However, when I say “floor”, I really mean the plywood surface upon which the floor will be built.
When we got there, the original wood flooring was covered with a thick material cover and looked something like this:
However, once we cut and peeled that back and got underneath to the wood, it was rotted to splinters. So we took hammers and tore the front floor to pieces. During which, it looked something like this:
It took a long while to rip all of the bad wood out and find the bolts and such, then remove them. It was almost perfect, the front boards were rotted and we could’ve just removed them. But the rot had spread to the edge of boards farther back, this required the use of a buzz saw.
But, after the major destruction was done, cleanup began. The front is no longer rotten, neither is it piled with splinters and chunks of wood. It actually looks a lot more like this:
all cleaned up and ready for the plywood to be layed down. This will be done On day 2, because we ran out of time in day 1. This is the bus. This is the work. I’ll keep you updated with pictures and posts, stayed tuned for a crazy, bus building adventure!
Hello again, this is Jared. It’s good to be back on the blog again. For those of you who don’t know, I recently began a personal blog: click here to visit it and see what I’ve been up to.
As many of you know, our family’s annual mission trip to Uganda, Africa is literally a few days away. I am the official journalist for the trip, and for all practical purposes, I will be posting updates to my personal blog.
If you would like to keep up with the events of the trip so that you can be better informed on how to pray for this mission, or if you’re interested in the work going on there and would like to know more, you can do so by following my blog.
I hope you will all remember to pray for the Allen family and our work in Uganda. Until next time, this is Jared Allen, signing off.
Happy New Year! A brand new year has begun, and we have some exciting news for you.
The first unit of our orphanage in Uganda was finally completed to the government’s satisfaction, and permission was given for the first twelve children and two matrons to be moved in. So, our Hope Children spent their first Christmas in their new home, and it was probably the best Christmas they had ever had; That night, they went to bed with their stomachs full, probably for the first time in a long time. They each slept on a real bed, with their own blanket and a mosquito net.
There is an incredible change in these children already in the short time they have been living at Hope Children’s Village. The best part is knowing we are providing these children with their physical, emotional and spiritual needs; we are their link to hope. One day, they will be making a difference in their country for the glory of God.
Thank you for your prayers and support of our ministry. May the Lord bless you richly!
“Home Sweet Bus”
We are so excited to finally be able to tell you the air date for the pilot episode of our new TV show on TLC! The name of the show is “Home Sweet Bus” and the pilot will air on Tuesday, October 28 at 10 pm EST. Help us spread the word and tell your family, friends, and churches to be watching. As always, thank you for your prayers for our family. God is doing great things and we can’t wait to see what He does next!
-The Allen Family-
We hosted a golf tournament just a few days ago in Grand Haven, MI as a fundraiser for Uganda -more specifically, the water filters we distribute there. It was a huge success, and went above our expectations. Overall, the proceeds collected cover the cost of seventy water filters. That’s pretty amazing. We would like to extend a special thank you to our good friends the Millers. Had it not been for their planning and hard work, this golf tournament most likely would not have happened; and for all those who donated and participated, we are so grateful. Now, for the pictures:
Well I’m sure you’re all curious about the layout of the first unit of Hope Children’s Village, so I made an executive decision to post some pictures for you. Enjoy.
Well, friends, it’s good to be back on the blog. Life has been a little chaotic lately, especially since we returned from Uganda. The past few weeks we have been trying to catch up on ministry work and blogging and the like. Wednesday afternoon, we dropped Mom off at the Lansing airport to catch a flight to Missouri where she is visiting Caleb and his family and getting some dental work done. The rest of us are hanging out in Michigan awaiting her return on Saturday. We’ve just been catching up on life; you know, sleep, school, work, concerts, etc. After Michigan we will be heading to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and beyond. I don’t have much to say in this post, I just wanted to give you a bit of an update on where we are and what we are doing. I also want to say thank you all so much for your prayers and support towards our 2014 Uganda mission trip. This year’s trip was the best one yet. It is just incredible to see the work God is doing in the country of Uganda, and even more amazing knowing He counts us worthy to be spokesmen for Him. When we go on mission trips, I am taken way out of my comfort zone, because we bring in these teams and I am forced to take the lead in some areas I am not used to leading in. But let me tell you all that it does not matter how unworthy or incapable you may feel, God can use you. No matter where you are at, He can and will use you to further His kingdom if you make yourself willing and available to answer His calling on your life. It’s funny, I could get up to speak in front of a group of people over there in Uganda, my knees shaking, so nervous I could hardly think straight. But as I began to speak to them about the love God has for them, I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit in such an awesome way. I found that He could work through my twisted, tongue-tied mess of words to speak to those people; to say the words that they needed to hear. I have no problem getting up in front of a large crowd of people and singing my heart out, but when it comes to speaking to a large crowd of people, I go into a state of semi-panic. I am always relieved when it’s over and I can breathe again. However, even when we got back from Uganda, at one of our first concerts back home, Mom asked if any of us would like to say a little about our trip on stage for the mission segment. I didn’t want to, but I volunteered myself for some reason. I got up on stage and I honestly could not tell you what I said, but when I finished and took a seat, I could see tears in the eyes of people in the audience mirroring my own and I knew that somehow, someway, God was able to use my nervous wreck of a speech to touch the hearts of those people. So no matter where you are at today, God wants to use you, and He will if you only surrender your will to His. It takes total sacrifice, but nothing could be more worth it. Keep serving The Lord. Thank you all once again and God bless!
Posts for the last two weeks of our work in Uganda were scheduled to go out before we left the U.S. based upon our schedule for the mission trip and what we believed would be accomplished while we were there. During the last couple of days in Uganda, it became obvious to us that the first unit of Hope Children’s Village would not be completed while we were there, and the children would not be able to move in. However, the unit should be complete within the next week or so, and we are very excited about future plans. We were able to meet the children and spend a whole day playing with them and getting to know them. On our final Sunday in Uganda, we had a special time of dedication and prayer for the children and widows who will move in soon, and also for all those who will be housed on the property in years to come. God’s presence was very near as we stood inside the partially finished home and joined hands with the Ugandans to ask God’s blessing on this great work. Please continue to pray for the completion of the first unit and all funds necessary to make it a reality.
The following statistics are to show you some of what the medical team has been up to. Robert Yarber is the head of the medical team, and by trade he is an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. His team has been working like a machine the entire trip. The first day alone they saw 39 patients and Dr. Yarber performed 5 surgeries. The following day he performed 22 surgeries, mostly tonsillectomies. Every day since, up to yesterday, has been just as jam-packed and grueling, if not more so; and those are some pretty impressive stats. I have yet to visit the hospital, but, then again, I’ve never been too fond of getting sick.
A day after arrival at the construction site, the workers recognized Andrew as the Forman, and a man named Richard became his friend as they worked closely on several projects. From Richard, Andrew learned that a good portion of the crew were Christians, or at least they knew enough to fake it rather well. Actually, three of the workers Richard himself had led to the cross where they met The Lord.
The Ugandan Forman’s name is Ibrahim, and he is a Muslim, –which in Uganda is grouped into the Christian moniker– so be in prayer for the salvation of Ibrahim, and the other workers on the site here.
As this blog, in its current state is a collection of seemingly random stories from the trip, here’s one I heard from my uncle David about a conversation he had with one of the Ugandan workers.
Preface: In Uganda they have what is known “Bride Price”. When a man wishes to marry another man’s
daughter, both men will agree on a Bride Price. Often, it is an unseemly high price, amounting in several cows, pigs, goats, chickens, and on occasion, includes money. The currency among the average villager in Uganda, is livestock. A cow being worth the most, a chicken, the least. The villagers trade, pay for things with, and purchase these animals for self dependent food, as well as trading tools. A lot of cows is a sign of social status, although the majority of the people are very poor, as Uganda is yet a developing 3rd world country. Thus, any livestock above a pig or goat would be scarce to find in most village households. So when a Bride Price includes more than one cow and several goats, it could be literal years until it was paid off. Some couples are celebrating there 10th or 15th wedding anniversary and the husband has not yet completed the payment of his Bride Price. This being said, enjoy:
As the story was told me, he (David)
was working alongside Andrew Sutton, the American Forman of the construction site, and David’s son-in-law, as a dog’s body(a man who did the bidding of another, much like a dog does the will of his master.). He did mostly odd jobs: calling for mortar, making sure Andrew had whatever he needed, and instructing others to do things that needed to be done.
As he was awaiting instruction from Andrew of what needed doing next, he struck up a conversation with one of the Ugandan workers. A conversation that ran something like this:
W(worker): How many cows do you have to pay for your bride in America?
D(David): No cows. We do not pay cows for our brides in America.
W: Then what do you pay?
D: Nothing. We do not pay for our brides. The woman’s father pays for the wedding.
W: I am going to America!
This happened a second time when the man asked about American wages.
W: How much do you get paid in America?
David have him a low estimate.
D: Seven dollars and fifty cents.
W: Per hour?!
D: Per hour.
W: I am going to America! I will be very rich!
We all had a good laugh about that one. In the next post, I’ll tell you about how Dad and Uncle David got in prison.
Until next time, Jared Allen signing off.