Blake and Lindsay Allen experienced a mission trip similar to many within their church. Traveling to a foreign country, feeding people, sharing the gospel, etc. God completely changed the course of their lives through their obedient act of service and being willing to answer the call to “go.”
It is not just about having a new perspective. It is about allowing God to have total control even at the expense of comfort and that is what makes their story unique.
In the summer of 2012, the Allen’s went on a mission’s trip to Rwanda and Ethiopia visiting orphanages and orphan care ministries. They went on this trip with expectant hearts that God would move in their lives but did not anticipate the kind of impact it would have on them.
Lindsay encountered a powerful moment revealing to her the depth and desperateness of poverty. While at a ministry site located in the city dump, she helped serve food to children in the ministry’s feeding program. Afterward, she was asked to help carry a large pot with only a few small morsels of leftover food from one building to another through the street. The mob affect became very real. Before she knew it, there were hundreds of people pressing on her, pulling at her hair, clothes and bowl just to try to get scraps of food. The crowd grew so thick, when she finally reached her destination, she rescued a young boy as he was being trampled.
The type of “third world story” about people begging for food to the point of death became very real to her in that moment. People were screaming, “EAT! PLEASE EAT!” This is the kind of situation most people would try to avoid but God placed Lindsay in this position and allowed her to experience real poverty and hunger in a way most Christians will never experience.
Lindsay said, “Afterward, my heart felt so heavy. I cried into Blake’s shoulder and told my teammates what I had seen. We all cried together. I realized that God had answered my prayer. I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His, and that is exactly what He did.”
In order for the Holy Spirit to work in one’s life, often times there is a significant event that completely breaks a person. There is a common analogy that explains, when a person finds himself or herself in a pit so deep they have no way out, God is the one who can pull them out.
“When I looked into those kid’s eyes, I saw my own sin. I had never really prayed for these people, never clothed, never sheltered or fed them. But Jesus died for these people. I knew my life would never be the same,” she said.
God used this extremely uncomfortable circumstance to mold Lindsay’s heart to the calling on her life to love these people. Observing the model that Jesus laid before us on how we are to love others is different from actually living out that model. Often times, it is out of our comfort zone where we grow.
Blake says that while they were on mission they thought about James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” While they were praying this scripture, it become real to them and God began doing an incredible work in their lives.
Because of the life change brought about on their trip, Lindsay quit her dream job as a choir teacher in order to work as a Project Manager for World Orphans, which is a 100% support-raised salary position. Lindsay is using her talents and resources to make Jesus’ name great.
“We have also partnered with a ministry on the ground in Rwanda and run a 130+ child sponsorship program that cares for them in a holistic way…,” Blake said. “This cross-cultural partnership has been the toughest thing we have ever done.”
God has now led Blake and Lindsay to another, even greater adventure: adopting a child from Burundi. God has used both of them to build His kingdom here in the U.S. and internationally. Now, He is building their immediate family through their faith in Him.
The transformation to where they are now did not happen overnight. It has been a four-year process with ups, downs and everything in between. The call on their lives was immediate but God’s plan flows on His time. According to Lindsay, when you ask God to break your heart for what breaks His, He will do it.
When we stay within our comfort zones, we prevent God’s will from transforming our lives. When we allow Him to lead us, we will never be the same.
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