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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Sincerely Liz!

It was a special joy to me to  have my son and his family along with us on a trip to  Nepal. Taking a two year old and a pregnant woman on the long air travel and the hard ground travel in a country like  Nepal  might not seem like the best idea. Why did we do it?  Well, I love them and I wanted them to see the work that we do.  And-- my daughter in law is a professional photographer. We will be using the spectacular photos she took on this trip for literally years to come.

See her web site at

This is the littlest short- term missionary who has ever made the trip with us.  If she can do it, so can you.

What doth hinder thee from joining a mission trip?

See for yourself what the Lord is doing in another country and be a part of it.

To the Ends of the Earth

Taking the gospel to the ends of the earth includes cities and valleys, mountains and remote villages.  It includes places that are physically difficult to travel and  politically difficult to reach. At  Allow, we are doing the best we can to cover the places the Lord has put before us. In  October 2014, we  took our medical team to some villages that required driving through creek beds-- not dry creek beds, but VERY wet ones.  In the rainy season, these people would not be accessible at all.   But on this day, the doctor for their  physical needs and the Scripture for their spiritual needs came to a village where visitors  are rare.  What will happen with the seeds planted on this day?  Only time will show us and maybe not even that-- but we did our jobs that day.  It was long and hot and busy.  My back was aching and I was dead tired at the end of the day.   But it was one of the best kind of " tireds" that there is and I hope to have many more of them.

Sunday Cook with her Great Grandmother, Lila Koerner.

Pictured here are two women who are very important to me.  They are the oldest and the youngest members of our family.  My mother will be 95 in  December and my youngest granddaughter is not yet three.  As I spend this evening catching up some blog posts,  I am thinking about the long travel which will soon be upon me and the days I  invest yearly for this ministry the Lord has given.  Days with these two and all of our family are very precious and fleeting. Please pray for me as I seek the best balance among all the needs  of others in my life and the simple pleasures of sharing their lives. 

Medical Clinics in Nepal 2014

As I write this entry,  I am preparing to return to Nepal, less than a month since  the trip to  Burundi, Africa.  I am feeling a significant sense of urgency.  In actual fact, everything is on schedule, but  the departure day rushes towards me.  The medical clinics are a very important part of our ministry. It is perhaps the most effective, focused evangelism that we do.    As the people wait to see the doctor, our team has teachers telling the gospel  story with a flip chart of  Bible pictures.  Pastors move through the people-- meeting them, talking with them, building relationships that will bring them back  to the church later on. They pray with those who are open to that-- and many are.  At night,  the big screen goes up and the  Jesus video is shown over and over to people who  sit fully  focused on the story. We bring medical care to people who might-- because of distance and inability to pay-- never see a doctor.  Their  spiritual needs are just as great as the physical needs and for those who are ready to receive it-- the need is filled. The churches  grow after the medical clinics have some to their  village. Seeing the doctor, gives  a Hindu a reason to step into the church.  He meets the pastor and he gets some needed care and medicine from the doctor. At the end of the day, we have distributed a lot of vitamins, acetaminophen, antibiotic ointments and antacids. Most of the complaints are not life threatening-- but we usually do screen some  conditions that need  serious or ongoing treatment and we refer them to places where they can receive help with at least the first step in the process done.  Medical clinics are busy and tiring, but very satisfying to know that the Lord will multiply and use the investment  for His glory. 

Allow Ministry in Burundi, Africa

Burundi is a small and very poor country in southern  Africa. It has been a part of  Allow ministry for many years, but it is time now for  Michael and me to step up our involvement.   We sponsor children in a school for the  deaf and a school for the blind. We fund individual teaching sessions for Timothy  Bible  School in order to invest training in pastors.  And-- there is a delightful ministry called, "Rainbow Center," that  looks for foster grandmothers to care for orphaned and abandoned babies.  We sponsor the babies which greatly enhances the chances of a woman accepting them for care.
The weather in  Burundi was cool and very comfortable during our visit in  September 2014.  We enjoyed getting to know the  Burundi partners and the  American missionaries live and serve on the compound. We saw all of the  schools and other ministries in  progress  and updated our sponsorship records.  A member of our team  taught a session in the Timothy Bible School and three men  traveled to a more remote village area  to teach and preach for three days. Many  needs were apparent, yet the partners made good use of the resources they had.  It was a joy to see and learn of the growth over recent years and the vision for the future. Please pray for this little nation.  It has suffered war and poverty. It is land locked and surrounded by all kinds of threats-- but the  Lord is drawing out a people for His Name from  Burundi.

Sharing the Word with Guatemala

Guatemala is a regular destination for  Allow.  In June 2014, a team  traveled to the Central  American country and invested another week to serving and discipling.  After making trips to  Africa and  Asia, it is amazing to think about how close this country is to the United  States.  We built a kitchen to be used by the  Elder Home on the mission compound and also for preparing meals for the feeding centers.  We helped care for handicapped children. We taught God's Word in the orphanage and in churches and in the villages. 

Children of Ghana

Allow  The  Children has expanded to the west African nation of Ghana.  We made the initial trips in  January  to see whether there was something compatible with  Allow.  There WAS.  We found a  school ministry, managed and funded under a local  church. Like  our other ministries, there are strong believers  working who know how to reach and minister to their own people. Allow stepped in and funded  some remodeling of the small kitchen to enable better nutrition. Better food means better attendance.  We  provided uniforms for the children who  were not able to buy them.  We  provided books and consumable materials.  And-- we have set up a  sponsorship program to give some ongoing  financial help to this  school.  In return, we are expecting to see some educated and  gospel grounded Ghananian believers rising up from among  beggars and street venders and vegetable sellers.   

One of our board members and two members from his church traveled to Ghana in  June 2014.  They  taught and preached, worked on a building project, visited in homes and distributed gifts and school supplies to the children. 

New staff missionary for Allow

Allow The Children welcomes  Jannah  Cooter to our missionary staff.  She can paint and teach in the same day, with barely a break between the two!  Jannah will be helping  with the office work, and also with trips into our ministry countries.  She will be working on our projects, teaching the children, managing the sponsorship program and  helping with all of the tasks that make this ministry happen.

Jannah's words:  I cannot express my excitement and thankfulness to be an official Allow The Children missionary. I'm so grateful that Mrs.Cook asked me to volunteer 4 years ago. Many of you have supported me spiritually and financially as I have gone on mission trips that made my love for Allow the Children grow & I am beyond thankful! Please pray for me as I continue to learn in the U.S. office as well as out of the country & as I begin raising support for my ministry.