Welcome to The Joinville Project blog

The James Allen Family, Missionaries to Brazil since 1991.
Home Church: Victory Baptist Church of Loganville, GA. http://www.getvictoryinyourlife.com/

Mission Board: Macedonia World Baptist Missions Inc.

"Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;" Romans 15:30 KJV

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The James and Soraia Allen Family, celebrating nineteen years on the mission field

A short missionary story... For the sake of some context, I want to include some highlights as I share this story with you. I was born September 7, 1968 in Atlanta Georgia, to Missionaries Phillip and Charlotte Allen. I trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of seven, in a Sunday service at the Bible Baptist Tabernacle, in Monroe Georgia, and was later baptized there. I was ten years old when I first felt God dealing with my heart about serving Him, but it was only until I was eighteen years old that I surrendered to the call to preach and to missions while in a mission’s conference at the church my father started in São Sebastião do Paraíso, Minas Gerais, Brazil. I met my wife Soraia at this same church, where she trusted Christ as her Savior on Wednesday night February 25, 1987. She was 16 years old, and about four months later, she too was led by the Lord into missions work in the same conference in which I surrendered. We both served the Lord together under the very able leadership of my parents. During this time we also completed six months of Bible training in the Independent Baptist Institute, a ministry of the church started by a dear missionary named Jimmy Rose, in the city of Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. On July 16, 1988, after being engaged for six months, Soraia and I became one in marriage. One year later, in 1989, we went to the United States to begin our formal training and preparation for the ministry of missions. We became active in our home church, working in the bus ministry, visitation, and children’s church. As we began night classes in Bible College, I worked a full time job and Soraia was busy learning English and caring for our first child, Matthew Scott, born on January 3, 1990, changing our lives forever. We were accepted as second generation missionaries by Macedonia World Baptist Missions, on December 17, 1991. Not long after, on May 27, 1992, our twin girls, Melissa Sadie and Sabrina Ruby were born prematurely, bringing unspeakable joy into our lives for a short moment, and then bringing on one of the darkest days imaginable as Melissa passed away just seventeen and a half hours after her birth. For the next two and a half months Sabrina remained in the neonatal unit at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia and on Saturday August 8, 1992, she also died. With God’s help, we continued our studies and miraculously graduated from Gwinnett Hall Baptist Bible College on April 30, 1993, and then I was ordained into the Gospel Ministry on May 16, 1993. At this time we had already begun deputation, and on October 13, 1993 our daughter Priscilla Renee was born, bringing new life to our home. And so, after presenting our call and burden for the Brazilian people in over three hundred Baptist churches over the course of two years and eight months, being commissioned by our Home Church, Victory Baptist in Loganville, Georgia, on July 30, 1995, it was with great joy and contentment that on August 3, 1995, we left for the field of our calling. And on August 4, 1995 my wife and I with our two small children arrived back in Brazil, South America. For the first eight years we worked in various ministries with my parents in the state of Minas Gerais. Then on February 17, 2003, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, both my family and I and my parents moved to the southern state of Brazil named Santa Catarina, to start a new church plant in that states most populous city, named Joinville. Shortly after starting the new work, my parents continued the ministry so my family and I could return to the US for our much needed second furlough, beginning in July, 2003. It was at this time that I discovered that I had testicular cancer. As you can imagine, this brought on a whirlwind of emotions along with a barrage of doctors visits, exams, surgery and then chemotherapy. Meanwhile, my mother was suffering physical problems in Brazil as well and underwent surgery on the back part of her neck, even having to cut a piece of her skull. Others near to us were also going through deep heartaches at this time. But through it all, we received godly counsel and were overwhelmed by love and support from dear friends and family from far and near, and this became also a time of unequaled peace in knowing that God has everything under control. “Thou wilt keep {him} in perfect peace, {whose} mind {is} stayed {on thee}: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH {is} everlasting strength:” Isaiah 26:3-4 So with a clean bill of health, and the “peace of God which passeth all understanding” as well as a renewed commitment to our calling, we returned to the field in July of 2004 to continue the work started in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. It was here, that the Lord gave us two more wonderful children; our daughter Stephanie Jean, born September 26, 2005, and our son James Franklin Kent, born October 18, 2007. In keeping to the short story title, I´ll just say that God has so graciously allowed us to work with some amazing people, and in some fantastic places, in evangelism, in the establishing of churches, teaching in Bible institute, training leaders, working in church camps, bus ministries, children’s church, youth groups, adult Sunday School, and many other ministries in which we have pursued to accomplish the Great Commission given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, {even} unto the end of the world. Amen.” I must say that He has always been with us, even in the good and happy times and most assuredly through the sad and lonely days. His promise is always true, for He is ever with us, of this I am sure. I am eternally grateful to my wife and children, to my parents and siblings, and my extended family for supporting and encouraging me. I am also grateful to my former pastors; Mickey Oliver and Steve Sparks, as well as to my pastor, Derik Lawrence, for his guidance and counsel along the way. Such gratefulness extends to every pastor, missionary, church and individual that has had and is having a part in this amazing adventure. This is your story and I could never repay you. My hope and prayer is that God will grant me strength and courage to stay faithful to the task at hand. I thank God for the incredible opportunity to serve Him in Brazil for the past nineteen years. Every mistake, weakness and error done, belongs to me. If there be any glory or honor, it all belongs to Him. He is forever worthy! "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;" 1 Timothy 1:12 "This {is} a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." 1 Timothy 1:15 As I look back, I am encouraged and comforted by the assurance of Gods constant presence. As I look forward, I am challenged and excited about what God has in store for us as we seek to remain in Him and in His calling with all of our heart. I thank God for those who are faithfully remaining with us in this commitment, without which we could not be here right now. James Allen August 7, 2014, Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil