Karen O. Allen
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Ministry / Missions

> Ewe R Blessed Ministries
> "The Comfort of His Holiness" CD
> Mentoring
> Native American Missions
> India Missions

Ewe R Blessed Ministries

 

Sheep"We are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand." (Psalm 95:7)

Ewe R Blessed Ministries is a developing ministry meant to bring comfort and reassurance to those facing crisis. Whether the crisis is from cancer, other health-related concerns, mental illness, death, childlessness, loneliness, disability, or something else, we all need a word of encouragement. As a speaker and/or singer, I welcome the opportunity to share about how we are blessed by the grace of God and can bring blessing to others through a faithful relationship to Him. The Psalms contain numerous descriptions of who is blessed such as the one who "takes refuge in the Lord" (Psalm 34:8) and "possesses the strength of the Lord" (Psalm 84:5). Psalm 146:5 describes the root of our blessings as coming from our "help and hope in God."

Not only are we blessed by God and can serve as a blessing to others, but we are His sheep. My ministry is aptly named because of the significance of sheep in my spiritual life. When I went to Ireland with my family to visit the roots of my Irish heritage, sheep were everywhere. I love sheep. Sheep became even more relevant to me when I had cancer. I could easily compare myself to the sheep-like characteristics of needing guidance, protection, and provision. But the caste sheep is my favorite sheep-like characteristic. This is the sheep that falls and rolls onto its back, feet dangling in the air, unable to right itself. Without the shepherd's intervention, death is imminent. If you are like me, there are many times I feel like the caste sheep and need to be rescued by my shepherd.

I have since grown to love the analogies of sheep in our everyday lives. The sheep-like characteristics we exhibit make us needy creatures. Like sheep, we must depend upon the Sovereign Lord, our shepherd, to meet our every need, every day. This is the basis of my ministry. "I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day (Ezekiel 34:12)."

I am available to come to your church, cancer support group, women's event, or retreat center to lead my Bible study, Confronting Cancer with Faith. However, Ewe R Blessed Ministries is not limited to just cancer concerns but is also about how faith can pull us through the tough times.

Complementing my local ministry is my national missions work with the Native Americans and my international missions work in India. I would be pleased to share with your group my passion in these unique areas of service. Other speaking topics include: mentoring, ministering to those with chronic pain and offering encouragement to those from dysfunctional backgrounds. For more information, contact Karen Allen at karen@confrontingcancerwithfaith.com.

"The Comfort of His Holiness" CD

"Our comfort is abundant through Christ." (II Corinthians 1:5)

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"The Comfort of His Holiness" CD is a compilation of seventeen contemporary Christian songs and instrumental arrangements used to provide reassurance during times of crisis (not just cancer). The CD was borne out of the comfort I personally received through my trials with cancer. The songs reminded me of God's abiding presence. In my book Confronting Cancer with Faith the CD is referenced in Lesson 13 titled "The Shepherd's Comfort."

As traumatic life-changing events occur in our lives, we may find the need to grasp a helping hand to gently guide us back to the place of God's comfort especially when He may feel so far away. The selections on this CD are a musical depiction of the "baby steps" needed to be taken to come into full recognition of the comfort only God can bring. It will move you from acceptance to brokenness, to prayer and joy and ultimately to praise. You will find yourself immersed in the message as you listen and recognize your own journey of faith, moving forward and backwards in the steps towards God's holy comfort.

"The Comfort of His Holiness" CD is not just for cancer patients and their loved ones although testimonies of inspiration have certainly sprung forth from these individuals. This CD has brought comfort to the grieving, the sorrowful, the imprisoned, and the anxious of heart. People from as far away as India, South Africa, and Burma have been touched by this anointed CD. Whatever your intent, I hope you will find the comfort of His holiness in your life.

You may purchase the CD for a donation of $10 which includes shipping and handling. Your donation will be used to support Ewe R Blessed Ministries. To request a CD, email Karen at karen@confrontingcancerwithfaith.com or write: 5101 South Broken Bow Dirve, Birmingham, AL 35242. Make checks payable to: Karen Allen.

Mentoring

Picture"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works." (Hebrews 10:24)

I never saw myself as a mentor until about eleven years ago when I met a young woman who asked me to be her "discipleship teacher." I accepted the challenge, writing many daily devotionals specific to her needs. Her dark eyes, full of pain then, have now brightened with hope and purpose.

My relationship with this young woman and others has brought mutual blessings through prayer, love, and encouragement. I am privileged to offer Christian support and be a part of the ups and downs of a woman's life. Time and again I have experienced the miraculous blessings of God through this ministry. Because my husband and I have no children of our own, I find great joy in sharing the love of God through the lives of other women. I was privileged to share my mentoring insights in an article published in the Christian LifeStyle magazine.

On a more professional level, I have become a mentor for employees in my workplace who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The Courage Network developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham is composed of fellow breast cancer survivors who connect, encourage, and inspire employees to thrive through adversity. It has been a rewarding complement to my personal and spiritual mentoring.

Native American Missions

"For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." (Revelation 5:9)

pictureIn 2007 I had the pleasure of participating in the first ever Nebraska Native American Women's Retreat. This has become an annual missions event for the women of First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. I was able to return in April 2009 after missing the second retreat. Native American participation has grown each year reaching beyond the Nebraska borders into South Dakota. Below is an article I wrote providing greater insight into this ministry effort. For more information regarding how you can help support the Native American ministry, contact Ron and Alpha Goombi at All Nations Ministries (allnations@cox.net).

 

 

 

 

Bridging the Gap
by Karen O. Allen

For eighteen years Alpha Goombi had a dream and a prayer for the Native American women of Nebraska. A Native American herself, Alpha knows the brokenness women of her culture face. Alpha and her husband, Ron, have worked as missionaries for over twenty years to bring the hope of Christ to the reservations of Nebraska and surrounding states. "It's an overwhelming task with a slow response," says Alpha. Still the passion burned within her to have a Christian women's retreat, but she needed a church partner open to learning the nuances of the Native Americans and willing to address difficult issues.

pictureAlpha found her church while attending a Missions Conference at First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. She shared her dream with church member Karen Ott, who assumed the role as retreat coordinator, recruiting a team of fourteen mission-minded women. On May 4, 2007, Alpha's prayer was answered as the first Nebraska Native American Women's Retreat was held in Fremont, Nebraska.

The weekend retreat was attended by fifteen Native American women, who were greeted with a welcome bag and decorative nametag before being given a manicure and skin care treatment. Later a Native American meal of bison stew and frybread was prepared followed by Bible study, music, and worship. A study Bible was presented to each Native American present. They cradled their new Bible with pride, some holding it up to their face to smell their new leather-bound treasure.

Stirring testimonies, door prizes, prayer, crafts, and challenging break-out sessions dotted the weekend. Session topics included how to study the Bible and Scripture memorization as well as navigating the legal system, managing diabetes, sexual purity, and dealing with discouragement. A favorite was craft time. It was a time of fun, camaraderie, creativity, laughter, and singing. Take-home crafts included faith bracelets, picture frames, and a heart-shaped box filled with God's promises. The Native Americans bonded not only with the women of First Baptist but also with the women from other tribes. Cultural barriers and stigmas were replaced with love, trust, and forgiveness.

pictureAt the close of the retreat, hugs and tears, signing of Bibles, and contact information was exchanged. The women left with renewed faith united as sisters in Christ, vowing to come again next year and bring a friend. And they did. Twenty-nine Native American women from twelve tribes came to the second women's retreat held in 2008 and 40 came in 2009. Friendships were rekindled and prayer partners were formed as the love of Christ was deepened in the hearts of all participants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India Missions

"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, 'I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.'" (John 8:12)

pictureIndia is a country of over 1 billion people with only about 2% Christians. There are numerous people groups within India that have never heard the name of Jesus. One of them is located in the northeast corner in the state of Assam. In 2006 our church adopted this group to bring the word of Christ into their villages. Several representatives including my husband have visited the area on numerous occasions to show the Jesus video in the Assamese language. Because of the positive response, we decided to host a conference to bring all of the villagers together to teach them more about discipleship. The first conference was held in September 2008.

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My involvement became one of musical leadership for the conference. It was a challenge to work with the language barrier and cultural differences, but God worked through me to foster a spirit of unity as we sang. I learned to play an Indian instrument, the harmonium, an organ-like instrument pumped by hand. I also found myself teaching the Indians how to play other instruments such as drums, tambourines, and wood blocks. One of the greatest thrills for me during the conference was to break through the barriers of intimidation and see the Assamese men and women praising God as they sang and played. I know the smiles on the shy women's beautiful faces were a precious sight to God.

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The conference was held again in March 2009 to accommodate the rice season and avoid the rainy season. Again, God did a mighty work. I had the humble privilege to help lead the music again, even singing some songs in Assamese. My mother, Margaret O'Kelley of Sylacauga, Alabama, also served on the team as did my husband, Parky, who served as our technical expert. We hope to eventually plant a church along with our national partners in at least one of the remote villages.

I am honored to be actively on mission in India through my church and also through the work of TLA (Transforming Leaders in Asia) where Parky and I serve on the Board of Directors. This ministry focuses upon spreading the gospel through training Indian leaders and pastors. Please visit the TLA website at tlaministries.org to learn more about this vital ministry.

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As a TLA Board member, I was privileged to return to India in November 2009 as a featured speaker at the Baptist Women’s Fellowship of Northeast India held in Imphal, Manipur. What an honor to stand before 200 women and share about how to suffer with faith. An unexpected opportunity came when I also shared my testimony and sang at the Sunday morning service in front of 1,000 people!

In addition to my primary purpose, I spoke and sang at two churches, a hostel, a hospital, and a college retreat in Guwahati, Assam. Each encounter was unique. God is truly at work in India.

 

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Although I didn't initially plan to, I returned to India in August 2010. Once again the mission incorporated new adventures. This time the focus was upon the women and children. We conducted a 2-day retreat for two different groups of women while the children met separately. The women enjoyed instructional teachings, crafts, music, and of course, internationally-acclaimed homegrown Assamese tea at tea time. The children had a blast with activities and games intermingled with biblical instruction. It was the first time that most of the children had seen an American! I learned more about the Indian culture and even tried to eat rice and dahl (an Indian staple of a spicy lentil soup) the Indian way - with my fingers.

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