Sisters of the Faith: Allison

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Today we're happy to share an interview we did with Allison.  We pray that you will be blessed and encouraged as you hear what the Lord has done in her life!

 photo Allison_zps41dabef6.jpgAllison, share with us how and when you started living for Christ.

I accepted Christ one night after Awana when I was 6 years old, and God has been working in my life faithfully throughout all my years as His follower (though I haven't always been so faithful). My dad is a pastor, so I grew up in the church, often among the first to arrive and the last to leave every Sunday. I lived a sheltered childhood, which I am thankful for, and my parents worked hard to help me establish a firm foundation of faith. I began to truly understand what living for Christ means when I entered the public school system as a sixth grader. I had been home schooled through fifth grade, and my parents and I felt it was time for a change. This began my journey of learning how to be the salt of the earth (which I think I am still continuing to learn) and how difficult it can sometimes be to remain "salty". I experienced opposition (in regards to my faith) for the first time. I saw how the enemy damages and torments lives. But I also experienced some of my greatest support and encouragement from other Christian classmates, and I learned how life-giving it is to openly love and share Jesus. God was faithful through it all, helping to lay more and more layers on top of my foundation of faith and giving me the strength to live according to the Truth. In high school I was able to go on a few mission trips, strengthening further my understanding of the Gospel, and deepening my relationship with Christ. And the journey continues! 

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What are some of the joys and challenges that God has taken you through? How have you seen Him work through these? 

I've been through the "desert", the "storm", and the "green pasture" in my walk with Jesus, but I know that He has walked with me every step of the way. My freshman year of college was difficult in a lot of ways. I attended a wonderful Christian university, but I struggled in my personal connection with God. I began to feel really empty, restless, and frustrated. This, plus learning how to manage my schedule, dealing with homesickness, and watching my brother go through an unexpected divorce made for a stressful first semester. But God blessed me with a wonderful roommate who encouraged me and wasn't afraid to challenge me. She and other friends helped carry me through those months of confusion and pain, and I learned how vital it is to connect with God regularly and deeply. One of the greatest joys I have experienced was the time I spent as a Wycliffe intern last summer, which I will expand on in the next question.

You spent some time as an intern with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Tell us a bit of what God taught you through your time serving.

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A year ago, I spent 10 weeks as an accounting intern at the JAARS Center in North Carolina. JAARS stands for Jungle Aviation And Radio Service, and they do all the technical support for Wycliffe missionaries (IT and software development, aviation, construction and maintenance, shipping of supplies, etc.). It was truly amazing to see the passion that flowed so freely from each of the missionaries there as they worked to reach people through the Word of God. I had the privilege of meeting several former Bible translators, most of whom had spent the majority of their lives in other countries faithfully translating Scripture for those who had never heard of Jesus. I listened to their stories over lunch each day, and their testimonies were powerful. 

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During my time at JAARS, I heard story after story about the power and effectiveness of the Word. God uses the Bible to transform lives in amazing ways. But because language is so deeply personal and foundational to who people are, they have to hear/read the message in their mother tongue in order for them to accept it. God has to speak their heart language. Around the world there are faithful men and women translating the Bible into the heart languages of the unreached people of the world (a project that often takes 15-20 years per language group to complete). God has not gifted me in linguistics, but I can support the work of Bible translation through accounting and administration--a goal I hope to soon achieve.

What is a favorite memory from the missionwork you've done over the years? 

I went on a couple mission trips down to the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas during high school, and each year we did a work project in the mornings. I enjoy working with my hands in service to the Lord, and painting a house for someone in need is a really simple act of love. It was a blessing to bless others as we painted in the name of Jesus. And we grew closer as a group as a result of serving together. I remember a paint fight we had one year that resulted in us running after each other with wet paint brushes, laughing hysterically. I think God was glorified by our service as well as our joy and laughter.

What is your favorite Scripture and why? 

Oh my, it's hard to choose! Some of my favorite passages include Psalm 37, Psalm 103, and Ephesians 3:16-21. My life verse is Psalm 141:8 "But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD; in you I take refuge." When we fix our attention on God, everything else falls into place. He is sovereign and trustworthy, and He is our refuge. It doesn't matter what comes our way as long we are in step with Him. He will provide all we need.

A few of Allison's favorite things...

Taking walks :: reading fiction :: eating chocolate chip cookies :: singing :: 
laughing with family and friends :: playing ultimate frisbee :: working on DIY projects and gifts :: 
playing board games with my family :: watching superhero movies


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