Sunday, October 9, 2011

All that was left….

...... was a black cardboard box full of cardstock……….that said ‘Cross’.

We just returned from a few days in Hong Kong.  As Steve prepared to get his computer out of his backpack he pulled out a black box.  Puzzled, he asked me what it was.  I said I had no idea but it must’ve been something we accidentally picked up from the place we were staying (a Christian retreat center).  Upon further examination it did indeed have the word ‘Cross’ all over the cardstock and I was sure it was something that had been mistakenly inserted into his backpack.

So, he continued to get his computer out.  Unfortunately, there was NO COMPUTER to retrieve!  It had already been retrieved!  We could not even fathom that was what had happened until Sara, our friend, informed us that recently another guy we knew had a similar experience.  The thieves had taken his computer out and slipped a heavy object into its place, in order to not draw attention to the bag being lighter.  WHAAAAAAAAAAT?????????  This is a new one on us!   

We spent the next little while trying to retrace our steps.  Sure enough, there was a guy on the bus who ‘offered’ to put Steve’s bag up in the bin above our seats.   With the three of us sitting right there we never even entertained the idea the guy would get into the bag!   Obviously, he was pretty slick!  He had also offered to put Brittany’s up.  Thankfully, I encouraged her to keep hers in the seat beside her.  Otherwise, we are pretty sure we would be missing TWO computers right now!

Although we know our city has a bit of a problem with pickpockets and thieves, we just never think of it happening to us!  Since my bag was stolen, from right beside me, a few months ago, we have been extra careful.  I guess today……we just weren’t careful enough!

And, so, we determine……we WILL count it all joy when we fall into various trials!  And, be thankful that:
·         Britt’s computer did not get stolen
·         they did not harm us
·         a computer can be replaced
·         those thieves did not get the ‘plug-in’ cord.  Steve’s computer won’t even start up without that!  :0  (of course, in their line of work I’m sure that’s a minor problem) 

In the end we have decided to heed Sara's advice when she asked the question .........'Denise, we are suppose to love those who do us wrong, right?'   ;-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

We want you to meet SHERRY!

We want to take a moment to introduce you to someone VERY special! Sherry has been the translator in our worship services for over 3 years! She loves the Lord and is such a blessing to Dee and me and to our work here! Now the exciting NEWS! She will be in our home town , Dickson, TN for a whole week beginning this Saturday Oct. 8th!!! If you live in the area, we hope you have an opportunity meet her!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thought Loop.....

At McDonald's in China you can.....
  • substitute Orange Juice for Cola
  • substitute Ice Coffee with Ice Cream for Cola
but you can NOT substitute....

go figure  :)

Sign in McDonald's restroom:


Sunday, July 3, 2011

The THOUGHT LOOP........

then, Leslie looked at me IN SHOCK and said 'you mean they don't have Chinese toilets (squatty potty) in America?'!!! 

I guess that's a logical question if you consider they DO have American toilets in China.....well, at least they have a FEW American toilets in China!

Hannah .......clueless that American men, in general, do NOT wear makeup!   ;0

What a good sport you are, Jeff! (Keisha's father)

Nate DAILY:  'Aunt Lowie says OH MY SOUL!'

Nate had to settle for Pop-Carts for breakfast this morning!  He wanted pancakes and Syruck but we didn't have enough Syruck.  He then informed me that we should put the syruck in the cabinet NOT the cigerator!  One more morning disappointment for Nate........he had to drink orange juice instead of SPLITE.  He just LOVES Splite!

Well, things are looking up for Nate........he can't wait.........BLITT IS COMING!  BLITT IS COMING!!

And, speaking of 'coming' ........ we had a sweeeeet note awaiting our arrival home recently....

That Hannah.........ya gotta love her!!

HAPPY 4th of JULY from China!


Sooooo if you are an avid 'blog follower', you know this by now!  First of all, I would like to spread the 'blog blame' around so I don't have to admit IIIIII stink at blogging!!  ;0    My dear sweet husband (blame #1)

STARTED the blog........which I thought was a GREAT idea.  And, since I do LOVE to write, I thought it 'might' get me past my writing negligence.......which I have suffered from since we began parenting re-cycle!  (blame #2.....if you can't blame anyone else, you can ALWAYS blame the kids, right? :) 


So, while I try to make myself feel better by making excuses, I ALWAYS dream about the day I will have time to sit down and write again.  I'm not sure today is that day but I have come up with a bright idea today that put keyboard in hand.

I WILL attempt to share some random thoughts from China......

 posted outside the panda exhibit at the zoo they occur or as I think of them.  Hope you enjoy!

Denise :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Letter to Leslie

A Special Day

Do you remember?  I DO!  :)

Two years ago, TODAY, we met a verrrrrrrrrrrrry special girl.  This girl was so shy!  I remember for the whole weekend it seemed she held on to Kara and wouldn't let go!  ;0  She kept her head down most of the time, seemingly embarrassed to look into my eyes.  She was sooooo quiet and sooooo afraid to speak for fear her English was so bad!  This special girl was Li Mei, an orphan from Guangzhou, China.

Who would've ever thought that 'this special girl' would become 'OUR girl'?!  I never dreamed it would happen.......but it did!  In less than 2 years we had totally fallen in love with this orphan girl and KNEW that we WANTED her to have a FOREVER family........OUR FAMILY! 

Now, there is no more orphan girl.  There is no more shy girl.  There is no more embarrassed girl.  There is no girl 'clinging' to Kara.  Now, there is LESLIE!  Leslie Denise Allen......OUR GIRL!!  A girl who is soooooooo outgoing!  A girl who is soooo funny!  A girl who is quite confident and able to face anyone!  A girl who only clings to the mother and father she has received from God above.  This is OUR girl.....Leslie Denise Allen!  So much has changed in two years!  It's really hard to believe!  We are so blessed by this precious gift from God.......Leslie, OUR girl.

Thank You, God, for blessing our family with Leslie.  Thank You for saving her 'just for us'!  Thank You for saving her soul!  Thank You for sending Jenny to Guangzhou to find her and introduce her to us.  Thank You for protecting her for these many years until she could finally 'come home'.  We love Leslie and we love You, God.

A blessed mother and father we are,
Denise & Steve Allen,
the proud parents of Leslie Denise Allen
brought to us on this day, March 28, 2009

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What if the Organizing Function of the Church is Missions?

"Michael Frost, Professor of Evangelism and Missions at Morling College, Sydney, Australia, spoke about the missional church.   He mentions that all churches have four main functions: worship, fellowship, discipleship, and mission. For most of its history, the Christian church has been organized around the worship function. Worship has been the central organizing idea from which the other functions radiate. What if, he says, the organizing function of the church is mission, rather than worship? What would the church look like then? Radically different and much more motivated."

We have been blessed for the past 25 years to be a part of a church such as the one described that has been, and continues to be, a church centered on missions, rather than worship.  Had it not been for the heart of a pastor whose heart beats 'missions', most likely we would not be in China today.  For as long as we can remember the emphasis at Grace Baptist Church, Dickson, Tennessee, has been 'Go reach the world'.  Many have left, many have never come twice because the 'worship' did not meet their expectations.  For us 'worship' was all the more sweet and precious as a result of the undying theme of our church....'go into all the world'.

As we read this article today about missions our hearts turned toward home......toward our church, Grace Baptist....toward our pastor, Bro Jeff Lankford, who has never lost focus of world missions....toward our Savior, Who left His home in glory to reach the world.

Happy Birthday, Bro Jeff (Feb 6).....and thank you for your devotion to keeping our hearts and the hearts of our children on world missions.

We love you,
Steve & Dee

From the pen of Familia Nunes:
I am result of MISSIONS and I believe the Bible teaches there are 2 kinds of people: a Missionary telling the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST and a person that needs to have a Missionary telling him or her the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST!

And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  Mark 16:15

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;  Matthew 28:19,20a

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Hannah came to us in June, 2010, not able to speak 'a lick' of English!  Through time and trial she has really picked up the habit.  :)  What has amazed us the most is her ability to use the English language the way 'she wants' to use it........not necessarily the way the rest of the world uses it!  ;0

For example.........

just the other day Hannah comes loudly knocking on my bedroom door.........

"Mommy!  Mommy! Ai yi say how many clocks we eat?"  

As I was trying to get ready for lunch, and couldn't understand a 'cotton-pickin' thing she said, I replied,
To which she repeated,
"Ai yi say how many clocks we eat?"

And, we repeated this scenario a few more times.  After about the third round, I FINNNNALLY figured out her Chinglish!  (The foreigner's word around here for Chinese people who 'attempt' English but don't quite hit the mark. :)

I started putting 2 and 2 together..........
  • Ai yi  = cook 
  • clocks = time  
  • eat = lunch
I GOT IT...........

Ai yi wants to know what time we want to eat lunch!  

Of course......CLEAR AS MUD!!!  :) 

If that didn't provide us with enough Chinglish amusement this week, Hannah came up with another one before the week was out.

She came bursting into the bedroom yesterday.........."Daddy, daddy, I need a battery!"  Steve says, "You need what?".  Hannah says, "I need a battery!"  "What do you need a battery for?"  Hannah points to a scrape on her face "Look, Daddy, I hurt my face!  I need a battery!"  

they're all the same to us!  

So......we decided to teach her a lesson in English, handed her a battery and told her to stick it on her face!  :)  just kidding!

Finally, tonight Nate was sleeping and the girls were bored.  Then, I had a GREAT idea!  I said, "Hey, I'll give you girls 5 yuan EACH to give me a foot massage!"  Hannah got SOOOOO EXCITED!!  She said, " YEAH!  YEAH! 5 YUAN FOR FOOT MASSAGE, ELLIE!"  then, immediately, "What's a foot massage, Mommy?"  ;0

Y A    G O T T A    L O V E    H A N N A H !!!

That girl is too much for words..........for English words, anyway!  ;0

Friday, January 21, 2011


    Happy New Year! The new year celebration here in China is right around the corner! The official day THIS year February 2nd. The date changes from year to year because it is tied to the Lunar calendar, which I still haven't totally figured out! :) But, it is definitely the most important holiday of the year, and the Chinese do it up BIG!!!!  

Kids are out of school for a month, many factories and other businesses close down for 2-3 weeks and the workers travel back to their hometowns to visit their families. Many travel by train and it is very common for the trip to take 20 or even 30 hours! And the trains are PACKED FULL of people and their bags with barely room to move. In 2008, around 500,000 people were stranded in the Guangzhou Train Station because of heavy snows in the north knocked out power and delayed or even stopped train service. Many never made the visit home that year. Hopefully, this year will be different and people can make that much anticipated trip  home!

There will be many elaborate decorations all around the city along with some special programs and performances. Another thing that is a major part of the new year celebration is the FIREWORKS ... a month of continuous FIREWORKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now where did I put those earplugs!!??  :)

Many in our fellowship will be traveling for the holiday, please keep them in your prayers. We will have services as usual for those who will be staying around so please remember us too! We will be sending another post or two during the holiday and include some photos so drop by and check us out!!!!

Steve and Dee

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine

Her name is Chen Cheng but around here folks just call her "Sunshine".  (Actually, Sunshine is her 'English' name. :)  One thing is for certain, even though “Sunshine” may seem a little unusual to you as a name, it fits her to a ‘T’ !!!!

Sunshine is one of the English teachers who works for our Chinese friend, Angel.  Many of you met Angel last May when she came with us from China to the U.S.  Many of you also know that Angel trusted the Lord while there!  Since returning to China, Angel has had a deep desire for others to know the Lord, too; which is one reason I’m telling you Sunshine’s story today! 

Beginning about four months ago Angel allowed me to have a Bible study every week with a group of teachers that work for her.  She said it was ok to have the study during the group’s workday.  Now, understand, this was not something being forced on this group of teachers by their employer.  They actually were very interested in doing the study!  So, we began ....and it was evident from the start they were searching....

... searching for clear answers, 
... searching for something genuine, 
... searching for hope!

For some, it seems they’re longing for the love and peace of knowing God but are still full of uncertainty and full of questions.   I tell them God is not afraid of their questions, in fact, He welcomes them because He has the answers!

Sunshine was especially full of questions and seemed even a little skeptical at first.  But, as time went by, she began to soften. Then, just this past week, it seemed urgency gripped her!  Yesterday, at the end of the study, she said she wanted to talk to me about becoming a Christian.  After speaking with her further, I explained that she simply needed to talk to God in her own words and invite Him to come into her life… and with tear-filled eyes, she did!!!  And, with tear-filled eyes, ...... I am sharing with you today. 

In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence 
of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.  
Luke 15:10

Glory to God, I wish you could have been there! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I have to say as I look over this blog spot tonight I am QUITE impressed with my husband, the blogger!  :)  In previous days I was the 'official' family writer.

Those were the days before ....





and before....

(in order as we received them :)

I'm not sure why I had time to write back then but I'm pretty sure why I DON'T have time to write now!  :)  :)  :)  :)  
(I know some of you, my dear, DEAR friends would throw the '50 factor' in! :)

I just want to say.....God has been so good to the Allens in China!  We have been blessed beyond measure!  We praised Him as we said goodbye to 2010 and we are praising Him as we welcome 2011!

Please pray with our family as we seek Him for the following miracles this year:
      L e s l i e ' s   s a l v a t i o n
           H e l e n ' s   s a l v a t i o n  (Leslie's orphan friend who also stays with us wknds/holidays)
                N a t h a n ' s   a d o p t i o n

We continue to thank God ...
  • for the privilege of serving Him in this land where we still meet someone EVERY WEEK who has NEVER heard the name Jesus or touched a Bible.
  • for the privilege of opening the pages of this precious Book and sharing the love of our Savior.  
  • for the receptive hearts that are so open to The Good News!  
  • for our precious people who continue telling their friends and families about 'The God' and inviting them to GO to hear for themselves. 
  • for these precious PRECIOUS children who bless our home with love and laughter.
  • for our precious PRECIOUS children back home who bless our hearts with memories, encouragement and love.
 We've got SO MUCH to thank Him for!

 from my heart,
Dee :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blessings to You and Yours in 2011

As we said in recent post, it's hard to believe another year is past! But, here we are starin' at 2011 like a calf at a new gate! Some of you may get that later, but anyway, we are SOOOO excited about what the LORD has done in 2010 and looking forward to what He will yet do!!!!!!
We have been so blessed to see the growth in HIS people here! They are stepping up to the plate and taking more and more responsibility in the church and in their service for the Lord! I wish all of you could be here and witness it for yourself!!