Allen feels called to mission work after trip

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; A little nudge from the youth pastor at her church sent Brittany Allen a long way from home in June.

Hearing from Jack Middleton, youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Vidalia, about his 2005 mission trip to the Republic of Ghana, Allen, a senior at Adams County Christian School, became interested.

&8220;He pushed me a little bit and when I decided I wanted to do it, he helped me to raise the money,&8221; she said.

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The $3,000 required for the trip came flowing in as she wrote letters telling friends and family about her plan and asking for a little help.

The Baptist Missionary Association, which sponsors the trips, paid $500; and her own church put up another $500, she said.

She sold calendars and she saved every dollar she received in birthday or other money.

After a training camp she attended with many others who would be making mission trips during the summer, Allen and her companions flew to Accra, the capital city of the western African nation.

Her hosts in Ghana were missionaries Paul and Kerri Heuerman. &8220;They have been there for nine years,&8221; she said. &8220;He is head of the Bible Institute there and trains ministers and places them in churches.&8221;

She and others had volunteered for the trip in order to tell people in Ghana about their Christian faith. That is how she spent most of her time, Allen said.

&8220;It was amazing,&8221; she said. &8220;We went to schools early in the morning. At the primary schools, we did puppet skits and then devotionals relating to the skit.&8221;

At the school for older children, she and others in her group told about how they had affirmed their Christian faith.

They went to schools as large as 700 students and as small as 15. &8220;Most of the schools were like vo-tech schools,&8221; she said.

The young people were very curious. &8220;They would ask us about where we went to school, where we went to church, will you give me a Bible, will you write me, tell me more about this Jesus,&8221; she said.

In the afternoon, the group went to the streets and, with the help of experienced missionaries and translators, selected people to approach.

&8220;We&8217;d go up to people and through the translators start to talk. Most of them would grab a chair and want to hear everything,&8221; she said.

Night activities were like crusades, with music playing in the middle of town. &8220;They would come and sit down and we&8217;d play with the kids and sing some songs,&8221; she said. &8220;And then Brother Paul would introduce us and we&8217;d give personal testimonies. They really loved that more than anything else.&8221;

The weeks she spent in Ghana taught her many lessons, Allen said. For one, she came to realize how bountiful her own country is compared to other parts of the world.

It also showed her that there are people in the world hungry to hear the Christian message.

She will remember the Ghana people as happy people. &8220;They were the happiest people, but they had so little. Sometimes 15 people lived in a one-room house,&8221; she said.

&8220;They have so little and we have so much. I learned that in the great scheme of things, you don&8217;t need a lot of material possessions to be happy,&8221; she said.

The daughter of

Ken and Kim Allen, she now has a plan for her life that has been inspired by her summer work.

&8220;I feel called to mission work. I plan to go to Mississippi College and get a nursing degree and do medical missions,&8221; she said. &8220;While I&8217;m healing people physically, I can also heal them spiritually.&8221;