Brussels Test Trip
Organized by: Jon and Caroline Allison
***HUGE UPDATE: The target has been lowered from $1,500 to $800 because we've received some very generous donations directly! We're so close!!***
Caroline and Jon are excitedly nearing their one year mark of the ultimate in covenantal relationship: marriage. We married each other for so many reasons, but one of the chief among them is our heart for others. Both of us have been in and around relational ministry since we met the Lord, but the thing that attracted us to a life together was that we both think of relationships in general as ministry. It’s our way of life. Before we got engaged (and Jon moved down to Richmond to get a job and kickstart our new life), we had our first taste of doing relational ministry together leading Younglife at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. We both thought to ourselves secretly at the time that we’d like to marry this person and do this together, and then added as an afterthought, “but probably in another country, right?” Well, it just so happens (or as the Lord has happened it), there is such an opportunity.
Jon has been in talks with Carlton Deal, a pastor, service project founder, and now European Prayer Breakfast organizer, about a ministry opportunity in Brussels, Belgium for a couple years that is now coming to fruition. Jon didn’t know at the time that this opportunity was best suited for a married couple, but when that became clear, it was perfectly at a time when he had found the person he had wanted to marry in Caroline. All this to say: we believe the Lord has put this opportunity in front of us, together.
Here’s the opportunity. The European Prayer Breakfast is the annual culmination of a full-time, year-long work the Lord is doing in Europe. Carlton and others are building relationships with European leaders and preaching Jesus in a myriad of ways, and there are lots of ways we could help. One big need they have is for a married couple to be their “host family.” Carlton and company are closing in on a property that would be used to host European leaders and talk to them about the reconciliation and redemption of Jesus. Very similar to the ministry that The Cedars house in Arlington is, the “Brussels Cedars” would eventually have young interns hosting and doing general upkeep at the property, while the host family manages and mentors them, all the while hosting and building relationships with the guests. We are considering being that host family. We would like to join the team for a short trip to see if the Lord intends for us to eventually join them full-time. The EPB is being held in Brussels on December 3rd and 4th this year and we are going. Not only that, we are going to be there two weeks to connect with everyone in the ministry there and help them put on the Breakfast.
This trip is costly in several ways. Flights are around one thousand dollars each, and we’ll need to eat and drink while we’re there. Taking off of work also leaves both Jon and Caroline with time without regular pay. However, we’ve been blessed to be able to cut costs in a couple ways. First, Jon’s mom already lives in Brussels! Linda Allison works for Carlton’s Serve the City side of his split-ministry-personality and we will be able to stay with her for free. Also, we have been able to save up credit card points to pay for most of one of their plane tickets. That leaves fees like passport expediting, eating, drinking, and buying at least one miniature Mannekin Pis, probably in the form of a keychain, still unaccounted for. We are hoping you could prayerfully join us in funding our test trip. We are looking to raise $1,500.
If Jesus isn’t leading you to support us financially, please pray for us and the ministry in the following ways:
- Carlton and company need to secure a large-scale site to begin building up their “Brussels Cedars.” They are close to getting one in the heart of downtown Brussels. Pray that they get it.
- Brussels is the political hub of Europe. There are many ways Carlton and company are ministering to all the leaders in the EU, and all their aids, which comes to thousands upon thousands of key players in the course of history, all whom need to know Jesus. Pray that their ministry blossoms.
- Jon and Caroline would love to join Carlton and company in Brussels, but are not sure what the Lord’s call is just yet. They know they are being called to this trip. Pray that the Lord speaks to them there and they confidently move in whatever direction He calls them.
- Jon and Caroline are working on becoming a team that loves others in the name of Jesus. Pray that, no matter what, their time in Brussels teaches them how to do that better. They want to return from the trip ready to love others in Richmond, and maybe in Brussels, if that’s their call.
- Jon and Caroline are looking for ways to build on their careers with whatever time they have left in the States. Jon is looking to build a career in writing and marketing. If he can find a job in one of those fields, it would help the Allisons pay for their trip, even if it’s after the fact.
We are so thankful for our community; ie, you. Please stay in touch with us and let us know any ways we can serve you. We can’t wait to tell you about what the Lord does through this trip!