In my family, my mom started a new tradition earlier this year where we write what we like about a family member on their birthday, and send it in an email to all the family members. I wrote this about Allie for her birthday yesterday. I asked for her permission to post it here. She was hesitant, but agreed.
I like Allie’s wide range of experiences, and the common thread of serving others. Did you know some of these things about her? If not, now you have some good conversation starters for next time you see Allie:
- She helped deliver babies while assisting in an OBGYN office in Oklahoma.
- When she was 17, she spotted a man who had collapsed while crossing the street. He appeared to be homeless, maybe a war vet. Cars were just driving around him. She told her mom to stop and call 911 as she went up to him and rendered aid. He had no pulse and was not breathing. She rolled him on his back, adjusted his head, and – pausing briefly to consider that she might contract a deadly disease – she dismissed the warnings and moved her mouth toward his to begin rescue breathing. Thankfully, he gasped a gulp of air just before her mouth met his.
- She has traveled to 10 countries in Africa on 4 separate occasions. Twice with Mothers Without Borders, and twice for her own non-profit organization, Ungana, which she formed with some friends while she attended USU. Although they haven’t been active for many years, some of the projects her organization helped to start in Rwanda remain self-sustaining today.
- She had to escape to the American Embassy in Zambia. She was assisting a small adoption agency, helping place Zambian children with adopting parents. During the occasion in question, their group refused to pay the bribes demanded by a corrupt Zambian social worker; when they refused to pay the bribe, he reported them to the authorities as being part of a child trafficking/prostitution ring. Photos of the prospective parents (all Americans) were published on the front page of the local paper. Agents of the government’s special police approached Allie and her local liaison (and close friend) in the courtyard of their hotel. They asked to see the Americans’ passports. Allie and her friend returned to their room to “retrieve their passports,” where they quickly gathered the other Americans, sneaked out the back window, and sped to the U.S. Embassy.
- On a different occasion, while helping local entrepreneurs in Rwanda, Allie was so close to the civil war being fought across the southern border of the Congo that she could hear the tanks and small arms fire.
- She has comforted the dead and dying in powerful ways, including caring for new born babies whose mothers either died during childbirth or abandoned them right after; many of these babies were premature and/or deathly ill when born. She held and comforted these infants during their precious few hours or minutes of life.
- Yes, really.
This is just a hint at the attributes of my amazing bride. I love her stories, and that she holds them so sacred that she rarely mentions them – I had to ask her for permission to type what I did above. I’m not sure she loves the attention.
I’ve said before that, once Allie and I were dating, we didn’t even have to pray and ask God if it was right. We just gave Him thanks. And we still do.
I love this woman.