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The Online Bridge
Issue 6
Winter, 2004

Karen Allingham
New Direction

Karen Allingham

Karen Allingham (formerly Karen Hug) first attended NABC in 1987 and obtained a CBS (Certificate of Biblical Studies). She returned to campus and obtained a Masters Degree in theological studies from the Seminary in 1995. Karen’s path has been “redirected” many times since she finished her program at EBS (Edmonton Baptist Seminary--now Taylor Seminary), but God has brought her through.

Karen was born and raised in a Christian home in Burlington, Ontario. She accepted Jesus as her saviour at age 8 and was baptized at age 13. From a young age, Karen had passion for evangelism and leadership. Being an extrovert, she became involved in Sunday School, Awana, choir, outreach & evangelism teams and active in youth group ministries. Her greatest joy was leading children into a relationship with the Lord!

After high school, Karen attended North American Baptist College for one year and obtained a Certificate in Biblical Studies. She then attended Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, ON, and graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration. In her last year of university, she applied to the NAB Missions Conference in Chicago, IL, to become a volunteer in missions to Japan for a four-month term. Her “plan” was that this time would represent her “thank you” to God, so that afterwards she could embark on her business career.

The time on the mission field changed Karen’s heart. She extended her term to 16 months and began to feel a call to go into full-time ministry. It no longer seemed fitting to give God a portion of her life for ministry – she wanted to give Him the rest of her life. She moved to Edmonton and graduated with a Master of Theological Studies from Edmonton Baptist Seminary (EBS). While at EBS, she studied alongside her “soon-to-be” husband Scott Hug (whom she met in Japan). They were married in August, 1994, in their second year of seminary. Scott shared Karen’s heart for the mission field.

They served for 2 ½ years in the Philippines as the Evangelism and Discipleship team. Their primary role was to bring in new people to the church plant in Naga city through friendship- building activities in the community. Karen and Scott led prayerful sessions to bring new vision and purpose for the people in Naga church, and were involved in training up the leadership core. In their 18 months working with the Naga church, the core attendance grew from 7 adults to 65 in regular attendance. One of their greatest joys was the birth of their daughter Kayla in February, 1997.

Scott, Karen, and Kayla’s time in the Philippines was tragically cut short when Scott was diagnosed with bone cancer. As his cancer progressed, they knew that thousands were weeping with them. Never before had they experienced so much compassion from the Christian family. After Scott passed away in February of 1999, on the advice of family and friends, Karen took time to be with Kayla, to enjoy her, and to think about what they should do next. At that time, Karen did not feel ready to return to full-time ministry, so she applied her business training within different development/research positions in Edmonton.

By July, 2002, Karen felt ready to begin full-time ministry again. She was inspired by the passion she saw in her friends’ lives, as they shared what God was doing in their parishioners’ lives. God opened up an opportunity for Karen to work full-time as Director of Christian Education and Youth at McLaurin Memorial Baptist Church in Edmonton. As soon as she accepted the position, Karen and Kayla were immediately embraced by the congregation.

Karen sees these days at McLaurin Baptist as exciting days! A number of young families have joined the church, and she appreciates the energy and fresh ideas they bring. Karen is meeting new people almost every week, encouraging the volunteers of the CE programs, and leading hands-on in the youth ministry. Just recently, the church shared in the joy of Karen’s marriage to Rob Allingham. Karen is offering her life anew before God with excitement, renewed energy, awe and trembling knees. She knows that her life is in Jesus’ hands and that there is no better place for her.

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