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TruthQuester faces her own true-life reality

SAN DIEGO (BP)–TruthQuest: California member Janie Jo Allen is embarking on a two-week journey with Baptist Press and FamilyNet Television, but nothing could have prepared her for the real-life drama that started in her family three years ago.

When Allen, 18, from Arvada, Colo., was a freshman in high school, she found out that her father had an inoperable brain tumor.

“I have stopped asking the Lord why this is happening,” Allen said during an interview on the TruthQuest bus. “I know God has a purpose for it.”

Allen’s father, who is a music minister at Riverside Baptist Church in Denver, is the greatest influence in her life and is part of the reason she will study music education at East Texas Baptist University in the fall.

“Music has always been a part of my family,” she said.

With a music minister for a father and an elementary music teacher as her mother, Allen’s musical heritage was established early on. Allen said she learned to live and breathe music.

“It’s hard to be in a family of musicians and grow up to be a doctor,” she said. “In my family everything is about music. It’s all we talk about at the dinner table.”

Allen said her father, who has been a music minister for more than 35 years, is not only a godly man, but a man of humor and humility.

“He is the funniest man I know. My dad’s life goal is to embarrass my sister and me,” she said.

“He is also the most humble man I know,” Allen added. “Even though he is a very prominent and respected Southern Baptist worship leader, he hates recognition and he doesn’t want attention drawn to himself.”

Allen said that she and her family look to God as their hope as they face the reality of her father’s brain tumor.

“There are days I am OK, but it’s hard to know that he may die,” she said. “But I know everything will be OK because he will be in heaven with the Lord.”

Allen has adopted Habakkuk 3:17-19 as the Bible verse she leans on in times of sadness: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, And there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.”

Allen said, “This verse is for my dad because it says it right here, ‘for the choir director.’

“We also read in this verse how the fig tree is not bearing fruit and, without food, the people will die, however, it says ‘yet, I will exult in the Lord.'”

Rooted in this passage, Allen said even though her father’s life is in jeopardy she will rejoice in the Lord.

“God has a plan and he brings deliverance to those who exalt in him.”

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  • Kelly Davis