Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” There is a precious lady in Brownfield that can certainly attest that the Lord is indeed good and she has definitely taken refuge in Him.
The Cookie Lady, otherwise known as Gaylene Allen, has been making cookies for the public since 2015. She will tell you herself that her early efforts were nowhere close to what she can do now. She learned to decorate cookies simply by watching youTube videos and lots and LOTS of practice. Her business is appropriately called “Taste and See Delights.”
“My daughter London was going to go on a “Study Abroad” trip and we needed a way for her to raise money for the costs. So, I thought I would try to bake cookies and see how that went,” stated Gaylene. Well, here we are, six years later and she is going strong. I think we can tell how that went.
Gaylene keeps excellent records and her records show that she has made about 5,800 dozen cookies since her start in 2015. That is right at 70,000 cookies!!
But, lets back up. Gaylene is a wonderful Christian lady and a wonderful example of how to live a Christian life. When she was trying to raise money for London in 2015, Gaylene prayed and asked God to show her what she should do. But it doesn’t end there. She went further. After she had decided to make cookies, she asked God to show her the right recipe to use. And if you have ever had any of Gaylene’s cookies, you know for a fact that God picked the right mix! Gaylene is very sure that God led her to just the right recipe and she has used that recipe without change since 2015.
She is very serious about giving back to God, as we are taught in His Word. We are commanded to give a tithe, or 10 percent of all we bring in back to God. “I believe that our first responsibility is our local community, so I make sure my tithe from all my earnings goes to my local church and stays local.” But Gaylene goes further.
In 2008, Gaylene went on her first mission trip to Monze in Zambia. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have felt that God was calling me to feed hungry kids,” said Gaylene. “I went back the next year and the next and soon was going on three trips a year to various countries. But Africa always called to me.”
In 2013, Gaylene went to Simukale in Africa and helped with Vacation Bible School twice a day for a week. This was when she met Becky Weeks from Alabama who founded Luyando, an organization whose goal is to “To share the love of Jesus. We accomplish this by addressing these areas: hunger, education, job creation, and sustainability.”
Gaylene continued to go and continued to feel the need to help in any way possible. When her cookie baking business began to grow, she knew that God was growing that business in order for her to have a way to help others.
With her God given talent, and God given recipe, Gaylene decided that $5 from each dozen cookies would go to help with mission work in Africa, through Luyando. This is above her tithe she has dedicated to local work. Are you thinking she has the gift of being a giver at this point?
Gaylene said, “Once I give the $5 per dozen from cookies, we are able to buy beds, for widows, help with the feeding program, pay wages for the cooks, pastors and gardener, buy chickens for the chicken houses and help with medical needs as they arise. I always take my extra cookie money with me when I’m in Africa, and God is always faithful in showing where it is needed most.”
If she has baked and decorated 70,000 cookies since 2015 and she has a full time job at Tejas Peanut Company, when does she do her baking? Well, in her words, “I basically have two full time jobs. As soon as I get home from work, I start baking and usually get finished around 10 p.m. Gaylene admits that sometimes she does grow weary. “I do get tired at times but I just keep praying that God will keep my passion for His glory going strong and He answers my prayers. I am blessed to be able to help do His work.”
Gaylene talks with so much love and so much passion about the work in Africa. She began by helping orphans over there. She has helped with well drilling. Now she is adding the widows to her list of those she is able to help. She recently was able, through her cookie sales, to provide beds for some of the widows in the village.
Gaylene says, “When God began to talk to me about helping the widows. I told Him okay but He would have to sell the cookies. And He certainly did help with that!”
You have to love the almost matter of fact way that Gaylene describes hearing from God. You have to appreciate the friendship you see between God and His servant Gaylene. What a great example of a true servant of God we see in Gaylene. And to think that this great relationship we see that Gaylene has with her Savior is available to all of us is just an amazing thought.
Gaylene sees so many needs in Africa in the villages in which she works. She told of one village needing a well which was going to cost $12,000 to dig and to make water available for the people. “I saw the need and it just was so overwhelming. People were going to basically a stagnant pond for water. This water was five miles away! I just knew God was telling me that something had to be done.” So Gaylene stood up in her church (Abundant Harvest) one day and said, “I need twelve people to give $1,000 to get this well dug and working.” She said almost immediately 12 people stood up and said, “I will give.” This is just one story of the amazing things God has done through the servant heart of Gaylene.
She wants no credit for any of this. She definitely wants all glory to go to God and His work. But, she is certainly a willing servant for Him, and for this we are so grateful.
One thing Gaylene wanted to be sure to mention was the farmers with whom she works at Tejas Peanuts. “My farmers that I work with and many of the landlords pay my way to Africa every year. They are so faithful in God’s word going out. Just wanted to share about my farmers. They mean the world to me.”
Gaylene also wanted to mention Will Fewin at United Supermarkets. “He always makes sure they have everything I need when I go in to buy cookie supplies. He is so good to help me out, even when supplies were running short, Will always made sure I had what I needed.”
There is so much more to tell, but Gaylene wants folks to know that they can talk to her and she will let them know how they can help, aside from buying her cookies.
An orphan or a widow can be sponsored for $35 a month. They need people to help with building churches and other buildings. Most of the people there live in mud huts. There is a need for another well, which will cost $15,000.
To order cookies from Gaylene or to talk to her about other ways to help, you can contact her through her Facebook account “Taste and See Delights” or “Gaylene Allen” or you can contact her at 806.470.2143.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! And so is His wonderful servant Gaylene. We need more like her.