By the Word of His Power

TRANSLATING THE WORD

The daily work of translating God’s words into Kamea is pressing forward, even when different kinds of delays pop up throughout the week:

There’s something broken that must be fixed.

IMG_9773                             There’s an emergency and a patient needs transport.

IMG_0267    There’s a flight coming with supplies and we have to go over the mountain to meet it.

IMG_0406                 Someone from the community has come and wants to share a story.

IMG_4114But it is all the sweeter when we can read something like this in Kamea:

Nai Ä’oi mtinga tawata upmäta nonqo ti,
ma pi’a’ma Ä’o qana nai mtinga tawata qanupmäta ti.

          We love him, because he first loved us.
                                                 (1 John 4:19)

We just completed our final check of 1 John and printed copies of it. This is our second New Testament book! Right now Ben, Yali, and I are in various stages of translating the book of Acts. Pray for this amazing work!

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John, Ben, and Yali

            

PREACHING THE WORD

Just this week someone came to Ben, asking him to explain the Gospel further. She said that she had heard Ben preach on Tuesdays at the clinic, and she is under such conviction that she can’t stop thinking about it. Pray that she will soon come to faith in Jesus Christ!

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SEEING THE WORD COME ALIVE

I have been preaching expositionally through Ephesians for many months now. At the same time, Ben has been expounding his way through Romans. By the time you read this, Ben will be teaching through 1 John, directly from our new Kamea translation. This will be another milestone for us!

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1 John in English, Pidgin, and Kamea

The affect of God’s Word on our people is visible. Change is slow but solid, and it is wonderful to watch the power of the Word as it does the work of God in hearts and lives!

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for PDF version

Random Postscripts…

Ever wonder where we live?

View of Kanabea airstrip (4,100 feet elevation) that connects us with the outside world. We live "just" over the mountain from Kanabea.

View of Kanabea airstrip (4,100 feet elevation) that connects us with the outside world. We live “just” over the mountain from Kanabea.

Hopefully this part of the road is fixed well enough to last!

Hopefully this part of the road is fixed well enough to last a while!

Tiffany Heafner enjoys a laugh with her patient.

Tiffany Heafner enjoys a laugh with her patient.

Erin Canterbury works with a wee one.

Erin Canterbury works with a wee one.

Sarah Glover and Snowi go through a patient's symptoms.

Sarah Glover and Snowi go through a patient’s symptoms.

Hannah Bogard and Lena receive medical supplies from Michelle Hau'ofa from PNG Tribal Foundation.

Hannah Bogard and Lena receive medical supplies from Michelle Hau’ofa of the PNG Tribal Foundation.

Click to visit the PNG Tribal Foundation website.

The Kamea "Jesus" videos continue to receive lots of attention as they spread the Gospel in the Kamea language.

The Kamea “Jesus” videos continue to receive lots of attention as they spread the Gospel in the Kamea language.

January 2016

REBUILDING

The New Year’s arrival brought with it the reality that things on earth don’t last forever. Our national pastor’s house support posts had rotted prematurely, which made it necessary to dismantle the entire structure and rebuild it again with new posts.

IMG_4152The same thing happened with the bridge leading through Kotidanga village. The supports rotted out causing the bridge to be unable to bear the burden of our bush vehicle. It took many men and large, strong logs to replace this vital link.

IMG_4169How careful we need to be as we walk along in our Christian life, examining that upon which we stand—or think we stand. Christ alone must be our solid Rock and our only foundation. Men’s programs, policies, and plans may often be nothing more than shifting sand. Christian, check your posts!

RENEWING

We held our Pastors’ Leadership Conference in December. Missionary Jason Ottosen hiked 12 hours over the mountain to teach with me. IMG_4137Our men enjoyed the sessions and we all enjoyed the fellowship and news from the ministries across the Kamea region.

IMG_0198Our TTMK team was blessed to have Pastor Matt Anders and Monte and Angie Ashworth  (all from our home church) come to minister to us last week. We held our first-ever field conference in Port Moresby at Capital City Baptist Church, and the first time we’ve all been together in one place. Thank you to our wonderful home church, and to those who support the members of the TTMK team here in PNG.

REJOICING

Kunai Health Centre has been a catalyst for many visitors at Kotidanga Baptist Church recently. Some who have been resistant to the Gospel for years have had their hearts opened through the clinic ministry to receive the preached Word. IMG_0100

We held our annual Christmas preaching meeting, and we saw many decisions made, including entire families joining together in prayer to work to build stronger homes.

At the same time, more and more unsaved visitors have been coming to hear the preaching, and this resulted in a harvest of no less than 20 souls in the regular preaching services during the month of December! Also, in spite of public opposition to the market preaching, Ben has continued to preach, and the Lord has blessed that as well.
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We started the New Year with a baptismal service, where Ben conducted his first baptism—and baptized 32 people! Among them were his mother Mary and his daughter Nosa!

Thank you for enabling us to minister in PNG in your stead. We ask that you remember Lena’s health as you pray. May we all be found faithfully walking with the Lord this year!

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for a PDF version of this newsletter

Christmas in Kotidanga 2015

Here are some of the blessings that happened around Christmas here in the village:

IMG_4115Benjamin Luke got his iPad repaired and more Christian movies installed. He is our “hut-bound” evangelist in Mewari village, gladly sharing the Kamea “Jesus Film” with those who visit him. Special thanks to a special friend in the USA who provided this blessing for Ben!

IMG_9891Ilava wanted to share the fish she caught with Bubu Lena.

IMG_9932God spared Patricia’s life after giving birth to a new baby girl. A retained placenta and post-partum bleeding nearly took her from us and her dear family. She is the wife of our church’s song leader (and one of my translation helpers), Yali Peter.

IMG_0108Here is Patricia and her baby girl less than two weeks after she almost lost her life. Praise the Lord for His goodness!

IMG_4154Yali leads the music for our two-day Christmas meeting.

IMG_9845The missionary ladies hosted a Ladies’ Christmas tea for the ladies of Kotidanga Baptist Church.

IMG_9831Some of these ladies had never had tea or coffee before…so they tried both in the same cup, at the same time.

IMG_9918We had a special Christmas dinner ready, and then the ladies got called out on a medical emergency. At least the table looked nice with special local and flown-in foods!

IMG_9916Emergency taken care of! Lena, Sarah, Hannah, and Tiffany return to the Christmas table for a wonderful evening together.

TTMK’s First-ever Field Conference

In January 2016, That They May Know held its first-ever field conference at Capital City Baptist Church in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

IMG_0198Special speakers were Pastor Matt Anders, along with Monte & Angie Ashworth, from our home church, Landmark Independent Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.

IMG_4202We met in Matt & Becky Allen’s home in Port Moresby for the conference. It gave the meeting a feeling of family (and a welcome respite from the Moresby heat!).

IMG_0210Wil Muldoon shares praises and prayer requests for the ministry in Baimuru as we listen and take notes.

IMG_0213There was lots of good food and fellowship between sessions!

IMG_0214IMG_4216There was special music by the TTMK team and by the missionary ladies during the Sunday morning service at Capital City Baptist Church. CCBC’s new building is still under construction, but what a blessing to see what the Lord is doing there, too!

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November 2015

Back in Kotidanga! We have been back in the village for several weeks now. It was a pleasant surprise to see the grounds of the church so beautiful and clean. Ben Samauyo, my national translation partner, did a great job of looking after things in our absence. The several-month long drought in our area ended the day we arrived 🙂  Since then we’ve had abundant rain.

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Kotidanga Baptist Church has prospered under Ben’s leadership. The church leaders have handled difficulties scripturally, and the maturity in the body is measurable. Ben has a loving heart and burden for the lost. He and I are sharing the preaching duties to allow him more time for translation. Our weekly market preaching has also resumed. Pray with us for the salvation of our lost visitors. There are a number of unsaved who know they are not saved, who are now attending regularly.

 

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

 

Response during prayer time after a morning worship service at KBC. (Oct. 2015)

Response during prayer time after a morning worship service at KBC. (Oct. 2015)

 

The Kamea Bible Project is continuing. We’ve added a third member to our team, Yali Pita. Yali is our church songleader and a godly man. He will be doing our back-translation work. Ben has completed a first draft of 1 John, and we are checking it now. It has been a blessing to read the great truths found in that book with fresh eyes—and to hear them conveyed in the Kamea language! Our people are excited!

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is busy again.

In the last few days the nurses have been involved in their first two baby deliveries, an overnight emergency, and the usual busy-ness of a bush medical clinic. Lena is teaching, the new nurses are learning, and the Gospel is being shared with many patients daily. Praise the Lord!

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Thank you for being a part of our lives. Many of you follow Lena’s Facebook posts and are able to see part of the daily blessings here at Kotidanga. Continue to pray for our health and strength. We count it a joy to represent you here among our dear Kamea people!

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for a PDF version of the post.

 

Seeing Kotidanga with Fresh Eyes

When you are away from home, it is a blessing when you can return with “fresh eyes.” You see things you don’t usually notice, you gain new perspective on old sights, and you enjoy a fresh view of the familiar.

The beautiful vista of the Tauri River valley in Gulf Province, PNG (Nov. 2015)

The beautiful vista of the Tauri River valley in Gulf Province, PNG (Huyo village, Nov. 2015)

We live in a rainforest--with the emphasis on rain.

We live in a rainforest–with the emphasis on rain. (Kotidanga Baptist Mission, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Heavy rains regularly tear up our bush road, and we are the ones who get to fix it. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

Heavy rains regularly tear up our bush road, and we are the ones who get to fix it. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

And the road washes out again. And you fix it again. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

And the road washes out again. And we get to fix it again. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Kunai HC, Oct. 2015)

On the veranda of the clinic, Ben Samauyo preaches the Word to waiting patients. (Oct. 2015)

On the veranda of the clinic, Ben Samauyo preaches the Word to waiting patients. (Kunai HC, Oct. 2015)

Ben (with megaphone) preaching in the Kotidanga village market. (Nov. 2015)

Ben (with megaphone) preaching in the Kotidanga village market. (Nov. 2015)

A teen girl carries a week's worth of sweet potatoes (kaukau...in Kamea, "hope'a"). (Oct. 2015)

A teen girl carries a week’s worth of sweet potatoes (kaukau…in Kamea, “hope’a”). (Kunai village, Oct. 2015)

Betwel builds a new house under a quickly-clouding sky. (Nov. 2015)

Betwel builds a new house under a quickly-clouding sky. (Kunai village, Nov. 2015)

©

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

Daily study of the Word keeps us reminded of why we are here: The glory of God and the salvation of men. (Copyright, JMA, 2010)

Daily study of the Word keeps us reminded of why we are here: The glory of God and the salvation of men. (Copyright, JMA, 2010)

 

 

 

Back Home in PNG!

MENDED IN HEALTH
Lena has recovered well from her surgery. We are so grateful for her surgeon, Dr. Mitch Campbell, who is a great friend as well as a great surgeon. Thanks also go to Dr. Kathie White, whom God has used many times over the years with regard to Lena’s health.

Lena is feeling rested and ready to return to the ministry. Me too! We are so grateful for the ministry of our home church during our stay. Their love and ministering to us has truly refreshed our souls!
Image-13120777And of course, being with our sons and their families was a blessing beyond words. Grandkids are great!

MENTORING TRANSLATORS
I was privileged to spend four weeks working with students from India and Myanmar, teaching them how to evangelize using the Chronological Bible Storying method. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm!
IMG_3840We also were able to produce a brief video on one of the stories from the Life of Christ. The students did the recording and the production. Pray for this needy area of the world and for the national laborers God is calling to reach their own people.

MEMORABLE OPPORTUNITY
It was my privilege to be a part of Tyler Nikkel’s ordination service before he and his family left for their new ministry in PNG.
IMG_3586Tyler will be our new pilot and beginning a ministry of church planting. We thank the Lord for the Nikkel family and look forward to serving with them on the field.

MAKING OUR WAY HOME
When you get this, we will almost be home. We plan to spend a week with our son Matt and his wife Becky (and our granddaughters!) in Port Moresby. Their new ministries, Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy, are extremely busy for the Lord. We will reconnect with Sarah Glover and her visiting helper, Mary Ann Mast, and meet up with our new nurses, Hannah Bogard and Tiffany Heafner. After buying supplies, picking up medicines, and packing it all up, we will head back to the village.
IMG_8821Pray for each of us as we resume work in translation, mentoring pastors, teaching, and the clinic.

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
Galatians 6:9

Being as dependent as we are on aircraft to get us in and out of the tribe, a sight like this (where we fly at Kanabea airstrip) is our equivalent of Atlanta, Chicago, or LAX. They don’t usually lose our luggage–maybe that’s because we’re the ones who load it 🙂

 

Noel’s Best Day Ever

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Jungle.  Rain.  Mud.  Hunger.

Smoky huts.  Leaky roofs.  Tattered clothes.  Bark blankets.

Multitudes of mosquitos.  Malarial fevers.  Ravaging typhoid.  TB encephalitis.

And seizures. Every day.

 

Many of these things make up the daily lives of the Kamea people. True, there are happy things as well; but for most of our people living in the remote mountains of Gulf Province, these difficulties are a fact of everyday life.

Except for the seizures. That was something Noel alone had to live with all of his life.

 

Noel’s World Began to Change

When the missionaries moved into Kunai village in 2004, Noel’s grandfather Isaac was one of the landowners. It wasn’t long before Noel, who was hindered by microcephaly (which causes an under-sized cranial cavity), became acquainted with these strangers who now lived among his extended family. Over the years he never grew up much, mentally or physically; but that never stopped him from touching the lives of everyone who ever visited Kotidanga Baptist Mission.


IMG_5336And it wasn’t long before smiling Noel became a fixture at the mission. Once the Kunai clinic opened, almost daily he could be found  hanging around with the missionaries, especially the nurses. They loved him unconditionally. They hugged him, and he was always glad to reciprocate. They walked with him to the village market. Many times he accompanied them in the Kawasaki Mule on short trips—and if Noel had his way, he would have gone every time.

IMG_4703In his younger days he earned the moniker, “Naked Noel.” Like many Kamea children, he would scamper about without a stitch of clothes, in complete innocence. When Sister Becky told him he should wear clothes to church, he would bring his trousers and put them on once he got into the building—and when service was finished, he would take them off and scamper out the door.

IMG_4012He loved anything with an engine, anything with a sound he could imitate. Every construction project where we used a generator, Noel would be there, desiring to be the one to turn it off when given the signal. (He would have started it, but his crippled arm couldn’t pull the starter rope.) When the project leader would stand aside, arms folded, pondering the next move, there too would be Noel—standing beside him, arms folded in the same manner, looking as important as he could. Except that he would have a grin. A huge grin.

IMG_1141Noel enjoyed worshipping with the believers at Kotidanga Baptist Church. At times, he would make a grand, slow entrance, just as the songs were being sung. He would look from side to side, as if to make certain everyone saw him, smiling from ear to ear. Some would motion him to sit down and not to disturb, but he often ignored them and made his way to the front where the pastor was sitting. IMG_6024Noel would then sit down on the floor beside the pastor (most people normally sit on the floor anyway), and then put his hand on the pastor while doing his best to sing. Many times before the service was over, he would make his way back to sit with one of the missionaries, usually one of the nurses.

 

Noel’s Passions in Life

Everyone who knew Noel knew that he had one favorite thing: Helicopters. Because we have a large open area at the mission, and because the missionary helicopter pilots know us, sometimes they will come land at our place to refuel—which puts them not only in our front yard, but in Noel’s front yard. Keeping a safe distance from the twirling blades, Noel would serve as security, keeping the younger children away too. IMG_1458
Once the chopper (or as Noel called them, “sopa”) was shut down, Noel would get as close as he could and look wonderingly at the beautiful, magical aircraft. The pilots all know him, and one day, one of them actually took him for a brief, hovering flight. Ah, Noel! As he would say excitedly, “Sopa! Sopa!”

Would it be too presumptuous to say that he had a favorite nurse? That would be his beloved Setina (Lena). He hung out with her so frequently, both at the clinic and at her home, that most of the nationals called her his “mama.”

Lena & Noel, February 2015

Lena & Noel, February 2015

How those two loved each other! Many days in the clinic, Lena would give Noel a pen and paper to keep him busy, and he would sit and draw myraids of tiny circles all over the paper—which he would proudly show everyone. Of course, he could never resist being Lena’s assistant as she treated patients, following her from patient to patient. It was there that his inimitable heart of compassion showed through.

IMG_6549Whenever someone was suffering, or if they had a visible, ugly wound, or if a baby was crying, Noel would go and pat them gently, saying, “Äwa, Äwa” (I’m sorry, I’m sorry). How many times we missionaries would be injured, and Noel would rush to us saying, “Äwa, Äwa” until we gave the proper response, “Awa ti, tenkyu Noel” (It’s OK, thank you Noel)—which would usually be followed by a big hug from Noel.

If someone was hitting or fighting with someone else, regardless of the situation, Noel would bravely run into the conflict and try to defend the weaker party. He had a keen sense of justice and mercy.

It was clear to see that Noel’s own suffering informed him of what it felt like to suffer. His own experience of being bullied by other children because of his being different made him especially sensitive to others who were on the receiving end of injustice.

 

Noel’s Best Day Ever

Noel was plagued with seizures. Lena put him on anti-seizure medication, which helped a lot. But sometimes the medicine wasn’t given properly by his family, and in the last few years his seizures intensified in frequency. Often he would fall into the cooking fire or into the river when having a seizure.

Matt & Noel, April 2015

Matt & Noel, April 2015

 

It happened for the last time on Monday morning, May 4, 2015. Noel went to wash at the creek near his home, and it seems he had a seizure. One of our men found his lifeless body in the water a short while later.

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Imagine Noel’s surprise when he awoke in a new home, in the presence of the God Who loved him with a perfect love. In a place with no more suffering. In a body without limitations of thought or action. In an environment without mud or smoky huts or hunger or malaria. In the midst of joy and love and peace that exceeds that of his friends at Kunai or helicopters or even his beloved Setina.

Imagine his being able to speak clearly. Imagine his hearing the songs of Zion in perfect harmony. Imagine his looking on the face of Jesus!

Imagine if his first day went like this:

He meets his grandfather, Bubu Isaac, one of the first Kamea believers. “Bubu, you are strong again! You look so healthy!”

He meets a former playmate, Allen, who died in an accident a couple of years ago. “Allen, you are well again! You can talk and play and run and live!”

He meets another young man, whom he only had known by his picture in the clinic. “You must be Ben. I saw your picture in the Kunai clinic every day. Our Mama Setina really misses you.”

He meets other Kamea believers who have gone before. He joins them in perfect harmony, perfect love, perfect joy, singing praise in their own heart language to the God Who created and loves all nations and tongues:

“Nkot’o awamanga ti! Nkot’o qe’atamanga ti! Nainga Na’a’oi’ya taka apa’ma nuwäno!”

“God is good! God is great, wonderful! Let us go worship the name of the Lord!”

 

And then, Noel meets Jesus.

 

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It was Noel’s best day ever.

 

 

 

 

 

Just as Noel would wait for us at our gate, we imagine him waiting at the gate of Heaven for us now!

Just as Noel would wait for us at our gate, we imagine him waiting at the gate of Heaven for us now!

Join Us for a Year That Will Change Your Life

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Out in the mountainous jungles of Papua New Guinea, people live and die, often without Christ and without medical care. Kunai Health Centre is a living demonstration of Jesus’ ministry, following His example of preaching, teaching, and healing. We have a daily clinic; we do pre- and postnatal care; we deliver babies; we give childhood immunizations. We are a TB center, a vision clinic, a dental clinic, and a place for medical education.

If you are a trained, degreed medical professional, consider joining us to reach beyond your world with the Gospel. A limited number of one-year post-graduate medical internships are available for qualified candidates at Kunai Health Centre.

  • Do you demonstrate a love for Christ and for others?
  • Do you have a burden for souls?
  • Are you a detail-oriented self-starter?
  • Are you a team player with a humble respect for authority?
  • Do you have the health and stamina to serve for long days, long nights, and irregular schedules?
  • Do you have a consistent walk with the Lord?

It is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart. It will test your faith, your strength, and your calling. But if this is what God wants you to do, nothing will compare with it.

Read through our blog. Browse Lena’s page on Facebook to learn more about the clinic ministry from the last several years, and see what the Lord does in your heart.

Then contact us to begin the medical missionary journey of a lifetime.

What do you do when you are the patient?

When You Become the Patient

Dear friends,

Lena and I have returned to the US for a medical furlough and rest. Lena is meeting with a spine surgeon friend of ours this week to determine if she will be getting a long-delayed operation on a bad disc in her neck.

We are thankful for God’s provision of a place to stay and a good surgeon with whom to consult. Our pastor and family urged us to come home, and also recommended us staying off the road for a while; I am glad to comply. We will update you all as soon as we know more.

This is not our regular furlough, and we have every intention of returning to the work as soon as possible. My national translation partner Ben is looking after the ministry and the mission in our absence. Lena’s clinic, however, had to be closed as she was the only nurse we have at present.

We covet your prayers that God will do for us what needs to be done, and for our friends and co-workers in the work back in PNG. Thank you for remembering us and the ministry in prayer.

Blessings in Christ,
John & Lena Allen

John & Lena 2013