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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.
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!
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!
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!
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
Ever wonder where we live?
Click to visit the PNG Tribal Foundation website.
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.
The 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.
How 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!
We held our Pastors’ Leadership Conference in December. Missionary Jason Ottosen hiked 12 hours over the mountain to teach with me. Our men enjoyed the sessions and we all enjoyed the fellowship and news from the ministries across the Kamea region.
Our 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.
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.
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.
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
Here are some of the blessings that happened around Christmas here in the village:
Benjamin 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!
God 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.
In January 2016, That They May Know held its first-ever field conference at Capital City Baptist Church in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
There 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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
And of course, being with our sons and their families was a blessing beyond words. Grandkids are great!
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!
We 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.
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.
Tyler 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.
Pray for each of us as we resume work in translation, mentoring pastors, teaching, and the clinic.
Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
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 🙂
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.
And 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.
In 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.
He 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.
Noel 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. Noel 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.
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.”
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.
Whenever 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.
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.
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.
It was Noel’s best day ever.
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.