2020–Not a Loss

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Looking Back

Here are some highlights of our 2020:

  • Our 40 ft container of clinic, school, Bible college, and construction materials was shipped from the US and received here, and God provided for the clinic and school supplies to be forwarded on to Kunai.
  • We completed our draft of John in the Kamea language and began the draft of Revelation in Kamea.
  • God provided new nursing staff for Kunai Health Centre as other nurses rotated back to the US. Thank you to Kyle, Lauren, Chelsea, and Danya for serving! Thank you to Stacie and Becca for coming when it didn’t look possible, and for Mary Beth being there through it all!
  • We began renovation of our new home & office space in August and moved into the house in November (with just a few things left to be finished out).
  • Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby (BBIPOM) completed its 1st year with 20 students, covering six courses in spite of lock-downs and power blackouts.
  • Dear brethren in Australia provided school materials for the new Christian school at Kunai begun by Sarah Glover this year.

Looking Around

We’ve been thinking much about our ministry options for the present. Churches here have been able to continue their services and outreaches, with the only real limitation of not being able to hold conferences. Relatively few people in PNG have access to hear or watch a conference online, especially those pastors and churches located in more remote areas. Our national pastors around the nation need the fellowship. The Lord has provided us with much material for pastors and teachers, and we want to get those into their hands as well as have gifted, godly speakers teaching the sessions. Pray with us about the door opening back up for us (and other good churches) to resume hosting conferences.

Looking Ahead

These are the things we have mapped out, Lord willing, for 2021:

  • We have applied for a visa for a new nurse coming from Australia—
    Pray the Lord will make a way for her.
  • We plan to begin our new term for BBIPOM (2nd year) on 25 January—
    Pray the Lord keeps the doors open, and pray for our returning students
    plus new students who plan to join us.
  • We want to continue our New Testament translation in the Kamea language, doing checks and reviews along the way—
    Pray the Lord provides for our village translation team to be able to fly
    out here to town and to return in a timely manner.
  • We desire to do more outreach and work with our believers—
    Pray the Lord helps us to see and to seize the opportunities.

Most of our 1st Year Students at BBIPOM

All in all, we want to “follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3a), and to make Him known among the nations!

None of us knew what 2020 would bring, so when it comes to 2021—or even tomorrow—we say with the Apostle James, “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:15b)

Thank you for your prayers for us, for our people, and for the Lord’s work, and thank you for making it possible that we can do it. Thank you again for allowing us to represent you. Please take time to look through this blog to see photos from this year and enjoy what God has done through you as you have stood with us!

Because He Is,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

A special thank you to Pastor Tau Abary and Mary Beth Snyder for taking some of these photos!

A gift from our students as they finished their first year at BBIPOM.

Students listening attentively during chapel.

Missionary John Gray came to challenge our student body.

It was a privilege to have my son Matt come teach a class on sermon preparation for our Exegesis & Exposition course.

My son Matt Allen with Pastor Tau Abary of Shalom Baptist Church

It was our privilege to join several local pastors for the graduation and awards ceremonies at Shalom Baptist Christian Academy.
Here, Mrs. Suzanne Abary, wife of Pastor Tau and headmistress of the school, is being honored for 10 years of service at the school.

Thankful for our friends laboring out at Kunai: Becca Wyatt, Sarah Glover,
and Stacie McCary. (PC: Mary Beth Snyder)

Below are some photos of the set-up and conversion of our new house and offices. Special thank you to Curtain Brothers Construction for donating, delivering, and setting up the “donga” (formerly a bunkhouse at the Exxon plant near here). Thanks also to the staff men at Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy for their tireless work on the project. Thanks to the contractors, Altra Builders and MZ Electrical for their expertise and long hours.

Here’s a sunrise view from our front veranda.

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby Mission Statement

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Click here for printable copy

New Normal

All of us continue to adapt to a world that has changed much from what it was even six months ago. I realize that many of you are still under restrictions, yet in PNG we have only had 11 confirmed cases to date, none of them serious (on a side note…everyone is sure that it is here, it’s just that testing is very limited…and any severe cases may have been missed due to the various other sicknesses and diseases that take the lives of our people). As a church, we are able to meet pretty much normally, respecting those who wish to keep a distance.

Members of Capital City Baptist meet outside after services to praise God for His goodness!

New Classes

After a month-long lockdown, we were able to resume classes at Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby. We completed our latest 8-week course last week and plan to return to classes (Lord willing!) the first week of August.

Students in class for the “Life of Christ” course at BBIPOM.

New Opportunities

Because of the religious liberty in PNG, doors open up in places you could only dream about in other countries. Among other things we’ve done lately, we were able to go with Pastor Tau and Shalom Baptist to distribute Bibles at the University of PNG Medical School and speak to future doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists. This is something we’ve looked forward to for over a year.

Some of the students at UPNG Medical School who received Bibles and heard a challenge from God’s Word to know the Lord and to serve our people!

New Construction

Lord willing, we hope to begin refurbishing our new home on the campus of Capital City Baptist Church soon. Through a series of “God-moment” connections here in Port Moresby, the Lord provided a used modular house for us, including the excavation work to prepare the site—at no cost to us! It will take a lot of renovation, but we thank the Lord for it, and look forward to the opportunity to use it for His glory!

This is where our refurbished bunkhouse will be located.

Same Great Bible

We have recently finished our draft of John’s Gospel and are working our way through the Book of Revelation. Keep this project in prayer! We are past the half-way point now, and long to see it completed!

Same Glorious Gospel

With all the problems we all see around the world, we must keep in mind that there is only one long-term (might I say, eternal) solution: The saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the global pandemic to the gender-based- and sorcery-accusation-related-violence here in PNG to the unbelievable unrest in countries around the globe, the one and only steady hope we have is Jesus Christ.

Same Great Need

Laborers are needed!

1. Pray with us for borders to open so we can get our new nurses for Kunai Health Centre. They are willing and waiting!
2. Pray for our students at BBIPOM that God will raise up laborers among them for His harvest. He is able!

Because He Is,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Kunai Health Centre:    KunaiHealthCentre.com

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby:  facebook.com/BBIPOM

Here are some more photos to enjoy. Some of these were taken by Pastor Tau Abary and the people of Shalom Baptist Church (used by permission).

First, some of our BBIPOM students!

It is a blessing to teach those who are hungry for the Word and eager to serve the Lord!
Missionary ladies are a special bunch! Lena, Rebecca Florence, Chelsea Moorman, Danya Counts, and Trina Muldoon. All happened to be in town at the same time!
After months in the remote mountains, the expression on Danya’s face as she looks at all that ice cream is priceless. Yes, we got her some ice cream 🙂
A recent sunrise at Kunai–few places are more beautiful than this! (PC: Sarah Glover)

Only God

April 2020

Click here for printable text copy

ONLY GOD
When I wrote our last update in February, none of us had any idea what would soon transpire globally. Never have any of us been forced to say “if the Lord will” as much as we are saying it now, but regardless, our God is doing great things!

ANSWER TO PRAYER
We have two new nurses who are scheduled to come once the borders re-open here in PNG. We can still use more nurses, but we praise the Lord for these two ladies who stepped up to the challenge.

FAITHFUL IN THE FIELD
The team at Kunai are continuing the ministry there. As of this writing we have no active cases of the virus in PNG, but our staff are prepared as much as possible for what may come. There are no ventilators or machines available out there, and no way to fly out critical patients. Therefore, we ask that you pray for the team on the ground, not only for their protection but for their witness.

It may not look like much, but it brought lots of medical and school supplies!

CONTAINER ARRIVED
Our container—filled with supplies that many of you donated—has arrived and cleared customs. At present it is difficult to find flights to transport the materials to our team at Kunai. Pray we can get these medical supplies and school materials up there soon!

BBI POM 1st class

BAPTIST BIBLE INSTITUTE OF PORT MORESBY
We reported in our last letter that our first week of classes went very well. Praise the Lord, the rest of the six-week term went even better! We had 20 registered students and anywhere from 15-25 visitors in attendance for every class. We finished on schedule just before the mandatory shutdown. When we reopen, we have even more students who have registered, and we are looking forward to getting back to classes!

Start of BBI POM classes–with social distancing before it was cool!

Because we wanted to continue teaching our students, we have begun a video series on the BBI POM Facebook page called, “Daily Words.” It is a brief lesson about how to study the Bible for yourself, using the text of Scripture as a reference. It is designed with our students in mind, but since it is in English, we hope others around the world will join us. Lena has also posted videos of most of the live sessions from our first class at either our BBI POM Facebook page or on our BBI POM YouTube channel.

In the uncertainty of these days, may we examine our hearts to see what the Lord may be trying to say to us as a church? Daniel prayed during the Judean exile, repenting for his people’s sins against their holy God (Daniel 9). Have we done the same? The present pandemic, the Australian bush fires, the locust swarms in Africa, the devastating tornadoes in the US—all of these in the last several weeks—can we not at least seek God and ask for His forgiveness, His mercy, and His favor? We who long for the return of the Lord Jesus—can we not admit that these present distresses are at the very least pictures of the birth pangs of judgment to come? And in confessing these things, can we not beg God for an unprecedented outpouring of His Spirit in reaching the world for Jesus Christ?

Thank you all for your faithfulness—and at such a time as this. The resourcefulness of God’s people to BE the church when they cannot assemble as the church has been amazing. May the Lord open doors of witness for us all, and may He do things beyond what we can even ask or think. He is able!

Because He Is,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Visit our Kunai Health Centre website for information about the clinic at Kotidanga

Some recent photos:

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby

The online services have allowed us to enjoy the preaching of men in Australia, PNG, and the US.

Our God is Able!

OUR GOD IS ABLE!

BAPTIST BIBLE INSTITUTE OF PORT MORESBY

Praise the Lord for the successful first week of classes at BBI POM! We averaged 45 in attendance per session for the first three evenings. Registration for full-time students is set for 17 February.

Our first six-week course covers Creation to Christ, giving our students a biblical foundation of redemption. At present we are meeting at Shalom Baptist Church in the Port Moresby, and we are grateful for their gracious hosting of the classes. Our God is able!

KOTIDANGA BAPTIST ACADEMY

Sarah Glover reports from Kotidanga that she has almost three dozen students in the inaugural classes of KBA. We are so grateful to Jubilee Christian College and Grace Baptist Church in Australia for their help in obtaining materials! The members of Kotidanga Baptist Church have prayed for this for over seven years!

Willie Tapaqueo is the son of Kamea Bible translator, Yali Tapaqueo

Pray for Sarah as she is doing two sessions; a morning session for the young students to learn to read and write, and an afternoon session for the older students (who are attending the local community school) to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. And best of all—Sarah incorporates the Scriptures and the Gospel into her teaching. Our God is able!

KUNAI HEALTH CENTRE—CRITICAL STAFF NEED!

Please take time to read this and to pray with us:

During our recruiting trip at the end of 2019, though we received many supplies for the clinic, and though we saw much fruit in the meetings we were in, we were not able to recruit the nursing staff we need for 2020.

We will be critically short of nurses in the next few months! The last few months we have had five wonderful, capable nurses on staff. Two of those finished their one-year internship last week and returned home; another two will leave at the end of June, leaving only our national nurse Manandi.  Last year the clinic saw over 16,000 patients, and that is too many for three nurses, let alone one.

Dave Armstrong (left–Sarah Glover’s uncle) returned to Port Moresby on a flight with Lauren and Kyle Murphy–our RN couple who just finished an incredible one-year term at Kunai Health Centre. We will miss them!

Because of the time it takes to obtain paperwork for new nurses, as well as the need to give them a minimum of two months’ training before they can begin to take patients on their own, we need commitments from nurses now. If the Lord does not provide nurse interns by March 15, Kunai Health Centre will have to close temporarily beginning July 1, 2020, until such time as we get the staffing we need. We already have one nurse who has surrendered to come; and another, very experienced missionary nurse who is scheduled to come in October—but we need one or two more RNs to commit within the next few weeks.

Is the Lord burdening your heart to serve for one or two years as a nurse intern at Kunai? Do you know an RN who would be interested? Take a look at our new website, www.KunaiHealthCentre.com and learn about the ministry. Then, email  lenaallen@yahoo.com to get more information about this awesome opportunity to serve in missions on the front lines, meeting spiritual and physical needs among a remote people group in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.

And please, everyone, pray! Because—Our God is able!

Because He Is,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

*A note of thanks to Marie Bell and Rachel Beard, who crafted our Kunai Health Centre website—great job!

Click here for a printable copy of the newsletter without the pictures