Beloved Kunai

Click here for printable copy

Kotidanga Baptist Mission Campus at Kunai, December 2018

Beloved Kunai

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

On December 11th, 2018, we made the most difficult hike of our lives. It wasn’t the four landslides that made our trek so hard; it was the heaviness of leaving behind part of our hearts. Lena and I hiked to the Kanabea airstrip to fly out of our village for the last time as missionaries serving in Kunai.

Lena was able to catch a ride in the Kawasaki with Sam Snyder and Sarah Glover all the way to the top of the mountain, where they had to stop at the first landslide. I hiked up the mountain with only one companion, Andy Niko. Andy is one of our youth who was recently saved at Kotidanga Baptist Church, and he is growing. He stayed about three steps behind me as he watched me cry my way up the mountain. We met Lena and dozens of our friends at the top, and they helped us carry our possessions down the other side of the mountain to the airstrip.

No, it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

An Unbelievable Month

Landslides had taken out sections of the “road” between the airstrip at Kanabea and Kunai just before we were to return in November, so we determined that we would use a helicopter to shuttle the materials over the mountain. The container that brought all the goods you friends in the USA had donated had just arrived, so we had two airplanes full of supplies, both scheduled to fly the same day. With all the weather issues we have had the last few months, we didn’t want to take a chance on everything being stuck at the airstrip with not enough carriers to bring it over the landslides. We’re grateful to SIL Aviation for flying the supplies in to Kanabea, and to T.J. Eiswald, their chopper pilot, who made quick work of the five shuttle loads of supplies. Three hours from the time the first aircraft took off with its load, everything was at the mission campus. I think that has to be a record for us!

The SIL Helicopter lives up to its “dust-off” moniker

SIL Chopper pilot T.J. Eiswald and Papa John

With on-going health issues, it is no longer prudent for us to continue serving in the remote mountains of Gulf Province, a place we’ve called “home” for almost eleven years. So after returning to Kunai, Lena and I began packing up our things as we started to say good-bye to our fellow believers, friends, and patients. It seemed there was always someone coming by the house to hug and cry with us, letting us know how much they will miss us.

Sarah Returned

A week before we left, Sarah Glover returned to Kunai from her furlough, and everyone was so glad to see her again. She has served our people since mid-2010, and among the many things she does, she has taught so many people to read and write, as well as being responsible for discipling many of our young ladies. Yes, we’re glad she’s back! 

Lena & Sarah Glover

Back-to-Back Big Sundays for Kotidanga Baptist Church

On November 25th Pastor Ben baptized 18 new believers! Our co-worker Sam Snyder also baptized their oldest son, Tommy, on that day. It was certainly a high day for the church! We’re excited for all that we’ve seen God do since Pastor Ben took the work; he has baptized 59 people in less than three years, and he is doing a great job as a pastor. His heart for the people is evident in his loving, uncompromising counsel with couples, families, and individuals. His expository preaching is Spirit-filled and Gospel-saturated, and it evidences a love for God’s Word that drives him into the text. We are so blessed to be able to work with him and his family.

Pastor Ben baptizing Londen Amon

Baptismal candidates on November 25, 2018

December 2nd was Pastor Ben’s first communion service. We did three weeks of teaching on the topic leading up to the big day. It was good for the Kotidanga Baptist family to come together around the table, remembering the death of our Lord Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf.

December 9th was nothing short of amazing. Pastor Ben had prepared a special “last Sunday” for Lena and me. He invited local people to come, and wow, how many did come! I had the privilege of preaching the Gospel to a church house packed with dozens of visitors, using Paul’s message to the church leaders of Ephesus as my text (Acts 20).

Kotidanga Baptist Church choir

At the close of the service, Pastor Ben gave us envelopes with offerings from the church. One was taken from their missions fund, a total of USD$375 to help pay for our plane flight out of the bush! And the other was USD$125, which was taken up as a special offering that morning, also to help us with resettling expenses! We were not sure whether to laugh or to cry! Gratefulness overflowed from our hearts as we felt a deep humbling in our souls, because we know that these believers gave these gifts out of their poverty. Our Kamea people do not live on $1.00 a day or $2.00 a day—they don’t earn money. They plant gardens and live off what they can grow, and that’s all. There’s no market to sell their crops, as they have no way to get them to town. The money they get is from hiking a full day to another village and bringing 44 pound bags of rice on their shoulders to sell in our village market, earning about $5.50 for their efforts.

Following the service, several community leaders addressed those assembled, thanking the Lord and us for the service we have been blessed to provide (with the help of all of you back home who stand with us!). They all spoke of the ministry of Kunai Health Centre, which the Lord enabled Lena to begin in mid-2008. Some spoke of children and mothers whose lives have been saved; others spoke of the loving care received. A common refrain was that “Lena always showed us love, no matter who we are.” Love is in short supply in this world, and even more so in this remote part of the bush. We’re thankful that the Lord has allowed us to serve here.

Writing a New Chapter

We are grateful for our pastor, Matt Anders, who came to PNG in October to see us and discuss our future ministry options. We all agreed that we could and should continue serving here in PNG. At present we will be living in “town” where we need not be concerned with being isolated from medical help if needed. We plan to keep working on our Kamea New Testament project, plus recruiting as well as training new missionaries and interns as they arrive in PNG. The wonderful team on the ground back at Kunai will handle day-to-day operations of the clinic and other ministries, and we will continue to supply them with logistical support from here. This includes buying food, supplies, medicines, vaccines, baby milk, etc., as well as organizing flights to take it out to Kunai.

We are grateful for you, our supporters, who have stood with us faithfully since we began this journey in 2006. The work at Kunai is continuing, and though we are shifting gears, we are pressing onward to what the Lord has next. There’s plenty to do—open doors are all around us. Pray for us to have wisdom and grace as we minister the Word, and as we continue to seek the Lord’s direction (Psalm 37:3-7).

Our final weeks at Kunai gave us many opportunities to share the Gospel one-to-one with people. The last man who hugged me before I boarded the plane is a notoriously violent troublemaker. He and I sat for a good while on Sunday afternoon as I took him through the Gospel again; at the airstrip he had reddened eyes, and tears were brimming as we hugged. I reminded him of his need to repent and believe in Christ, and he nodded.

There are so many like him, not just here in PNG, but all over the world. Who will go and live among them, investing time and love and life to make the Gospel come alive before their eyes?

Nobody said it was going to be easy. Will you do it?

All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Visit these recent posts too:

“The Team at Kunai”

“Our Last Week at Kunai, December 2018”


Here are plenty more photos from this amazing month (special thanks to Marie Bell and Mary Beth Snyder for some amazing photos!):

Watching the baptism from the cliff

Pastor Ben baptizing Setina Leften

Pastor Ben baptizing Jon Amon

There’s Kanabea airstrip on a clear day!

One of the SIL Kodiaks that serves us in the bush

We are grateful for the SIL pilots who have served Kanabea airstrip: Dave Barton, Fran Burgess, Christopher Clark, Josh Eicholtz, Jonathan Federwitz, Steve Geis, Jamie Halverson, Mike Littlefield, Jon Mork, and James Nelson…plus some MAF pilots who have served us over the years, like Richard Ebel, Holger Lasi, Richard Marples, and Remi VanVermeskerken…and let’s not forget our own Tyler Nikkel and Matt Allen!

TB Microscopy Training

April Harper came to teach our Kunai Health Centre staff how to read tuberculosis slides

Tuberculosis is a huge problem in PNG, as in many parts of the world. Kunai Health Centre currently treats over 75 patients for TB. April Harper and two friends came to help KHC staff better identify patients with TB.

Ellie using her new skills to read the TB slides

PNG Post Courier article about the Kunai Health Centre’s “baby milk program”

Some of the landslide damage on our “road”

Another blowout in the “road”–our men had worked hard to repair it, and then it blew out again, even worse

PNG Post Courier article about the landslides that have destroyed the road between Kanabea airstrip and Kunai

But it is still such a beautiful place…

Kunai beauty!

The Team at Kunai

We are so grateful to work with such a wonderful team at Kotidanga Baptist Mission at Kunai. Enjoy the photos!

[Photo credit: Marie Bell, Mary Beth Snyder]

Look at how many hiked over the mountain on December 4th to greet Sarah Glover and to help her carry her bags! It’s a 10-mile round trip, climbing and descending about 1,000 feet.

Sam and Mary Beth Snyder, with their children Tommy, Bethany, and Leland

Sarah Glover

Emma Stout

Laura Lee Alford

Marie Bell

Margaret

Manandi

Jon Mark

Ellie

Linda

Judas

Here are some memorable friends and patients:

Lena with her namesake, Lena Moses and her dad, Moses

David Koneo and his family; their son Eli (in the center) was our first milk baby back in 2009

Clinic kids…whether they come for treatment or immunizations, they hang around to watch the “Jesus Film” as it plays every day on the clinic porch

How many tiny ones we have seen!

Twin one…

…and twin two

No matter how busy the day at Kunai, the staff remembers what is most important…

…the spiritual focus of leading people to Jesus over-arches all that is done at Kunai. All glory to God!

 

 

 

Our Last Week at Kunai, December 2018

This is a photo blog of our last week at Kunai. Enjoy the photos!

Visiting with Benjamin Luke in Mewari. Ben has been crippled by TB of the spine, yet maintains a sweet spirit in his trials. He was saved a few years back, and he is a glowing testimony of God’s grace in his village!

There were a lot of good-byes and tearful hugs

We’re grateful for the discipleship our nurses do with our youth ladies at Kotidanga Baptist Church!

Yali Tapaqueo is one of my Kamea translation partners. He is also our song leader, and a wise, godly leader in the church. He and Patrisa have four children: (left to right): Willie, Liven, Sina, and Kalemi.

Pastor Ben is my other translation partner in the Kamea Bible project. He and Anjuda have four children: (left to right) Nosah, Selestin, Becky, and Ishmel.

Ben and I preaching together on our last Sunday

The ladies packed it in in the back of the church

The youth choir sang and blessed our hearts

Kotidanga Baptist Church choir, directed by Mary Beth Snyder

How our youth have grown in the Lord!

Carrying our household things to the airstrip on December 11

Half-way down the mountain, with the Kanabea airstrip in the background

Waiting at the airstrip

Good-bye at the airstrip just before we flew out. We were blessed to have so many friends and fellow-believers join us!

 

 

 

It All Depends on Whom You Depend

Independence

Papua New Guinea celebrated its 43rd Independence Day last month. The local communities wait to celebrate independence when the Member of Parliament sends money to pay for sporting events, but rarely do they celebrate it on the actual date (September 16).

Our Member of Parliament, Richard Mendani, addresses our Kamea people on PNG Independence Day at Kotidanga.

This year was different; our Member of Parliament came to our village on Independence Day, so we got to celebrate it on time! I had the privilege of being one of the guest speakers. I was able to remind several hundred of our Kamea people that we have a responsibility to pray for our leaders as we hold them accountable before God and men. The best part was that I was able to share the Gospel with them again, and that is the best independence message of them all.

I had the privilege to preach the Gospel to those assembled–but I didn’t get invited to speak until the last minute, hence my “dressed down” look. I thought we were going to play games 🙂 Glad I brought my Bible.

Interdependence

God has blessed Lena and me over the years with great co-workers at Kunai. Recently we’ve had interns Emma Stout, Laura-Lee Alford, and Marie Bell join us to work in the clinic. They have adapted well and have such a heart for the Lord and for our people. We are blessed by their enthusiasm and zeal for the Lord!

Chelsea demonstrates care of one of our milk babies as Ellie, Emma, Marie, and Laura Lee enjoy the lesson.

We also said, “So long!” to one of our interns, Chelsea Moorman. She is gifted with tireless compassion and has a heart for discipling young ladies in a cross-cultural environment. She will be missed!

Lena teaches Ellie how to check for tuberculosis in the lymph nodes in young children.

God-Dependence

Sometimes we all have hectic schedules. As I muse about what has happened here in the last several weeks, this is what I recall. We

  • hosted two visiting doctors
  • welcomed two new interns
  • did language & culture orientation with the new interns
  • made several attempts to fly back to our village (due to cloudy weather) before succeeding
  • fixed a landslide
  • spoke at Kotidanga’s Independence Day celebration
  • flew out of our village in the Member of Parliament’s helicopter
  • said good-bye to an intern
  • flew to Australia for doctor’s visits, tests, and treatment
  • flew back to PNG
  • visited our son’s ministry in Port Moresby
  • met with our home church pastor

Speaking of our home church pastor: Pastor Matt Anders had already planned (in God’s perfect timing) to be in PNG to meet with us, and how timely it was in our present circumstance! We are so grateful for a local church that loves and cares for us. Receiving support from your church is good; knowing that they pray for you fervently is even better; and having them send your pastor to come see you on the field, well, that’s above what we could ask or think!

Pray with us as Lena continues to recover. We are out of Kunai now, preparing in a few days to make a trip to Lae city to get our supplies and medicine, and then we will rest a bit before flying back to Kunai in mid-November.

All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Enjoy these photos from the ministry too!

Full house at Kunai Health Centre!

On cool mornings, patients prefer to sit on the grass out in the warm sun.

Many children who receive care at Kunai also receive hats, dresses, and blankets made by friends in the US. Thank you to everyone who helps with these!

Tuberculosis is a big problem in PNG. Lena has spent countless hours at the microscope looking for signs of that dread disease (none in this photo, though!).

Chelsea is expertly re-attaching a severed Achilles tendon while Laura Lee holds the light. These nurses do amazing things at Kunai Health Centre!

Just another day’s work. Don’t large landslides with big trees regularly block the road to your village? Jon, Yali, Tantan, Peter, and Amon cleared this one away in just two days with axes, machetes, picks, and spades.

We were able to fly out of our village with a total of eleven people in this  helicopter (a first for us)! I hadn’t flown in a Huey since I was in the Army back in 1980.

Helicopters always draw a big crowd at our place!

Lena and I with Chelsea and eight other people stuffed into the Huey.

 

And what is a blog post without a cute baby picture? Of course, he’s not paying attention to me while I’m preaching, but I guess cuteness wins in this case.

Translating Eternal Truth

 

 

The dark-backed books on the shelves on the left represent the languages of the world into which some portion of God’s Word has been translated. The yellow-backed books on the right represent those languages without one verse of Scripture. God speed the day when the yellow is gone from this room! (Courtesy The Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC)

Bread for the World: Translating Eternal Truth

In 2014 we began the work of translating  God’s Word into the Kamea language. Before then it took six years here in PNG to learn much of the language and culture in order to even begin to faithfully communicate the Word into a context far removed from that of the writers in both Testaments.

God provided two special Kamea brothers-in-Christ who are responsible for the bulk of the Kamea translation work. Pastor Ben and Yali are my friends, my fellow-Christians, and my fellow-laborers in bringing “God’s Talk” into their heart language. The progress we have made to date is more to their credit than it is to mine. I could study this beautiful language for 10 more years and still not glean all the rich words they bring to the translation desk.

We began the translation at first as a supplement to our production of a video based on “The Jesus Film.” By the end of 2014 we had produced the video, the first ever video in our tribal language, and since then it has been copied and distributed and re-distributed throughout the region (plus being available online here). At Kunai Health Centre the video plays daily as patients wait to be treated, allowing them to hear God’s Word in their heart language while seeing for themselves the geographic and historical context of Jesus’ life and times. After a vivid segment on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the video concludes with an invitation to turn to Christ alone for salvation. It has been an effective tool in sowing the seed of the Word in literally thousands of hearts over the last four years. (See an interview here with Ben and me from a few years ago, regarding how we made the video.)

To date, Ben, Yali, and I have completed Mark, Luke, Acts, Galatians, Titus, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, and 1,2,3 John. We are nearly finished with Matthew, and at Ben and Yali’s request, we are beginning a revision of Luke before proceeding to the other books of the New Testament. You might ask, “why?” The reason is that every day we hear the video we produced from Luke’s Gospel echoing across the mission campus from the clinic. These men have gained enough experience in translation since 2014 that they themselves realize that we need to correct things in that early translation. And I agree; all of us have learned much about translating the Word since then.

Translation of the Word into English has come a long way from John Wycliffe’s work in 1380. Translation of the Word into tribal languages still has a long way to go. Thousands of languages still do not have one jot or tittle of God’s Word in their own mother tongue.

We get the privilege to see peoples’ eyes light up when they hear God’s Word in their own language for the first time. We get even more excited when we see that very Word do a work in their hearts. Thank you for your part in helping us to do it!

People need the Lord. To know the Lord, they must hear His Word. To hear His Word, someone must tell them, or they must read it themselves. And if His Word doesn’t exist in the language they understand, how shall they come to know Him?

It is not an easy task, it is not a short-term task, and it is not a task for unclean hands and an unholy heart. People are waiting to hear; what are you and I doing to get the Word to them?

All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for a printable copy


Here are a few photos illustrating Bible translation and printing; we look forward to adding the Kamea New Testament to this history!

Original courtesy The Bible Museum, Phoenix, AZ

Back in the work!

May 2018 update

Great Opportunities
We have shared the Gospel and stories of God’s goodness with so many in the last five months. While passing through the Middle East, I had the blessing of sharing the Gospel for a good while with a Hindu man while we rode in a small bus filled with Afghanis, Pakistanis, and other nationalities. When in the US we had many chances to preach the Word and to testify of God’s mercy and grace in His work in PNG. Since arriving back in PNG, we’ve already had opportunities to share the Gospel with people great and small. As we get settled back in at Kunai, we look forward to resuming our duties in the clinic and in Bible translation and teaching, all of it with a view of making Christ known even more among our people.

We were the youngest missionaries at this conference! Hard to stack up against Dr. Don Sisk, Margaret Stringer, and Randy & Jeannette Alderman…we felt like newbies! Thanks to Pastor & Mrs. Rusty Smith for the blessing of being in such a conference.

Great Provision
We are thankful for the new interns the Lord gave us as we recruited for missionaries around the US during the last four months. The Lord also touched many to give supplies for Kunai Health Centre, and when it was done, we shipped over half a ton of items for the clinic, plus another 150 pounds of vitamins and medicine we carried back in our suitcases. To God be the glory!

Sorting supplies with Bruno Keller at JAARS (photo credit, Geoff Russell)

Great Co-workers
While we’ve been away, the Kunai team has held a great youth camp with many saved, and brought Good News FM Radio (our new radio station) online. Would you pray for our team as we continue to work together to fulfill the Great Commission among the Kamea?

Co-workers: Sam & Marybeth Snyder, and Sarah Glover;
Clinic staff: Chelsea Moorman, Manandi Dagoino, Ellie Polmek, Jon Mark, Judas Gidion, Linda, and my wife Lena;
Kamea New Testament Translation team: Pastor Ben Samauyo, Yali Tapaqueo, and me;
Our new interns: Emma Stout and Laura Lee Alford, who will join the team over the next couple of months.

Great God
We enjoyed seeing how the Lord is blessing in our son’s work, Capital City Baptist Church in Port Moresby, as we transitioned back through there and did our supply buying. We were able to visit with our dear friends, Pastor Tau & Suzanne Abary, at Shalom Baptist Church. Pastor Tau suffered a severe stroke earlier this year, but by God’s grace he is recovering. Pray that God will heal him completely, and that He will strengthen his family during the long recovery process.

John & Pastor Tau Abary

Great Thanks

Jon Mark said to tell everyone who prayed for him, “THANK YOU!” What a smile!

While we were gone to the US, our son Matt and our friends at Capital City Baptist in Port Moresby took care of our friend from Kunai, Jon Mark. Jon is a worker in our clinic and a faithful member of Kotidanga Baptist Church. He is also completely blind! He has lived in constant pain for the last several years, and earlier this year Matt flew Jon to Port Moresby for his third eye surgery. This time his pain is finally gone! Praise the Lord, and thank you to everyone who has prayed for Jon Mark!

We appreciate all of you for your faithful support of the work here. We were blessed to visit many while we were home, and we thank each of you for being a blessing to us. Special thanks go to our home church, Landmark, for being faithful in preaching of the Word of God and for their God-glorifying music program. It was so refreshing!

All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

PS…enjoy some extra pictures!

This is a bookshelf in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. Each yellow book represents a language in which the Word of God has not yet been translated. By God’s grace, one day we will see the Kamea language moved out of the yellow book section!

We recently received a donation from the Ukarumpa International School in Papua New Guinea towards the operational expenses of Kunai Health Centre. Thank you all for your generosity to help our people!

Aerial view of the campus of Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy in Port Moresby, PNG, where our son Matt and his family serve. The facility is located to the right of center in the middle of the photo.

Our US family at our home church in Louisville, KY.

Providential Meetings

Home for the Holidays
Lena and I made it to the US just before Christmas. It was great to be with family and friends for the holidays before we hit the road during the first week of January. We do have to admit that leaving temperate PNG for the frigid Midwest was an adjustment!

Open Doors
The Lord opened a door for Lena and me to visit the Middle East on our way to the US for our furlough. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach for a couple of weeks in a seminary in Jordan. There were both Jordanians and Egyptians in the class, and it was a blessing and joy to work with them.

I’m grateful for Dr. Ghassan Haddad and the work of Biblical Theological Seminary as they train laborers for the Arab-speaking world. We passed through Dubai on the way to Jordan, and were also blessed to see the work being done there in the United Arab Emirates. The Word of God is not bound!

A couple from the jungle trying to blend into the desert.

Recruiting and Replenishing
The Lord has given us great meetings in January and  February. We have seen the Lord move in hearts as we’ve shared what God is doing in PNG. We’ve seen many long-time friends and met many new ones. God has been truly good to us!

One of our major goals this trip is to recruit nurses for Kunai Health Centre and to recruit teachers to start a school for our Kamea children at Kotidanga. We have met some fine people and have had appointments at Christian colleges to speak to prospects. Praise the Lord, He gave us two new workers for the clinic: Emma Stout, from Franklin Road Baptist Church; and Laura Lee Alford, from our home church. Amen! Pray with us that the Lord will raise up even more missionaries, nurses, and teachers!

Finally, we are looking to ship these specific medical-related supplies (and only these items):

  • ibuprofen (Advil or generic)
  • naproxen (Aleve or generic)
  • band-aids
  • ACE wraps (2”-6”)
  • muscle rub (i.e. Ben-Gay)

If you wish to help by donating these items, please send them before March 31, 2018 to:

John Allen c/o David Allen
1077 Weavers Run
West Point, KY 40177

We plan to pack and ship them in early April, just before we head back to PNG on April 19th. We are thankful for the donations received already. May God richly bless all of you who have given to this cause!

Back Home in PNG
Kotidanga Baptist Church held its first Youth Camp in January. Our good friend Phil Parry was the main speaker, and he, along with Pastor Ben, Matt Allen, Sam Snyder, and a host of others put on a camp like our villages had never seen. 17 young people came to faith in Christ, and many more made life-changing decisions. We thank the Lord for all the work that everyone did to make this happen. So many stories to be told! (Click here to see the video of the camp.)

Crazy games!

Real crazy games!

Biblical preaching!

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support. We are only able to do what we do because of your faithful prayers and support. May the Lord put credit on your account for your part in His work in PNG!

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena

PS: Enjoy some more camp photos!

Bird’s eye view of Kotidanga Youth Camp

Here are some of the people who made the camp happen:

Bro. Phil Parry lead the teaching.

Pastor Ben Samauyo lead the camp for Kotidanga Baptist Church.

Bro. Sam Snyder

Mrs. Ellie Polmek

Our nurse, Miss Chelsea Moorman, with her       friends

Bro. Yali Tapaqueo

Bro. Matt Allen

Remembering God’s Goodness in 2017

(click here for printable copy)
(click here to see our 2017 ministry video)

REJOICING IN WHAT GOD HAS DONE                             

Manandi Dagoino checks a young patient.

Since we last wrote, Manandi and Chelsea have joined the Kunai Health Centre team. They have oriented well in the work, and along with the rest of our national staff (Jon Mark, Ellie, Jasper, Linda, and Jessica) they are ministering to our people in a Gospel-centered way.

Chelsea Moorman teaches a mother
how to administer medicine to her child.

Jon Mark teaches Atenapi how to
take her TB medicine.

 

REVELING IN WHAT GOD IS DOING

·   This year Kotidanga Baptist Church voted Ben Samauyo as their pastor, and he was ordained in June. Many were saved this year, and we have seen many others grow in their walk with the Lord!

Gideon and Amon listening intently during a recent
message at Kotidanga Baptist Church

·   Our radio station, Gutnius (Good News) Radio, went on the air in October with the help of Michael Wakefield from Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship. This has been a long-time project with many man-hours of back-breaking labor by our people to put the tower up on top of the mountain, and a lot of “brain work” to figure out the logistical and transmitter issues.

This is a picture from 2014 of our people at the Gutinius Radio tower
on the top of the mountain above Kotidanga Baptist Church

·   The Kamea Bible Project made good advances this year. We now have several books of the New Testament completed and ready for checking. I so appreciate my coworkers on the project, Pastor Ben and Yali.

Pastor Ben is recording the Gospel of Mark in Kamea, while
Yali works on the back translation of the Gospel of Matthew.

·   God has given us a great team of fellow workers. Sam & Marybeth Snyder and their children joined us earlier this year, and along with Sarah Glover and our nurses who were with us in 2017 (Tiffany, Erika, and Chelsea), they have served our people well and made a real difference in the lives of many.

Sam & Marybeth Snyder, with Leland, Tommy, & Bethany

Erika, Tiffany, Sarah, & Lena, with friends Kelesa & Caleb

Ricky Beyaba worked with Matt Allen and Andrew Schellenberger
for three years on our airstrip. Ricky was able to come back to visit us for a week
along with Daniel Jezowski from SIL Aviation (click here to read
Daniel’s newsletter to get a visitor’s perspective of the ministries at Kotidanga).

 

RECRUITING MISSIONARIES

I made a quick trip back to the US in October to be in the Pensacola Christian College Missions Conference. It was great to be among so many servants of our great God and to be able to talk to so many young people about serving the Lord in missions.

It was great to spend time with our former co-workers,
Andrew & Rachel Schellenberger. We are so thankful
for the four years of service they gave to our people in Kotidanga!

 

REVISITING FAMILY & CHURCHES

After my trip to PCC, I returned to PNG where Lena and I wrapped things up to head back to the US for our furlough. We arrive in the US just before Christmas, and we hit the road the first week of January. We covet your prayers as we travel, and even more, we long to have many wonderful Gospel conversations with believers and non-believers. Pray that we can be a blessing and that the Lord will be magnified. We will be in Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Virginia…probably not in that order. 🙂  We plan to be back in PNG in April 2018.

Also, we just celebrated another milestone: Lena and I have been married 40 years! Woohoo! Glory!

We thank the Lord for your faithful love and prayers. The Lord continues to supply our needs, and we thank Him for using you all to do it. May you have a blessed Christmas, and may the Lord put His touch on your labors for Him in the coming year!

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

PS: Enjoy the photos!  And click here to watch our latest video from the field! Or click here to see the latest video with info about the clinic!

Lena & Anjuta teach the Saturday Ladies’ Meeting.

Sela recently had her baby at the clinic, and she came back
to say “thank you” with two fresh pineapples!

It’s a busy clinic day as Pastor Ben shares the Gospel.

No matter how busy the day is, Manandi always finds time to enjoy her patients.

Sometimes the children come to the clinic just to hang out.

Happy baby!


Pastor Tau Abary and his wife, Suzanne…long-time friends of ours in PNG!


We got to spend time with wonderful our family in Port Moresby, PNG:
Matt, Becky, Ariel, & Hannah

Here’s the rest of our wonderful family in the USA:
Sarah, Dave, Nate, & Amber
Abe, Abi, Emerson, Graham, Beth, baby Autumn, Cece, & Ben

God is still God!

GOD IS STILL GOD!                                                          click here for printable copy

Hello from Kotidanga Baptist Church in Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea!

BEN’S ORDINATION

We had a packed house at Kotidanga Baptist for Pastor Ben’s ordination.

In January 2017, Kotidanga Baptist Church voted to make Ben Samauyo their pastor. During our recent Pastors’ Workshop, we held Ben’s ordination.

Ben presents his doctrinal statement before his ordination.

It was a great to have Pastor Philip Sorulen from Calvary Baptist in Lae,  Matt Allen from Port Moresby, and my co-worker Sam Snyder  take part in the ordination service. Pastor Philip preached several times while he was with us, and he was a great blessing to our people and to Pastor Ben.

TTMK director and founder of Capital City Baptist in Port Moresby, Matt Allen, and his Kamea translator, Pastor Kevin Samawe

 

BAPTIZING NEW BELIEVERS

At the end of the special meetings, Ben baptized 11 who had been saved in recent months. Thank the Lord for these young converts! 

Jon Mark, one of our most faithful church members, is blind. He works at Kunai Health Centre and he doesn’t let much slow him down! He was one of those who followed the Lord in believer’s baptism in June.

  

BRING ON THE VISITORS

We also had ten visitors from Pensacola Christian College who came to observe the clinic ministry. Nine were nurses or nursing students, and they got to experience a lot while they were here.

PCC visitors pose with the staff of Kunai Health Centre.

During their visit we had a school health check day, with over 600 students coming from villages as far as three hours’ walk away. It certainly was busy! While they proceeded through various stations (vision, hearing, etc.) they also heard the Gospel in groups and in personal witness.

Youth who came for health check day

In addition, June was a record month at the clinic with 2,100 regular patients PLUS the 600 who came for health checks. That’s a lot of patients, and a lot of patience 🙂 Thank the Lord for all the opportunities we had to share the Gospel during those busy clinic days.

 

BETHEL BAPTIST IN LAE

Bethel Baptist Choir

Lena and I recently returned from Lae where I had the privilege to speak for a few days at Bethel Baptist Church. Many responded openly to the preaching of the Word of God, including some who put their faith in Christ.

Singing men from Liberty Baptist in Lae

Visitors came from several different churches around the city, including some students from Lae University of Technology. Special thanks to Pastor Timothy Sogori, his wife Ruth,  and his people for putting the meeting together!

 

BUSY DAYS AHEAD

We had two new nurses join us this week. Chelsea Moorman (from the US) and Manandi Dagoino (from our neighboring village) are now part of the Kunai Health Centre staff. Pray that they orient well and that the Lord will bless their labors for Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our people. Several responded to our last post, and we covet your continued fervent prayers for our country, Papua New Guinea. God is still God, and as a friend wrote recently, “our enemy has an expiration date.” Amen!

Serving Him in the Field,

John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Enjoy the extra photos!

Ben & Anjuta flew out with us to attend a pastors’ conference.

Many patients are still captivated watching the “Jesus Film” whether in Pidgin or in Kamea.

Ben came to the clinic and shared the Gospel with this young church member whose life was ending. The young man affirmed his faith in Christ alone, and in a short time he passed into eternity. Are you ready if your time were to come today?

 

Effectual Door, Multiple Adversaries

A GREAT DOOR AND EFFECTUAL IS OPENED . . .
AND THERE ARE MANY ADVERSARIES
(1 Corinthians 16:9)

 We seldom mention in our prayer letters about the kinds of opposition we encounter here in PNG. All those who serve the Lord Jesus soon enough find opposition to the advance of the Gospel, and here it is no different.

What is different for us is the type of opposition. Papua New Guinea is one of the last frontiers in the world. In the scope of world history, and even though PNG has its own rich history through its over 800 different tribes, there has been little influence from the outside world until the last 150 years, and even today, there are many PNG people who have no clear idea what the western world is like.

 Many areas of PNG have been strongholds of Satan for millennia. Unhindered by the Gospel, the adversary has had free reign among these precious people groups. With the arrival of the Gospel in the last century, varied forms of opposition have arisen and continue to this day. I wanted to share just one of them, in order that you could join us in praying against the hindrances to Gospel advance here in PNG.

Traditional Culture and God’s Word

 Any people group’s individual culture is their identity. In a biblical context, anything in a culture that is not unbiblical, immoral, or unethical is not a problem. However, those things that are contrary to Scripture, or that severely misinterpret Scripture, are things that must change. (I know that sounds dogmatic in our present age of relative truth, but the Word of God is not relative truth. Either the Word is our standard of life as believers in Jesus Christ, or it isn’t.)

 Our Kamea people have their own cultural practices and beliefs, yet many of these are related to evil spirits; either appeasing the spirits, or controlling the spirits. This is a hidden practice, and it took years to learn how wide spread it is even among professing Christians.

Further, at the present time there is a group here who are calling for a reviving of their culture and a forsaking of Christian ideals in order to return to the “old ways.” (Interestingly, they still want to use modern clothes, solar power, transportation, etc., so I guess the “old ways” weren’t all that good…) Some are taking portions of Scripture and re-interpreting them as being directly about our people. Places and events in the Bible are being “discovered” here in our region, and thus they say that the stories of the Bible are really about the Kamea people. Promises of blessing to Israel in the Old Testament are being claimed for our people. Another group took a King James Bible (a give-away copy) and built a sacred house for it, saying, “now that the Bible has come back to where it started from, the blessings of God will be poured out on us.” Such things are not unique to our place; these things are believed all over PNG, with each group putting its own twist on the stories.

 Naturally, our preaching is not popular, because we insist that the Word does not teach that this place where we live is Israel, nor does it teach a mixture of ancestor worship and worship of the Lord.

 The god of this world, Satan, has “blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Would you pray with us:

  • That our believers would walk humbly with God, trusting Him rather than the spirits?
  • That they would believe God in spite of incredible pressures from their unbelieving family and friends?
  • That Jesus Christ would be exalted among our dear Kamea people?
  • That the power of the Gospel would break the chains of sin and Satan here?

We covet such prayer!

May God strengthen you as you join with us in prayer on behalf of our people!

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