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

Thoughts from the Thruway

On the Road

It has been a whirlwind of activity the last few weeks since we arrived in the States. We have had some wonderful meetings with our supporting churches—some of whom we have not seen since we began this journey over 13 years ago! We have also reconnected with friends we haven’t seen in over 40 years (!), and those times have been precious as well.

We have met with many prospective missionaries, including preachers, nurses, educators, and those who have an interest in moving to the foreign fields for “secular” work in order to help churches to be planted. There are so many ways to be involved in reaching the world! Have you asked the Lord what He would have YOU to do?

Great News from Home

Sarah Glover, who has been at Kunai since 2010, is starting a Christian school for our village children in February 2020. This has been a prayer request of our believers at Kotidanga Baptist Church for the last several years, and in just the last few weeks that the Lord has made it possible. Praise the Lord for all the details He has worked it out!

Packing Up

Thank you so much for the incredible response we’ve received from those who have sent supplies and funds for the clinic, the Bible Institute, and for shipping! The Lord always blesses us beyond measure. When we finish up our meetings, we will return to Louisville to pack the container in time to ship it just after the New Year.

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby

Soon we will be back in PNG, and preparations to receive our first intake of students for the new Bible school are already in full swing. We are excited to partner with the pastors of our fellow Baptist churches to train leaders for the future of our city and our nation!

Will you pray with us for the need we have for a venue for the school? At present, some of the city churches have graciously offered to host a block Bible school course at their facilities, but none of them are can serve as a permanent location. We are looking for a place that is easily accessible to students from around the city with a consistent backup power supply. Rent for such a venue in Port Moresby is astronomical and buying land (and putting up a building) is even more out of reach. We are confident that the Lord has the right place—pray with us as we seek to find a place and to raise sufficient funds to obtain it.

And while you are praying—pray with us regarding:

  • The need for nursing staff at Kunai Health Centre for 2020-2021
  • Our health and stamina in the work

Lord willing, the next time you hear from us we will be back in PNG. One of the biggest encouragements we’ve heard lately came from Rex Cobb, our missions’ mentor at BBTI. His words: “Thank you for going back! Many don’t.”

Monument to the Haystack Prayer Meeting

While in Massachusetts, we visited the “Haystack Monument,” which commemorates five Williams College students who began meeting in 1806 to dedicate their lives to the serve in foreign missions. Many believe the American foreign mission movement came from these humble beginnings.* Oh, that we had such a fervor to reach the world in our own day!

David Brainard’s grave in Northampton, Massachusetts. Brainard’s life, immortalized in Jonathan Edwards’ “The Life and Diary of David Brainerd,” [sic] has probably impacted more men and women to give their all to serve the Lord than any other English book.

Thank you all for your heart for the Lord and for us; you are the ones who make it possible for us to return. May God bless you and yours during this holiday season, and may we all have “2020 Vision” in the year to come!

Because He Is,

John & Lena Allen

2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for printable copy

The Influence of the Word of God

October 2019

PREACHING THE WORD

The last three months, Lena and I have been visiting the established Baptist churches in Port Moresby, meeting with the pastors and getting to know their people. We appreciate the open door we’ve had in several of those churches to preach the Word.

We just finished an awesome week at youth camp in Australia at Grace Baptist Church in Malanda, Queensland. There was such a spirit of service among the workers and a great spirit among the youth. Many decisions were made, including some for salvation. Lena and I got our cups full as we spent time with some of God’s choicest servants.

The staff and campers at Grace Baptist Church’s youth camp.

TRANSLATING THE WORD

Pastor Ben Samauyo and Bro. Yali Tapaqueo flew from Kotidanga to Port Moresby to stay with us for a couple of weeks while we worked on a full translation check on the Gospel of Luke. It was very profitable for us all, and the three of us being back together to work and fellowship was refreshing. Pastor Ben was able to speak at Shalom Baptist in Port Moresby, and that evening was a help and delight to everyone involved.

Pastor Ben preaching at Shalom Baptist Church in Port Moresby.
We just uploaded new audio recording software into Pastor Ben’s computer, and praise the Lord for how easy it is to use. Soon we hope to have some of our newly translated Kamea New Testament ready for our audio bibles!

LIVING THE WORD

We are so grateful for those who come to serve with us in the ministries at Kotidanga. Laura Lee Alford recently returned home after serving with us for nearly a year.

Laura Lee did many things while she was at Kunai. One of them was to help the checking of the Kamea New Testament with Pastor Ben and Bro. Yali.

Jennifer Thompson arrived in July, but due to an unknown allergic reaction she had to return to the States in September. Pray for Jenn as the doctors seek the cause of her illness.

It took several days to get Jenn out of the village due to bad weather. Note the muddy airplane–the airstrip has really been wet and muddy lately (see pictures below).

TEACHING THE WORD

Since arriving in Port Moresby, we have heard and seen the need to conduct a Bible Institute for the training of new ministry leaders. The city pastors and churches are doing a great work, and we want to come along beside them to partner in training future leaders for both our city and for the nation.

There are some Baptist Bible schools around the country, and one Baptist Bible college in the Highlands. The other option is to send students overseas to the Philippines, Australia, or the USA for training. We want to offer the option of these leaders being trained here in the city while being mentored by their own pastors in their home churches.

Thank the Lord for the opportunity to sit down with several of the Baptist pastors in Port Moresby as we discussed the concept of the Baptist Bible Institute.

Pray with us as we prepare to begin the Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby in February 2020.

As I write this, we are getting ready to board a flight back to the USA for several weeks’ worth of meetings. Pray we can minister well as we report and recruit! Thank you for all you do to help us in the work.

Because He Is,

John & Lena Allen

2 Thessalonians 3:1

____________________

Enjoy some photos from the last couple of months…

The weather has been unusually wet–even for us. Kanabea airstrip was covered with water and mud. This was during the time we were trying to get Jennifer Thompson out.
The Lord dried out the airstrip enough to get Sarah and Danya out, too.
Eventually they all made it to Port Moresby!
Our Kotidanga youth ladies hiked three days to get to Kerema, then rode a truck for another 8 hours just to get to youth camp in Port Moresby.
I met Anderson in one of the nice grocery stores in Port Moresby and got to share the Gospel with him.
No, that’s not how he normally dresses. He was involved in a traditional ceremony for his tribe, and just happened to be in the grocery. (Note the photo bomb, too…)
We still do supply buying for the Kunai team. Yes, that’s a lot of toilet tissue.
Lena has become involved with the hospital chaplains at Port Moresby General Hospital. Here she was teaching on the proper masking procedures for visiting the tuberculosis ward.
Lena, all dressed up for Papua New Guinea Independence Day, September 16th!

Moving Along

MOVING BOXES

Soon after our last update, we finished packing and sent our household goods (and somebody’s small library) from the Highlands down to Port Moresby. The Lord provided a good place for us to rent, just five minutes’ drive from Capital City Baptist Church.

We are renting in Edai Town, about 25 minutes from downtown Port Moresby, and 5 minutes from Capital City Baptist Church.

Already we’ve met many new people and are adapting to ministry in the city. The contacts we have made thus far regarding government and clinic work have been providential, and we thank the Lord for how He is sovereignly putting things together to advance the work at Kunai, even as we now live in Port Moresby.

MOVING WORD

Last week I was privileged to speak at the Pastors’ Workshop at Calvary Baptist Church in Lae. Pastor Ben and Pastor Kevin were able to fly out from the village to attend, and it was good to spend some personal time with them. The meeting was in conjunction with Calvary’s World Missions Conference, and it was exciting to see the strides our national churches are making in looking outward to the fields beyond.

All the pastors attending the Workshop at Calvary Baptist in Lae

An even bigger blessing was watching the Lord work in all of our hearts through the teaching of His Word. How precious it was when a holy hush fell on the room, followed by an altar filled with praying pastors who were moved by the exposition of the Word of God. Pray with us for God to move in a great way in our nation, advancing the Gospel here and abroad!

MOVING FORWARD

Another new nurse, Jennifer Thompson, is scheduled to arrive within a month. When she flies in to Kunai, Pastor Ben and Bro. Yali will fly out to be with us for two weeks of translation work here in Moresby. We also hope to do some New Testament recordings while the men are here.

Lena and I are visiting the city churches to get to know the pastors, their people, and the city. There are some wonderful saints here, and we trust that number will increase as we all labor together for the cause of Christ.

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

Enjoy the photos from the last few weeks:

Calvary Baptist Church choir
Pastor Phillip Sorulen of Calvary Baptist Church, Lae
Justin McGann, general manager for Curtain Brothers Construction in Port Moresby; Justin volunteered his time to do the road survey for us. He’s manager of the biggest construction firm in Port Moresby–it was an honor to have him do this for us!
Patrick, our pilot, and the trusty steed that took us from Port Moresby to Kotidanga and back. Low, and slow, and oh–what a view!
Sarah Glover and Kyle Murphy took Justin, me, and Pastor Ben to the top of the mountain to begin our damage assessment of the Kotidanga road.
Real friends walk with you in the mud and the rain.
Part of the gang who walked with us to survey the road damage. So grateful for dedicated friends up there at Kunai!
Flying back to Port Moresby: View from inside the R44 helicopter–and what a view it was!
PNG dry season is here!
Beautiful Central Province coastline
In May we visited the YWAM medical ship when it was docked in Lae. Here are Sarah Glover, April Harper, and Lena together on the deck of the ship. April came to visit Kunai last year and taught our Kunai clinic team how to prep and read tuberculosis slides.
The YWAM medical ship team does eye surgery and dental work as they travel around our island.
Young children at Runway Baptist Church in Port Moresby, reciting their memory verses.
We got to be part of a BIMI Bible distribution in some nearby schools. Amazing response by the youth and the teachers!
And meet the newest member of the Moresby squad–King Cat (KC).

Transitions

TRANSITIONS

Transitions are not always easy. They involve learning new people, new places, and new ways of doing things. There was a day when those things seemed romantic, but now—not so much.

On the other hand, in the last four months we’ve seen the Lord work as we’ve ministered in different places around PNG, India, and Australia. Believers have been helped, unbelievers have been challenged (and some saved!), and we’ve had specific answers to prayer. So all in all, we praise the Lord for His goodness!

…IN THE CLINIC

Since our last letter, we’ve had a lot of transition at Kunai Health Centre. Emma Stout and Marie Bell have returned home to the US after completing their time at Kunai. Chelsea Moorman, Danya Counts, and Kyle & Lauren Murphy have joined the team. We are grateful for each one of them, and only eternity will reveal the full impact they make in the lives of our Kamea people. Fully investing themselves in the medical ministry, they also are acutely involved in Kotidanga Baptist Church and with our people.

Ellie, Marie, Sarah, and Laura-Lee standing with Yaniamo and her family.

Reports from the team include the salvation of Yaniamo, a mom who was medevac’d by helicopter earlier this year. She returned to the village recently, and has since put her faith in Christ.

I never want to forget the great work our PNG national staff does at Kunai. We rarely mention the opposition any of us face on the field—but these faithful believers stand strong and are exemplary in their walk with the Lord, regardless of the troubles they face. Praise the Lord for them!

Using a borrowed big screen to transfer translated text into the Paratext program.

…IN BIBLE TRANSLATION

Checking on the revision of the book of Luke in Kamea resumed today. It was the first book we translated back in 2014, and having learned a lot since then, Pastor Ben and Bro. Yali wanted to work through it again. I’m grateful for Laura-Lee Alford being on the ground at Kunai to walk through the revision and back-translation with these men.

Last month I was able to begin our translation work on the Gospel of John. It is a wonderful book (aren’t they all!) and seeing its truths with fresh eyes is such a blessing!

…IN OUR LIVES

We are thankful for the gifts God gives to men, and even more for those who use their gifts faithfully. Dr. Mitch reviewed Lena’s MRIs and CT scan, and he says she does not need surgery for her neck pain. Dr. Nathan and Dr. Lewis were able to give her increased mobility and some relief from the pain with physical therapy and chiropractic care. We ask that you continue to pray with us for her healing from the constant pain.

In a couple of days we get to drive down the bouncy Highlands Highway to Lae and back for a supply run (3rd trip there in three months). The road is physically rough on Lena, but she needs to hold face-to-face meetings with medical officers there. When we return, amidst our other duties, we will pack up our boxes again as we prepare for our move to Port Moresby later in May. Sarah Glover is out of the village on a break, and we’re glad she’s here to help us.

Watching the Kamea language “Jesus Film” in the rain on the clinic porch.

It certainly isn’t the romantic part of missions, but it is needful nonetheless in order to transition to the ministry the Lord has for us. We are learning that the best way to lighten our own load is to help others carry theirs. God is always in total control, and when we cast our care upon Him, He gives us His yoke. And as we learn of Him, we find that His burden is easy, and His yoke is light.

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

Click here for printable copy

Following are photos of happenings in the last couple of months. (Photo credit to Lena Allen, Marie Bell, Mary Beth Snyder, and historical photo archives)

New Things

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

MABT Students at WorldView India.
James & Toree Overton oversee these students in the Master of Arts in Bible Translation course at WorldView India.

Lena and I had a wonderful trip to minister again at WorldView India in January. James and Toree Overton do a wonderful job leading and teaching the Bible translation students at the college. It was a joy to share how to use Chronological Bible Storying as a tool in church planting simultaneously with translating the Scriptures. These students come from around India and Myanmar, and are a delight to work with. We praise the Lord for all the opportunities to speak in church, chapel, small groups, and one-to-one. Pray with us that the Lord will continue to raise up faithful ministers of the Gospel in this needy area of the world!

NEW NURSES

The clinic at Kunai Health Centre has been extremely busy the last several months. The nurses and our national staff are doing a great job ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of our Kamea people. Next week we will be in Lae city for our medicine and supply buy, and there we will be meeting two incoming nurses: Chelsea Moorman and Danya Counts. Chels was with us for 2017-2018, and this is Danya’s first time.

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

Pray for them and the team on the ground as they continue to treat patients, and as they labor in discipleship and evangelism.

NEW SCRIPTURE USES

Since we began translating the New Testament into Kamea almost five years ago, we have labored to find ways to make it accessible to our people. Pastor Ben has taught the church directly from the newly translated text, and Sarah and Laura-Lee have used it in literacy classes. We have produced videos of the Life of Christ using the Kamea New Testament, and these are shown daily at the clinic as well as distributed on mobile phones. Now the nurses have begun using the Kamea New Testament portions to do discipleship with the young ladies in the church. They said that the girls are really excited to hear and to read the Word in their own heart language!

NEW VISION

Lena and I believe our next step is to move to Port Moresby and to partner with our son Matt, his family, and the ministry of Capital City Baptist Church. We have always felt welcome there, and the Lord has given us sweet friendships among those believers. We can continue the Bible translation project and keep giving logistical support to Kunai Health Centre, as well as orienting new missionaries as they arrive, plus all of the many ministry opportunities in that growing city.

Capital City Baptist Church Campus, 9 February 2019

The move will involve building a place to live and obtaining a vehicle, and we are sure our great God will take care of those details in His way and in His time. As you remember us and these ministries (Kunai and Port Moresby) in prayer, could you also pray for Lena? It looks as though she may need surgery on her neck again, perhaps later this year.

How blessed we are to be such privileged children of the King! He lets us work for Him among His people in many places, He lets us see His power in transformed lives, and He blesses us with His presence, His Word, His grace, and His love. And then He gently reminds us, “Freely ye have received—freely give.” May we all be busy about giving that same good news of the Gospel that He so freely gave to us. The world, near and far, is waiting…


All glory to Christ,

John & Lena Allen

2 Thessalonians 3:1

Enjoy a few photos of our visit to India. The Gospel is being preached in that great land, but there is so much more to do!

Enjoying a visit with our good friends, Dr. Babu Varghese and his family.
Neena, Lena,and Jessie; we are blessed to know such faithful believers.
Several thousand attended the five-day preaching convention while we were there. Over 200 made professions of faith.
Feeding the multitude at convention is no easy task!

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.