Lena once wrote that the sorrows, pains, and transitions of this life are like our landslides here in PNG. Though they change the scenery dramatically, sometimes the end result (over time) is a new place for things to grow.
2014 continues to be a year of transitions for our TTMK team. Our last newsletter mentioned some transitions, and we have had more since then. Andrew & Rachel Schellenberger returned Stateside after a marvelous four-year ministry here. How we miss them! John & Marciana Gillispie (and children Nehemiah, Elijah, and Hadassah) arrived in May to begin their ministry here. Recent RN graduate Ashley Norcross has joined us to work in the clinic for the next few months. With the new people arriving this year, we look forward to what the Lord is going to do with them!
For the last couple of years, we have had a young Kamea lady, Manandi, working in the clinic. She finished grade 12 (a rare opportunity for our people!) and we are trying to help her get into nursing school. Would you pray that Manandi can get accepted and that she can become a nurse? We long to see our dear Kamea people filling the role of healthcare workers!
In our last letter we mentioned Jeff, who had been very ill with TB meningitis. Thank you for praying–he has recovered and is living the normal life of a young boy!
There have been more cases of TB meningitis, two of them being Pastor James’ adopted daughter Jemila and her friend Esila. Through this horrible illness, the Lord has done a mighty work in the sight of our people. (See the story at our blog.)
At the end of April we held another Pastors’ Leadership Conference with most of our mountain pastors in attendance. It was a great time of fellowship, teaching, and encouragement, for us as well as for them.
“Where is your belly button?” was a message I preached in Kotidanga recently; and it’s not what you might think. When Kamea babies are born, their mothers save their, um, umbilical cords—their belly buttons. They keep them in a special place, and that helps to remind the child where he was born. In expounding on Ephesians 2:6 about Heaven being the believer’s home, I shared with the people that if we are born again, in a spiritual sense, we have a “belly button” in Heaven—which means that is our true home. They got the application quickly, and I might admit, with a smile. (And no, they didn’t syncretize it into a weird, new doctrine of heavenly belly buttons.)
Ben with the Kamea Videos on his phone
Ben Samauyo and I are continuing to translate the Gospel of Luke. To complete the life of Christ, we translated almost 350 verses into the Kamea language. Then Ben did a great job narrating the videos, and our people love them! Now they have been converted to a format that will play in readily available video phones, and distribution has begun. Pray that we can send the Word throughout the Kamea people via this great tool! Watch an interview with Ben and me, or go here and here to see some of the videos for yourself–and to brush up on your Kamea.
Showing the Kotidanga Baptist Church adults the final Kamea video–no one moved while it played!
In May, we also had the privilege of having Jon & Julie Limmer visit to see how we produce the videos. Julie is on the JAARS development team for the Jesus video, and she was glad to watch us use the program on the field. It was a further blessing to have Suzanne Olson spend the summer with us to learn first-hand about bible translation and to help Sarah Glover with her literacy program.
With all that is happening in all the ministries of our team, we know that a large part of the team is not out here in the bush—that means you. You are the ones who enable us to labor here, through your praying and your sacrificial giving. It will take eternity to reveal what has happened because you stood with us. May God bless you as you have blessed us!
God bless you as you also strive to know Jesus and to make Him known!
Serving Him in the Field,
John & Selina Allen