A God Worth Serving

Pastors' Conference speakers & attendees, May 2016

Pastors’ Conference speakers & attendees, May 2016

CONFERENCE TIME

We just completed our Pastors’ Conference a couple of days ago. We hosted several of our graduates and their wives for a time of teaching, of ministering to one another, and of refreshing.

Matt speaking to the preachers

Matt speaking to the preachers

Matt Allen and Jason Ottosen were able to share the teaching with me, along with my wife and Cherith Ottosen teaching the ladies’ sessions. Our prayer, as always, is that there will be lasting fruit from our time together. Everyone enjoyed being here!

Kotidanga Baptist Church hosts the ordination of Jack Naudi.

Kotidanga Baptist Church hosted the ordination of Jack Naudi

An added blessing was the ordination of Jack Naudi, 2007 graduate of our Bible school. He has been working with Jason Ottosen planting Komako Baptist Church. Our church here has supported Jack as the first missionary they sent out, and they were proud to host his ordination.

Matt, John, John Gray, & Jason Ottosen with Pastor Jack Naudi

Matt, John, John Gray, & Jason Ottosen with Pastor Jack Naudi

Matt flew John Gray up from Kerema to be the guest speaker for the meeting. He preached a great message for us all.

CHURCH GROWTH

We have seen some people saved in the last several weeks. Ben has been preaching from our newly translated book of 1 John, while Sarah Glover is teaching Kamea literacy to help our people learn to follow along in their printed copies of the book as Ben preaches.

Arriving for church, barefoot in the rain

Arriving for church, barefoot in the rain

Pray with us that our people will put the effort into learning to read Kamea so that they can read the Word for themselves.  Ben, Yali, and I are still working on the first draft of our translation of Acts. Continue to pray with us for the Gospel to go forward among the Kamea.


CLINIC BLESSINGS

Our clinic staff, both PNG nationals and US nurses, has been steadily busy. Even as I write this, two ladies have been at the clinic for over 12 hours to deliver their babies. Day in and day out, the nurses handle all sorts of cases, some quite serious.

Hannah & Renisa with a patient

Hannah & Renisa with a patient

Tiffany with another newborn

Tiffany with another newborn

One of these was a lady named Deni, who was very short of breath and unable to get to the clinic. In the dark, our nursing staff went downriver to see her and administer breathing treatments. For many years we had tried to reach Deni with the Gospel, but she had always been resistant. But just a couple of weeks ago, after she had recovered, she came to the clinic wanting to get saved. Ben’s wife Anjuta shared the Word with Deni, and she put her faith in Jesus. Amen!

Check out our blog post about the ultrasound we are using in our clinic for our unborn babies.


PERSONAL NEWS

Lena and I are enjoying good health at the present, and we count that possible because of your faithful prayers on our behalf. Please keep it up! We are also extremely thankful for your friendship and fellowship in the Gospel. Thank you for staying faithful there and enabling us to stay faithful here!

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

Mom, Dad, & Matt

Mom, Dad, & Matt

Thank the Lord for family!

Here's Pa & Grandma with Dave & Sarah, Nate & Amber, and our seven grandkids in the USA

Here’s Pa & Grandma with Dave & Sarah, Nate & Amber, and our seven grandkids in the USA

Dave is up for promotion to Lieutenant with Louisville Metro Police Department; Nate was ordained to the ministry in April. We love these guys and their families!

Matt & Becky and our two granddaughters in PNG

Matt & Becky and our two granddaughters in PNG

Matt and family are planting Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy in Port Moresby, PNG.

By the Word of His Power

TRANSLATING THE WORD

The daily work of translating God’s words into Kamea is pressing forward, even when different kinds of delays pop up throughout the week:

There’s something broken that must be fixed.

IMG_9773                             There’s an emergency and a patient needs transport.

IMG_0267    There’s a flight coming with supplies and we have to go over the mountain to meet it.

IMG_0406                 Someone from the community has come and wants to share a story.

IMG_4114But it is all the sweeter when we can read something like this in Kamea:

Nai Ä’oi mtinga tawata upmäta nonqo ti,
ma pi’a’ma Ä’o qana nai mtinga tawata qanupmäta ti.

          We love him, because he first loved us.
                                                 (1 John 4:19)

We just completed our final check of 1 John and printed copies of it. This is our second New Testament book! Right now Ben, Yali, and I are in various stages of translating the book of Acts. Pray for this amazing work!

IMG_0601

John, Ben, and Yali

            

PREACHING THE WORD

Just this week someone came to Ben, asking him to explain the Gospel further. She said that she had heard Ben preach on Tuesdays at the clinic, and she is under such conviction that she can’t stop thinking about it. Pray that she will soon come to faith in Jesus Christ!

IMG_0457

SEEING THE WORD COME ALIVE

I have been preaching expositionally through Ephesians for many months now. At the same time, Ben has been expounding his way through Romans. By the time you read this, Ben will be teaching through 1 John, directly from our new Kamea translation. This will be another milestone for us!

IMG_4283

1 John in English, Pidgin, and Kamea

The affect of God’s Word on our people is visible. Change is slow but solid, and it is wonderful to watch the power of the Word as it does the work of God in hearts and lives!

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

Click here for PDF version

Random Postscripts…

Ever wonder where we live?

View of Kanabea airstrip (4,100 feet elevation) that connects us with the outside world. We live "just" over the mountain from Kanabea.

View of Kanabea airstrip (4,100 feet elevation) that connects us with the outside world. We live “just” over the mountain from Kanabea.

Hopefully this part of the road is fixed well enough to last!

Hopefully this part of the road is fixed well enough to last a while!

Tiffany Heafner enjoys a laugh with her patient.

Tiffany Heafner enjoys a laugh with her patient.

Erin Canterbury works with a wee one.

Erin Canterbury works with a wee one.

Sarah Glover and Snowi go through a patient's symptoms.

Sarah Glover and Snowi go through a patient’s symptoms.

Hannah Bogard and Lena receive medical supplies from Michelle Hau'ofa from PNG Tribal Foundation.

Hannah Bogard and Lena receive medical supplies from Michelle Hau’ofa of the PNG Tribal Foundation.

Click to visit the PNG Tribal Foundation website.

The Kamea "Jesus" videos continue to receive lots of attention as they spread the Gospel in the Kamea language.

The Kamea “Jesus” videos continue to receive lots of attention as they spread the Gospel in the Kamea language.

January 2016

REBUILDING

The New Year’s arrival brought with it the reality that things on earth don’t last forever. Our national pastor’s house support posts had rotted prematurely, which made it necessary to dismantle the entire structure and rebuild it again with new posts.

IMG_4152The same thing happened with the bridge leading through Kotidanga village. The supports rotted out causing the bridge to be unable to bear the burden of our bush vehicle. It took many men and large, strong logs to replace this vital link.

IMG_4169How careful we need to be as we walk along in our Christian life, examining that upon which we stand—or think we stand. Christ alone must be our solid Rock and our only foundation. Men’s programs, policies, and plans may often be nothing more than shifting sand. Christian, check your posts!

RENEWING

We held our Pastors’ Leadership Conference in December. Missionary Jason Ottosen hiked 12 hours over the mountain to teach with me. IMG_4137Our men enjoyed the sessions and we all enjoyed the fellowship and news from the ministries across the Kamea region.

IMG_0198Our TTMK team was blessed to have Pastor Matt Anders and Monte and Angie Ashworth  (all from our home church) come to minister to us last week. We held our first-ever field conference in Port Moresby at Capital City Baptist Church, and the first time we’ve all been together in one place. Thank you to our wonderful home church, and to those who support the members of the TTMK team here in PNG.

REJOICING

Kunai Health Centre has been a catalyst for many visitors at Kotidanga Baptist Church recently. Some who have been resistant to the Gospel for years have had their hearts opened through the clinic ministry to receive the preached Word. IMG_0100

We held our annual Christmas preaching meeting, and we saw many decisions made, including entire families joining together in prayer to work to build stronger homes.

At the same time, more and more unsaved visitors have been coming to hear the preaching, and this resulted in a harvest of no less than 20 souls in the regular preaching services during the month of December! Also, in spite of public opposition to the market preaching, Ben has continued to preach, and the Lord has blessed that as well.
IMG_4184
We started the New Year with a baptismal service, where Ben conducted his first baptism—and baptized 32 people! Among them were his mother Mary and his daughter Nosa!

Thank you for enabling us to minister in PNG in your stead. We ask that you remember Lena’s health as you pray. May we all be found faithfully walking with the Lord this year!

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

Click here for a PDF version of this newsletter

November 2015

Back in Kotidanga! We have been back in the village for several weeks now. It was a pleasant surprise to see the grounds of the church so beautiful and clean. Ben Samauyo, my national translation partner, did a great job of looking after things in our absence. The several-month long drought in our area ended the day we arrived 🙂  Since then we’ve had abundant rain.

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Kotidanga Baptist Church has prospered under Ben’s leadership. The church leaders have handled difficulties scripturally, and the maturity in the body is measurable. Ben has a loving heart and burden for the lost. He and I are sharing the preaching duties to allow him more time for translation. Our weekly market preaching has also resumed. Pray with us for the salvation of our lost visitors. There are a number of unsaved who know they are not saved, who are now attending regularly.

 

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

 

Response during prayer time after a morning worship service at KBC. (Oct. 2015)

Response during prayer time after a morning worship service at KBC. (Oct. 2015)

 

The Kamea Bible Project is continuing. We’ve added a third member to our team, Yali Pita. Yali is our church songleader and a godly man. He will be doing our back-translation work. Ben has completed a first draft of 1 John, and we are checking it now. It has been a blessing to read the great truths found in that book with fresh eyes—and to hear them conveyed in the Kamea language! Our people are excited!

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is busy again.

In the last few days the nurses have been involved in their first two baby deliveries, an overnight emergency, and the usual busy-ness of a bush medical clinic. Lena is teaching, the new nurses are learning, and the Gospel is being shared with many patients daily. Praise the Lord!

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Thank you for being a part of our lives. Many of you follow Lena’s Facebook posts and are able to see part of the daily blessings here at Kotidanga. Continue to pray for our health and strength. We count it a joy to represent you here among our dear Kamea people!

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

Click here for a PDF version of the post.

 

Seeing Kotidanga with Fresh Eyes

When you are away from home, it is a blessing when you can return with “fresh eyes.” You see things you don’t usually notice, you gain new perspective on old sights, and you enjoy a fresh view of the familiar.

The beautiful vista of the Tauri River valley in Gulf Province, PNG (Nov. 2015)

The beautiful vista of the Tauri River valley in Gulf Province, PNG (Huyo village, Nov. 2015)

We live in a rainforest--with the emphasis on rain.

We live in a rainforest–with the emphasis on rain. (Kotidanga Baptist Mission, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Afternoon sun patterns in the jungle can produce striking effects. (Kotidanga Baptist Church, Nov. 2015)

Heavy rains regularly tear up our bush road, and we are the ones who get to fix it. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

Heavy rains regularly tear up our bush road, and we are the ones who get to fix it. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

And the road washes out again. And you fix it again. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

And the road washes out again. And we get to fix it again. (Mte village, Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Geti Augustine gave Lena and Sarah Glover a traditional welcome home. (Nov. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Oct. 2015)

Kunai Health Centre is back in full swing. (Kunai HC, Oct. 2015)

On the veranda of the clinic, Ben Samauyo preaches the Word to waiting patients. (Oct. 2015)

On the veranda of the clinic, Ben Samauyo preaches the Word to waiting patients. (Kunai HC, Oct. 2015)

Ben (with megaphone) preaching in the Kotidanga village market. (Nov. 2015)

Ben (with megaphone) preaching in the Kotidanga village market. (Nov. 2015)

A teen girl carries a week's worth of sweet potatoes (kaukau...in Kamea, "hope'a"). (Oct. 2015)

A teen girl carries a week’s worth of sweet potatoes (kaukau…in Kamea, “hope’a”). (Kunai village, Oct. 2015)

Betwel builds a new house under a quickly-clouding sky. (Nov. 2015)

Betwel builds a new house under a quickly-clouding sky. (Kunai village, Nov. 2015)

©

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

John, Ben, and Yali share some translation insights with Jack Naudi (2007 Kotidanga Baptist Bible School graduate), who works with missionary Jason Ottosen in Komako. (Nov. 2015)

Daily study of the Word keeps us reminded of why we are here: The glory of God and the salvation of men. (Copyright, JMA, 2010)

Daily study of the Word keeps us reminded of why we are here: The glory of God and the salvation of men. (Copyright, JMA, 2010)

 

 

 

Back Home in PNG!

MENDED IN HEALTH
Lena has recovered well from her surgery. We are so grateful for her surgeon, Dr. Mitch Campbell, who is a great friend as well as a great surgeon. Thanks also go to Dr. Kathie White, whom God has used many times over the years with regard to Lena’s health.

Lena is feeling rested and ready to return to the ministry. Me too! We are so grateful for the ministry of our home church during our stay. Their love and ministering to us has truly refreshed our souls!
Image-13120777And of course, being with our sons and their families was a blessing beyond words. Grandkids are great!

MENTORING TRANSLATORS
I was privileged to spend four weeks working with students from India and Myanmar, teaching them how to evangelize using the Chronological Bible Storying method. It was exciting to see their enthusiasm!
IMG_3840We also were able to produce a brief video on one of the stories from the Life of Christ. The students did the recording and the production. Pray for this needy area of the world and for the national laborers God is calling to reach their own people.

MEMORABLE OPPORTUNITY
It was my privilege to be a part of Tyler Nikkel’s ordination service before he and his family left for their new ministry in PNG.
IMG_3586Tyler will be our new pilot and beginning a ministry of church planting. We thank the Lord for the Nikkel family and look forward to serving with them on the field.

MAKING OUR WAY HOME
When you get this, we will almost be home. We plan to spend a week with our son Matt and his wife Becky (and our granddaughters!) in Port Moresby. Their new ministries, Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy, are extremely busy for the Lord. We will reconnect with Sarah Glover and her visiting helper, Mary Ann Mast, and meet up with our new nurses, Hannah Bogard and Tiffany Heafner. After buying supplies, picking up medicines, and packing it all up, we will head back to the village.
IMG_8821Pray for each of us as we resume work in translation, mentoring pastors, teaching, and the clinic.

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
Galatians 6:9

Being as dependent as we are on aircraft to get us in and out of the tribe, a sight like this (where we fly at Kanabea airstrip) is our equivalent of Atlanta, Chicago, or LAX. They don’t usually lose our luggage–maybe that’s because we’re the ones who load it 🙂

 

Join Us for a Year That Will Change Your Life

clubflyer-3.66inx8.5in-h-round-front

Out in the mountainous jungles of Papua New Guinea, people live and die, often without Christ and without medical care. Kunai Health Centre is a living demonstration of Jesus’ ministry, following His example of preaching, teaching, and healing. We have a daily clinic; we do pre- and postnatal care; we deliver babies; we give childhood immunizations. We are a TB center, a vision clinic, a dental clinic, and a place for medical education.

If you are a trained, degreed medical professional, consider joining us to reach beyond your world with the Gospel. A limited number of one-year post-graduate medical internships are available for qualified candidates at Kunai Health Centre.

  • Do you demonstrate a love for Christ and for others?
  • Do you have a burden for souls?
  • Are you a detail-oriented self-starter?
  • Are you a team player with a humble respect for authority?
  • Do you have the health and stamina to serve for long days, long nights, and irregular schedules?
  • Do you have a consistent walk with the Lord?

It is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart. It will test your faith, your strength, and your calling. But if this is what God wants you to do, nothing will compare with it.

Read through our blog. Browse Lena’s page on Facebook to learn more about the clinic ministry from the last several years, and see what the Lord does in your heart.

Then contact us to begin the medical missionary journey of a lifetime.

What do you do when you are the patient?

When You Become the Patient

Dear friends,

Lena and I have returned to the US for a medical furlough and rest. Lena is meeting with a spine surgeon friend of ours this week to determine if she will be getting a long-delayed operation on a bad disc in her neck.

We are thankful for God’s provision of a place to stay and a good surgeon with whom to consult. Our pastor and family urged us to come home, and also recommended us staying off the road for a while; I am glad to comply. We will update you all as soon as we know more.

This is not our regular furlough, and we have every intention of returning to the work as soon as possible. My national translation partner Ben is looking after the ministry and the mission in our absence. Lena’s clinic, however, had to be closed as she was the only nurse we have at present.

We covet your prayers that God will do for us what needs to be done, and for our friends and co-workers in the work back in PNG. Thank you for remembering us and the ministry in prayer.

Blessings in Christ,
John & Lena Allen

John & Lena 2013

November 2014

Rain, Measles, & Bible Translation

Love that Rain

Rainy season for us is generally the end of June through August. This year it started in early June, and it still hasn’t ended. Moving our supplies, medicines, and personnel by air has been a challenge. Many bush flights have been cancelled or postponed, most of them after sitting all day in the rain waiting for the clouds to lift. Still, the days aren’t always wasted, because we take along our Kamea videos from the “Jesus Film” and show them to anyone who comes by.

Showing the Kamea Jesus videos in the rain

Showing the Kamea Jesus videos in the rain

Next time I hear someone complain about flight delays while sitting in a climate-controlled airport with a Starbucks and a McD’s, I’m going to say, “bless your heart.” 🙂

Loving Others

The measles outbreak that began in June seems to be letting up here at the beginning of November. Some lives were lost due to being unable to get to treatment, but praise the Lord, many others were helped by the care they received from our Kunai Health Centre staff.

A happy patient!

A happy patient!

It has been cold and wet, yet those who have come have not only received medicine; they have received hope. Many have heard the Gospel clearly, some for the first time. Just last Sunday we had several visitors who came to church because of the clinic ministry.

Loving the Word

In addition to the Life of Christ series, Ben and I have finished translating up through Luke 12. We have checked up through Luke 8 with our church people and other villagers, and it was understandable for them. Our people are grasping much more of the Word as we work through the passages in their heart language. They are learning Jewish culture, biblical backgrounds, and best of all, the Spirit is opening their eyes to spiritual meanings.

Showing how to use the Kamea Jesus videos

Showing how to use the Kamea Jesus videos

One thing that our people had a hard time grasping: a kiss. To our people, “kiss” is a noise you make with your lips. When they (among the older people) greet each other fondly, they stroke each other under the chin from neck to chin—we call it, “chin-chucking.” They don’t understand why the father of the prodigal would make a noise when the prodigal came home, rather than “chin-chucking” him. I guess Song of Solomon is going to be a challenge to translate…

Kamea Jesus video recording session

Kamea Jesus video recording session

Ben is attending a school right now to improve his English skills and to learn how to use a computer. He was able to get a partial scholarship, and the rest we are funding from our support. He and I are scheduled to meet with a translation consultant in a couple of weeks to get an idea of how we can improve our methods, as well as to see how we are doing with the translation.

Serving Him in the Field,

Bro. John & Lena Allen
Galatians 6:9

An Old iPad Can Spread the Old, Old Story

I rarely ask for help. Call it pride or stubbornness or the way I was raised, but I’m not prone to ask for a hand.

It’s even harder as a missionary, because I live on the gifts of God’s people. Without their heart of generosity, I couldn’t do the ministry things I do.

This is one of those “ministry things.”

Ben Samauyo, our Kamea Bible translator, holding Benjamin Luke, our handicapped brother

Ben Samauyo, our Kamea Bible translator, holding Benjamin Luke (in the green shirt)

We have a young father who is crippled from the waist down who has the ear of his people. Benjamin Luke is an amazing evangelist. Unable to leave his hut on the side of a mountain in remote Papua New Guinea, he shares the Gospel with dozens of people who come by his home. His venue: A mobile phone with the “Jesus Film” in his tribal language.

Imagine 15 people in a dark, smoky hut, crowding in to watch the “Jesus Film” in Kamea. The sound of the video echoes out across the mountainside, drawing more people to come and see. Videos are still an extremely rare treat for our people. Videos in their tribal language are even more rare–since we produced the only videos in the language, all 26 are Gospel videos.

Here’s my request, which is actually a request from our friend Benjamin: Does anyone have an old iPad 2 or 3 that they would be willing to donate? We have already set Ben up with a solar charging system at his thatched-roof hut, so he can charge the iPad like he charges his video phone (an Alcatel Pixie that someone bought for him–and by the way, there’s no phone service in our valley, so all he does is watch the videos and play the music we recorded). The iPad, with its larger screen, would be visible to more people. Ben’s plea: “I have many people who come to see the videos. We would like it if someone could help us to get a larger video screen.”

Ben & John translating and recording the Jesus Film in Kamea using BSVT

Ben Samauyo & John translating and recording the Jesus Film in Kamea using the Bible Story Video Template developed by JAARS

We would like to get:

  • iPad 2 or 3
  • a 12 volt car charger
  • a case to protect it

Ben has taken good care of his phone, and I know he will do the same with this iPad. We’ll load the Kamea videos on it, plus as many other Christian videos that we can find and legally copy. And this will be the tool in the hand of an evangelist who can’t move more than a few feet–but who reaches more people in a day than many of us.

If you feel like you can help with this evangelistic outreach, contact me at johnallensr@gmail.com