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?

 

Fruit from the Word

FRUIT FROM THE WORD

Ladies’ Meeting
For over a year, Lena and Anjuta have been meeting with our church ladies on Saturday afternoons. They bring lost friends for the three consecutive teaching sessions (What is the Gospel, How to Mature Spiritually, and Principles of a Christian Family). The number of ladies continues to grow, and the ladies themselves are growing in grace. God is using the preaching at church, personal discipleship, and this ladies’ meeting to mature them to His glory. They have tea, sweet baked goods, and honest fellowship around the Word.

Women are neglected in this society in the jungle, and this is a special time just for them. Husbands have commented to me about the good changes they have seen in their wives since they have been attending the ladies’ meeting. Amen!

The ladies singing for a church service

Youth Men’s Meeting
I get the opportunity to meet with our single young men on Fridays to share in their struggles, pray, and to seek biblical answers for the issues they face. They too are maturing and growing. God is doing a work in their midst!

Kotidanga Votes for Their Pastor

Kotidanga Baptist Church voted unanimously for my co-worker, Benjamin Samauyo, to become their pastor. Ben has done the work of a pastor in their midst for over two years, and the church was quite vocal that they wanted Ben because he and his family exemplify the qualifications of a pastor in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. We plan to ordain Ben the first week of June. These are exciting days!

Ben & Anjuta, with their children Selestin, Nhosa, Becky, and Ishmael

Thank you for the part you have in enabling us to minister here. May God bless you abundantly for your sacrifice!

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

Enjoy some photos from the last couple of months…

 

Our home church’s Christian school ministry put together children’s vitamins for us, and they finally arrived!

First time we ever had medicine and supplies delivered to our front door. We could get used to this!

 

Tiffany Heafner’s mom Linda and brother Niko came to visit. Her mom is a nurse too, and we put her right to work!

We had two emergencies one night while Tiffany’s family was there. We sure were glad for the extra hands!

We had to shorten up a chain on the sawmill. The factory said we couldn’t do it with just a file. Haha! The factory has never seen a determined Kamea man before. He did it!

Road repairs are a fact of life here. If we don’t fix it, no one will. (Of course, we’re the only ones driving on it…)

Need to repair a broken bridge? First, get permission and cut down the trees, and then pull them through the mountainous jungle to the “road.”

Then tie the 25 ft log to your little truck, and drag it 3 miles to the bridge.

Tear up the bad parts of the bridge, put in the new logs, and you’re done!

 

Flights around our place certainly reveal the majesty and handiwork of our great God.

God is at Work!

GOD AT WORK IN OUR YOUTH

Recently fourteen of our youth attended a conference at Wau Baptist Church, a four-day hike from here. Even with the hardships they encountered in travel, they returned full of joy, and it is evident that the Lord did a work among them. Our youth here have the same struggles as youth do anywhere; please pray for these first-generation believers that God will use their lives to impact their people with lives lived for His glory and the gospel!

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GOD AT WORK IN OUR LADIES

Each Saturday, Lena has had the privilege of working with Ben’s wife, Anjuta, in teaching the ladies of Kotidanga Baptist Church about godly Christian living. Here is a picture of them singing as a group in our worship service. From ages 14 to 60, these ladies are trophies of grace!

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GOD AT WORK IN OUR COMMUNITY

Among the benefits of working here are the opportunities we get to speak publicly. Preaching in the open air market is done every week, and dozens of people listen attentively. Recently our member of parliament came for a visit to our electorate, and I was tasked with speaking on the current healthcare situation in our area. We have lived here almost nine years and are well known among our people; and God’s testimony among the Kamea continues to grow.

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Where else could you speak in such a venue that one-third of your speech addresses the peoples’ need to repent and turn to Christ? Try that in your next political rally back home 🙂

GOD AT WORK IN US

Thank you for your prayers and assistance in continuing here in PNG serving the Lord. As we celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this month, I am joyfully amazed at how much the Lord keeps growing the two of us. Do remember us and our people in prayer, that we will labor to know Him better and to make Him better known!

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

Our last supply buy took us down a flooded highway. Next time we'll use a canoe...

Our last supply buy took us down a flooded highway. Next time we’ll use a canoe…

Kanabea airstrip clings to the side of Sawe Mountain. Thank the Lord for skilled (and brave) pilots who take us in and out.

Kanabea airstrip clings to the side of Sawe Mountain (the green patch just left of center). Thank the Lord for skilled (and brave) pilots who take us in and out.

PNG Tribal Foundation & GE donated a V-Scan ultrasound for Kunai Health Centre to use. Works for ante-natal moms and broken bones too!

PNG Tribal Foundation & GE donated a V-Scan ultrasound for Kunai Health Centre to use. Works for ante-natal moms and broken bones too!

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.
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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 🙂