This is a photo blog of our last week at Kunai. Enjoy the photos!
This is a photo blog of our last week at Kunai. Enjoy the photos!
May 2018 update
We have shared the Gospel and stories of God’s goodness with so many in the last five months. While passing through the Middle East, I had the blessing of sharing the Gospel for a good while with a Hindu man while we rode in a small bus filled with Afghanis, Pakistanis, and other nationalities. When in the US we had many chances to preach the Word and to testify of God’s mercy and grace in His work in PNG. Since arriving back in PNG, we’ve already had opportunities to share the Gospel with people great and small. As we get settled back in at Kunai, we look forward to resuming our duties in the clinic and in Bible translation and teaching, all of it with a view of making Christ known even more among our people.
We are thankful for the new interns the Lord gave us as we recruited for missionaries around the US during the last four months. The Lord also touched many to give supplies for Kunai Health Centre, and when it was done, we shipped over half a ton of items for the clinic, plus another 150 pounds of vitamins and medicine we carried back in our suitcases. To God be the glory!
While we’ve been away, the Kunai team has held a great youth camp with many saved, and brought Good News FM Radio (our new radio station) online. Would you pray for our team as we continue to work together to fulfill the Great Commission among the Kamea?
Co-workers: Sam & Marybeth Snyder, and Sarah Glover;
Clinic staff: Chelsea Moorman, Manandi Dagoino, Ellie Polmek, Jon Mark, Judas Gidion, Linda, and my wife Lena;
Kamea New Testament Translation team: Pastor Ben Samauyo, Yali Tapaqueo, and me;
Our new interns: Emma Stout and Laura Lee Alford, who will join the team over the next couple of months.
We enjoyed seeing how the Lord is blessing in our son’s work, Capital City Baptist Church in Port Moresby, as we transitioned back through there and did our supply buying. We were able to visit with our dear friends, Pastor Tau & Suzanne Abary, at Shalom Baptist Church. Pastor Tau suffered a severe stroke earlier this year, but by God’s grace he is recovering. Pray that God will heal him completely, and that He will strengthen his family during the long recovery process.
While we were gone to the US, our son Matt and our friends at Capital City Baptist in Port Moresby took care of our friend from Kunai, Jon Mark. Jon is a worker in our clinic and a faithful member of Kotidanga Baptist Church. He is also completely blind! He has lived in constant pain for the last several years, and earlier this year Matt flew Jon to Port Moresby for his third eye surgery. This time his pain is finally gone! Praise the Lord, and thank you to everyone who has prayed for Jon Mark!
We appreciate all of you for your faithful support of the work here. We were blessed to visit many while we were home, and we thank each of you for being a blessing to us. Special thanks go to our home church, Landmark, for being faithful in preaching of the Word of God and for their God-glorifying music program. It was so refreshing!
All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1
PS…enjoy some extra pictures!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1
We first posted this three years ago. It’s now been 14 years…
In the morning, I had a conversation with my son Ben, a junior in college, about the chance to do an internship in Washington, DC. He wanted to be a lawyer. He’d turn 20 the next day. His birthday present was wrapped, ready to be delivered when I would go to see him in a couple of days.
In the afternoon, I received a call telling me that he was lost, gone, pulled out to sea in the undertow. No hope, the paramedic said. He’s gone.
In the days, weeks, months, and years that have followed, my family has received such an outpouring of love and mercy and care that I still find it hard to realize how God’s people can truly care so much. We have seen lives reclaimed by Jesus, both those who never had known Him before, and those who had wandered astray. We have met servants, dear servants of God, who have yielded their lives in obedient service to the King of Kings because this trying event forced them to face their own eternity with a renewed soberness. And we have known precious saints of God, dear loving friends and amazing family, who have given themselves to being compassionate to those who hurt and to those who suffer and to those who have lost, all because they felt with us an incredible burning loss.
God took a young man’s life and multiplied it. And He’s still multiplying it, eleven years later.
It’s said that there’s no love like a mother’s love. I witness it every year at this time. With tears. With weeping. With strength that only comes from God and His word. With rejoicing that the grave is not the end; no, not at all. And I hold her and weep with her. And I witness our sons and their families as they lavish love on their mom, even as they feel their own pain and loss.
Today my wife wrote this email to our boys. We’ve found comfort in different things over the years, but mostly in the memories of Benny and how he was such a cut-up. Yellow roses became a symbol when he passed from death to life, and each year dear friends and family remember him with these yellow roses. Maybe those two things will help you understand what she wrote below:
This afternoon I could not find any yellow roses in Valley Station. Realizing how silly it would be to drive around to other places to find them, I compromised and got yellow daisies. But I was still feeling guilty.
I was walking across the cemetery wishing I had pretty yellow roses to waste again on Ben’s grave, when a hilarious thought hit me. ‘There are tons of yellow roses right here in this park. It wouldn’t be stealing, just moving them around.’ That’s when it got me. That was probably what Ben would have thought, and I busted up laughing. No, John and Dave, I did not move them. 🙂
And then I saw why there are no yellow roses in Valley. I am not the only one that loves Benny.
When we were in Israel, we learned and saw first-hand that when someone visits a loved one’s grave, they leave a stone. So for my “Jewish” son, I left four stones for the last visits I have made. Thanks Dave for the stones from your back yard. Not that I stole them, just moved them around.”
I love you, Lena. And we all love you, Benny. It won’t be long now, and we’ll all be together again.
Adapted from “The Vision Poem”
So this guy comes up to me and says, “What’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this…
The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.
The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.
They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.
They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.
What is the vision?
The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.
Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.
Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting
again and again:
Their solid faith in a Sovereign God fuels motives for love, for action, for evangelism. Knowing Christ and making Him known is more than a motto; it is their heartbeat. Confident in their Faithful Father, following their Servant Savior, and indwelt by their Holy Spirit, they drive, they plunge, they plod, they pursue.
Glory goes to their God. Praise and worship flow through the Spirit.
And to the Lamb goes the reward of His suffering.
This is the sound of the underground. The whisper of history in the making. Foundations shaking. Revolutionaries dreaming once again. Mystery is scheming in whispers. Conspiracy is breathing. This is the sound of the underground.
And the army is discipl(in)ed. Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them?
And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.
Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cozy little hideout. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.
Serving as Jesus’ hands and feet is not beneath them. They need no accolades; they only need opportunity.
They know that their good works speak volumes. They also know that the Gospel must be spoken as much as it must be seen. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” They are not afraid to show it or to tell it. “Hell is hot, Heaven is real, men are lost in sin, and Jesus is the only Savior.”
They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.
On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell itself. A throne for an electric chair.
With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.
Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centers.
Mediocre, half-baked churchianity doesn’t appeal to them. Jesus’ call to forsake all has gripped them, and it is Jesus they follow. The false, lazy armchair brand of Christianity produces false, lazy Christians–if it produces Christians at all. No thanks, they say; I’ll take Jesus.
Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdos! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.
And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from heroes of the faith, from Christ himself.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Bring it on. Give us Thy grace, Thy wisdom, Thy power, Thy love, Thy heartbeat. And as Thy church advances, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her. To You, our only wise God, be honor and glory and praise and victory!
Adapted from “The Vision Poem”