Only God

April 2020

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ONLY GOD
When I wrote our last update in February, none of us had any idea what would soon transpire globally. Never have any of us been forced to say “if the Lord will” as much as we are saying it now, but regardless, our God is doing great things!

ANSWER TO PRAYER
We have two new nurses who are scheduled to come once the borders re-open here in PNG. We can still use more nurses, but we praise the Lord for these two ladies who stepped up to the challenge.

FAITHFUL IN THE FIELD
The team at Kunai are continuing the ministry there. As of this writing we have no active cases of the virus in PNG, but our staff are prepared as much as possible for what may come. There are no ventilators or machines available out there, and no way to fly out critical patients. Therefore, we ask that you pray for the team on the ground, not only for their protection but for their witness.

It may not look like much, but it brought lots of medical and school supplies!

CONTAINER ARRIVED
Our container—filled with supplies that many of you donated—has arrived and cleared customs. At present it is difficult to find flights to transport the materials to our team at Kunai. Pray we can get these medical supplies and school materials up there soon!

BBI POM 1st class

BAPTIST BIBLE INSTITUTE OF PORT MORESBY
We reported in our last letter that our first week of classes went very well. Praise the Lord, the rest of the six-week term went even better! We had 20 registered students and anywhere from 15-25 visitors in attendance for every class. We finished on schedule just before the mandatory shutdown. When we reopen, we have even more students who have registered, and we are looking forward to getting back to classes!

Start of BBI POM classes–with social distancing before it was cool!

Because we wanted to continue teaching our students, we have begun a video series on the BBI POM Facebook page called, “Daily Words.” It is a brief lesson about how to study the Bible for yourself, using the text of Scripture as a reference. It is designed with our students in mind, but since it is in English, we hope others around the world will join us. Lena has also posted videos of most of the live sessions from our first class at either our BBI POM Facebook page or on our BBI POM YouTube channel.

In the uncertainty of these days, may we examine our hearts to see what the Lord may be trying to say to us as a church? Daniel prayed during the Judean exile, repenting for his people’s sins against their holy God (Daniel 9). Have we done the same? The present pandemic, the Australian bush fires, the locust swarms in Africa, the devastating tornadoes in the US—all of these in the last several weeks—can we not at least seek God and ask for His forgiveness, His mercy, and His favor? We who long for the return of the Lord Jesus—can we not admit that these present distresses are at the very least pictures of the birth pangs of judgment to come? And in confessing these things, can we not beg God for an unprecedented outpouring of His Spirit in reaching the world for Jesus Christ?

Thank you all for your faithfulness—and at such a time as this. The resourcefulness of God’s people to BE the church when they cannot assemble as the church has been amazing. May the Lord open doors of witness for us all, and may He do things beyond what we can even ask or think. He is able!

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

Visit our Kunai Health Centre website for information about the clinic at Kotidanga

Some recent photos:

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby

The online services have allowed us to enjoy the preaching of men in Australia, PNG, and the US.

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

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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

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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)

Beloved Kunai

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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!

 

 

 

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.

By God’s Grace

COUNTING THE BLESSINGS

Pastors’ School
Since our last newsletter, we held our semi-annual Pastors’ School. This time we opened it up to many in our local church who are growing in the Lord, and it was a huge success. Missionary Sam Snyder and his wife Mary Beth helped Lena and me with the teaching, and our people were blessed from the time in the Word.

Kamea New Testament
Ben, Yali, and I were pleasantly surprised when we totaled up the chapters completed thus far on the Kamea New Testament. We have finished a rough draft of one-third of the project! Then, just a few days ago, we finished the back translation of the book of Acts. There remains some checking to do on what we have done, but we rejoice that God has blessed this work in the way that He has. We have big plans for 2017, so pray with us for God’s wisdom, direction, and strength as we move forward in the months ahead.


Clinic Visitors

Kunai Health Centre was blessed by the recent visits of two medical professionals. Becky Pope, RN, works with Medical Missions Outreach, and she was an encouragement and blessing to our staff.

Dr. Beth Lewis and Lena enjoy a laugh as we transit through Aiyura airstrip

We also enjoyed a visit from Dr. Beth Lewis, a fellow missionary who works full-time at Kikori Hospital here in our own Gulf Province. Dr. Beth’s enthusiasm and experience in PNG medical issues taught our staff much about doing medical work out here in the bush. Thank the Lord for those gifted in medicine who give their lives to serve the Lord!

Late afternoon is quiet after Kunai Health Centre closes for the day.


Youth Saved

In our last letter we mentioned about our young people being blessed at a conference they visited in September. One of those same youth was saved here the last Sunday of 2016, and then another trusted Christ the first Sunday of 2017. God is still working in their hearts!
Speaking of youth camp, in December the Lord allowed Lena and me to fly out to Port Moresby to be with Matt, Becky and their girls during their first youth camp at Capital City Baptist Church. Our son Nate was the guest speaker, and we all had an awesome time! 16 youth were saved, and all of us were blessed by the sound biblical preaching and teaching.

Even the youngest boys at Kotidanga Baptist Church take part in Scripture memorization!

Thank You!

Your faithful prayers and support have enabled us to continue as your co-laborers here in PNG. Please accept our heartfelt “thank you” to those of you who stand with us!

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

Photos from the month…

Some days you wonder if there is a more beautiful place here on earth!

Christmas dinner with the team! Lena, visitors Brent & Brian Doss, plus our own Sarah Glover, Erika Sharpeta, and Tiffany Hefner.

Brian & Brent Doss found out the bush missions means a lot of maintenance. Here they help our church crew (in the background) repair a landslide that bit out a large chunk of the “road” to the airstrip.

Ben built a new kitchen for his house. Here are the roofers tying on the bamboo leaf roof.

The next photo is not for the faint of heart

…..

…..

Dr. Beth was here for such a time as this! This young boy fell out of a tree and broke his arm in several places, plus dislocating his elbow.

After using the ultrasound to ascertain the break points, Dr. Beth worked with the nurses to reset the arm.

Amazingly they got it straightened out, casted him, and sent him on to the regional hospital in Kerema for follow-up.

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!