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!

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 🙂