Baby Milk Update, January 2019

BABY MILK UPDATE as of January 2019

We thank the Lord for His provision each year for baby milk for our clinic ministry. In 2018 we purchased 270 cans of formula, serving many infants and young children who are malnourished.

In some cases, the mother has died in childbirth, or shortly thereafter. In other cases, the parents have given the child away as they are unable to feed another mouth…and yet others of our “baby milk babies” have mothers who are unable to produce sufficient milk to feed them.

The baby milk program began in 2009, and it has served over 340 children since then. Some of these children are school-aged now, and by God’s grace, they are doing quite well. Here is a progression of one of them:

Maikalin was one of our first milk babies. She is doing great!
This was a post done recently by one of our nurses, Marie Bell. The baby is doing fine now, and is sucking on his own. Thank the Lord for His provision of baby milk, and for His providing such loving caregivers!

Thank you to everyone who joins with us in prayer and financial support of this vital program. We are grateful for those who give monthly, and we are also grateful for the special offering we received at the end of the year that really helped out with our annual expenses. And our children thank you too!

2018
Income: $9,118.42 (including a generous gift of $5,000 on Dec. 31, 2017!)
Expenses: $4,063.79
Total cans purchased: 270
Cost per 2 lb. can: $15.05 (increase due to extra air freight costs)
Babies served: 30

2017
Income:      $4,180.41
Expenses:  $5,341.75
Total cans purchased: 420
Cost per 2 lb. can: $12.72 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 45

2016
Income:      $5,715.00
Expenses:  $5,638.34
Total cans purchased: 400
Cost per 2 lb. can: $14.10 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 50

2015
Income:      $6,875.00
Expenses:  $8,280.37
Total cans purchased: 558
Cost per 2 lb. can: $14.83 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 29

2014
Income:      $1,320.00
Expenses:  $6,468.40
Total cans purchased: 400
Cost per 2 lb. can: $16.17
Babies served: 44

2013
Income:       $6,414.16
Expenses:   $8,396.37
Total cans purchased: 471
Cost per 2 lb. can: $17.82
Babies served: 58

2012
Income:       $627.51
Expenses:   $10,446.22
Total cans purchased: 547
Cost per 2 lb. can: $19.10
Babies served: 58

2011
Income:       $1,415
Expenses:   $5,325
Total cans purchased: 300
Cost per 2 lb. can: $17.75
Babies served: 42

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!

 

 

 

Back in the work!

May 2018 update

Great Opportunities
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 were the youngest missionaries at this conference! Hard to stack up against Dr. Don Sisk, Margaret Stringer, and Randy & Jeannette Alderman…we felt like newbies! Thanks to Pastor & Mrs. Rusty Smith for the blessing of being in such a conference.

Great Provision
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!

Sorting supplies with Bruno Keller at JAARS (photo credit, Geoff Russell)

Great Co-workers
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.

Great God
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.

John & Pastor Tau Abary

Great Thanks

Jon Mark said to tell everyone who prayed for him, “THANK YOU!” What a smile!

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!

This is a bookshelf in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. Each yellow book represents a language in which the Word of God has not yet been translated. By God’s grace, one day we will see the Kamea language moved out of the yellow book section!

We recently received a donation from the Ukarumpa International School in Papua New Guinea towards the operational expenses of Kunai Health Centre. Thank you all for your generosity to help our people!

Aerial view of the campus of Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy in Port Moresby, PNG, where our son Matt and his family serve. The facility is located to the right of center in the middle of the photo.

Our US family at our home church in Louisville, KY.

Baby Milk Update, January 2018

BABY MILK UPDATE as of January 2018

We thank the Lord for His provision each year for baby milk for our clinic ministry. In 2017 we purchased 420 cans of formula, serving dozens of infants and young children who are malnourished.

In some cases, the mother has died in childbirth, or shortly thereafter. In other cases, the parents have given the child away as they are unable to feed another mouth…and yet others of our “baby milk babies” have mothers who are unable to produce sufficient milk to feed them.

This little one was a recent case toward the end of 2017. The mother rejected the baby soon after birth due to a mental illness, and the family was struggling to provide proper nourishment.

 

After just a few short weeks on the SMA formula, she is doing much better, and thriving!

The baby milk program began in 2009, and it has served almost 300 children since then. Some of these children are school-aged now, and by God’s grace, they are doing quite well.

Thank you to everyone who joins with us in prayer and financial support of this vital program. We are grateful for those who give monthly, and we are also grateful for the special offering we received at the end of the year that really helped out with our annual expenses. And our children thank you too!

2017
Income:      $4,180.41
Expenses:  $5,341.75
Total cans purchased: 420
Cost per 2 lb. can: $12.72 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 45

2016
Income:      $5,715.00
Expenses:  $5,638.34
Total cans purchased: 400
Cost per 2 lb. can: $14.10 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 50

2015
Income:      $6,875.00
Expenses:  $8,280.37
Total cans purchased: 558
Cost per 2 lb. can: $14.83 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 29

2014
Income:      $1,320.00
Expenses:  $6,468.40
Total cans purchased: 400
Cost per 2 lb. can: $16.17
Babies served: 44

2013
Income:       $6,414.16
Expenses:   $8,396.37
Total cans purchased: 471
Cost per 2 lb. can: $17.82
Babies served: 58

2012
Income:       $627.51
Expenses:   $10,446.22
Total cans purchased: 547
Cost per 2 lb. can: $19.10
Babies served: 58

2011
Income:       $1,415
Expenses:   $5,325
Total cans purchased: 300
Cost per 2 lb. can: $17.75
Babies served: 42

 

Providential Meetings

Home for the Holidays
Lena and I made it to the US just before Christmas. It was great to be with family and friends for the holidays before we hit the road during the first week of January. We do have to admit that leaving temperate PNG for the frigid Midwest was an adjustment!

Open Doors
The Lord opened a door for Lena and me to visit the Middle East on our way to the US for our furlough. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach for a couple of weeks in a seminary in Jordan. There were both Jordanians and Egyptians in the class, and it was a blessing and joy to work with them.

I’m grateful for Dr. Ghassan Haddad and the work of Biblical Theological Seminary as they train laborers for the Arab-speaking world. We passed through Dubai on the way to Jordan, and were also blessed to see the work being done there in the United Arab Emirates. The Word of God is not bound!

A couple from the jungle trying to blend into the desert.

Recruiting and Replenishing
The Lord has given us great meetings in January and  February. We have seen the Lord move in hearts as we’ve shared what God is doing in PNG. We’ve seen many long-time friends and met many new ones. God has been truly good to us!

One of our major goals this trip is to recruit nurses for Kunai Health Centre and to recruit teachers to start a school for our Kamea children at Kotidanga. We have met some fine people and have had appointments at Christian colleges to speak to prospects. Praise the Lord, He gave us two new workers for the clinic: Emma Stout, from Franklin Road Baptist Church; and Laura Lee Alford, from our home church. Amen! Pray with us that the Lord will raise up even more missionaries, nurses, and teachers!

Finally, we are looking to ship these specific medical-related supplies (and only these items):

  • ibuprofen (Advil or generic)
  • naproxen (Aleve or generic)
  • band-aids
  • ACE wraps (2”-6”)
  • muscle rub (i.e. Ben-Gay)

If you wish to help by donating these items, please send them before March 31, 2018 to:

John Allen c/o David Allen
1077 Weavers Run
West Point, KY 40177

We plan to pack and ship them in early April, just before we head back to PNG on April 19th. We are thankful for the donations received already. May God richly bless all of you who have given to this cause!

Back Home in PNG
Kotidanga Baptist Church held its first Youth Camp in January. Our good friend Phil Parry was the main speaker, and he, along with Pastor Ben, Matt Allen, Sam Snyder, and a host of others put on a camp like our villages had never seen. 17 young people came to faith in Christ, and many more made life-changing decisions. We thank the Lord for all the work that everyone did to make this happen. So many stories to be told! (Click here to see the video of the camp.)

Crazy games!

Real crazy games!

Biblical preaching!

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support. We are only able to do what we do because of your faithful prayers and support. May the Lord put credit on your account for your part in His work in PNG!

Serving Him in the Field,
John & Lena

PS: Enjoy some more camp photos!

Bird’s eye view of Kotidanga Youth Camp

Here are some of the people who made the camp happen:

Bro. Phil Parry lead the teaching.

Pastor Ben Samauyo lead the camp for Kotidanga Baptist Church.

Bro. Sam Snyder

Mrs. Ellie Polmek

Our nurse, Miss Chelsea Moorman, with her       friends

Bro. Yali Tapaqueo

Bro. Matt Allen