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NEW OPPORTUNITIES

MABT Students at WorldView India.
James & Toree Overton oversee these students in the Master of Arts in Bible Translation course at WorldView India.

Lena and I had a wonderful trip to minister again at WorldView India in January. James and Toree Overton do a wonderful job leading and teaching the Bible translation students at the college. It was a joy to share how to use Chronological Bible Storying as a tool in church planting simultaneously with translating the Scriptures. These students come from around India and Myanmar, and are a delight to work with. We praise the Lord for all the opportunities to speak in church, chapel, small groups, and one-to-one. Pray with us that the Lord will continue to raise up faithful ministers of the Gospel in this needy area of the world!

NEW NURSES

The clinic at Kunai Health Centre has been extremely busy the last several months. The nurses and our national staff are doing a great job ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of our Kamea people. Next week we will be in Lae city for our medicine and supply buy, and there we will be meeting two incoming nurses: Chelsea Moorman and Danya Counts. Chels was with us for 2017-2018, and this is Danya’s first time.

On cool mornings, patients prefer to sit out in the sun on the grass.

Pray for them and the team on the ground as they continue to treat patients, and as they labor in discipleship and evangelism.

NEW SCRIPTURE USES

Since we began translating the New Testament into Kamea almost five years ago, we have labored to find ways to make it accessible to our people. Pastor Ben has taught the church directly from the newly translated text, and Sarah and Laura-Lee have used it in literacy classes. We have produced videos of the Life of Christ using the Kamea New Testament, and these are shown daily at the clinic as well as distributed on mobile phones. Now the nurses have begun using the Kamea New Testament portions to do discipleship with the young ladies in the church. They said that the girls are really excited to hear and to read the Word in their own heart language!

NEW VISION

Lena and I believe our next step is to move to Port Moresby and to partner with our son Matt, his family, and the ministry of Capital City Baptist Church. We have always felt welcome there, and the Lord has given us sweet friendships among those believers. We can continue the Bible translation project and keep giving logistical support to Kunai Health Centre, as well as orienting new missionaries as they arrive, plus all of the many ministry opportunities in that growing city.

Capital City Baptist Church Campus, 9 February 2019

The move will involve building a place to live and obtaining a vehicle, and we are sure our great God will take care of those details in His way and in His time. As you remember us and these ministries (Kunai and Port Moresby) in prayer, could you also pray for Lena? It looks as though she may need surgery on her neck again, perhaps later this year.

How blessed we are to be such privileged children of the King! He lets us work for Him among His people in many places, He lets us see His power in transformed lives, and He blesses us with His presence, His Word, His grace, and His love. And then He gently reminds us, “Freely ye have received—freely give.” May we all be busy about giving that same good news of the Gospel that He so freely gave to us. The world, near and far, is waiting…


All glory to Christ,

John & Lena Allen

2 Thessalonians 3:1

Enjoy a few photos of our visit to India. The Gospel is being preached in that great land, but there is so much more to do!

Enjoying a visit with our good friends, Dr. Babu Varghese and his family.
Neena, Lena,and Jessie; we are blessed to know such faithful believers.
Several thousand attended the five-day preaching convention while we were there. Over 200 made professions of faith.
Feeding the multitude at convention is no easy task!

Beloved Kunai

Click here for printable copy

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!