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.

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

God is still God!

GOD IS STILL GOD!                                                          click here for printable copy

Hello from Kotidanga Baptist Church in Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea!

BEN’S ORDINATION

We had a packed house at Kotidanga Baptist for Pastor Ben’s ordination.

In January 2017, Kotidanga Baptist Church voted to make Ben Samauyo their pastor. During our recent Pastors’ Workshop, we held Ben’s ordination.

Ben presents his doctrinal statement before his ordination.

It was a great to have Pastor Philip Sorulen from Calvary Baptist in Lae,  Matt Allen from Port Moresby, and my co-worker Sam Snyder  take part in the ordination service. Pastor Philip preached several times while he was with us, and he was a great blessing to our people and to Pastor Ben.

TTMK director and founder of Capital City Baptist in Port Moresby, Matt Allen, and his Kamea translator, Pastor Kevin Samawe

 

BAPTIZING NEW BELIEVERS

At the end of the special meetings, Ben baptized 11 who had been saved in recent months. Thank the Lord for these young converts! 

Jon Mark, one of our most faithful church members, is blind. He works at Kunai Health Centre and he doesn’t let much slow him down! He was one of those who followed the Lord in believer’s baptism in June.

  

BRING ON THE VISITORS

We also had ten visitors from Pensacola Christian College who came to observe the clinic ministry. Nine were nurses or nursing students, and they got to experience a lot while they were here.

PCC visitors pose with the staff of Kunai Health Centre.

During their visit we had a school health check day, with over 600 students coming from villages as far as three hours’ walk away. It certainly was busy! While they proceeded through various stations (vision, hearing, etc.) they also heard the Gospel in groups and in personal witness.

Youth who came for health check day

In addition, June was a record month at the clinic with 2,100 regular patients PLUS the 600 who came for health checks. That’s a lot of patients, and a lot of patience 🙂 Thank the Lord for all the opportunities we had to share the Gospel during those busy clinic days.

 

BETHEL BAPTIST IN LAE

Bethel Baptist Choir

Lena and I recently returned from Lae where I had the privilege to speak for a few days at Bethel Baptist Church. Many responded openly to the preaching of the Word of God, including some who put their faith in Christ.

Singing men from Liberty Baptist in Lae

Visitors came from several different churches around the city, including some students from Lae University of Technology. Special thanks to Pastor Timothy Sogori, his wife Ruth,  and his people for putting the meeting together!

 

BUSY DAYS AHEAD

We had two new nurses join us this week. Chelsea Moorman (from the US) and Manandi Dagoino (from our neighboring village) are now part of the Kunai Health Centre staff. Pray that they orient well and that the Lord will bless their labors for Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our people. Several responded to our last post, and we covet your continued fervent prayers for our country, Papua New Guinea. God is still God, and as a friend wrote recently, “our enemy has an expiration date.” Amen!

Serving Him in the Field,

John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Enjoy the extra photos!

Ben & Anjuta flew out with us to attend a pastors’ conference.

Many patients are still captivated watching the “Jesus Film” whether in Pidgin or in Kamea.

Ben came to the clinic and shared the Gospel with this young church member whose life was ending. The young man affirmed his faith in Christ alone, and in a short time he passed into eternity. Are you ready if your time were to come today?

 

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.

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!

A Thought on Vision

Adapted from “The Vision Poem”
https://www.24-7prayer.com/thevisionpoem

Sunset at Port Moresby Copyright JMAllenSr 2013

So this guy comes up to me and says, “What’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this…

The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.
The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting
again and again:

“COME ON!”

Their solid faith in a Sovereign God fuels motives for love, for action, for evangelism. Knowing Christ and making Him known is more than a motto; it is their heartbeat. Confident in their Faithful Father, following their Servant Savior, and indwelt by their Holy Spirit, they drive, they plunge, they plod, they pursue.

Glory goes to their God. Praise and worship flow through the Spirit.
And to the Lamb goes the reward of His suffering.

This is the sound of the underground. The whisper of history in the making. Foundations shaking. Revolutionaries dreaming once again. Mystery is scheming in whispers. Conspiracy is breathing. This is the sound of the underground.

Copyright 2013 JMAllenSr

And the army is discipl(in)ed. Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them?

Studying the Torah at the Western Wall Copyright 2013 JMAllenSr

And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter!

Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cozy little hideout. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

Serving as Jesus’ hands and feet is not beneath them. They need no accolades; they only need opportunity.

They know that their good works speak volumes. They also know that the Gospel must be spoken as much as it must be seen. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” They are not afraid to show it or to tell it. “Hell is hot, Heaven is real, men are lost in sin, and Jesus is the only Savior.”

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell itself. A throne for an electric chair.

Kerema road

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centers.

Mediocre, half-baked churchianity doesn’t appeal to them. Jesus’ call to forsake all has gripped them, and it is Jesus they follow. The false, lazy armchair brand of Christianity produces false, lazy Christians–if it produces Christians at all. No thanks, they say; I’ll take Jesus.

Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdos! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.

Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

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And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from heroes of the faith, from Christ himself.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.

Bring it on. Give us Thy grace, Thy wisdom, Thy power, Thy love, Thy heartbeat. And as Thy church advances, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against her. To You, our only wise God, be honor and glory and praise and victory!

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Adapted from “The Vision Poem”
https://www.24-7prayer.com/thevisionpoem