Investing in the Future

June 2021
PASS IT ON,

THE 2 TIMOTHY 2:2 WAY

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

We wrapped up another term of our Bible college here in the city this week. Our final exam last night was over Church History, where we covered 1,800 years in 18 weeks. Our other classes this term included the doctrines of the Holy Spirit, Satan, and Man, plus studying through the Pastoral Epistles and the Old Testament books from the era of the Decline and Fall of Israel and Judah. All 20 students did well in their course work, and I love seeing the Lord work in their hearts to stir them to ministry. Our students include two pastors, two deacons, several preachers-in-training, and several men and ladies already in some sort of teaching ministry. Among them are several husbands with their wives, which blesses me to no end!

We recently had one of our dear PNG pastor friends go home to his eternal reward. Pastor Philip was a champion and a close friend. His passing, plus thinking about my own students, has served to remind me of my own spiritual mentors. I’m sure if I tried to make a comprehensive list, I’d leave someone out…but those who poured the most into me in my early years were my pastor, the late Dr. Don Mangus; my main Bible college teacher and friend, Pastor Dennis Hardin; and my missionary friend, Dr. James Griggers. These men invested time and teaching into my life with grace, patience, and a kick in the pants as needed! I doubt any of us thought this lanky soldier boy would ever be doing what I get to do today—but by the power of God’s Holy Spirit and through the influence of these men (and many more!), Lena and I get to serve Him here. I can say that I have a “goodly heritage”!

PERSEVERING SERVANTS
Nurse Stacie McCary finished up her time with us recently and has arrived safely back home. Thank the Lord for Hannah-Rose and the rest of the team who hold the fort at Kunai Health Centre. Please pray that the Lord will continue to use them to meet the physical and spiritual needs that they see daily.

PASSOVER IN PNG
A highlight of the past couple of months was a three-day Passover Conference at Shalom Baptist Church where I was privileged to speak. It was a packed house as we taught (and preached!) through the connections between the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0508-e1622159505540.jpg

The second night we did a Passover Seder, showing the types of Christ throughout the meal and how much of the meal itself is displayed in the Gospel recollections of the Last Supper. There were many public responses to the Word and at least one precious soul trusted Christ.

PERSONAL NEWS
Some of you know that Lena has health issues associated with SLE (Lupus). She has had a serious flare of the disease for the last three months, and is on IV antibiotics for a related infection even as I write this. On top of it all, she got Dengue fever, but that seems to be about over. She is not a quitter, that’s for sure! As you think of her, please pray for her strength and healing.

Because of your grace, prayers, and giving, we are able to teach and train and translate and tell others about the Good News of the Lord Jesus. Thank you for your part in helping us to keep at it in PNG!

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

Kunai Health Centre:    KunaiHealthCentre.com
Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby: 
bbipom.com

Christina & Glynn enjoy the lecture with Ps Justin and Sogona

Baby Milk Update, January 2021

BABY MILK UPDATE as of January 2021

We thank the Lord for another year of His provision of baby milk for our clinic ministry at Kunai Health Centre. Even though we had to limit services at times during the pandemic, in 2020 we were able to distribute 246 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 to give the child away as they are unable to feed another mouth…and others of our “baby milk babies” have mothers who are malnourished and unable to produce sufficient milk to feed them.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Baby-milk-can.jpg

The baby milk program began in 2009, and it has served over 400 children since then. Some of these children are school-aged now, and by God’s grace, they are doing quite well.

These twins were just 2.86 pounds each when they were born. They were so tiny! Before we had the supplement program in place, fresh-squeezed pineapple juice or sugar cane would be the usual liquid for any baby that mom could not nurse. Thanks to your support of the baby milk program, we are able to supplement them so that they can stay with their birth mom. She is breastfeeding and supplementing with the baby formula. Way to go!

This year, 10 babies came to us severely malnourished because their mothers were malnourished, too. On the baby milk program, they all became chunky little bits!

Another 14 babies were adopted and fed with baby milk by someone other than their own mother. Take a moment to read Bufort’s story.

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 or occasionally, and thank you all for keeping the clinic ministry and our people in prayer. The children thank you too!

2020
Income: $3,252.97
Expenses: $3,326.48
Total cans purchased: 246
Cost per 2 lb. can: $13.52
Babies served: 32

2019
Income: $3,595.00
Expenses: $4,420.92
Total cans purchased: 320
Cost per 2 lb. can: $13.82 (price decrease due to exchange rate)
Babies served: 38

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

Bufort’s Story

by Sarah Glover, missionary at Kunai since 2010

When living and ministering to provide health care in a communal society, your history with your patients runs deep.  They are your friends, not simply a chart to be pulled out of a file, and your friendship deepens with each interaction with them.  Such is the case with Bufort.  But let me back up a bit and put his story into context.

Linda


Bufort’s grandmother, Linda, has been a translator at Kunai Health Center for years.  She is faithful in all her areas of responsibility in the clinic, but she truly excels in her work in our prenatal clinic.  So it was a special day for all of us when her oldest, newly married daughter came for her first prenatal visit. We were able to provide her with care throughout her pregnancy, including diagnosing and treating malaria during her pregnancy, which can be potentially life-threatening for both mom and baby.  

I was already in bed one night when the knock came on my door.  It was Linda.  Julie was in labor.  We had no midwife on the property, and since we encourage all of our first time moms to deliver in a health facility, we decided to transport her to the rural hospital on the other side of the mountain.  A landslide on the trail prevented us from taking her the whole way, but we were able to take her a little over halfway in our Kawasaki Mule, and we waved goodbye in the wee hours of the morning as she continued her trek another 45 minutes to the rural hospital.

The next afternoon we were delighted to see Linda, Julie, and a precious baby boy on the clinic porch.  They named him Bufort nearly right away, which is unusual for our people.  They often wait a year to name their babies to prevent over-attachment should the child not survive his first year.  But that’s ever so gradually starting to change, especially among younger parents.  I can’t prove it, and I’m sure they could never articulate this, but could it be tied to a generational shift in thinking because they grew up knowing that Kunai Health Centre was there? Could it be perhaps some hope has been born in their hearts that there will be someone there to help their babies through the preventable and treatable diseases of childhood which so many wee Kamea warriors had succumbed to in the past?

Julie and her husband, Tom, are good parents, and Linda loves her little grandson.  But when Bufort was about 3 months old, a crisis struck their family.  Julie became desperately ill.  Without the ability for any major diagnostic testing, and based only on experience and on her symptoms, we began treating her for meningitis.  She rallied for awhile and seemed to be responding to the twice-a-day shots we were administering, but then her condition gravely worsened, and she began experiencing seizures and hallucinations.  We knew she needed to have access to medical care that was closer than the next village down the trail, so we made the decision to again transport her to the rural hospital on the other side of the mountain.  We took her in the same Kawasaki Mule to the same landslide, but this time there was no walking to the rural hospital for her.  Instead, she had to be carried in a sheet tied to a pole.  We prayed, believing God could do exceedingly great and wonderful things. But we also kept an eye on the trail out front every day should things not go well, and we happen to see them walk by carrying her body back to the village.

Her conditioned worsened, and at times she was in a near comatose state, unable to rise from her bed for any reason.  Eventually her deterioration was so severe that she was unable to nurse Bufort anymore.  She had so beautifully given him life, but now she could not sustain it, so they turned to us for help.  Before in such cases, there was a high likelihood that the baby would not survive.  But thanks to the Baby Milk Program at Kunai Health Centre and all of those who support it, this one got to live and be nourished even though his mom was so sick.  

Julie remained in critical condition for months. God heard the prayers of many around the world, and He turned our sorrowing into rejoicing.  Many months later she walked him home to her village.  Bufort has a mom, and Julie has her sweet baby still.  Thank the Lord–and thank you to our supporters for the part you played in this story.

Babies like this one benefit from the baby milk program. Thank you for your support!

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!

 

 

 

Translating Eternal Truth

 

 

The dark-backed books on the shelves on the left represent the languages of the world into which some portion of God’s Word has been translated. The yellow-backed books on the right represent those languages without one verse of Scripture. God speed the day when the yellow is gone from this room! (Courtesy The Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC)

Bread for the World: Translating Eternal Truth

In 2014 we began the work of translating  God’s Word into the Kamea language. Before then it took six years here in PNG to learn much of the language and culture in order to even begin to faithfully communicate the Word into a context far removed from that of the writers in both Testaments.

God provided two special Kamea brothers-in-Christ who are responsible for the bulk of the Kamea translation work. Pastor Ben and Yali are my friends, my fellow-Christians, and my fellow-laborers in bringing “God’s Talk” into their heart language. The progress we have made to date is more to their credit than it is to mine. I could study this beautiful language for 10 more years and still not glean all the rich words they bring to the translation desk.

We began the translation at first as a supplement to our production of a video based on “The Jesus Film.” By the end of 2014 we had produced the video, the first ever video in our tribal language, and since then it has been copied and distributed and re-distributed throughout the region (plus being available online here). At Kunai Health Centre the video plays daily as patients wait to be treated, allowing them to hear God’s Word in their heart language while seeing for themselves the geographic and historical context of Jesus’ life and times. After a vivid segment on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the video concludes with an invitation to turn to Christ alone for salvation. It has been an effective tool in sowing the seed of the Word in literally thousands of hearts over the last four years. (See an interview here with Ben and me from a few years ago, regarding how we made the video.)

To date, Ben, Yali, and I have completed Mark, Luke, Acts, Galatians, Titus, Philemon, James, 1 Peter, and 1,2,3 John. We are nearly finished with Matthew, and at Ben and Yali’s request, we are beginning a revision of Luke before proceeding to the other books of the New Testament. You might ask, “why?” The reason is that every day we hear the video we produced from Luke’s Gospel echoing across the mission campus from the clinic. These men have gained enough experience in translation since 2014 that they themselves realize that we need to correct things in that early translation. And I agree; all of us have learned much about translating the Word since then.

Translation of the Word into English has come a long way from John Wycliffe’s work in 1380. Translation of the Word into tribal languages still has a long way to go. Thousands of languages still do not have one jot or tittle of God’s Word in their own mother tongue.

We get the privilege to see peoples’ eyes light up when they hear God’s Word in their own language for the first time. We get even more excited when we see that very Word do a work in their hearts. Thank you for your part in helping us to do it!

People need the Lord. To know the Lord, they must hear His Word. To hear His Word, someone must tell them, or they must read it themselves. And if His Word doesn’t exist in the language they understand, how shall they come to know Him?

It is not an easy task, it is not a short-term task, and it is not a task for unclean hands and an unholy heart. People are waiting to hear; what are you and I doing to get the Word to them?

All glory to Christ,
John & Lena Allen
2 Thessalonians 3:1

Click here for a printable copy


Here are a few photos illustrating Bible translation and printing; we look forward to adding the Kamea New Testament to this history!

Original courtesy The Bible Museum, Phoenix, AZ

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

A Mother’s Love

We first posted this three years ago. It’s now been 14 years…

 

photo-411 years ago today, my life changed drastically.

In the morning, I had a conversation with my son Ben, a junior in college, about the chance to do an internship in Washington, DC. He wanted to be a lawyer. He’d turn 20 the next day. His birthday present was wrapped, ready to be delivered when I would go to see him in a couple of days.

In the afternoon, I received a call telling me that he was lost, gone, pulled out to sea in the undertow. No hope, the paramedic said. He’s gone.

In the days, weeks, months, and years that have followed, my family has received such an outpouring of love and mercy and care that I still find it hard to realize how God’s people can truly care so much. We have seen lives reclaimed by Jesus, both those who never had known Him before, and those who had wandered astray. We have met servants, dear servants of God, who have  yielded their lives in obedient service to the King of Kings because  this trying event forced them to face their own eternity with a renewed soberness. And we have known precious saints of God, dear loving friends and amazing family, who have given themselves to being compassionate to those who hurt and to those who suffer and to those who have lost, all because they felt with us an incredible burning loss.

God took a young man’s life and multiplied it. And He’s still multiplying it, eleven years later.

It’s said that there’s no love like a mother’s love. I witness it every year at this time. With tears. With weeping. With strength that only comes from God and His word. With rejoicing that the grave is not the end; no, not at all. And I hold her and weep with her. And I witness our sons and their families as they lavish love on their mom, even as they feel their own pain and loss.

Today my wife wrote this email to our boys. We’ve found comfort in different things over the years, but mostly in the memories of Benny and how he was such a cut-up. Yellow roses became a symbol when he passed from death to life, and each year dear friends and family remember him with these yellow roses. Maybe those two things will help you understand what she wrote below:

This afternoon I could not find any yellow roses in Valley Station. Realizing how silly it would be to drive around to other places to find them, I compromised and got yellow daisies. But I was still feeling guilty.

I was walking across the cemetery wishing I had pretty yellow roses to waste again on Ben’s grave, when a hilarious thought hit me. ‘There are tons of yellow roses right here in this park. It wouldn’t be stealing, just moving them around.’  That’s when it got me. That was probably what Ben would have thought, and I busted up laughing. No, John and Dave, I did not move them. 🙂

And then I saw why there are no yellow roses in Valley. I am not the only one that loves Benny.

photo-2 copyWhen we were in Israel, we learned and saw first-hand that when someone visits a loved one’s grave, they leave a stone.  So for my “Jewish” son, I left four stones for the last visits I have made. Thanks Dave for the stones from your back yard. Not that I stole them, just moved them around.”

I love you, Lena. And we all love you, Benny. It won’t be long now, and we’ll all be together again.

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.

IMG_0881

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!

IMG_0480

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

A God Worth Serving

Pastors' Conference speakers & attendees, May 2016

Pastors’ Conference speakers & attendees, May 2016

CONFERENCE TIME

We just completed our Pastors’ Conference a couple of days ago. We hosted several of our graduates and their wives for a time of teaching, of ministering to one another, and of refreshing.

Matt speaking to the preachers

Matt speaking to the preachers

Matt Allen and Jason Ottosen were able to share the teaching with me, along with my wife and Cherith Ottosen teaching the ladies’ sessions. Our prayer, as always, is that there will be lasting fruit from our time together. Everyone enjoyed being here!

Kotidanga Baptist Church hosts the ordination of Jack Naudi.

Kotidanga Baptist Church hosted the ordination of Jack Naudi

An added blessing was the ordination of Jack Naudi, 2007 graduate of our Bible school. He has been working with Jason Ottosen planting Komako Baptist Church. Our church here has supported Jack as the first missionary they sent out, and they were proud to host his ordination.

Matt, John, John Gray, & Jason Ottosen with Pastor Jack Naudi

Matt, John, John Gray, & Jason Ottosen with Pastor Jack Naudi

Matt flew John Gray up from Kerema to be the guest speaker for the meeting. He preached a great message for us all.

CHURCH GROWTH

We have seen some people saved in the last several weeks. Ben has been preaching from our newly translated book of 1 John, while Sarah Glover is teaching Kamea literacy to help our people learn to follow along in their printed copies of the book as Ben preaches.

Arriving for church, barefoot in the rain

Arriving for church, barefoot in the rain

Pray with us that our people will put the effort into learning to read Kamea so that they can read the Word for themselves.  Ben, Yali, and I are still working on the first draft of our translation of Acts. Continue to pray with us for the Gospel to go forward among the Kamea.


CLINIC BLESSINGS

Our clinic staff, both PNG nationals and US nurses, has been steadily busy. Even as I write this, two ladies have been at the clinic for over 12 hours to deliver their babies. Day in and day out, the nurses handle all sorts of cases, some quite serious.

Hannah & Renisa with a patient

Hannah & Renisa with a patient

Tiffany with another newborn

Tiffany with another newborn

One of these was a lady named Deni, who was very short of breath and unable to get to the clinic. In the dark, our nursing staff went downriver to see her and administer breathing treatments. For many years we had tried to reach Deni with the Gospel, but she had always been resistant. But just a couple of weeks ago, after she had recovered, she came to the clinic wanting to get saved. Ben’s wife Anjuta shared the Word with Deni, and she put her faith in Jesus. Amen!

Check out our blog post about the ultrasound we are using in our clinic for our unborn babies.


PERSONAL NEWS

Lena and I are enjoying good health at the present, and we count that possible because of your faithful prayers on our behalf. Please keep it up! We are also extremely thankful for your friendship and fellowship in the Gospel. Thank you for staying faithful there and enabling us to stay faithful here!

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

Mom, Dad, & Matt

Mom, Dad, & Matt

Thank the Lord for family!

Here's Pa & Grandma with Dave & Sarah, Nate & Amber, and our seven grandkids in the USA

Here’s Pa & Grandma with Dave & Sarah, Nate & Amber, and our seven grandkids in the USA

Dave is up for promotion to Lieutenant with Louisville Metro Police Department; Nate was ordained to the ministry in April. We love these guys and their families!

Matt & Becky and our two granddaughters in PNG

Matt & Becky and our two granddaughters in PNG

Matt and family are planting Capital City Baptist Church and South Pacific International Academy in Port Moresby, PNG.