It All Depends on Whom You Depend


Papua New Guinea celebrated its 43rd Independence Day last month. The local communities wait to celebrate independence when the Member of Parliament sends money to pay for sporting events, but rarely do they celebrate it on the actual date (September 16).

Our Member of Parliament, Richard Mendani, addresses our Kamea people on PNG Independence Day at Kotidanga.

This year was different; our Member of Parliament came to our village on Independence Day, so we got to celebrate it on time! I had the privilege of being one of the guest speakers. I was able to remind several hundred of our Kamea people that we have a responsibility to pray for our leaders as we hold them accountable before God and men. The best part was that I was able to share the Gospel with them again, and that is the best independence message of them all.

I had the privilege to preach the Gospel to those assembled–but I didn’t get invited to speak until the last minute, hence my “dressed down” look. I thought we were going to play games 🙂 Glad I brought my Bible.


God has blessed Lena and me over the years with great co-workers at Kunai. Recently we’ve had interns Emma Stout, Laura-Lee Alford, and Marie Bell join us to work in the clinic. They have adapted well and have such a heart for the Lord and for our people. We are blessed by their enthusiasm and zeal for the Lord!

Chelsea demonstrates care of one of our milk babies as Ellie, Emma, Marie, and Laura Lee enjoy the lesson.

We also said, “So long!” to one of our interns, Chelsea Moorman. She is gifted with tireless compassion and has a heart for discipling young ladies in a cross-cultural environment. She will be missed!

Lena teaches Ellie how to check for tuberculosis in the lymph nodes in young children.


Sometimes we all have hectic schedules. As I muse about what has happened here in the last several weeks, this is what I recall. We

  • hosted two visiting doctors
  • welcomed two new interns
  • did language & culture orientation with the new interns
  • made several attempts to fly back to our village (due to cloudy weather) before succeeding
  • fixed a landslide
  • spoke at Kotidanga’s Independence Day celebration
  • flew out of our village in the Member of Parliament’s helicopter
  • said good-bye to an intern
  • flew to Australia for doctor’s visits, tests, and treatment
  • flew back to PNG
  • visited our son’s ministry in Port Moresby
  • met with our home church pastor

Speaking of our home church pastor: Pastor Matt Anders had already planned (in God’s perfect timing) to be in PNG to meet with us, and how timely it was in our present circumstance! We are so grateful for a local church that loves and cares for us. Receiving support from your church is good; knowing that they pray for you fervently is even better; and having them send your pastor to come see you on the field, well, that’s above what we could ask or think!

Pray with us as Lena continues to recover. We are out of Kunai now, preparing in a few days to make a trip to Lae city to get our supplies and medicine, and then we will rest a bit before flying back to Kunai in mid-November.

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

Enjoy these photos from the ministry too!

Full house at Kunai Health Centre!

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

Many children who receive care at Kunai also receive hats, dresses, and blankets made by friends in the US. Thank you to everyone who helps with these!

Tuberculosis is a big problem in PNG. Lena has spent countless hours at the microscope looking for signs of that dread disease (none in this photo, though!).

Chelsea is expertly re-attaching a severed Achilles tendon while Laura Lee holds the light. These nurses do amazing things at Kunai Health Centre!

Just another day’s work. Don’t large landslides with big trees regularly block the road to your village? Jon, Yali, Tantan, Peter, and Amon cleared this one away in just two days with axes, machetes, picks, and spades.

We were able to fly out of our village with a total of eleven people in this  helicopter (a first for us)! I hadn’t flown in a Huey since I was in the Army back in 1980.

Helicopters always draw a big crowd at our place!

Lena and I with Chelsea and eight other people stuffed into the Huey.


And what is a blog post without a cute baby picture? Of course, he’s not paying attention to me while I’m preaching, but I guess cuteness wins in this case.

1 thought on “It All Depends on Whom You Depend

  1. I loved reading your Uphill Both Ways. I never realized that PNP was independent. How amazing is that. Lena I loved seeing the Huey packed to overflowing. You and John look great, and I can see God’s mission field blossoming! PTL!

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