Reaching People Where They Are

This has been as varied a ministry season for us as I can remember. In April I finished teaching classes on church history at Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby and headed to Amman, Jordan to teach at the Biblical Theological Seminary.

The trip itself was eventful, at least all around us. As we flew to Dubai, Iran was launching armed drones west over Jordanian airspace. As we passed through Dubai, they experienced record flooding—and so did we. (Dubai is in a desert…lots of rain is not really their thing.)

It was my second trip to teach Ecclesiology (Doctrine of the Church) at BTS, but this time I got to teach for a week without my Bible or my notes, as our bags got lost in the craziness in Dubai. BTS had my notes from last time, but alas, the notes were already translated into Arabic and not much help to me. We made do until the Lord graciously gave us our suitcases with my Bible and notes.

Bill and Ghassan and their families are great hosts, and are doing a great work for the Lord in a difficult place. They just purchased their own building after 20-plus years, so now the church and seminary can have a permanent home.

The in-class students were from different countries in the Middle East. There were also two students following along online from another country in the region. It humbles me to have the opportunity to teach these dear brethren; and I, too, learned from them.

After finishing up in Amman, we crossed the Jordan and spent four days in Israel shooting video and photos to use in future videos in Tok Pisin for our people in PNG. We made similar videos back in 2013, and they have been widely distributed. It is such a help for our people to actually see what the lands of the Bible look like!

After arriving in the USA in May, we headed up to Dearborn, Michigan, to be with Pastor Chris Staub. Dearborn is home to the largest concentration of Arabic people in the US. How exciting it was to learn that Bro. David Gates is there working with Silvery Lane Baptist Church to reach the 80% majority of Arabic people right around the church! Other Baptist churches have moved out of that area, but Pastor Staub and his people are staying put and reaching those whom God has sent.

Being in Jordan and Israel reminded me how hard it is when you cannot share the Gospel because you don’t speak the language. It does, however, make me press in and use the languages I know to tell the old, old story!

Thinking back this year, there have been different places as well as different people…

…like walking through the Gospel with David as I drove him to the bus stop
…or giving out Bibles and a testimony to Tony and his workmates at the gas pump
…or sharing with Thaddeus about what Christ has done for him while waiting for the 4 AM bus to come
…or the many times Teresa has visited our home, and heard a Gospel presentation.

While I haven’t seen David, or Tony, or Thaddeus again, I did hear that Teresa trusted Christ just a couple weeks ago. Whether we are sowing or watering or reaping the harvest; whether we are in Port Moresby or Amman or Dearborn; we are laborers together with God in the great business of building His church!

Pressing on by His Grace and Goodness,
John & Lena Allen
Psalm 71:18

More photos below:

Flooding in the streets of Dubai as we passed through–deserts are not supposed to flood

We are in the process of producing short videos for YouTube of biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. They will be in Tok Pisin, the trade language of Papua New Guinea. We will let you know as they release.

Shooting a video in Tok Pisin at the site where Jesus was baptized at Bethany beyond Jordan

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