“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus..”
Lately I have been reminded that our lives are so much like races to be run. Some races have stages to run, each with its own beginning and ending. In every race, how you finish is as important as how you start and how you run. As has been said, “Anyone can start, but who will finish?”
Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby’s first group of 17 students completed their 3 ½ years of study in mid-May. They learned from God’s Word, gleaned practical principles, and applied themselves in many different ministries. They also developed perseverance, overcame obstacles (including the pandemic, blackouts, floods, and fighting in their streets), and still completed their course with joy. I am blessed to have a part in their lives, and I thank the Lord for each of them.
In April we held our second BBIPOM Conference, this one focusing on biblical preaching. It was well attended by pastors from Port Moresby, Central Province, and Gulf Province. Pray that we will be able to host more of these conferences each year.
During our trip to the US, we were able to visit churches in several states. Thank the Lord for those of you who faithfully serve the Lord through trials of affliction and keep finding ways to reach people with the Gospel. Lena and I were challenged by the spirit we found in you dear pastors and your people.
A highlight of the trip was being able to minister at our home church, after which I had the privilege of baptizing two of our high school-aged grandchildren, Beth and Abe. What an honor for a granddad!
We were also able to visit our son Nate and the new church plant in Indiana. Nate’s family and Dave’s family live within an hour’s drive of each other, so we were able to be with all of them. God has blessed us with a wonderful family (in the US and PNG) who love the Lord and His people.
Do we not enjoy finding those who are starting out serving the Lord? Seeing new believers begin walking in the truth and acquiring a hunger for the Lord and His Word is always exciting! Some of these are students at BBIPOM, others are high school students or graduates with a heart for the Lord. Praise the Lord for each one!
Our grandson Ben graduated from high school at our home church, and it was my privilege to be asked to speak at the commencement. Praise the Lord, no greater joy!
LOOKING UNTO JESUS
There are many dear ones who finish the race well. One of our dear students at BBIPOM, Sister Flora, finished her course a few months ago, graduating ahead of her husband and her class. Grief is the portion of those left to keep running; but the “well done” of the Savior was the greeting as our sister crossed the line, safely home.
Some of you will remember a dear brother from our ministry days up in the mountains. Benjamin Luke became a paraplegic from TB. He trusted Christ over a decade ago and was a testimony to everyone who visited him. He suffered greatly in his affliction, but thankfully Lena and the faithful Kunai Health Centre staff were able to minister to him and alleviate some of that pain. Even when we moved to the capital, Ben continued to call us every couple of weeks from his hut on the top of a mountain. Just a few weeks ago Ben finished his course. He could not run with his legs for many years, but wow, I imagine he is running now! We will always remember him praying for us on the phone, for Lena’s health and for the blessing of God on the ministry. You ran well, my brother. Enjoy your new legs, and run to Jesus!
Pressing on by His Grace and Goodness,
John & Lena Allen
Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby: bbipom.com
Enjoy some pictures from the last couple of months!
BBIPOM Conference photos:
Here are some pictures of our Saturday night translation checking squad:
We had a great meal and fellowship when we ended the semester at BBIPOM in May:
Here is Lena with Margaret and her son Alex. Margaret and Lena worked together for years at Kunai Health Centre. Margaret and Alex both went on to study and graduate as community health workers (think LPN in the US). We are so proud of their hearts to serve the Lord and their people!