AUGUST 2021

Missionary Life

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Eccl. 9:10)

This season of life finds Lena and me living and ministering in the capital of our large island nation. While the previous 11 years had us laboring in a remote place with no external infrastructure (roads, power, water, communication), now we are based just outside a city that has all the things we “lacked” before.

During those years in the village, life itself took time. You walked (or hiked) everywhere. Very few manufactured goods are available out there, so all your projects revolved around the bush flights to town 4-5 times a year. If something broke, you fixed it or patched it or did without. To minister at another church meant a 3-hour hike or more, one way. Getting rained on was normal, sandals were the footwear of choice, and you got used to the ever-present moldy smell because your clothes didn’t always dry in the solar dryer (aka clothesline). Crossing through creeks was often necessary—and to be honest, sometimes it was welcomed by your sore feet.

The trail always seemed to need maintenance to get the Kawasaki Mule to the airstrip located five miles away over the mountain, just to transport patients or bring back medicine and supplies. The Mule always seemed to need maintenance from the beating it took on the trail, even though you babied it. There always seemed to be a piece of a wooden step or a bridge or something that had rotted because of the weather, and it needed repairing or replacing.

Pastor Don Mangus used to tell us,
“God always works in the routines of life.”

Yet these were the routines around which ministry was framed. It was hiking single file down those trails where we did much of our discipling. It was in those more distant villages that the Gospel was preached, and the Word of God was taught. Those cold creeks cradled many believers as they followed the Lord publicly in baptism. The lack of the “necessary things” taught you a contentment that cannot be learned when everything is at your fingertips. The hiking helped keep your weight down and your heart strong. And it was in the quiet of the night in that remote place that great fellowship was had with co-workers and local friends.

There is still a team of wonderful missionaries and nationals serving at Kunai. We miss the place, but it is another season of life for us now.

Our last two months have been uniquely “city ministry”:

  • For the last several weeks, Lena has been counseling and sharing the Gospel with young people from a nearby village who were injured in a tragic bus crash.

  • Lena and I are currently holding a biblical marriage seminar for a large organization in the city.

  • BBIPOM (our Bible college) just began a new semester, with one of the courses being, “The Home, Marriage, and Relationships.” Thanks to the promoting done by Pastor Tau Abary and Shalom Baptist Church for this particular course (and our mutual desire to use it to reach our communities with the Gospel), the first night we had over 80 in attendance for the course —22 of whom are our students.

PERSONAL NEWS

We mentioned in our last update about Lena’s health issues associated with SLE (Lupus). She has continued having problems, and yesterday her doctor told her that she is in another Lupus flare. As you think of her, please pray for her strength and healing.

We are aware that your prayers and giving allow us 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 stay at it here in PNG!

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

Enjoy this month’s photos!

Back to class, 16 August 2021! (PC Pastor Tau Abary)
Signing in for class (PC Pastor Tau Abary)
The class on Home, Marriage, and Relationships is open to the public. We had a great turnout on the first night! (PC Pastor Tau Abary)
The Home, Marriage, and Relationships class on 17 August 2021 (PC Pastor Tau Abary)
Our friends at Kunai, the Sam Snyder family roasted this coffee themselves.
I love what it says on the package! (PC Mary Beth Snyder)
Yes, this stuff is for us Bible translators! Gotta keep us on our toes!
PC Mary Beth Snyder

And here’s some family news–our oldest grandson, Ben, soloed this summer in a glider. He’s been working at this a long time due to Covid restrictions, but he finally made it!

Ben is ready to fly.
The tradition of “cutting the tail off the new pilot’s shirt” after his first solo signifies that no longer will the training pilot in the back seat be tugging on his shirt tail to get his attention!

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.

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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

John 3:16 has been translated into a new dialect!

MARCH 2021

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved


We have delayed posting this blog so we could update you on the progress of the Kamea New Testament translation.
 
When we sent Sarah Glover and Hannah-Rose Winter up to Kunai with a load of supplies in February, Pastor Ben Samauyo and Bro. Yali Tapakoeo caught the plane back to Port Moresby.  Together we did a two-week intensive read-through of the entire Gospel of John in Kamea. Lena cooked and washed and kept the distractions away while the three of us locked ourselves in the office and poured over the translation.
 
How does a read-through work? The first step in the process was the preparation of the document from which the work was to be translated. I did the front translation in Pidgin with notes, accompanied by the text in English. I emailed those up to our coworkers at Kunai, who passed them along to Pastor Ben. He then typed up his translation in the Kamea language. Once he translated and checked it, he passed it on to Yali, who then took the newly translated Kamea text and translated it back into Pidgin to see if the meaning was still the same.
 
When we all sat down together, Pastor Ben read the text out loud for Yali and I to hear and comment on. We made corrections in comprehension, wording, and spelling. When it agreed with the text, was clearly understandable, and sounded good, then we printed our draft.

Read John 3:16 in English, Tok Pisin, and Kamea!

A couple of notes for those who follow this sort of thing:
 
1. Teaching literacy in the Kamea language is a slow process. At present there is little interest in learning to read in Kamea, but a lot of interest in hearing the Scriptures read. They love hearing God’s words in their mother tongue.

2. We began our project in 2014. At present we have translated over 5,300 verses (about 2/3) of the New Testament, with mostly smaller books left to do. (Not bad considering all the other ministry things happening here!) Presently, we are working our way through our last large book, Revelation. All of our work will need further review by our people, but by God’s grace it keeps moving forward! 



The God Who Loves to Answer Prayer

Since our last update, the Lord heard your prayers and opened the door for our first Australian nurse to join the team. Hannah-Rose Winter arrived just a couple of weeks before our first Canadian nurse, Becca Wyatt, headed home this week. We are so grateful for the team at Kunai Health Centre (Sam, MaryBeth, Stacie, Manandi, Jon Mark, Judas, Linda, Ellie, Piyaro, and Nancy) and their service for the King!

Becca Wyatt holding twins who are now on our baby milk program

Thank you all for helping us in prayer. It is our privilege to serve God with you!

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


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

Lena and I sporting our new Bible college shirts.

Enjoy some recent photos from the ministry here:

New logo for BBIPOM!
Baptist Bible Institute students busy during class.
Watching our video class on Monday nights…
Even after the power blackouts–just keep watching the teacher’s computer!
Checking the read-through of John’s Gospel in Kamea.
Making the edits and adding words to the dictionary.
Finished draft of John’s Gospel in Kamea, printed and ready to go.
Beautiful sunset after a big rain and long time with no sun.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Click here for printable copy

New Normal

All of us continue to adapt to a world that has changed much from what it was even six months ago. I realize that many of you are still under restrictions, yet in PNG we have only had 11 confirmed cases to date, none of them serious (on a side note…everyone is sure that it is here, it’s just that testing is very limited…and any severe cases may have been missed due to the various other sicknesses and diseases that take the lives of our people). As a church, we are able to meet pretty much normally, respecting those who wish to keep a distance.

Members of Capital City Baptist meet outside after services to praise God for His goodness!

New Classes

After a month-long lockdown, we were able to resume classes at Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby. We completed our latest 8-week course last week and plan to return to classes (Lord willing!) the first week of August.

Students in class for the “Life of Christ” course at BBIPOM.

New Opportunities

Because of the religious liberty in PNG, doors open up in places you could only dream about in other countries. Among other things we’ve done lately, we were able to go with Pastor Tau and Shalom Baptist to distribute Bibles at the University of PNG Medical School and speak to future doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists. This is something we’ve looked forward to for over a year.

Some of the students at UPNG Medical School who received Bibles and heard a challenge from God’s Word to know the Lord and to serve our people!

New Construction

Lord willing, we hope to begin refurbishing our new home on the campus of Capital City Baptist Church soon. Through a series of “God-moment” connections here in Port Moresby, the Lord provided a used modular house for us, including the excavation work to prepare the site—at no cost to us! It will take a lot of renovation, but we thank the Lord for it, and look forward to the opportunity to use it for His glory!

This is where our refurbished bunkhouse will be located.

Same Great Bible

We have recently finished our draft of John’s Gospel and are working our way through the Book of Revelation. Keep this project in prayer! We are past the half-way point now, and long to see it completed!

Same Glorious Gospel

With all the problems we all see around the world, we must keep in mind that there is only one long-term (might I say, eternal) solution: The saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the global pandemic to the gender-based- and sorcery-accusation-related-violence here in PNG to the unbelievable unrest in countries around the globe, the one and only steady hope we have is Jesus Christ.

Same Great Need

Laborers are needed!

1. Pray with us for borders to open so we can get our new nurses for Kunai Health Centre. They are willing and waiting!
2. Pray for our students at BBIPOM that God will raise up laborers among them for His harvest. He is able!

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

Kunai Health Centre:    KunaiHealthCentre.com

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby:  facebook.com/BBIPOM

Here are some more photos to enjoy. Some of these were taken by Pastor Tau Abary and the people of Shalom Baptist Church (used by permission).

First, some of our BBIPOM students!

It is a blessing to teach those who are hungry for the Word and eager to serve the Lord!
Missionary ladies are a special bunch! Lena, Rebecca Florence, Chelsea Moorman, Danya Counts, and Trina Muldoon. All happened to be in town at the same time!
After months in the remote mountains, the expression on Danya’s face as she looks at all that ice cream is priceless. Yes, we got her some ice cream 🙂
A recent sunrise at Kunai–few places are more beautiful than this! (PC: Sarah Glover)

Only God

April 2020

Click here for printable text copy

ONLY GOD
When I wrote our last update in February, none of us had any idea what would soon transpire globally. Never have any of us been forced to say “if the Lord will” as much as we are saying it now, but regardless, our God is doing great things!

ANSWER TO PRAYER
We have two new nurses who are scheduled to come once the borders re-open here in PNG. We can still use more nurses, but we praise the Lord for these two ladies who stepped up to the challenge.

FAITHFUL IN THE FIELD
The team at Kunai are continuing the ministry there. As of this writing we have no active cases of the virus in PNG, but our staff are prepared as much as possible for what may come. There are no ventilators or machines available out there, and no way to fly out critical patients. Therefore, we ask that you pray for the team on the ground, not only for their protection but for their witness.

It may not look like much, but it brought lots of medical and school supplies!

CONTAINER ARRIVED
Our container—filled with supplies that many of you donated—has arrived and cleared customs. At present it is difficult to find flights to transport the materials to our team at Kunai. Pray we can get these medical supplies and school materials up there soon!

BBI POM 1st class

BAPTIST BIBLE INSTITUTE OF PORT MORESBY
We reported in our last letter that our first week of classes went very well. Praise the Lord, the rest of the six-week term went even better! We had 20 registered students and anywhere from 15-25 visitors in attendance for every class. We finished on schedule just before the mandatory shutdown. When we reopen, we have even more students who have registered, and we are looking forward to getting back to classes!

Start of BBI POM classes–with social distancing before it was cool!

Because we wanted to continue teaching our students, we have begun a video series on the BBI POM Facebook page called, “Daily Words.” It is a brief lesson about how to study the Bible for yourself, using the text of Scripture as a reference. It is designed with our students in mind, but since it is in English, we hope others around the world will join us. Lena has also posted videos of most of the live sessions from our first class at either our BBI POM Facebook page or on our BBI POM YouTube channel.

In the uncertainty of these days, may we examine our hearts to see what the Lord may be trying to say to us as a church? Daniel prayed during the Judean exile, repenting for his people’s sins against their holy God (Daniel 9). Have we done the same? The present pandemic, the Australian bush fires, the locust swarms in Africa, the devastating tornadoes in the US—all of these in the last several weeks—can we not at least seek God and ask for His forgiveness, His mercy, and His favor? We who long for the return of the Lord Jesus—can we not admit that these present distresses are at the very least pictures of the birth pangs of judgment to come? And in confessing these things, can we not beg God for an unprecedented outpouring of His Spirit in reaching the world for Jesus Christ?

Thank you all for your faithfulness—and at such a time as this. The resourcefulness of God’s people to BE the church when they cannot assemble as the church has been amazing. May the Lord open doors of witness for us all, and may He do things beyond what we can even ask or think. He is able!

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

Visit our Kunai Health Centre website for information about the clinic at Kotidanga

Some recent photos:

Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby

The online services have allowed us to enjoy the preaching of men in Australia, PNG, and the US.