…IN MERCY: We’ve all had a phone call…you know, the one that sets your heart pounding, mind racing, and hopefully, prayers flying. We got one of those calls in January. Pastor Ben’s wife, Anjuda, had delivered her baby early in a remote area and was in bad shape. Thankfully, she was near the highway from Kerema to Port Moresby, having come down from their village in the mountains. Our son Matt took one of our Bible school students, Braxstone, and Pastor Ben’s oldest daughter Selestine, and they sped off on an overnight trip to find Anjuda and the baby, and to bring them back to Port Moresby. Almost 14 hours after they left, after bouncing on the potholed road, avoiding a couple of attempted road blocks/car jackings, and having the truck stoned, they returned to meet us at the hospital. Anjuda took two units of blood; and by God’s grace, she recovered! The little baby boy also recovered quickly as well. Praise the Lord for His care of Matt, Braxstone, and Sele as they made the trip to literally save Anjuda’s life. And better yet—after recovering with us here at our home for several more days, Pastor Ben’s family was able to head back to their village.
Not everything here is that dramatic, praise the Lord. The day-in, day-out routines of life are where we all live. For us it is two evenings of Bible college, one evening of translation checking, Wednesday evening Bible study in Boroko, plus daytime work on the translation projects, weekly preparation for preaching and teaching, and discipleship.
…IN OUTREACH: Some of our Bible college students spent December and January in outreach ministries at a distance from here. One went with another preacher to Southern Highlands Province, filling in at churches without pastors. Another went to the island of Bougainville, where he began three separate ministries in a few weeks. The door is open in so many places here, and we are working to get more laborers trained as we help them catch the vision! It is good to see the growth in spiritual maturity among our students, as well as seeing some begin to get a good grasp on handling the Word of God well in their study and in preaching and teaching!
…IN TRAINING: Recently I was privileged to hold a Biblical Preaching Workshop for pastors on the other side of the island in Lae, hosted by Pastor Michael Saka. Most of these laborers preach and teach in Tok Pisin, so we adapted the materials for them. They are really hungry to learn and preach the Word!
Then we had a Workers’ Training Seminar for Pastor Tau Abary here in the city. It was packed with experienced and prospective workers for their classes and ministries. Thank the Lord for those who desire to serve and dedicate themselves to it!
Last week we were in Mt. Hagen with Pastor Camillus Kumbi and Missionary Kenny Seremak for the kick-off of their new Bible institute. It was encouraging to be with their prospective students and supporting pastors. We had great responses in each of the meetings. I look forward to hearing good things from this new partnership of churches in the Highlands.
…IN BLESSING: One last thing—can I brag on my wife? While walking through life as a grandmother to 10, and living with an oftentimes frustrating and painful disease, she manages to be a huge blessing. She’s my assistant in our Bible college classes, she balances her food budget to feed the whole crew of our weekly translation checks, and then washes dishes so we can go directly into the Word. I don’t know how it goes at your place, but at ours, an RN with a PhD fixes dinner, waits on guests, and washes dishes.
We have an even busier schedule in the weeks to come. Pray we can do it all, and do it well, for the glory of God!
Pressing on by His Grace & Goodness, John & Lena Allen Philippians 1:27
Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby: bbipom.com
This newsletter marks some ministry milestones for Lena and me. January 1st is the 40th anniversary of the beginning of my privilege to serve in full-time ministry. I know that’s hard to believe for such a young fellow as myself, but it’s true! Those forty years have taken us through local ministries at our home church in Kentucky to preaching and teaching around the world, including the focus of the last fifteen years here in Papua New Guinea. The Lord has been good and faithful to us all along the way. Our sons and their families are serving the Lord, and we are so blessed to have it so.
By God’s grace, 2023 will give us our first graduating class from Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby. Seventeen students are on track to finish in May; pray with us that they will finish strong. Right now, during our holiday break, some of the students are out in various locations around PNG preaching and assisting local churches and new outreaches. It is exciting to see the Lord use them! Thank the Lord for the local pastors and their churches who shape and mold these servants into what the Lord would have them to be.
Work is continuing on the Study Bible and the Kamea New Testament. Last night we had some young men (university and tech school students) join us to continue our read-through of Proverbs. It always excites me to see people catch the vision of laboring to understand the text of God’s Word in an effort to make it plain!
As we begin the New Year, let us do it with purpose. Practice your spiritual disciplines of reading the Word and prayer, as well as sharing the Gospel and discipling others. If you miss a day or miss a chance, pick up and press on. May we be found faithful when He comes!
Pressing on by His Grace and Goodness, John & Lena Allen Philippians 1:27
The ending of pandemic restrictions gave us back the joy of meeting together with the brethren in three conferences in the last three months.
NATIONAL PASTORS’ CONFERENCE
The local Baptist churches in Port Moresby co-hosted the national conference under the leadership of Pastor Paul Lahari at Bible Baptist, and they did a good job of it. BBC provided the venue and lots of ever-present assistance, and many churches from the city joined hands to take turns cooking the meals, feeding the crowd, and leading the services. Thank the Lord for being able to hear the Word preached and to fellowship with some brothers we haven’t seen in years.
BBIPOM CONFERENCE Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby hosted its first annual conference right on the heels of the National Conference. It was so good to see our students looking sharp as we enjoyed the teaching from Pastor Cranston Knowles from the Bahamas and Pastor Ed Thierbach from the USA.
A highlight of the conference was the round-table discussion by the more seasoned PNG pastors regarding balancing ministry and family. It was a blessing to our students and to the pastors in attendance. We trust the Lord will allow us to continue holding these special meetings.
IRON SHARPENETH IRON CONFERENCE
In early November I spent a few days in Lae City, PNG, where I was honored to be part of the “Iron Sharpeneth Iron” Conference hosted by Pastor Michael Saka of Tent Siti Baptist Church. There were several dozen pastors in attendance, plus many of their wives.
I was privileged to speak alongside Missionary Pastor Dala Momo (from PNG, who serves among the Aboriginal people of Australia). It was a biblically sound, theologically rich conference that God used to speak straight to our hearts. It was definitely a time of refreshing and challenge!
PRESSING IN & PRESSING ON
I want to thank all of you who have labored with us in prayer for Lena’s health. This has been a long, difficult season for us. Recently she has seen some relief, and has actually started to feel alive. We do not take this for granted, and we definitely praise the Lord for it.
Having just taught on prayer in Bible college here, and also teaching on it currently in our Wednesday evening fellowship meetings in Boroko, I am all the more aware that the answers we get from the Lord in answer to prayer are pure grace. He calls us to pray; but more than that, He calls us to trust. What rich lessons we have been learning by experience about trust—and what encouraging lessons we have been learning about God’s providence and wisdom. Difficult seasons test and prove our faithfulness to God, but more importantly, they build our faith in His faithfulness to us.
Please continue to pray for us. The harvest is great, and the open doors are many. In two weeks, Lena and I will celebrate 45 years of being married, with one-third of that time being in PNG. 40 years of our marriage has been invested in full-time ministry. There is much to do here for our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Keep praying for us!
Because He Is, John & Lena Allen Philippians 1:27 Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby: bbipom.com
Enjoy some pictures from recent weeks here in PNG![PC: some by Pastor Tau Abary, others by John & Lena Allen]
These have been a busy few weeks, including a fast trip to the US and back (more about that later). But before I touch on our own matters, please indulge an older brother in the Lord for a moment. I don’t usually write long letters, so I’d appreciate it if you would take time to read this when you can.
I speak as a fool in saying this, but with over four decades of ministry behind me, I have some thoughts from my perspective regarding the state of the Lord’s church today. If working through them helps me, maybe it will help you too.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
As a whole, I don’t think we take seriously the spiritual warfare we are engaged in. The Scripture states clearly that the four categories of spiritual enemies are very real and very present. (This does not even include our daily battle with our own hearts’ desires for wrong things, nor our daily battle with a world that is not merely anti-Christian—it is increasingly “anti-Christ.”) In the spiritual world around us forces are at work that are utterly evil, relentlessly pursuing the silencing and destruction of the Word and works of God. The demon gods of the Old and New Testament are not false gods nor made-up idols; these demonic principalities and powers and rulers of spiritual wickedness in high places are still at work (John 14:30; 16:11; Eph. 2:2; Dan. 10:12-13; etc.) defiling the opinions of this world and forging a vile worldview against God. These fallen sons of God and their blasphemous breed have distracted, discouraged, and destroyed God’s people from Eden on, and they have not stayed nor slackened their venomous and sadistic attempts to annihilate the Word, the work, and the people of the Lamb even to this present hour. And this we must keep in mind daily.
Our beloved nation of PNG is held in the grip of Satanic opposition. God’s works are in constant conflict from forces without and within. The spiritual worldview of many here causes them to fear the spirits; and what you fear, you work to appease. Entire people groups still remain in the grip of demon oppression and control. Multitudes are taken captive in the snare of the devil at his will—so we must comprehend our enemy, and “in meekness [instruct] those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to theacknowledging of the truth.” (2 Tim. 2:25)
This is not only true where we live; it is true where you live, whether you sense it or not. Grasp that. We all are in a great spiritual warfare. We all must put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11,13). We all must stand and fight.
I offer here some simple, biblical suggestions to fight this good fight, but they are by no means comprehensive.
PRAYER Prayingalways with all prayer and supplicationin the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplicationfor all saints; (Ephesians 6:18)
Pray for the Lord’s churches,His people, andHis servants. First, pray earnestly for your pastor and ministry leaders.
Then, read your missionaries’ prayer letters—and pray for them. [I always enjoy hearing from those who read our letters, though I fear there are many who don’t read them. I’d appreciate your input as to what we can do better. Email me your thoughts at email@example.com.]
If you don’t read a specific prayer request in a letter, remember there is always a battle going on for the souls of the missionaries themselves and for the people to whom God has called them—so pray!
Perhaps if Christians spent less time being distracted by Netflix, the news media, and social media, they could engage in this real spiritual warfare as soldiers, not as spectators.
PERSONAL CHURCH ATTENDANCE And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
Get back in church, in person. Ten years ago God’s people would have disdained the idea of staying out of church to watch the service online week after week. Now we have droves who stay home in their PJs on the couch. They have no fear of catching an illness; they simply have lost the godly habit of fellowship with the saints. And dare I say that most are not really paying attention to the online sermons they are hearing? Hear me, brethren—the Lord’s army doesn’t wear PJs under the armor of God. O Church, arise!
PROPHETIC VOICE And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31)
Preach with biblical authority. There is a lot of good, biblical preaching in the church today. A lot of it. But what seems to be lacking in much of it is a “prophetic voice.” Not the fake prophets who claim visions and words from God—we have God’s Word already, and His Word is inspired, complete, preserved, profitable, and sufficient for us today.
What we need is the voice of a prophet; the preaching that not only says, “thus saith the Lord,” but actually looks at the hearers and reminds them, “you need to obey this Word from the Lord.” Not a preacher’s thoughts, mind you, but God’s words. At times we are afraid to say, “you,” so we say, “we”; as in “we need to do this,” and “we need to obey the Lord.” We include the speaker, so as not to offend the hearers. But the prophets and apostles of old did not fear to say, “you”! Preacher, do not fear being labeled legalistic if what you are preaching is biblical truth. There is a prophetic aspect to preaching—the “forth-telling,” that authoritative word which is based on the words of the living God, not the preacher—and I believe many times that voice is lacking. Let us humble ourselves before our God and our people, and then let us preach the Word with boldness!
Wedding & Family
Lena and I were able to travel back to the US for the wedding of our oldest granddaughter, Ariel, to Luke Lunsford. It was beautiful! And best of all, we were able to be together with all the kids and grandkids in one place for the first time since 2011. (Would you pray for Luke’s family? A couple weeks after the wedding, his father passed away suddenly. Thank you.)
We were also able to be in a few churches, and how rich the fellowship! Preaching, teaching, singing, glorifying the Lord, —and how edifying it was to see old friends and to make new ones!
Back in Class at BBIPOM
We have started our new term at Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby. A good number of our students are in their third and final year, plus we’ve picked up 10 new first-year students. Praise the Lord! Pray for them and for me as I teach and mentor these servants of God.
Beginning the Front Translation of 2 Corinthians
The Kamea Bible Project continues to progress. I’ve begun working on 2 Corinthians. Pray for me to have minimal distractions from the project, maximum clarity in translating, and the power of the Spirit as I have the privilege of doing this holy work. Remember Pastor Ben Samauyo in the same way as he labors to translate the Word directly into his heart language.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the Lord’s ministry here and for Lena’s health, and thank you for helping us be your representatives here on the field in Port Moresby, PNG!
Three weeks ago, Pastor Ben, Yali, and I spent several days reading the Kamea translation of the Book of Revelation aloud.
Our Bible translation process involves multiple steps. First, I prepare a front translation in Tok Pisin with notes regarding meanings in the text. Then Pastor Ben translates it into Kamea. When he finishes a section, he gives it to Yali, who translates it back into Tok Pisin to see if anything was missed or could be misunderstood. The final step is reading the text out loud together to see how it sounds. We’ve done that with every book we’ve translated.
This was our final draft check of this book, and we catch a lot more when there are three of us listening to it being read. Sorry to say, we didn’t get any special insights into the interpretation of the book, but we did deliberate over terminology. A translator’s work is to translate with as little interpretation as is possible. A hard part in Revelation is describing the things John sees. Just as we English readers find it hard to imagine some of these beasts, it is just as hard to figure out how to describe it without putting an interpretation on it.
Bible College Students
A few weeks ago, we finished another term of Bible college. These students are such a blessing! As part of their Bible college training, their home church pastors mentor them as much as is possible. I am grateful for the opportunities the men get to preach and teach, both in the marketplace and in the pulpit.
To attend BBIPOM, our students must have their pastor’s recommendation, and he must agree to train them…plus, our new students have to pay up front. We already have 30 students paid and registered for our next term! Pray for this ministry, and for these great servants of God.
Bible Training Materials
A pet project of ours for a while now has been a Tok Pisin Study Bible. The idea was born out of our translation work in the village, as our men shared how they would like to learn the Book of Proverbs better. Many Baptist preachers in Papua New Guinea like to use a King James Bible, but like their American counterparts (that’s us, folks!) they have difficulty with some words, phrases, and idioms. It turned out that other pastors from our region and up in the Highlands had the same desire, so I began revising some Tok Pisin text and editing notes.
A couple months ago we printed Proverbs, our first book of the study bible project. It has been distributed selectively so far in order to get more feedback on the notes and the text. It has been good to have nationals and missionaries working with us on it. My wife and some friends have helped type up more notes for other Bible books, and some notes have already been translated. This is a long-term project, but we hope it will be a good tool for anyone interested in learning the Word.
The ministries here in Port Moresby have seen souls saved and more commitment among the saints of late. Pray for God to continue to do His mighty work among us!
Thank you for your continued prayers for us, and for helping us stay in the work.
Gratefully yours in Christ Jesus, John & Lena Allen 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Enjoy some more photos from the last couple of months here in Port Moresby:
These are some of our students doing ministry–proud of them all! All three of these young men are preachers, and Brianna is one of the Christian School teachers in our son’s ministry in Port Moresby.
We have some beautiful mornings and evenings here in Port Moresby. God’s glory is everywhere evident!
A few months ago there was a string of serious events that happened at Kunai involving the church, its leadership, and the community. It was serious enough that the missionaries felt it best to leave.
Early this month I was able to visit Kunai with my son Matt, who began that ministry back in 2004. Over a period of several days we met with the church and its leaders, as well as with the community.
There were many things that needed to be repented of, and there was much to be settled in regards to the land on which the church and ministries are located.
It was more than evident that God had heard the prayers of His people, for He was well at work even before we arrived. We saw God move hearts that had often been obstinate against the ministries, and we saw God grant repentant hearts to many. We watched true spiritual reconciliation between church members and open reconciliation between community members. We had prayed that God would do “exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think”—and He did! It was evident that all the years of preaching and teaching God’s Word by national pastors and expat missionaries was not in vain, but rather it had found fertile ground that needed these trials to make it shine forth.
The invitation times during the preaching of the Word on Sunday brought many tearful souls to pray and confess their wrongs. And as if that was not enough, one dear friend, for whom we prayed and to whom many of us had witnessed for over a decade, put his total faith in Christ on that day! Truly, it was awesome to see God honor His Word among His people.
The church is now in a place where they are in the driver’s seat, as it were. Pray with us that there will be much fruit in the days ahead, and that perhaps we can see missionary partnership with that local church in the future, in reaching the Kotidanga region and in training our people!
Passover Conferencein Port Moresby
I returned to Port Moresby just in time to preach a three-day Passover Conference at Shalom Baptist Church. This is our second year of the conference, a Bible conference that brings to light Old Testament truths which help us grasp New Testament doctrine surrounding the Lord’s Supper, His atoning sacrifice for our sins, and His glorious resurrection. Great highlights of the meeting included the one brother who came to Christ during the preaching, and the six young men who surrendered to ministry. Some of those are already attending classes at our Bible college! Praise the Lord!
Thank you for your continued friendship and fellowship in the Gospel ministry here in PNG. Please keep Lena’s health in your prayers as she is fighting with continual infections aggravated by her Lupus. She is pressing on through the problems, and is such a helper to me in the work here!
Because He Is, John & Lena Allen 2 Thessalonians 3:1
We thank the Lord for another year of His provision of baby milk for our clinic ministry at Kunai Health Centre. In 2021 we were able to distribute 258 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.
The baby milk program began in 2009, and it has served over 425 children since then. Some of these children are school-aged now, and by God’s grace, they are doing quite well.
Thank you to everyone who joins with us in prayer and financial support of this vital program. Going into 2022 we have a good stock of baby milk, and for that we are grateful to those who give monthly or occasionally, and thank you all for keeping our people in prayer. The children thank you too!
2021 Income: $3971.43 Expenses: $5,445.03 Total cans purchased: 380 Cost per 2 lb. can: $14.33 (price increase due to increased transport charges) Babies served: 34
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
It was a busy season for us as we finished up 2021 and began 2022. Here are some highlights:
In December I had the honor of preaching a family conference at a local church here in Port Moresby, just as we ended our Bible school term. There was a good attendance each night, and the people seemed to get help from the Lord and His Word.
Just a few days later I flew out to be with Wil & Trina Muldoon at Baimuru to preach for Pastor Danny and Baimuru Baptist Church hosted their youth camp. No roads will get you to their place; the youth came by canoes and a dinghy! There were a good number of youth from four churches, and a dozen of them made decisions for Christ. It was good to see the Lord’s work out there in the swamps of Gulf and to spend time with some of God’s choicest servants.
New Bible College Term
We began our new term in January with 23 students and a good number of visitors. One of our subjects is “Baptist Ecclesiology.” (As someone once said, “You pay the big money, you learn the big words.”) This class is a study of the workings of a local church, including its membership, its leadership, and its practices.
1st Printing of Kamea Scripture Portions
We achieved a milestone in our ministry in January. Through the generous giving of a church in South Africa, we were able to print—for the first time, and in one volume—all the books of Kamea scripture that have been completed and checked to date. It is 300 pages long, and includes Matthew through Acts plus several shorter epistles. To date Ben, Yali, and I have been able to complete 2/3 of the New Testament, and seeing it all bound in one copy is exciting to say the least. We were also able to print copies of portions of Mark’s Gospel in a larger font to use in literacy classes. Pray for the Lord to use His Word to reach the hearts of our dear Kamea people!
We always appreciate your prayers for us and the Lord’s work here. Thank you all for standing with us in prayer and support!
Because He Is, John & Lena Allen Colossians 3:23-24
For printable copy of this letter, click here. Baptist Bible Institute of Port Moresby: bbipom.com
This has been an interesting month for sure. Our nation has seen little of the ravages of COVID since the beginning of the pandemic, but that all changed a few weeks ago.
A new set of restrictions came down, but the only one that really affected us was maximum of 20 people in any meeting, including church and Bible school. Since the end of September, our students have been watching videos of the teaching on their own.
At the end of September, both Lena and I came down with the virus. At the time I am writing this, we are both back up and mostly normal (well, as normal as I can be, anyway). It was 19 days I’d rather not repeat again, ever.
Thank you all for praying for Lena’s Lupus, it did not seem to flare during her infection. She is still dealing with the effects of the Lupus, and as always, we appreciate your prayers for her.
Before everything went wonky for us, we were able to enjoy spending time with the Kunai team (Sam & Mary Beth, Sarah, Hannah-Rose) as they flew out here to the capital for their supply buy. Our new schoolteacher for Kotidanga Baptist Academy, Lizzie Adams, got out of her arrival quarantine at the same time, and we all were able to be together before they headed back to the village.
We were also able to attend a Missions Conference here in the city and a bride price ceremony for two of our students. Classes were really going well for BBIPOM, and we were averaging 70+ in attendance every week for our Marriage and Home class.
We look forward to the abating of the virus and its deadly effects on our nation, plus lifting of the meeting restrictions soon. We are ready to get back to Bible college classes in person.
Thank you for standing with us and for helping to keep us here on the field. God bless you all!
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.
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!
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!