Big Announcement for TTMK!

After ten years at Kotidanga, I have seen God fulfill the missionary dream. We’ve watched as people have accepted Christ, grown, and gone on to tell others about Him. We’ve seen Christ’s command of Matthew 28:19-20 take fruit in the form of churches started and people discipled. And now…the Kamea are sending their own. It’s the ultimate missionary dream.

For the last two years, I’ve known that God was going move our family somewhere. At the same time, my heart still breaks for the remote areas that remain unreached. I’ve been praying that God would send 38 missionary families to continue reaching the Gulf Province’s other 19 remote tribes. To step away from this, and be a pastor in America, my heart would break. This job is too big to step away from it.

I could move to a new location in a remote area and start over. Theoretically, in ten years, I could duplicate what has already been accomplished here at Kotidanga. But at this rate, we’ll never complete the task of reaching these tribes in this generation. And that’s when it hit me: Why not train educated Papua New Guineans to have a heart for their own people?

Now, it’s time for a quick PNG cultural lesson. There are two kinds of people here in PNG. There are those who are educated, and there are the rest of the people who live in rural villages. The numbers are astonishing. As recent as 2011, close to 87% of the population lived in rural areas (source). For years, churches of educated people in the cities have been concerned with taking the Gospel to the rural areas, and they have made outreaches to those areas. However, due […]

Change of Location

Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God…I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. –Romans 15:19

Obviously Paul had not led every single person in Asia Minor to Christ, but he definitely gave it his best attempt. Walking for days, ship-wrecks, stonings, slanders, and occasionally getting to watch a Thessalonian church grow in spite of his absence, he now ponders back upon his years of service. In verse 23 he proclaims, “…now having no more place in these parts…” The Apostle had completed his task in that part of the world, and was moving on to Rome and then Spain.

This feeling floods my soul as I look back on the last 10 years here in Kamea-land (not the stonings or ship-wrecks, thankfully). Numerous churches have been started. Many men have been trained for the ministry. The national leadership has stepped up to the task of evangelizing their own. There is work to be done. Just as Paul needed Timothy, Titus, Apollos, and others to continue working in those parts, I still see a huge need for other missionaries, like my parents and others to continue here among the Kamea–Bible translation and medical ministries continue to open doors. More churches need to be started and more men need training. Yet I have that unsettledness that Paul felt–his job was complete, and it was time for him to go somewhere else and do it again.

The Lord has provided direction for our family, and I plan to announce that in the next prayer letter. It will be a BIG step for our family; but God has already opened doors I never thought possible. The goal is to reach the world; […]

She Might Fly Back to this Jungle!

IMG_2494SmolA few weeks ago, I wrote about how God orchestrated an amazing story where a broken skid-steer engine got replaced in time for a young lady with eight years’ experience in heavy equipment to walk out of the jungle and drive it up the mountain.

For those that missed the blog post, you can read it here.

Naomi stayed for 8 days here at Kotidanga, and she got a road dug out to about 3/4 of the way up the mountain. Since she left, the local men have been working hard to complete this road–by hand (yes, that means that they are digging the road out with shovels and picks) to get the road up to the top of the mountain. This is the same mountain we need to knock down in order to finish our airstrip.

She left with a promise to the men working on the airstrip: “I will do my best to get back here.” She went back to Australia (her home country) and immediately began selling her stuff. I think I remember something like that in Matthew 19, where Jesus told a rich young man that the only thing he lacked in his walk with God was his attachment to stuff. That rich young man decided to keep his stuff and walk his own path. It looks to me that Naomi is taking Jesus serious–and walking away from her stuff.

This past week, we have been corresponding a lot about her return trip, and here’s the plan. Her goal is to return around April 27, and be here for two months. She needs $3,855 for the 2-month […]

Prayer Letter–February/March 2013

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. –Romans 5:1

Sin reigned unto death; but grace reigned unto life. Much more than the death brought by the first Adam, we have life through the second Adam, and that is received alone by faith. What a simple, yet profound thought. We were hopeless in our sin; but God sent His Son to draw us to Himself. What a Savior!
We are now a month into the last year of Bible School for our six students. I’ve watched as these men have grown spiritually, and at times I have been overwhelmed at their dedication to the Lord.Two of them are involved in the church-plant at Aminawa with Missionary Andrew Schellenberger; two of them are helping my dad John Allen at Ipaiyu; and next month two of them will go with me to start a new church, but I am getting ahead of myself.
In my last prayer letter, I wrote about a survey I did of the Titikaini area.My heart was burdened more than I can remember in recent years. We have been praying about that area, and the enormous open door that is there. Thousands of Kamea people have migrated to the Titikaini area due to its abundance of food, wildlife, and access to a major road.One afternoon shortly after the survey trip, we held a time of debriefing and prayer. As I wept, broken over the lost condition of the people there, I began to feel God tug my heart with the question, “Why not you?” Lord willing, within the next month, I will begin flying there every week to start a church. Please pray as I take Bible School […]

She just walked out of the jungle!

We have been building an airstrip in Kotidanga since October 2005. It seems this thing will be my un-doing. I will either go gray from it, lose all my hair, or just keel over dead after it sucks all my life away. But at the New Year service this year, we outlined items for prayer, and I was encouraged as one of the prayer topics for this year is: The airstrip to be completed in 2013.

Let me tell you about some things that God has done to make that actually happen–

In 2006, a church in Maryland donated the money for us to buy a New Holland Skid Steer Loader and we were able to ship it over, including a chopper lift to get it into Kotidanga. That alone was pretty awesome.

Then, in 2007, God gave us a Papua New Guinean man to help drive it. And drive it, he did. He dug with that machine for the next 18 months. We watched as the jungle turned into a long, mostly-straight piece of dirt. Pilots that flew over the valley didn’t know the name of the village, but they did frequently refer to our place as the “Dirt Patch.”

Due to some very unfortunate circumstances, our driver had to leave the next year, and the project came to a stand-still for almost an entire year. During that time, I began to pray that God would give us a new driver, and one that had a heart for God.

At this point, it was 2010 and we got to meet Mr. Ricky Beyaba. After his 39 years working with another mission organization here in PNG (where one of his jobs was helping to build airstrips!) he decided to […]

Today Started Yesterday

It’s Wednesday evening, and I’m sitting in church as I think about the irony of what surrounds me. I’m sitting in the middle of a group of small Kamea boys to try to calm them down, and try my best to keep them from distracting everyone else’s attention from the Pastor’s message.

To my right, Noel is scraping the dirt off his toes with a razor blade.
To my left, Pex and Job are playing marbles, using poisonous, oblong, seasonal seeds.
Right behind me, Caleb is forcefully (and loudly) pulling phlegm back into his throat. Again and again. I think I’m going to throw up.
Juwen has fallen asleep right in front of me, and the puddle of drool on his leg is approaching three inches in diameter.
Konden is “all dressed up” for church–his pink sweatpants clash nicely with the red button-up shirt he has on backwards. Nobody seems to care, so why bother changing it?
All these boys are within an arms reach of me.
The little boy that I don’t know is just out of reach, and he just decided to smack someone in the head.

My pilot’s mind wants to push a button and make this chaos stop.

This day is approaching its end, and it has been a long day. In fact, its been a long week. Last week, we had horrible winds out of the south and that caused flights to be put off until Saturday. I usually try to take Saturday’s off, but last week, I had to move preachers and missionaries on Saturday. Sunday was the normal day of ministerial busy-ness, with preaching, counseling, and the other stuff that we missionaries do on Sunday. Monday was filled with a flight to Port Moresby dropping off […]

Miracles Never Cease

The week began for our family in Port Moresby. It was the end of our supply run, during which we race around the city, trying to purchase everything we can think that we might need for the next three months.

Sunday morning, I preached at Morata Baptist Church for Pastor Holmes Tako. I preached mainly to Christians on a Life of Integrity. While we saw the altars filled at invitation, the biggest blessing I received was the six young people that got saved.
Right after church (2 pm), we were driving to lunch. We stopped for traffic, and the bus in front of us decided to back into our rental car. How does one handle an accident in Papua New Guinea? There is no “911” to call and report the accident! I quickly called Pastor Holmes–his phone was still off, due to church services that morning. I then called Avis, the rental car company, and told them to come immediately.
The bus was unregistered. The driver was unlicensed. The owner of the bus had no insurance. The police station did not have the staff to handle the paperwork required for the accident. Nice.

Monday morning, I took off with the family for Kanabea. Another aircraft had just taken off from Kanabea, and he reported cloud ceilings of about 7,000 feet across the entire area (our airstrip sits at 4,000 feet above sea level), but he also mentioned isolated showers scattered throughout. A quick call to Kerema confirmed that they were getting heavy wind and rain. Another aircraft was operating about ten miles north of Kanabea, so I proceeded. Forty-five minutes later, I came across a line of rain and clouds that went to the ground–there was no other […]