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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Late Night in the Swamp


It was 11:53 pm. The moonless sky was pitch-black with clouds. Unseen mosquitoes buzzed near my ear, and a very small fire was trying to burn about 20 yards away. A short, elderly man scurried about, picking up little pieces of trash from the area near his house. I watched as he paced, tears welling up on the bottoms of my eyelids. That’s when I heard him lightly singing a tune I’ve never heard. I just had to know what he was singing.

That short elderly man was Elijah, a man that got saved about three years ago, here in Kotidanga. When he got saved, he was very sick. The Lord had directed Pastor James, my dad (Missionary John Allen), and me to all three independently witness to him in the same week. Elijah moved to the coast last year, and has not been back here since. His severe asthma just doesn’t aggravate him in the lowlands. He built a house in the swampy area of Titikaini, and repeatedly sent requests for us to send preachers to his area. His plea: “The people here really need the Gospel. Please send a preacher.”

This past weekend, we made a survey trip to visit the Kamea villages of Titikaini. Missionaries Andrew Schellenberger and Jason Ottosen accompanied me along with two of our Kamea preachers, Tony Tinandi and Konos Manus. We stayed at Elijah’s house, and we hiked to the surrounding villages. Elijah had told us the truth–there are a lot of villages in that area, and there are only three churches, all Seventh-Day Adventist. No Catholic churches. No Lutheran churches. No Charismatic churches. No Baptist churches.

As we […]

By |November 21st, 2012|God, people|1 Comment

Out of Every Tongue

Today’s church service was a little different from normal. We had two pastors from the Ihu area preach this morning–one in Sunday School, the other during the morning’s main service.

As church services came to an end, Pastor James was giving an invitation and I began to hear people praying around me. Many times, our people will pray in quiet audible tones. And that’s when it struck me–I was praying in Pidgin from my heart, but Pastor Jerry was praying next to me in Orokolo. Preacher Jack was on my other side, praying in the Kamea language, and Ricky was praying behind me in Gadsup language.

How many lanugages were represented today? After church I took a look around and began asking that question. I came up with nine languages represented in our congregation of about 180 people.

Most of the people were Kamea, since we live right in the heart of Kamea-land; but Baimiri is from Akoye and that is her heart-language. Pastors Jerry, Murphy, and Maisa (who are visiting for the Pastor’s School this week) are all Orokolo men. (What a manly language it is, too!) Pastor David is from Baimuru and he has two heart languages, one from his dad and one from his mom–Koriki and Eare. Pastor Jorim is from Kaintiba and he speaks Hamtai. Ricky and his wife are from Asarunka in the Eastern Highlands Province and they speak Gadsup. Of course, Tok Pisin (aka Pidgin) is the trade language, and all of the missionaries speak English, especially the large number of them that we have here from Wyoming. (We almost have more people here from Wyoming than Wyoming has people living in it!)

This morning’s church service gave […]

By |November 4th, 2012|God, people|1 Comment

Why do we pick these days?!

This week we will be hosting a “graduate level” Pastor’s School for our graduates and the pastors from Ihu. This has involved a lot of planning and preparation on the parts of the speakers–my dad (aka John Allen), Pastor James, Missionary Andrew Schellenberger, Missionary Jason Ottosen, and myself.

This past Tuesday, I flew up to Menyamya and bought the food for the meeting–these guys are going to consume a lot of rice, tuna fish, and noodles, along with the staple local kaukau, taro and bananas. The weather on Tuesday was gorgeous. For that matter, the weather for the last two weeks has been gorgeous!

For the last two weeks, we have been planning to pick up the national pastors today–it’s the best day that fits in the calendar, and with the weather having co-operated so well, why not get them today?! The classes start on Monday morning, and tomorrow is Sunday which is the day I like to be involved in church services (and NOT flying an airplane).

This morning, Andrew Schellenberger and I left our houses at 6 am, headed to the airstrip. It’s a 45-minute drive away in the Kawasaki Mule. Some places have to be in 4-wheel drive with the differential locked…but that’s another story for another day.

Usually, on good weather days, we drive in the early morning fog up the Kotidanga side of the mountain, and break out of the fog near the top of the mountain. But today, the fog covered the top of the mountain.

As I crested the top, I began to see patches of blue sky…and then I could see mountains on the far side of the Tauri River Valley. This valley is 8 miles wide, and those mountains looked […]

By |November 3rd, 2012|aviation, God, people|1 Comment