Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 4.44.42 PMWhen we sat down with the Papua New Guinean pastors, they opened up their hearts to us. We have been seeing an exodus of potential leaders. It has been a sad march of excellent young people that have gone overseas for tertiary education, only to fall in love with McDonald’s and Walmart. (Who blames them? Would you want to go work in a village if you haven’t been called to give your life there?)

For the last ten years, we have been training young men and women in Kotidanga, Gulf Province; and in the last few years, we have been receiving requests from young people all around Papua New Guinea to come to Kotidanga for their Bible training. The complex logistics involved in bringing students into Kotidanga to depend upon the local market and deal with the isolation there were too great to overcome. Port Moresby presents itself as the ideal solution for these requests.

It will take a few years to put the infrastructure into place before we can have our first class. However, we are planning in that direction. Dormitories for 300 men and 300 ladies, a cafeteria, an administration building, along with several classroom buildings will eventually round out the vision. Of course, these buildings do not need to be in place at the beginning, but we plan to start following this plan in the next few years.

God is still looking for quality leaders to take the baton from those giants who have come before us. We want to help train the next generation of young people in Papua New Guinea to be just those–giants who stand on the shoulders of giants.

_______________________________________

Want to […]

Fleshing-Out the Vision

In our last blog post, we announced that God is leading us to Port Moresby to start a new ministry that will partner with the existing churches in order to train men and women to go do what we have already been doing for the last ten years.

I’d like to give some more information as to what this new ministry will look like. Basically, it can be broken into four bite-size pieces: church, school, college, and camp.

    1. Capitol City Baptist Church I do believe strongly that Christ instituted the church and that He works through the local church. It would be counter-productive to do this work without doing it through a local church.Our target demographic is the foreign community. There is already a large community of Filipino, Pakistani, Indonesian, Australian, Chinese, Indian, American, Canadian and other nationalities living in Port Moresby. In addition to these, there is a rapidly growing community of foreign workers who are coming for the mining work. Estimates of 15,000 new foreign workers are being stated for the new mining project scheduled to be on track by the end of this year!In a nutshell, it is difficult for Papua New Guineans to be accepted across the cultural barrier. However, foreigners are instantly attracted to other foreigners. God has proven this repeatedly to Becky and me as we have met other foreigners in Moresby who have invited us into their homes and opened up in ways that rarely, if ever happen with the local pastors.Obviously, we want to reach Papua New Guineans–we have been doing that for ten years! But we want to help Papua New Guineans reach a part of their country that they are having difficulty doing by […]

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 […]

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

RainforestHome

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