Accident Kills John Lello, Adventist Frontier Missions Worker in Papua New Guniea
Was felling trees at remote mission station in Sepik Province (Posted November 26, 2012; updated November 28, 2012)
BY Adventist Review staff
OVERSEAS MISSIONARY: John Lello, right, was reported killed in an accident November 26, 2012. He was working with Adventist Frontier Missions, a supporting ministry, in the Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. At the left is Lello’s wife, Pam, and their children, Alissa and Abby. [AFM Photo]
n accident has claimed the life of John Lello, a worker with Adventist Frontier Missions, the organization reported November 26, 2012.
“We are greatly saddened to announce the tragic death of AFM missionary John Lello,” the statement said. “He was killed while felling trees near his project site among the Ama people in the Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, Monday, November 26, 2012.”
AFM’s statement concluded: “Please join us in surrounding his family in prayer—his wife, Pam, and his two girls, Alissa and Abby.”
Lello’s wife, Pam, and the couple’s two daughters, Alissa and Abby, have since been flown to Port Moresby, where they were joined by Stephen and Laurie Erickson, another family working in PNG through AFM. AFM Associate Training Director Dale Goodson, who spent 12 years in PNG with the Dowa tribe, and his wife are currently en route to lend additional support, James Arkusinski, Communication director for the ministry, told Adventist News Network.
The Lello family had worked with Adventist Frontier Missions since 2009. They finished fundraising and launched to PNG in March. There, they ministered to the animist Ama people in the country’s northwest. The Ama live along a small tributary of the Upper Sepik River accessible only by plane or dugout canoe, Arkusinski said.
In an article for Adventist Frontiers, the organization's magazine, Lello was confident that God was leading his family to PNG, adding that “one thing is certain – He is calling you to give your all.”
Lello was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from church-run Walla Walla University in Walla Walla, Washington, United States, in 1991. Later, he graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park with a master’s degree in Science Education.
Before accepting a post with AFM, Lello taught math and physics at church-run Glendale Adventist Academy and Spring Valley Academy.
Adventist Frontier Missions
is a Seventh-day Adventist lay ministry dedicated to establishing church-planting movements among people groups with no Adventist presence. AFM says it has currently has 30 long-term missionary families or single missionaries serving worldwide.
-- with additional reporting by
Adventist News Network