Kurt, Johanna, Kassia, Lukas and Matthias

Our family in Papua New Guinea | 2012

Ukarumpa and Aiyura Valley

Ukarumpa is SIL's center of opperations in Papua New Guinea and where we live and work.

Miniafia New Testaments from the dedication in 2010

"God is a Miniafia Man," the loincloth-clad speaker exulted! "Before He was English, and American, and Australian. But today He has become Miniafia!"

Doini Island

Photo by Tim McIntosh (SIL PNG's boat manager in 2008) | Many of the 100's of islands in PNG can only be reached by boat.

Where do you play when you live on an island?

Children from Nubwageta village playing near the shore.

Miniafia New Testament Dedication

New Testament dedications in PNG usually include elaborate processions to welcome the Bibles.

Friday, July 08, 2016

{Metzger Ministry Update} July 2016 | "Solar Power"

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for your love and care for our family. Every month we are humbled by your generosity, encouragement, and support. We know that we would not be able to do our work in Papua New Guinea (PNG) if it wasn’t for your faithful partnership with us! 

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(from top: Lukas, Matthias and Kassia in Madang during this school break)

At the beginning of August, Kurt will fly to the Sandaun Province to work with the Aitape West Translation Project (AWTP). The AWTP is a multi-language Bible translation and literacy project that includes 11 languages and dialects that are spoken west of the town of Aitape in Sandaun Province in PNG. We have mentioned this project before as our friends Ben and Mandy Pehrson work as Bible translation advisors there (Ben is the team leader). In 2011 Kurt helped install a VSAT in that same village to allow the team to have internet access. This time he will go to assist with the installation of solar panels and a battery system for our friend Beth Fuller’s house. Beth is the Scripture Use Coordinator for the team. Please pray for the AWTP and for Kurt as he goes to the village.

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(from top: Kurt working at the AWTP in 2011; Johanna and Kassia in Madang during this school break)

We are thankful for Ukarumpa International School (UIS) and the wonderful teachers our children have. Lord willing at the end of July; Kassia will be starting grade 6, Lukas will be starting grade 3, and Matthias will enter Kindergarten. They are very excited for the beginning of school but are also enjoying their break!

Blessings,

Johanna for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas, and Matthias

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

{Metzger Ministry Update} May 2016 | "Connecting"

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for so faithfully lifting us up in prayer to our Heavenly Father while we serve here in Papua New Guinea. Thanks also for your generosity and encouragement!

Kurt continues to manage the information and communication services here in Ukarumpa and has been able to assist many SIL translators and support personnel that pass through his office.

I (Johanna) have been involved with the Connect Ministry for the Women of Ukarumpa. This ministry began as some women observed that living in a community (such as Ukarumpa), even as wonderful as it is, can be lonely. Over the past several years through Mini-Retreats, Hands On Skills Days and Social Events we have enjoyed good fellowship, encouragement from God’s word through guest speakers, and time to reflect and pray for one another.

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(Johanna helping with Women’s Connect | Countries represented from left:

PNG, Australia, Colombia, Canada & England)

Please pray for our family to have good health and for God’s protection from the attacks of the enemy. Satan doesn’t like to see Jesus’ work being done and therefore he accuses and lies to those that love God.

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(pictures from top: Matthias; Lukas as Cat in the Hat; Kassia as Laura Ingalls)

Finally, we want to give God the glory and to say thank you for your faithful support of our family and ministry. We’re nearly two years into this field term and have not lacked for anything. However, Wycliffe has significantly increased our ministry budget this month because of some changes they have made. We have been ok so far, but this shortfall will create a problem for us in the future if we remain under budget. If you’re interested in increasing your giving or you know someone that might like to join our team, please let us know.

Love and blessings from rainy Ukarumpa,

Johanna for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas, and Matthias

Saturday, March 05, 2016

{Metzger Ministry Update} March 2016 | "NT Dedication!"

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. – 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for loving us and praying for us so faithfully. Even though we are miles apart from you, our partners, God always encourages us through YOU. We will never get tired of thanking you!

February was a special month as the Creole New Testament (CNT) Dedication took place in the San Andres Islands (SAI), Colombia. Kurt’s dad (and Kurt’s mom before she passed away) worked on translating the SAI-CNT for about 15 years.

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(Celebrating the SAI Creole New Testament)

At the beginning of February, Kurt had a very successful trip to Alotau and was able to fix the network at the SIL Regional Centre there.

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(from top: Alotau Regional Centre; Kassia, Lukas and Matthias playing at the river in Ukarumpa)

This month (March) I (Johanna) had the joy of helping out in Lukas’s classroom. He is in second grade and is part of a first and second grade class combo. There are 26 students in their classroom! Normally there are 2 teachers assigned to that combo class (and one assistant) but two of them went to a Ladies’ Retreat in Australia last week. So, I got to help out and it was great fun.

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(from top: Kassia’s 11th birthday party; Matthias; Lukas’ 8th birthday party)

We thank God for his kindness, gentleness, and love for us. He has carried us through the first few months of the year and they have been busy but full.

Love,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas, and Matthias)

Monday, January 25, 2016

{Metzger Ministry Update} January 2016 | "9 years"

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Dear friends and family,

This January (2016) is a big month for our family. It has been 9 years since we arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG)! We thank God for His faithfulness and care over our family. We also thank YOU for being a vital part of what God is doing in our ministry and our lives.  Your prayers, encouragement, and support are what carry us through each day!

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(from top: Our family in 2006; Our family now)

Kurt continues to enjoy working at the Communications and Technical Services Department. On January 27th (tomorrow), he will travel to Alotau (in the Milne Bae Province). He has been setting up a more user friendly network that will work better for all the activity that happens at the Alotau Regional Centre. Many SIL translators and other members visit this Centre as they pass through on their way to and from villages. Please pray for Kurt and our family as he will be gone for one week.

Also this January, Kassia and I (Johanna) had the joy of participating in the Tok Pisin Holiday Bible School (Vacation Bible School). We led a group of students age 4 to 6 as they memorized verses and participated in activities and games. About 500 children from all over the Aiyura Valley attended the five day event. The theme of the week was the “The Names of God”. Bible lessons each day highlighted a different aspect of the verses. Many of the children memorized the entire Scripture section. Besides the Bible lesson, the program included times of enthusiastic singing, and the children were fascinated by the puppet and drama teams. Over seventy children talked to teachers specifically about salvation or their spiritual growth.

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(Tok Pisin Holiday Bible School)

Blessings,

Johanna (and for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas and Matthias)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

{Metzger Ministry Update} November 2015 | "Rain"

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. – James 1:3-4 (NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for praying for rain for Papua New Guinea (PNG). In the last couple of weeks we have been getting some much needed rain and we are SO thankful for that! God is faithful and good to us. Please continue to pray for rain for PNG!

(Our family in 2015 – click the picture to download our prayer card)

Kurt worked this last week on updating the core network equipment here in Ukarumpa, the center where we live and work. The whole process went very smoothly. He has also been able to work on a new tower that will wirelessly connect the Communications and Technical Services department with the off-center Aviation department. That project has been in the works for some time but is finally taking real form.

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(from top: Kurt and Kassia; Installing wireless networking equipment; Matthias)

Kassia and I (Johanna) had the privilege of helping in leading worship during our service on November 8th.  Kassia has been in Beginners’ Band since July and has been learning to play the clarinet, which she loves. She also continues to learn how to play the guitar and really enjoys that too.

Blessings from PNG,
Johanna (and for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas, and Matthias)

Friday, September 11, 2015

{Metzger Ministry Update} September 2015 | "Pray for Rain"

Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. – Joel 2:23 (NLT)

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for loving our family and faithfully praying for us and our ministry here in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Kurt traveled to Lae (an important Port in PNG) the last week of August. He installed new networking equipment to improve the Regional Office's connection to the internet and the center managers were very grateful.

There are people from approximately 20 different countries in the Ukarumpa community where we live. We all work together in several capacities. It is important to learn how to understand our own culture and cultural biases so that we can better love others. This week and next, I (Johanna) will have the privilege of taking part in a Cultural Self Discovery Program taught here in Ukarumpa. This is a one-week workshop and I am looking forward to being one of the facilitators for this course.

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(Johanna and Kassia)

We were excited this last week to hear from Kurt’s dad about the Bible translation project he has been working on for the past 15 years and would like to share a portion of his update with you!

"Well the day has finally arrived—at least one major mile stone has arrived! I remember way back in 1992 when my family and I were on furlough here in Dallas that I was called to the International Linguistic Center’s Printing Arts Department. I was told that an advanced copy of the Carapana New Testament had just arrived by airmail from Korea, and that I could see it when convenient. Needless to say, I immediately went over to see what it looked like. And I was not disappointed: it was beautiful in every way. Now, less than two weeks ago, I had the same experience! I was called over to the same building to get to see our second translation: The San Andres Islander Creole New Testament (ICE NT), and it is just as beautiful as the Carapana New Testament was in 1992. All glory goes to the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the one that ultimately made it all come together for both translations. And you my dear friends and family added your prayers, financial support, and other acts of encouragement in so many ways to this mix for so many years. Thank you very much!" - Ron Metzger

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(from top to bottom: Kurt’s dad showing Johanna’s mom the completed ICE NT; Matthias’ 5th birthday; Lukas)

Here in PNG we’ve been experiencing one of the most pronounced droughts in recent history. We usually rely only on rain water for drinking but our tanks are now mostly empty. Please pray for rain, and that the people of PNG would continue to have food to eat. Please also pray for wisdom as we consider how best to support those around us whose food sources are starting to dwindle.

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(Smoke from grass fires has filled the sky over Ukarumpa recently)

Blessings,
Johanna (and for Kurt, Kassia, Lukas, and Matthias)