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.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Colombia is Passion

Friday, December 08, 2006

December 2006 Update

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. - Micah 6:8

Dear Friends and Family,

We are in awe of what God has been doing in our lives in the last month. What an awesome God we serve! We thank Him for His constant provision and faithfulness.

We asked you to pray for us as we spoke to individuals and churches about our ministry. This last month we were able to speak at a church here in the Dallas area and we had a great time worshiping there. The Lord touched the hearts of individuals in that church and some of them have joined our partnership team. Thanks for praying for that!

(Kurt and I sharing about our ministry at my home church in Bogot√°, Colombia in October)

WHEN DO WE GO TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG)?

At the end of November we were able to buy our tickets to go to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Lord willing, we will be leaving Dallas on December 30th and arriving in PNG on January 2nd, 2007. We will have an overnight stay in Singapore. Some gracious friends from our church offered accommodations for us at a hotel in Singapore near to the airport. Thank God for friends!

ABOUT OUR SUPPORT

We had also asked you to pray for our support, as we wanted to go to PNG with 100% of the quota that Wycliffe requires for us to live there. Well, God has answered your prayers and we can now say that we have been pledged 100% of our support. Praise God for His constant care for us! It is a blessing for us to be able to go to PNG knowing that we are fully supported.

(We leave for PNG December 30th, Praise God for all He has done!)

THANK YOU!!!

Thanks to all of you who have prayed so faithfully for our ministry and for our upcoming trip. God has answered each one of your prayers in His timing and in His way. Thank you also to those of you who are supporting us financially so that we can live in PNG. And thanks to those who have given us special gifts that have allowed us to buy our tickets and ship our belongings overseas. We could not serve the Lord in PNG if we did not have partners like you!

PLEASE PRAY

Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to go to PNG. We are packing the things we will need for the 14 week orientation course. Please pray that we will take everything we need and that we will leave things that we can buy there.

Pray also for Kassia and for the plane ride. We will go from Minneapolis Saint Paul to Narita, Japan (12+ hour flight). Our next flight will take us from Japan to Singapore (7+ hours). Then we will fly from Singapore to Port Moresby, the capital of PNG (5 hour flight). And finally we will go from Port Moresby to Madang where our orientation course will take place.

Pray for us as we say goodbye. It is very exciting to go to PNG but at the same time it is sad to say goodbye to friends and family here in Dallas. We will greatly miss our church, family, and friends! However, it is a blessing for us to be a part of what God is doing in Papua New Guinea!

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia)

 

(Pictures from left to right: Kassia eating nuggets with “salsa”; Kassia in her winter jacket with Pap√°)

Monday, November 20, 2006

November 2006 Update

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for praying for us as we were in Colombia visiting my (Johanna’s) friends and family. Thanks also for praying for our financial support. We have seen God’s hand in a very tangible way during this last month. We also would like to know how we can pray for you as well.

OUR TRIP TO COLOMBIA

We had a wonderful time during our trip. We were able to visit my home church in Bogota during their Missions month and were able to share about our ministry on several occasions. We spoke in the two morning services one Sunday; and during the week we spoke to the College group, the Young Adults, the Men’s Group, and the Missions Group. We were also invited to speak one Sunday at my home church’s sister church in Bogota. My father also organized three different home groups at his house. Praise God for all the opportunities He gave us to share about our ministry!

My family was thrilled to have Kassia with them. God opened the door for us to be able to visit my oldest sister Patricia in Ibague, my sister Olga in Bogota, and my sister Adriana in Medellin. Kassia had great fun with her two great grandmothers, her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It was also a special time to pray with my family and to say goodbye to them as we will not be seeing them for the next three years while we are in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for our first term.


(Pictures from left to right: Kassia with her grandma Fanny; Kassia with her cousins Juan Pablo and Valeria; Kassia playing)





WHEN DO WE GO TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG)?

We have been cleared by our Wycliffe personnel administrator to buy our tickets to PNG. Once again, praise God for His answer of prayer and His confirmation that it is time for us to go to the mission field. We are in the process of buying our tickets right now. We want to leave in late December or early January since the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) starts in January of 2007.

POC is a course that will be fourteen weeks long. During the first nine weeks we will be living in Madang, which is located on the North coast of PNG. In those first nine weeks we will be learning the trade language (Tok Pisin) and learning about the culture. During the last five weeks we will be sent to a village where our family will be the only family that speaks English. There we will have to put into practice what we learned during the first nine weeks of POC. In April 2007, after POC is over, we will be heading up to Ukarumpa where Wycliffe has its main center in PNG. That is where we will be living and where Kurt will be serving in the Communication and Technical Services Department.

ABOUT OUR SUPPORT

We have been blessed to see how God works in miraculous ways with the gifts that are given to Him, no matter what size those gifts may be. We thank Him for allowing us to be a part of His awesome miracles! We would like to thank the many of you who have so faithfully given to us either by supporting us monthly or by your special gifts that will allow us to travel to PNG. Right now we can say with great joy that we have received pledges for 90% of the monthly support quota that Wycliffe requires for us to receive while we live and serve in PNG. We are only lacking about $310/month in pledges! Praise God for His faithfulness and everlasting provision!


PLEASE PRAY

Pray for us as we continue our partnership development, speaking at churches and sharing about our ministry with individuals. Pray that through these speaking engagements God will raise up more people that will pray for us and that will support us financially. Please pray that we will reach 100% of our quota so that we can leave for PNG in late December or early January!

Furthermore, pray that God will prepare us for the training we will be receiving in January. Pray that we will be able to pack everything we need before we leave and that we will also have time to spend with friends and family here in Dallas as we say goodbye to them.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia too!)

(Pictures from left to right: Kassia with her aunt Adriana and cousin Valeria; Kassia getting ready to got to bed in Bogota)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October 2006 Update

October 2006 Update

Hello Everyone!

Click HERE for our latest newsletter. Let us know how things are going and how God is working in your lives.

The letter is in .pdf format, which is readable with the free software program "Adobe Acrobat Reader." If you cannot open the attached letter, the reader program is available for download at the following website: www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Also, please do let us know if you have any problems opening the file.

Blessings,

Kurt (for Johanna and Kassia too!)

October 2006 Update

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Update on my Mom

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. The last 11 days have been very emotional, but we as a family have been blessed to have been able to spend some quality time praying, crying, and at times even laughing with mom. Lois Jean Metzger, my mom, my friend, and one of my biggest supporters throughout my life passed away last night and is now in the loving arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ. We thank God for the life she devoted to his service and our care, and we rejoice that she is in his presence now.

For those of you who would like to attend, a memorial service will be held at 10AM on Friday September 22 at:

Prestonwood Baptist Church 6801 W. Park Blvd. Plano, TX 75903 972-820-5000 Google Maps Link: Prestonwood Baptist Church

In his hands, Kurt (for Johanna and Kassia too!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 2006 Update

Dear Loved Ones,

In April of this year we wrote letting you know that Kurt’s mom had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Since then, she has gone through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for this cancer. Just last week, we found out that the cancer has metastasized and is very aggressive.

Her left lung collapsed and some cancerous fluid accumulated and was pressing on her heart, which made her struggle to breathe. Last Wednesday, she had surgery to drain the fluid in her lung and around her heart in order to relieve her breathing. The doctors have suggested that no further radical treatment for the cancer take place as it may even shorten her life. However, they said that they would like to lessen mom’s potential discomfort that can come along the way.

Please pray for Kurt’s mom to have comfort, both spiritual and physical, and for her peace. Pray for Kurt’s dad to have strength and grace. Also, pray for comfort for Kurt, his two brothers - Eric and Peter, and for his sister - Miriam.

Before this most recent turn of events Kurt and I had been packing our belongings to take to Papua New Guinea (PNG). A ship will be leaving at the end of September or beginning of October. It will take approximately four to six months for our things to get to PNG. If God allows, we be in PNG in December. A JAARS truck comes in to Dallas this coming Wednesday and will take our boxes to North Carolina where they will be put in a shipping container. Most of the things we will be taking have been packed, although we still have some last minute items that need to be purchased, organized, and boxed. Please pray for us as we try to finish up this task in the midst of what Kurt’s mom is going through.

We truly appreciate your support during this difficult time. Thank you so much for praying!

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pictures of Kassia

From top left: Kassia coloring; getting on her stool to color; playing with her toys; and having fun with "Ma Ma"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 2006 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for your prayers, the cards, words of encouragement and meals that you gave us last month when we lost our little one. How comforting it is to know that we are part of the family of Christ and that we are surrounded by His love during happiness and during sorrow!

Thank you also to those of you have now been supporting our ministry for many months and for those new individuals that have recently began to support us. We could not be a part of this ministry without your generous gifts.

Please let us know specifically how we can pray for you and your families!

God Provides

We had asked you to pray for us as we needed a place to live in after the month of July, and the Lord answered your prayers. Last month, a gracious lady from our church called and let us know that we could use her house while she would be gone on an extended trip to Peru. We have been here for about four weeks and have enjoyed getting settled in and having our own little place.

We are also grateful to God for his answer of prayer concerning our support level. This month we learned that a church that we visited during our partnership development trip in April will be supporting us financially. Also, in the past couple of months several individuals have come along side us in our ministry. This brings our support up to 68% of the approximately $2,900/month quota required to live and serve in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you go to the field?

Many of you have asked us when we are planning to go to PNG. Our current departure date is set December of this year (2006). Our passports have already been stamped with our visas, so as far as the paper work is concerned we are ready to go! However, we have to reach 100% of our support quota before we will be released to leave for the field. We have been in contact with the Wycliffe personnel administration in PNG and they have let us know that we can come as soon as we reach 100%. We will not have to wait until December to leave if we reach our quota earlier. The remaining 32% of our quota represents about 1 to 2 more supporting churches and 12 to 15 more individuals or families that will partner with us in this life-changing ministry.

Will you pray about partnering with us so that together we can support the work of translating God’s precious Word into the heart language of the Bibleless people groups of Papua New Guinea? If you would like more information about our ministry or know someone who would, please download this response form and email it back to us.

(A presentation, earlier this year, of the 159 New Testaments completed in PNG during the last 50 years)
 

How can we pray for you?

You can pray for us as we have five (or less) busy months ahead of us before we go to PNG. Please pray for us as we continue our partnership development, speaking at churches and sharing about our ministry with individuals. Pray also as we begin to sort and pack the things we are going to take. We will be shipping some of our belongings to PNG before we leave and we will also take some things with us in our suitcases.

Kassia’s Korner

Kassia is eighteen months old now! Time goes by quickly. She runs around the house talking and playing all the time. She loves to swim in her kiddy pool and enjoys going to water parks during this hot Texas summer.

She has been speaking much more lately and we enjoy seeing her improvements. She can sing the ABC song and loves singing Jesus Loves Me in Spanish. She speaks quite a bit of English now and some words in Spanish. Kurt talks to her in English most of the time and I speak to her in Spanish. We want her to be at least bilingual as she grows up – she will probably learn Tok Pisin (Melanesian Pidgin) in PNG also!
 

Praise and Prayer

  • Praise God for the comfort and encouragement He has provided through many of you as we mourn the loss of our baby.
  • Praise God for providing a house for us to stay until we depart to go to the field.
  • Praise Him for providing a new church and new individuals to support us. Praise Him that we have reached 68% of our support quota to go to PNG!
  • Pray for us as we share in churches and with individuals about our ministry.
  • Pray that God will provide the 32% that we are lacking of our support quota.
  • Pray for us as we begin sorting and packing for our trip.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia too!)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Rejoice in the Lord Always!

Dear Loved Ones,

This past week has gone by so quickly for us. Sunday afternoon Johanna noticed that she was bleeding slightly, which is not normal during pregnancy. She was able to go in to see her doctor on Monday morning. After performing a sonogram, the doctor determined that the baby had stopped developing over a month ago (this is medically called a Missed Abortion). Just this morning we went to the hospital for day surgery and her doctor was able to remove what was left of the pregnancy and clean Johanna’s uterus. It was quick, about 30 minutes for the actual operation, but it was still surgery! Johanna will have to be still for about 24 hours and then take it easy for the next two weeks. Her doctor said that the procedure went well and for the most part Johanna is doing well except for some discomfort that was expected.

We want to thank God for this little one that He brought into our lives, even for this short while, and has taken home to be with Him. We had so many plans and hopes for what we were going to do together… we loved this little baby. We now look forward to the day, in heaven, when we do get to meet.

Kassia has been such and encouragement to us during this time and always brings joy to our hearts! We thank God for her and those of you who also have encouraged us. Likewise, we thank God for allowing us to have Johanna’s mom with us right now. She came to visit not knowing all that would happen, but is glad to be able to help us during this time.


Thank you for your prayers!

In His hands,
Kurt (for Johanna and Kassia)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

May 2006 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for praying for us as we were traveling during the month of April. Also, we want to thank those of you who have partnered with us financially. We had a wonderful trip and the Lord opened many doors for our ministry. Let me tell you a little about our itinerary!

We first visited Western Springs Baptist Church near Chicago, Illinois on Sunday April 9th. Monday the 10th we met with the church’s missions committee and had a successful meeting. Tuesday the 11th we traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana. On Wednesday night we spoke to the Franklin Road Baptist Church Senior High youth group and had a great time sharing with them about missions. Friday April 14th we traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan and spent Easter weekend with Kurt’s older brother Eric and family who live there. Tuesday April 18th we went to Northern Michigan to a little town called Hale. Through some friends from our home church here in Dallas, God provided for us a beautiful log cottage to spend the week. Sunday April 23rd we spoke to the congregation at Hale Baptist Church about our ministry. Then finally on Monday April 24th we began our trip back to Dallas and arrived here in Desoto, TX in the afternoon of Wednesday April 26th.

Kassia with friends (Dave and Judy Wagner) in Western Springs, Illinois

Kassia with her cousin Stein in Kalamazoo, Michigan

We are also grateful for those of you who remembered to pray for Kassia during our trip. She did great most of the time and really enjoyed getting to meet new people and make new friends. In Chicago we were able to go to the Brookfield Zoo and she absolutely loved that! Of course on our way back to Dallas, after being in the car for 3 days, 8 hours each day, she was ready to get back home!

Kassia sleeping in the car with her bunny!

As you know, we were prayerfully hoping and preparing to go to the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) this August. Well, we had a little surprise come along our way. We recently found out that we are expecting our second child! We were very surprised because we were not planning on having a baby right now, but God has a perfect plan for us and we rest assured in knowing that to Him this was not a surprise! We know this little one is a gift and a blessing from our Father and we are greatly thankful for that.

We wrote to the Director’s Assistant for Personnel in PNG and after she spoke with the Assistant Director they have given us some advice knowing our current situation. First, they suggest that we stay here in Dallas until we have our child so that we can be at home near friends and family. They think that we will be able to travel to PNG when the baby is two months old (our pediatrician has said this is a good time also) and will have had his/her first round of immunizations. That means we would possibly be arriving in PNG sometime in March of 2007. We will first go to Ukarumpa, Wycliffe’s center of operations, where we will be living. There, Kurt will begin working in the Communication and Technical Services department until August of 2007, Lord willing, when we will attend the Pacific Orientation Course in Madang, PNG.

We know that the Lord’s plan for us is better then anything we ourselves could plan and we are grateful that being able to stay here for a little longer will allow us to be close to Kurt’s mom as she learns to live with lung cancer. We are also still lacking about 50% of our monthly financial support, but we know that God will provide the remainder in His perfect timing.

Finally, we would like to let you know that because of our change in plans we are looking for a house to rent from August of 2006 until March of 2007. If you know of anyone that is renting a house here in Dallas (South Dallas, Cedar Hill, Duncanville and South Grand Prairie area), please let us know. We would greatly appreciate any information regarding this matter.

Kassia on Easter Sunday!

Thank you again for praying for us and please let us know specifically how we can pray for you!

In His precious hands,
Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and baby Metzger!)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April 2006 Update

Dear Loved Ones,

Praise God for His sovereignty and faithfulness in our lives. We recently found out that Kurt’s mom has lung cancer. She was in the hospital for a week but is now back at home. We thank God for taking care of her! She will be starting chemotherapy this week. Please pray for her as she begins her treatment.

Kassia and Grammy (Kurt's mom) looking at the flowers

We would like to thank all of you for praying for us and encouraging us so faithfully. Also thanks for those of you who are supporting us financially. You are so important to us! We feel such gratitude to the Lord for the way He touches hearts to be a part of this ministry. Please let us know how we can pray for you!

As you all know, we are prayerfully hoping to go to the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) that Wycliffe offers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) this August. After the fourteen week course, we will travel to Ukarumpa, Wycliffe’s center of operations in PNG where we will be working as support personnel for Bible translation. Kurt will be working with the Communication and Technical Services Department helping with computer hardware repair. We are truly excited about this opportunity!

In December, Kurt applied for his work permit to be able to work in PNG. In March the work permit was granted and for that we are very thankful. We are currently working on gathering and filling out the required paperwork for our visas so that we will be able to travel in August. We were notified this morning that our visas have already been granted. Now all we have to do is submit the paperwork required for obtaining the visas.

Papua New Guinea (red dot is approximate location of Ukarumpa)

This Friday we will be leaving on a partnership development trip. We will be visiting and speaking at several churches in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. We will be gone through the end of April. Please pray for us during this time. Pray specifically so that God will touch the hearts of those who He wants to partner with us. Also pray for Kassia during the trip as she will need to adjust to a different routine and will most likely not get the same amount of rest as she is used to getting.

In the next several months we need to raise our financial support level to 100% of the approximately $2,900 per month quota that Wycliffe has calculated we will need to live and minister effectively in Papua New Guinea. We will not be released to take a full time assignment unless we are assured of that amount. The following two graphs show where this money will be used and our current support level.

Will you pray about partnering with us so that the 500+ Bibleless people groups of Papua New Guinea will soon have God’s precious Word in their heart language?

Now a few words from Kassia…

Kassia’s Korner

I would like to announce that I am walking now! I began walking when I was 14 months (about two weeks ago). Today I turned 15 months old. I love reading my books, playing with “papa” and “mama”, playing with my toys, but most of all I love playing outside on the swing set! Today while “mama” was at the ladies bible study, I spent some time on the playground with the people from our church’s nursery. While I was outside I ate some sand…funny ha? I love sticking pretty much anything into my mouth, yummy!

In Him,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

February 2006 Update

Dear friends and family,

We are back in Dallas after spending three whole weeks in Colombia with my family. Kassia had a great time getting acquainted with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was hard to leave them, but I think it was harder for them to see Kassia leaving!


(In front of my parent’s house in Bogota with some of my extended family)

We now have our quota for living in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a figure less than what we needed to live here in the US! As a result, now we are at 45% of what we need for PNG instead of 30%. Praise God for this!

God is always faithful. He has provided Kurt with caring and understanding employers. Recently Kurt’s employer allowed him to have one day a week to work on developing our financial support.

We had mentioned earlier that I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed. Well, while we were in Colombia I was able to have that surgery done at a fraction of what it would have cost us in the U.S. I had hardly any pain after the surgery and just a bit of swelling for a few days. Now I am back to normal!

During our time in Colombia we were able spend one week with my brother-in-law, a marine biologist at the beautiful fish hatchery where he works. Kurt was also able to visit Lomalinda, the place where he was born and spent most of his first 18 years of life. We thank God for this time of rest and wonderful family memories!


(Above the fish hatchery)

During our time in Colombia we celebrated Kassia’s 1st Birthday! It is hard to believe that a whole year has already gone by. We thank God for the beautiful gift He has given us in her! She is happy to walk around holding on to daddy or mommy’s hands. She also loves crawling around and getting into everything. She has recently begun trying to sing “Happy Birthday to you”. We love her. We pray that she will be able to trust Christ as her savior at an early age.



(Kassia taking a tub bath and celebrating her first birthday in Colombia)

We want to let you know that you are continual source of joy and encouragement to us as you so faithfully pray and stand with us financially. Let us know how we can lift you up in prayer. Please continue to pray for us. Lord willing we are planning to attend the August Pacific Orientation Course in PNG. Pray that the Lord will go before us and provide for our partnership development. We know that all of this will be done in His perfect timing and in His perfect will.

In Him,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Kassia's first Birthday (in the US)


Kassia with Grandma Metzger


Kassia next to her cake (made by Grandma Metzger)


Kassia with Aunt Miriam and Cousin Julianne



Kassia with Aunt Miriam