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 30, 2007

Metzger year 2007 review... What's to come?

Dear Loved Ones,

On December 31st we will celebrate one year since we left the United States to begin our journey to Papua New Guinea (PNG). What a blessed year it has been for our family! From January until mid April we were able to attend the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) in Madang, PNG. There we studied many things including the main PNG trade language (Tok Pisin), anthropology, cultural acquisition, and we had many physical activities such as swimming a mile and many hikes.

In mid April we moved to Ukarumpa (the base of operations for SIL in PNG) and we were there until December 19th. Kurt has been working at the Communications and Technical Services Department at their Help Desk and also doing hardware repair. I (Johanna) was able to tutor a 5th grade student from July until December and truly enjoyed that. As a couple, we have also been involved with the 8th grade Youth Group in Ukarumpa. We meet with them every Sunday night and have gotten to know them better in this last semester.

We arrived here in Cairns, Australia on December 19th. Praise God for that! The policy of SIL PNG is that all members must return to their home country or go to Australia for any major medical reason because of the limited health care resources in PNG. We thank God for you, our partners, who make it possible for us to come here to await the birth of our second child. I met with my OBGYN last week and he did a sonogram and said everything with the pregnancy is on track. I also was able to register at the hospital where, Lord willing, I will be giving birth. I am 36 weeks pregnant now and feeling great! Sometimes I feel tired but Kurt and Kassia are great helpers.

(Kassia with her friend Corrie, from Ukarumpa, at the Cairns Zoo)

We had a wonderful Christmas day. In the morning we celebrated here at our flat with a special breakfast that I made (Colombian style) and then we had a little devotion and opened presents. It was fun! At 12:30 we were invited to a get-together with all the guests from the missionary guest house where we are staying here in Australia. There were 6 other missionary families. What a blessing to be able to celebrate with family, our brothers and sisters in Christ!

(Kassia and Johanna in Cairns)

While here in Australia, besides medical costs we will need the finances to cover extra one-time costs of airlines tickets, lodging, visa fees, passports fees (for the baby), car rentals, and some baby supplies. We have carefully made a budget with the input of several other families who have recently had babies in Australia. Our estimated increased financial need for the 2 ½-3 months we will be here comes to $8,000. Would you please pray with us that God will provide for these expenses? Thank you in advance.

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and financial support that allow us to serve the Lord in Papua New Guinea and while here in Australia. We truly could not be here without your part in our team! We will be sending news as soon as our new little one arrives.


• For our safe arrival in Cairns, Australia and that we can peacefully await the birth of our second child here.
• For a wonderful OBGYN who will be helping Johanna.
• For a blessed year serving as a family in Papua New Guinea.
• For our faithful prayer partners that lift us and our ministry up to our Heavenly Father and for our faithful financial supporters who sacrifice time and money to be able to give to our ministry.


• For God to provide for our increased financial needs while we live in Australia.
• For wisdom, love and patience in raising Kassia.
• For our unborn baby to continue to grow strong and healthy in the last weeks of pregnancy.
• For a safe delivery and a healthy baby to be born in January.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December/Christmas 2007 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

It has almost been a year since we arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Thank you for your prayers and financial support that have made it possible for us to serve in this country.

We continue to praise God because Kurt is able to support Bible Translation providing computer support at the Communications and Technical Services Department. He really enjoys the work he does there. He also recently helped the Director’s Assistant to Personnel here in Ukarumpa by making a form that will allow all SIL PNG members to lodge a visa extension required for working in PNG during the next six months. His work was very much appreciated and allowed the task to be completed more efficiently.

The last week of November I (Johanna) was able to help input data into the applications for visa extensions (our team worked on about 800 applications). I helped in the mornings when Kassia was able to attend child care.

(Johanna helping with the visa extension paperwork. Can you see the baby?)

I finished my tutoring with a fifth grade student last Thursday. I have enjoyed helping her since July, but since it is almost time for us to go Australia I had my final morning of tutoring last week.

Kassia is very excited awaiting the birth of her baby brother or sister. I am 33 weeks pregnant now and my pregnancy is going very well, so we thank the Lord for that.

(Kassia posing for the camera)

We want to praise God because on Friday (December 7th) we found out that our Australian Medical visas have been approved. This means that, Lord willing, we will be heading to Australia on December 19th to await the birth of our second child. The policy of SIL PNG is that all members must return to their home country or go to Australia for any major medical reason because of the limited health care resources in PNG. For us it is much cheaper to go to Australia. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for our visas to be approved, your prayers have been answered. We arrive in Australia 5 weeks before the baby is due and as soon as the baby is born we will apply for his USA passport (which takes about 4 weeks to obtain). So, we are looking at being in Cairns, Australia for about 2 months.

(We celebrated Kassia’s 3rd birthday early this year, last Saturday, so she could spend it with her friends. She will turn 3 in Australia on January 4th.)


· We always praise God for our faithful prayer partners and those who support us financially.
· That our Australian Medical Visas have been granted and we can go to Australia to await the birth of our second child!
· That we have been much more healthy in the past two months.
· For the opportunity Kurt and I had to help in the process of the PNG visa extension for our SIL PNG branch.
· For a healthy pregnancy for me (Johanna).


· For our relationship with the Lord to become deeper and stronger and that we can be an example to our PNG friends and coworkers.
· For our marriage to grow stronger every day.
· For wisdom, love, and patience in raising Kassia.
· For our unborn baby to continue to grow strong and healthy in the last 6 weeks of the pregnancy.
· For a safe delivery and a healthy baby to be born in January.
· As we pack and move all our belongings to a storage shed while we are in Australia.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

October 2007 Update

13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. – Hebrews 11:13,16 (NASB)

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for our ministry here in Papua New Guinea. We have been here for almost ten months now and we thank God for His faithfulness and provision for our family.

Kurt has been enjoying his work at the Help Desk and doing some hardware repair at the Communication and Technical Services Department.

In the month of September he was asked to help at a STEP (Strengthening Tok Ples Education in Papua New Guinea) course here in Ukarumpa. He was able to help a group of Papua New Guinean Educators learn the basics of using a computer. This included teaching them how to use a keyboard, a mouse, and the basics of Microsoft Word. The STEP course enables Bible Translation as the Tok Ples “talk place” or mother tongue educators go back to their villages of origin and promote literacy. As literacy is promoted, the people in the villages can learn how to read the Bible in their own language. We praise God for the opportunity Kurt had to be a part of this course!

(Kurt helping at the STEP course)

I (Johanna) have been tutoring a fifth grade student at the Primary Campus here in Ukarumpa. This is my second term helping her and I enjoy meeting with her to work on her spelling, writing, reading, and math. I give her a spelling test every week and then we review new words in which I will test her the following week. We have worked on teaching her how to write a satisfying paragraph that includes an introduction, details, and a conclusion. I will be working with this student until we go to Australia to wait for our baby to be born!

Kurt and I have also enjoyed working with the Eighth Grade Youth Group since July of this year. We had a girls night with some of the girls in September and that was a lot of fun. Also we had a service project where our group helped set up a worship event that we had here on center.

In the last month we have encountered some health problems but God has been faithful to heal us in His timing. First of all at the end of September, Kurt got a boil on his leg which became celullitis. Celullitis is a deep tissue infection that is akin to staph. Once it takes hold it is very hard to get rid of. The area affected will become very red. Kurt's infection became very bad. Treatment at the onset was oral antibiotics but since those didn't work right away, the doctor here in Ukarumpa recommended intravenous antibiotics for 3 days, every six hours, around the clock. Needless to say it was a very painful experience but praise God, Kurt's infection is now gone. At the same time as Kurt had celullitis, he and I got very sick with a stomach virus. We have had this stomach bug for about three weeks off and on and it is very tiring. Praise God Kassia has not been sick of her stomach at all! Kurt developed another boil last week and he went into the doctor promptly. Thankfully they were able to treat this infection with oral antibiotics and it is looking much better now.

(Kassia on the back porch with our Haus Meri)

My pregnancy is going very well and we thank the Lord for that. I am 26 weeks pregnant now (six months) and can feel the baby move constantly. Kurt is also able to feel the baby and he can also look at my tummy and see the baby moving without even having to touch it. Kassia constantly asks me when they baby is going to come out and I have to tell her it will still take a while. She says she is going to share with her baby brother or sister.

(Kassia posing for the camera)

We shared with you in our last newsletter that we will be going to Australia to have our next baby. We asked you to pray for the Australian Medical Visa paper work and all that it involves. Well, we are 8 weeks from going to Australia and we still don't have our medical visa. We have been working on the paper work since July but it has taken a while to get everything done. Also, at the beginning we filled out some forms and they were approved by a panel doctor; but in the last few days we found out that the forms have been made obsolete this month and therefore we had to fill them out and have the doctor sign them again. Needless to say, this is a very tedious process and we want to ask for your prayers so that we can complete every step of the process soon and that our visas will be granted on time to go to Australia in December. The baby will not be born until January of 2008 but the clinic requires us to go when I am 35 weeks pregnant and the SIL flights will not permit a pregnant woman to fly after that.


• For our faithful prayer partners that lift us and our ministry up to our Heavenly Father and for our faithful financial supporters who sacrifice time and money to be able to give to our ministry.
• For the medical staff here in Ukarumpa (nurses and doctors) who have been so helpful to our family in the last month.
• For the opportunity Kurt had to help at the STEP course in September.
• For the opportunity I have to tutor at the Primary Campus in Ukarumpa.
• For a very healthy pregnancy for me (Johanna) so far.
• For Kassia who has remained healthy despite all the sicknesses we her parents have had.


• For us to honor God through our work here in Papua New Guinea.
• For wisdom, love, and patience in raising Kassia.
• For our unborn baby to continue to grow strong and healthy and for a great rest of the pregnancy.
• For good health, especially for Kurt as he has been sick in the last month.
• For the visa paper work that we have filled out to get an Australian Medical Visa. That the paperwork would be sent to Port Moresby (the capital of PNG) soon and our visas would be approved so that we can go to Australia in December.

Thanks again for supporting us and enabling us to be a part of the team that brings the word of God to the Bibleless people in Papua New Guinea!

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia and baby too!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 2007 Update

Hello everyone,

Below is the link to our latest update from our side of the world. If you ever want to hear more or have any questions, please let us know. We would be happy to give you more info if you ask.

We're sending our update to you as a PDF file. You will need a PDF reader, such as Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view it. Please let us know if you have any problems viewing the letter.


Kurt and Johanna Metzger

Monday, May 21, 2007

May 2007 Update

Dear loved ones,

As new SIL members (SIL is Wycliffe’s partner organization in Papua New Guinea - PNG) we were privileged to attend a 14-week training course entitled Pacific Orientation Course (POC). The location for this course is just outside the coastal city of Madang, PNG. The POC camp is situated on top of a small mountain approximately 1200 ft. above sea level and has a beautiful view of the coastline below. We spent our first 8 weeks learning a main PNG trade language, Tok Pisin, taking hikes through the jungle, swimming to build up endurance, meeting with a national family, and learning about PNG customs and the work of SIL in the country. We did reading assignments, journaling and reports, learned to cook over an open fire, and took a 3-day survey hike. The hike was a chance to spend nights in 2 different villages, doing research and reports on the land and people we met. Our training also gave us opportunity to build relationships with missionaries from other parts of the world – England, Australia, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland as well as the US. Our trainers were veteran missionaries and PNG nationals. By the end of these 8 weeks we were ready for our next challenge: 5 weeks of living in a village with the mentoring of a Papua New Guinean host family. During our time in the village we were able to improve in our language skills, learn more about many aspects of the culture in the country, and build relationships with Papua New Guineans.

(Kassia with friend Jadia)

God’s Faithfulness

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” Psalm 136:1

There were several times during our training time and village living that I (Johanna) had to rely on God’s everlasting lovingkindness. I would pray to Him while cooking in our “haus cook” (our kitchen in the village) or when Kurt was sick. I would ask for wisdom to handle personality differences and to be a better wife and mom. I would also go to God for comfort when I was lonely, and in times of not having the comforts that I have in the United States. God was faithful to meet my weak times with His presence, His love, with answers to prayer and with friends to share the burdens I was feeling. I am being stretched to rely more and more on God and less and less on myself.

Where are we now?

Our new home is now the SIL center at Ukarumpa in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Kurt has begun working at the Communication and Technical Services Department here in Ukarumpa, doing primarily hardware repair and learning the ropes. Kassia is making new friends and loving it. I am taking care of Kassia and have gotten involved in a Ladies Bible Study and Mom’s Group. Kurt and I also attend a Couples Bible Study on Tuesday nights and we love it.


  • For a wonderful POC experience that enriched our relationship with God, enriched our marriage, and enriched our relationship with our daughter.
  • We were able to learn so much about the people, language and culture of Papua New Guinea. We have developed a love and appreciation for the people here.
  • For a great time settling here in Ukarumpa.
  • For new friends.
  • Many of your prayers have been answered as God has met our financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.


  • That Kurt would get settled in his job and honor God with what he does.
  • That Johanna and Kassia would have a good time adjusting to a new place to live and that they would have wisdom in deciding what to be involved in.
  • That our marriage will remain strong and Christ centered.
  • That God will give us wisdom in raising Kassia.
  • That we can develop relationships with Papua New Guineans.
  • For God’s continued protection and grace in our lives.

Thank you for supporting us and enabling us to be a part of the team that brings the word of God to the Bibleless people in Papua New Guinea.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia too!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 2007 Update - We're back!

Dear Loved Ones,

We are back from village living and are enjoying our last days here at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC). Thank you so very much for all your prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support during this time.

We left for the village on March 9th to live there for five weeks. We had a wonderful wasfamili (literally translated - watch family) who cared for us and watched over us all the time. Our waspapa “watch father” Tamanik and his wife Moinas have nine children: seven girls and two boys. I (Johanna) got to know some of our was “watch” sisters quite well since they helped me wash dishes, do laundry, and even showed me where to bathe while we were in the village. Kurt got to know our waspapa too since they spent a fair amount of time together.

(Johanna with wasmama “watch mother” preparing food picked from their gardens & Kurt next to waspapa “watch father” with the bow and arrow used to kill the pig being cooked in the background)

As you might remember, we mentioned in our last email update that Kurt got sick during our three day hike, about seven weeks ago. Well, apparently his sickness faded for a week while we were here at POC before going into village living and then it returned our first Sunday in the village. His symptoms included a very sore throat, pain in his stomach, lack of energy and sore swollen lymph nodes. After two weeks in the village his symptoms intensified and by that time I had to watch Kassia and do all the village living assignments and work with little help from him since he was so tired and sleeping much of the day. The nurse from POC came to the village and decided it would be better to take Kurt into town to check with the doctor and see what was happening. Various blood tests were run and the doctor concluded that Kurt had some type of mono (mononucleosis) virus.

After the doctor's diagnosis and talking and praying with the POC directors and staff, we decided it would be better for our family to come out of the village for a while until Kurt regained some strength. We came back to the POC campus and Kurt rested and slept quite a bit during our time here. We also were able to receive tutoring in Tok Pisin for two hours a day by one of the Papua New Guinean ladies who works at POC, which was a real help for us.

(Kassia with friends in the village looking at pictures of our families)

God has been so faithful to us during this entire time and we praise Him for that. Kurt began to feel better and we were able to go back to the village and spend 4 days there before we were picked up with all the other POC students from their village allocations. It was an answer to prayer to be able to go back to the village and get closure of our time there.

On Tuesday, April 17th we will be going to Ukarumpa, the missionary community where we will be living for the next three years. There Kurt will be working at the Communication and Technical Services Department doing computer primarily hardware repair. We are very excited to go to Ukarumpa and get settled into a house and a routine. At the same time we thank God for the 14 weeks we have had here at POC and all the things that we have learned about the people in Papua New Guinea.

When we get to Ukarumpa we will try to send an update of how we are settling into our new life there and the many things we learned and experienced in the village. Thanks again for all your prayers and letters. We could not have done village living and gone through Kurt's illness without you praying for us. Please continue to pray for Kurt as he completely recuperates from this sickness and for our family as we make yet another transition. Thank you so much for praying for Kassia as she has done exceptionally well through all the transitions we have been going through… thank you Lord.

(Kassia posing for a picture)

In His hands,

Johanna for Kurt and Kassia and Kassia too!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

March 2007 Update

“Olsem na yupela i no ken tingting tumas long tomora. De tumora em i ken tingting long samting bilong em yet. Hevi bilong wanpela de em inap long dispela tasol.” – Matyu 6:34 (Buk Baibel) Matthew 6:34 (Tok Pisin Bible)

Wednesday, March 7, 2005

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

We find it hard to believe that we have been in Papua New Guinea for the last two months. Time has truly passed by quickly as we have been learning and doing many different things. God has blessed us in many ways during this time of training.

We have been praying for you and we would love to know how we could better pray for you. Please let us know how you and your family are doing.

Our days here at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) are filled as we have classes from 8AM to 12PM and 2PM to 4PM each day. Our classes include subjects such as: Tok Pisin (language learning), Spiritual Vitality, Anthropology, Cultural Adaptation, Medical Care, Conflict Resolution, and Physical Endurance (hikes and swimming).

(POC students and staff)

Both Kurt and I (Johanna) have done distance swimming and have gone on many different hikes through the jungle near by. Last week we went on the three day survey hike. We chose a very sweet family that is in training with us to watch Kassia while we were gone on the hike. We hiked for two days and stayed in two villages where we had to do basic surveys of their language and culture. The experience was incredible and the people we stayed with unforgettable. Unfortunately, Kurt got sick with some type of virus on our second day of hiking. In the evening after radioing the nurse here at the orientation site, she decided that it would be better if Kurt was brought back to the orientation site to spend the night and recuperate. He had a high fever and chills as we were picked up at the village. We were sad to say goodbye to the people in the village and to the group that we had been hiking with for the previous two days. We really wanted to hike with them on the last day, however it was a blessing for Kurt to be able to have a good night sleep and to rest and recuperate. The rest of the hiking group joined us at the orientation site the next day around midday.

(On our 3 day survey hike with a family in the village)

POC is a total of fourteen weeks of training. The first eight weeks are for learning the language and culture of Papua New Guinea. Now, we have completed these eight weeks and the next phase of the course begins when we will go to a village and live there for five weeks. Each family here at the course will go to a different village in order for them to be able to concentrate on learning the language and culture without having other English speakers around. After the five weeks of village living is over, we will return to the POC site and have a week of debriefing before we go to Ukarumpa. This is the missionary base where Kurt will be working in the Communication and Technical Services Department.

(The village house we will be staying in for the next five weeks)

This coming Friday March 9th, we will be leaving the POC site and going to our five week village living site. God has been faithful above and beyond our expectations and has been revealing himself to us during this time. Please pray for us as we are in the village. Pray for protection and good health during our time there. Also pray that we will be able to get to know the people in the village and be able to establish lasting relationships with them. Pray also that we would be able to learn Tok Pisin well so that we can better communicate with the people we will serve and work with.

During the next five weeks (starting Friday March 9th) we will not have email access. We will try to send an update when we get back to let you know how this time went.

(Kassia with the guard dog Herman)

Thank you so much for your prayers, financial support, and encouragement. We truly could not do this with you.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt and Kassia too!)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In Papua New Guinea

Dear Friends and Family,

We just wanted to write a quick note and let you know that we arrived in Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG) safely. Thank you so much for your prayers. Our trip went well after the first day and we felt that God was with us every step of the way. We were supposed to leave Saturday, December 30th but the flight we were to leave on was canceled. We were rebooked on the flight the following day, but we were going to miss our connecting flight in Singapore which only makes the trip twice a week. We called Air Niugini in PNG and they were able to rebook us on the next flight. In Japan while we were running to make the connecting flight, I left my jacket with all our passports at a security check point and did not even realize that we had left it until a security agent caught up with us downstairs. Praise God for that!

Madang will be our home for then next 15 weeks as we learn the language and culture so that we can better serve and minister to the people of PNG. We will make every effort to update you with our progress as our time here continues.


Kurt for Johanna and Kassia too!