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.

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!