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, December 20, 2008

-- Metzger's Year 2008 Reflections --

The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. {They} are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)
Dear Friends and Family,
We have seen God’s hand in many tangible ways this year, 2008.  Praise God for his faithfulness! Here are a few things that have happened where we were able to experience God’s unchanging character and love for us.
· Luke’s healthy delivery at the end of January in Australia and God’s provision to cover the costs.
(Luke is getting ready for his first Christmas)
· Safe and quick return of our new family of four to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in March to continue supporting the work of Bible Translation.
· The provision of a house that we moved into in June and where we can stay until we go on furlough. Thank you God!
· Slow but continual healing of Kurt’s knee which he injured in June. He was even able to enjoy coaching the Ukarumpa High School boys volleyball team from July to September.
· We were able to be involved with the 9th grade Youth Group from July until December and will continue to do that next year.
· The opportunity that Kurt had in September to go with the more than 80 High School students from Ukarumpa to a 5 day Spiritual Retreat called Encounter. 19 students were baptized while at the retreat!
· The quick medical care Kassia was able to receive here in Ukarumpa and in Australia at the end of October when she fell and broke her arm. She had surgery in Australia where they placed 3 pins to hold her arm in place for one month!
· The financial provision for Kurt and Kassia to go back to Australia at the end of November to have the pins removed from her arm. Praise the Lord her arm healed quickly and there is now new bone where the bone was broken!
· At the end of December we will celebrate 2 years of serving in PNG!
· The joy that God has given throughout the whole year to Kurt while he works at the Communication and Technical Services Department through software support and computer repair. Thank you God for giving us the opportunity to be a part of the team that is bringing the written word of God to the Bibleless people of Papua New Guinea.
· The never ending provision and faithfulness of God for our ministry throughout the year through your prayers and financial support. Thank you!
(Kassia loves to hold her little brother Luke!)

· Many people received the New Testament in their heart language this year here in PNG for the very first time. What a privilege for us to be able to see the results of many years of work by many translators, support personnel, and partners in home countries. There were four New Testament dedications: Kuman, Ipili, Bimin, and Mape. There are about 950 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. Other than the 3 national languages (Melanesian Pidgin, English, and Hiri Motu), Kuman is the language with the third highest population of speakers.

PNG Pastor - "For years now I have read to you from God's Word in Kiwai or Motu. I just read it; I didn't understand it. I thought that God's words were too hard for human minds to grasp. But then I read them in our own language, and they spoke to me. I could understand what God was saying! It isn't hard. God from Heaven wants to communicate with us!"
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(Folopa New Testament; Bimin NT Dedication)
What a great God we serve. To Him be the Honor and Glory forever! Thank you for allowing us to serve Him here in Papua New Guinea.
In Him,
Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke)

Monday, November 24, 2008

-- November 2008 Update --

Dear Loves Ones,

Thank you for all of you who have been praying for Kassia’s arm. Thanks also for those of you who gave gifts for our extra expenses in taking care of Kassia when she broke her arm.  We have seen God’s hand of provision in every moment of our lives and especially during this time. We continue to trust in His faithfulness!

Yesterday Kurt and Kassia flew in the morning to Port Moresby (the capital of Papua New Guinea) and in the afternoon they will be flying to Cairns, Australia.  On Wednesday Kassia has an appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon who will check her arm and do an x-ray to see how her arm is healing.  Lord willing, on Thursday the doctor will do surgery and remove the “wires” that have been holding Kassia’s arm for a month.  Luke and I (Johanna) stayed here in Ukarumpa and will wait for them to return on Friday afternoon from Australia.

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Kurt continues to enjoy his job at the Communications and Technical Services Department working at the Help Desk.   He has also been asked if it would be possible for him to help out in our security team here in Ukarumpa.  There is a group of men that have agreed to help and take turns being the Director’s Assistant for Security (DAS).  There is no one being the DAS full time right now, so our director has asked for help in this role. 

In our October Update I mentioned something about the possibility that came up for me to teach in the Mother Tongue Studies(MTS) program here in Ukarumpa.   I met with the Principal of the Primary School last month and we talked about this possibility and discussed some options.  In my other update I told you that I would be teaching children whose mother tongue is Spanish.  The principal explained to me that the purpose of the MTS program is to prepare children whose mother tongue is Spanish, to be able to go to school in their home country in Spanish. We came to the conclusion that at this time, there are no children here in Ukarumpa (except for Kassia and Luke) who will be studying in Spanish in their home countries. So, we have decided not to offer the MTS program in Spanish until we have more students that would qualify for it.

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Thank you again for your faithful prayers and financial support that allow us to serve the Lord in Papua New Guinea. We truly could not be here without your part in our team!


  • We always praise God for our faithful prayer partners and those who support us financially.
  • For the opportunity that Kurt has to be a part of the DAS team.
  • For  the healing that Kassia has had in her arm already.


  • 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 wisdom for Kurt as he becomes a part of the DAS team.
  • For Kassia’s surgery this Thursday to remove the “wires” from her arm.
  • For continued healing of Kassia’s arm.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke Metzger)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

God is good!

Dear Friends and Family,

We just wanted to let you know that Kassia and I (Kurt) are now back in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. We arrived Wednesday afternoon and are settling back in well, but are maybe just a little tired. Thank you so much for your prayers and support during this time. I cannot remember being anxious at any point during our medivac to Australia. I believe that God gave me a peace about the whole situation so I would be able to comfort and take care of Kassia.

Kassia is doing so much better now that she is back here in Ukarumpa with her friends and her mother and brother. She was so excited to come to be with them. Now that she is back, she is acting as if her arm is not broken. In one month’s time we return to Australia so that the wires holding Kassia’s bone together can be removed. Please pray for protection and healing for her arm during this month as she does not have a cast on (the doctor said it was not necessary). Thanks again.


Kurt for Kassia, Johanna and Luke too!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Update on Kassia

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for praying for Kassia.  I have talked to Kurt throughout the day today and he was able to tell me what happened. He says that he and Kassia were taken to the hospital right away when they arrived in Cairns yesterday afternoon.  They waited in the hospital room until about 6 pm and then Kassia had surgery on her arm. The doctor said she had a very delicate fracture. Kurt says she was in surgery for about an hour and a half. They had to put some "wires" to hold her arm in place.

They think she might be able to leave the hospital tomorrow.  However, the doctor also said that Kassia needs to be in Cairns again to get the “wires” removed from her arm in a month.

Please pray for us to have wisdom at this time.  We want to glorify Him with the decision we make and we are thinking about two different options. The first option is for Kurt and Kassia to come back to Ukarumpa next week (if the doctor gives her permission to come back this soon). The second option for them to wait in Cairns for a month until they can remove the wires from her arm, and Luke and I would join them there. 

Pray also because Kassia continues to be in a lot of pain and does not want to take the medication to relieve it.  And finally pray for our finances during this time.

As always God is faithful in meeting all of our needs. This morning some friends from Cairns, offered Kurt and Kassia to stay at their house instead of staying at a hotel. Thank you Lord!!!

In His hands,

Johanna (for the Metzgers)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pray for Kassia

Dear Loved Ones,

Kassia was playing on the monkey bars in our back yard this morning and she fell and broke her arm.  After doing an x-ray, the doctor at the clinic here decided that they could not take care of Kassia here and she needed to go to Australia. Kurt and Kassia went to Cairns, Australia at 12pm today to be seen by an orthopedic surgeon.

Praise the Lord that she was able to go on the scheduled Cairns flight, thanks to a few passengers who were willing to fly commercially in order to provide the space for Kassia, Kurt and the doctor. 

Please pray for them as they are away from home and pray that the doctors in Australia will be able to take care of Kassia's arm. Pray that her arm will heal quickly!


Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke)

Friday, October 10, 2008

-- October 2008 Update --


(Sunrise over Kokopo, Papua New Guinea)

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for your continued prayers and support for our family. Being here in Papua New Guinea, we always think about how we could not be here if it wasn’t for your very important part in our ministry!

In September, Kurt had the privilege to go to Encounter. Encounter is a spiritual retreat for the High School kids from Ukarumpa. 81 students ranging from 9th grade to 12th grade attended this year. Kurt was asked to help as one of the adult sponsors. He had four 12th grade guys in his cabin and four 9th grade guys in his discussion group. They traveled two hours from Ukarumpa towards Goroka and stayed at a training center run by New Tribes Mission from Friday to Tuesday. The last night 19 of the students were baptized. Kurt enjoyed getting to know the guys better and also learning from the Encounter speaker. It’s great for us to see how God is using Kurt’s unique experience growing up as a missionary kid in Colombia in relating to the kids here in Ukarumpa.

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(Encounter 2008)

The Communication and Technical Services Department (where Kurt works) has experienced some changes lately. The manager of the department, Chris, had to leave suddenly as his mother was sick in Canada. She passed away shortly after he returned home. Now the current acting manager (filling in for Chris) is going on furlough and the SIL PNG directorate has asked Kurt to help out as the acting manager until Chris returns from Canada. Please pray as Kurt will be learning some new responsibilities for the time he is a manager.

Kassia just returned to school this week after a two week break. She enjoyed being at home more and playing with friends here and at their houses. We were also able to go to the river one day with a group of families and she loved swimming and playing at the river! I continue to teach her Spanish on the days she is not at school.


(Kassia with her friend Jadia)

Some of you might remember that my (Johanna’s) dream about coming to PNG, was to eventually be able to teach at the Ukarumpa International School.  I taught Bilingual kindergarten for almost 2 years in Texas before Kassia was born. Well, this week I received an email from the Principal at the Primary campus here; asking me if I would be interested in being a Mother Tongue Studies (MTS) teacher. I would be teaching those children whose mother tongue is Spanish. The Principal talked to the Associate Director for Member Services (who is over the schools here in Ukarumpa) and she is excited about this plan. The Primary Campus Principal will present our proposal to the School Board on Monday October 13th, and then we will know how to proceed. I have been asked to do some research on the curriculum we would use. I would probably start teaching at the end of January.

Luke is eating and growing a lot! He is eight months now and can sit unassisted. He’s not very interested in crawling yet, but he continues to move around by pushing himself on his back.

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(Left: Luke eating banana. Right: Luke with his friend Ryland)

In Him,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke)


-For Kurt’s job here in Ukarumpa and the opportunity he has to be help those who are translating the Bible into the many different languages of Papua New Guinea.

-For the good health we have been enjoying in the last couple of months.

-For Kassia’s school and her friends here in Ukarumpa.

-For the possible opportunity for me (Johanna) to be an Spanish MTS teacher.


-For the four of us to continue to have good health.

-For Kurt to have wisdom as he is the acting manager at the Communication and Technical Services Department for a while.

-For Johanna to have wisdom in preparing to teach in January.

-For Kurt and I to grow stronger in our relationship with God, and therefore to grow in our marriage.

-For Kassia and Luke to come to know Jesus as their Savior one day!

Monday, August 04, 2008

-- August 2008 Update --

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you so much for being faithful in praying for our family. Your partnership in prayer and financial support allows us to serve in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and richly blesses our family.

We especially want to thank you for your prayers for Kurt’s knee. Last time we wrote you we said that Kurt was going to be seeing the doctor weekly to get his knee checked. At the end of June, the doctor saw Kurt and said he did not have to return to the clinic for a month. Kurt went in to see the doctor last Monday and his report was great. The doctor says that Kurt’s knee is doing good and that he doesn’t need to return to the clinic unless his knee feels loose or bothers him. He said when we go back to the USA or to Australia, he should have his knee checked by an Orthopedic Surgeon and get an MRI. We praise God for healing Kurt’s knee to the point where he can even jog now! Kurt has been doing the exercises that the Physical Therapist recommended and those have helped him very much. He tries to do those every day if possible.

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(Kassia and Luke; Luke on the 4th of July)

Since we wrote our last update we moved houses. Thanks for praying for us as we moved. The move went very smoothly and we had many friends helping us. We have been in this house for over a month now and we love it. It has a fire place which helps keep us warm during the “winter” time here in PNG. Kassia also enjoys having a play room where she can read books with mommy and play with her friends.

Kurt is very busy working at the help desk at the Communication and Technical Services Department. He works alongside a Papua New Guinean, a Korean, and a Costa Rican. His coworkers from Korea and Costa Rica have left for several months, so now it is just the man from Papua New Guinea and Kurt at the help desk. They have had much work lately (fixing and configuring computers) and thankfully Kurt loves what he is doing!

This school year Kurt will be coaching the High School boys volleyball team. This will keep him busy Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays after work.

Kassia is now in pre-school two days a week and loves it. Also, two mornings a week she and I are working on pre-school in Spanish! She says I am her teacher and enjoys her time with me.

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(Kassia’s first day of pre-school; Kassia posing for the camera with her new pen)

Luke is six months now! He has been sleeping through the night for a month or so now, and we are very happy about that. He has also started eating rice cereal and doesn’t quite know what to think about that. It is fun to see him staring at Kassia and looking at her as if he really would like to play with her. He gets around pushing himself backwards like a crab.

At the end of July we began our work with the 9th grade youth group again. We are glad to be in a bigger house now, where we can actually host some of the youth activities.

Again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of the process of translating the Word of God into the heart languages of the Bibleless people of Papua New Guinea.

In Him,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke)

PS - Below we’ve included a note of encouragement from a Wycliffe member that we support here in Papua New Guinea:


Dear supporters of Kurt and Johanna,

My husband and I are part of a multilanguage project in the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. Our goal is to train Papua New Guineans to do Bible Translation and Literacy in the eleven languages represented in our project. Our computers are essential for the work that we do in Bible translation and literacy.

I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate Kurt's computer support role. He has spent countless hours locating problems on our computers, backing up data, and helping us get set up for e-mail once we reach the center in Ukarumpa. Kurt is incredibly proficient with computers and gives us very sound advice when we need to purchase new equipment, for example. Thank you for partnering with Kurt and Johanna as they serve the Bible translation movement in Papua New Guinea! We would be very hard pressed if we had to make all of our own repairs, decisions and maintenance to our computers on our own.

Kurt and Johanna have also been a big support to our family emotionally and spiritually as well. If we didn't have people like them caring for us here in Ukarumpa, we would not be able to work in our project.

Again, many thanks for partnering with Kurt and Johanna!

Mandy Pehrson

Literacy Specialist

Aitape West Translation Project

Papua New Guinea


Monday, June 23, 2008

Prayer Request Update

Dear Friends and Family,

This past week my knee has felt quite a bit better each day even to the point where I was able to walk on it with a slight limp starting on Sunday. We went in to see the doctor here in Ukarumpa again today (Monday) and were very optimistic about not having to have surgery. However, the doctor’s first impression was that the knee was still quite loose and he was thinking that I would still have to go to Australia. He conferred with an Orthopedic surgeon in Cairns, Australia who said that there is a 30% chance that the ligament will heal on its own and that we should try waiting several weeks to see how the knee progresses. In the meantime I will go in for weekly checkups and also meet with a physical therapist to try and strengthen the knee. Please continue to pray that God will heal my knee.

Please also pray for us tomorrow as we are moving houses. I can’t really help too much but we are blessed with lots of friends here in Ukarumpa that have offered to help out.

Blessings, Kurt

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Prayer Request

Dear Friends and Family,

I just wanted to let you know about something that happened over the weekend so that you can be praying for us. I was playing Frisbee on Sunday afternoon and twisted my knee. At first I thought it was just a sprain but when I tried to walk it off my knee would not hold weight any longer. I saw a doctor at the clinic here in Ukarumpa yesterday and he thinks it is most likely a torn ligament. I need to keep off of it for a week and check back with the doctor next Monday. He will decide then if the knee needs to be operated on. That would mean going all the way to Australia for surgery. Please pray that God would heal my knee without the need for surgery. Also, pray for Johanna as she has to take care of all of us. It is tiring for her when she has to get up at night to feed Luke and then get up early in the morning to help Kassia when she wakes up (I used to be the one helping Kassia). Finally, we really want to glorify God in all this, so please pray for good attitudes, patience and endurance.

Blessings, Kurt

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

-- June 2008 Update --

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for your faithful prayers and your financial support that allow us to continue serving in Papua New Guinea. We are grateful to have you in our partnership team and know that we could not be here without your part in our ministry.

We are doing well.  Life has been very busy here in Ukarumpa since we got back from Australia three months ago. Kurt continues to enjoy his work at the Communications and Technical Services Department working at the Help Desk alongside a Papua New Guinean and a Korean man. We thank God for the work he supplies for Kurt.

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(Kassia and Kurt reading; Kassia and Luke getting ready to go to bed)

Kassia and Luke continue to grow and learn many things. Kassia now recognizes the letters K (for Kassia of course!), O, and L (for Luke).  Luke is four months old now! I (Johanna) took him to the clinic last week for his check up and the doctor said he is doing great.  She also said he is a healthy little  guy! He gives us huge smiles and can laugh now too. He is also sleeping better so thanks for your prayers in that regard.

For two mornings this week, I am going to be involved in strategy meetings here in Ukarumpa. In these meetings I will join several other SIL members in order to discuss what needs to be in place in SIL-PNG (Papua New Guinea) in the next 5 to 10 years and how we will be engaged in Bible translation.  Kurt will attend the same meetings next week.

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(Little Luke is getting bigger)

In about three weeks we will be moving. We are living in an apartment right now, but we will be moving to a house that we will be renting for about one and a half years. We are excited about being in a house, though we know yet another move will be stressful.

At the end of this month (after we move), Kurt will be going to a village with some of our friends who are Bible translators with the Sam people in the Madang province. They are building a house in the village where they work and Kurt has offered to help them build it.  He is very excited about the trip and will be away for about  one week.

Thanks again for lifting us up to the Lord in prayer and supporting our work here in Papua New Guinea.


(Kassia at the Ukarumpa International School Sports Day held this May)

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke too!)


• For good health in the last few months.

• For Kurt’s work at the Communication and Technical Services Department.

• For Luke who is growing steadily!

• For the house we will be moving into.


• For all of us to continue to have good health.

• For us to have wisdom as we attend the strategy meetings this month.

• For a smooth transition and move into the house.

• For Kurt as he goes to help our friends build their village house. For physical, mental, and spiritual protection for him during the time he will be gone.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April 2008 Update

Dear Loved Ones,

Thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement, and financial partnership. We are grateful for the part you play in our ministry here in Papua New Guinea (PNG)!

We have been back in PNG for 4 weeks now.  Thanks for praying for our PNG visas to come through quickly while we were in Australia. God truly answered your prayers and we were able to come back sooner than we expected because our visas were granted very quickly. We arrived here in Ukarumpa on March 5th.

Kurt is back working at the Communications and Technical Services Department. He really enjoys working at the Help Desk and it has been very busy lately, which he really likes. He is also happy to be back in Ukarumpa where he can play sports on the weekends such as soccer, volleyball, frisbee, and basketball.

Kassia is learning how to be a big sister and she really loves her baby brother Luke. She protects him when others try to hold him and she likes to talk to him and make him smile. It is fun to see the sibling relationship developing so early in Luke’s life!


Luke is growing nicely. Today I took him to the clinic for his two month check-up and the doctor said he is doing great. Soon we will go back in so he can get his shots. I (Johanna) am learning how to be a mommy of two, keep up the house, take care of my husband, and keep in touch with our friends and partners.

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Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of the process of translating the Word of God into the heart languages of the Bibleless people of Papua New Guinea.


We praise God for the one time gifts that helped us cover the cost of Luke’s birth.


Please pray that God will keep us healthy and allow Johanna and Luke to get enough sleep during the night.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke too!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Johanna and Luke are back!

“I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:3-6 (NIV)

Thank you to all of you who prayed while Luke and I (Johanna) went to Sydney on Thursday. We had an uneventful trip and were able to go to the United States Consulate to apply for Luke’s passport on Friday morning. Then we flew back to Cairns on Friday evening and were happy to be reunited with Kurt and Kassia at that time!

Thanks again for your prayers and love.

In His hands,

Johanna (for Kurt, Kassia, and Luke Metzger)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Travel to/from Sydney and US Passport for Luke

Dear Friends and Family,

As I am writing this email, Johanna and Luke are on a flight to Sydney. Johanna will meet a cousin at the airport and stay with her overnight. In the morning Johanna and Luke have an appointment at the US embassy. Would you please pray right now for Johanna and Luke that traveling will go well and the paperwork for Luke’s Passport and Consular Report of Birth abroad will be in order and completed quickly. Then tomorrow night Johanna and Luke will be traveling back here to Cairns. Thank you for praying.


In His hands,

Kurt (for Johanna, Kassia, and Luke Metzger)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Luke Timothy is here!

Dear Friends and Family,

Praise God with us! Luke Timothy was born this morning, 29 January, at 6:15 AM local time (Cairns, Australia). Johanna and Luke are doing great! God is so very good. Johanna’s labor and delivery went as well as you could ask for. Luke weighed in at 7lbs 9ozs and measured 20 1/4in long. Thank you so much for praying.

(Luke in Johanna’s arms.)

(Kassia was so excited her baby brother finally came she screamed when she heard the news.)

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