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.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Word | Tok Pisin Bible School

2010-12-22 Tok Pisin Bible School

Greetings from Papua New Guinea!

“The Word” is a weekly photo and caption detailing the impact of Bible translation.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Great joy to ALL people!" | December 2010

“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today...” -- Luke 3:10b-11a (NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

We want to wish you a blessed Christmas and a new year filled with joy! Right now we are rejoicing with the Malei people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) who have just received the New Testament in their own language this past weekend. Praise God! Now the Malei can learn of and understand in their hearts the joy that our Savior, Jesus Christ, brings. What an incredible Christmas gift that is!

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(Pictures of the Malei NT Dedication celebration)

We are back in Papua New Guinea! We arrived safely in Ukarumpa (our home and place of work), without any delays or complications, on November 19th. We have had many things to do since we arrived and are still settling in. One setback we have experienced since getting here is our bodies getting adjusted to the stomach bugs that are so prevalent here. Our family, all of us except Matthias thankfully, has been sick at one time or another (several of us are sick as I write this update). Please pray with us that God would return us all to health quickly.

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(from left to right: Matthias and Kassia; Luke helping to set up our Christmas tree)

I (Kurt) started back to work with the network team at the Communication and Technical Services department and am getting up to speed on the changes that have been made while I was on home assignment. I have been able to put to good use the experience and training I gained while working with the network team at SIL’s Dallas offices. We are in the midst of virtualizing almost all of our datacenter in order to more effectively and reliably provide the services we do to translation teams and support personnel.

Johanna is busy, at home unpacking our belongings that have been in storage and organizing our house. We have been blessed with a home here so the transition has been easier than when we first came to PNG in 2007. Kassia has started kindergarten and was already involved in the primary campus’ Christmas presentation.


(from left to right: Kassia’s Christmas presentation; Kassia and Johanna in our back yard)

Thank YOU for being a faithful part of our ministry and the work that God is doing in Papua New Guinea.

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20 (NLT)

Yes, come, Lord Jesus!

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


Friday, December 17, 2010

Finding His Words Again

Papua New Guinea {2010}

29 June 2010 128 It was three in the morning and the lights were on. Someone was walking around the guest house

Taitus, a national Bible translator, was staying at the Bible Translation Association (BTA) offices in Ukarumpa, along with his sister Fesi and her husband Rumu, far from their village home in Somba Siawari.* They had completed a week-long translation workshop and planned to spend extra days in town.

That night in the guest house, Taitus was suddenly awake, and aware of a thief.

A man had broken down the door and was now inside. Upon seeing the intruder, Taitus thought first to defend himself and his family members. But the man’s face was covered and he seemed unafraid. In his hand, he clutched a machete. Taitus backed away.

Rumu and Fesi came into the room and the man charged at them. They fled and hid in the bedroom. Undaunted, the intruder grabbed two laptop computers and left.

And just like that, in the dark of night, all their hard work was gone.

A year of translation work was on those computers. Several books of the Bible were drafted and ready to send for checking. Now they were lost. Discouragement overwhelmed the small translation team. They felt like a part of them had been snatched away.

Together they wondered, what is God showing us? Even though they were afraid, they thanked God that none of them were hurt and prayed for the man who stole the computers. Maybe God would bring the man to Jesus through this. They also prayed that somehow God would bring back their computers.

29 June 2010 121

He answered in ways they never expected.

A year before, some colleagues who had worked with Taitus, Rumu, and Fesi had noticed their decade-old computers. Unknown to them, these colleagues had already sent new laptop computers in the mail, to be delivered to a translation team in need. Only three days after the robbery, the translation team learned of the gift and their colleagues’ wishes for them to have the new laptops. All they had to do was go to the post office to pick them up. Shocked and amazed, they realized God had answered their prayers months before they had even prayed them!

And He wasn’t finished.

They took the new computers to their IT department to install all the programs they needed, and while they were there it was discovered that an even older computer they had turned in for a data transfer still had all of the past year’s work on it! Miraculously, it had been preserved and all of it was recovered.

Their hearts filled with praise to God! Together, the translation team reported, “We thanked Him for giving us more than we ever imagined was possible. And now, we can’t wait to get back to work, translating His mighty Word so that people in our village can know His power!

“We can’t stop praising our Lord…we just can’t!”

* Taitus, Rumu, and Fesi are national translators and literacy workers with the Bible Translation Association of Papua New Guinea.

-- by Jon Bilbro

This story can also be found on theWordisLife.net

Ethnologue | Languages of the World entry for Somba-Siawari (also known as the Burum-Mindik)

Map of where the Burum-Mindik live

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Word | Teacher Training

2010-12-08 Teacher Training

Greetings from Papua New Guinea!

“The Word” is a weekly photo and caption detailing the impact of Bible translation.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thank YOU for praying for our return travel | Nov 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Please pray with us for these last few days we have here in the US. We are getting the last minute things packed and preparing to leave. We leave on Monday, November 15th… in less than one week! Our itinerary is as follows so you can pray for us a we travel (all times are local):


{1} Monday, November 15th | Leave Dallas for Los Angeles at 12PM – 4 hour 20 min flight

{2} Monday, November 15th | Leave Los Angeles for Brisbane, Australia at 11:40PM – 14 hour flight (we arrive Wednesday, November 17th)

{3} Friday, November 19th | Leave Brisbane, Australia for Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea at 10AM – 3 hour 10 min flight

{4} Friday, November 19th | Leave Port Moresby for Ukarumpa (as soon as we clear customs and board SIL Aviation’s plane) – 1 hour 30 min flight

Please pray that we will make all the connecting flights and pass through customs without any issues. We also ask that you pray for our family to stay healthy as this is a big transition for us.

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Thank you for praying!


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

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thank you Lord!!! We are at 100%!!! | November 2010

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. - Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Dear Loves Ones,

God has been faithful as always and given us above and beyond what we asked for or imaged. On Thursday, October 28th, we received Matthias’s passport with his Papua New Guinea (PNG) visa inside. That afternoon we purchased tickets to return to PNG. And, as of Friday, October 29th, we were pledged 100% of our field support quota. Praise God for being our provider and the one that moves hearts!

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(Pictures of the kids! | left to right: Kassia; Lukas; & Matthias)

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(Kurt has been working with the Dallas SIL Network Team while we were here in Dallas | left to right: adding a fiber channel card to an existing server; installing VMware ESXi on a new server)

Thank YOU for being a faithful part of our ministry.

In Him,

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

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

“God is a Miniafia Man”

Papua New Guinea

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

Miniafia NT Dedication A steady beat of drums and trumpeting of conch shells gave voice to the excitement that everyone felt as the 1st of the Miniafia-Oyan New Testaments was carried into the village on a model canoe. Traditionally dressed dancers proceeded and followed the bark cloth wrapped New Testament, their voices thundering praise: “Orokaiwa, Regah Keriso! O a merar ayiy! (Greetings, Lord Christ! We greet You!)”

Walking in front of the “canoe,” Fran and I laughed and cried our way up from the water’s edge, through Utukwaf village, to the especially prepared veranda and speakers’ platform where the Dedication service would take place. We laughed with joy over the obviously enthusiastic reception of the Scripture: 750 copies of the 1000 printed had been purchased before this first had even arrived in the village. We cried in memory of our friends who had died without seeing the Book we were now celebrating. Among them was Utukwaf village chief Gideon Yowen. Not long before he died he said, “My son, you have lived with us now for many years. I love the stories you have translated, but I am now an old man. Soon I will die. My heart is most sad about this: I will never hold the finished Book in my hands.”

The Book that Gideon Yowen died longing for, his children and grandchildren now hold in their hands. It was a day we sometimes despaired of ever seeing. We had begun the project on December 7, 1973, but had to leave it barely half done in 1993. Thanks to the perseverance of national translators Stanley Oyabuwa and Josiah Javeve, translation was finally done and we were able to return to the project and help complete final editing and typesetting early last year.

Miniafia Church leaders, though, were anxious about one thing. “David,” they said. “When you speak, please be sure to let the people know that our work is not finished. As soon as we have rested from this celebration, we need to finish the Old Testament, and we need their continuing support.” Indeed, Stanley Oyabuwa has drafted 70 chapters in Psalms already. He and his wife, Ethyl, have committed to finishing the Old Testament.

Even before the echo of celebrating voices and drumbeats had faded from the air that weekend, the Translation Committee reported that the 900th copy of the New Testament had been sold. “How can we get more?” they asked in alarm. I couldn’t help but smile. What a wonderful problem with which to end a most memorable weekend!

by David Wakefield

This story can also be found on TheWordisLife.net

Ethnologue entry for Miniafia | Ethnologue: Languages of the World is an encyclopedic reference work cataloging all of the world’s 6,909 known living languages.

Watch the Jesus Film dubbed into Miniafia

Monday, November 01, 2010

Faces from Papua New Guinea

Faces from Papua New Guinea

“Remember to pray for our friends” collage by Vico Solano

Friday, October 29, 2010

Praise God we are almost there! Less than 3 weeks...

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. -- Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)

Dear Friends and Family,

We wanted to share with you the great news! We have just purchased our return tickets for Papua New Guinea. Praise God!!! We leave on Monday, November 15th. Later we will send more details on our itinerary. God is good and He has been working in the hearts of people He would have to partner with us. We are now only lacking $33/month in support and are confident that God will provide that remaining amount.

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(some recent pictures of the kids)

Thank you for being part of our ministry through your prayer support and encouragement. We could not do this without YOU!!!


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

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Way to Work Remotely

An open letter from Wycliffe USA President, Bob Creson | October 2010

Dear Colleagues,

Board a plane in Dallas, Texas. Travel for four days on 8 flights far into Southeast Asia. Now climb into a truck and journey up into lush green mountains on a deeply rutted, often muddy road. Hike over slippery landslides if necessary. Eventually you'll come to a little village nestled into a mountain valley, where the local language is Yawa, but where the people have traditionally worshipped in the national language.

As you walk through the village, stop and talk to church leaders. Ask if anyone preaches from the Yawa Scripture portions published over the last 20 years. "Elder Sefnat does all the time," they'll say. Sefnat will show you two small worn books protected by brown paper covers-Yawa translations of John's writings, Acts, and nine epistles. Tucked into the pages are little slips of paper with dated sermon notes, references to Scripture passages in those two little books, and unpublished verses that mother tongue translator Andowa has handwritten for him.

Bertasar Stop by a thatched-roof home and ask if anyone there reads from the Scriptures in Yawa. Everyone will point to a bearded old man called Grandfather Bertasar. "He read to us this morning," they'll say. "He told us how to apply it to our lives, too."

Walk on and you'll come to the village church. Take a deep breath because you're about to encounter an amazing scene!  In this very remote village, where there is neither electricity nor phone service, translator Andowa sits at a laptop computer. Andowa and friend go to work at church A dozen people cluster closely around him, listening as he reads aloud a Bible passage in Yawa. The volunteer reviewers enthusiastically discuss it, looking for ways to improve awkward or unclear sentences. When they're satisfied with the way it sounds, Andowa revises it on his computer. Then, since his specially-designed software has a send/receive function, he logs onto the internet and "syncs" his draft.

Halfway around the world in Arlington, Texas, Wycliffe translator Linda Jones will get up tomorrow morning, sync up her computer, and read the draft that Andowa has revised. She'll check to make sure the meaning hasn't been altered and send back suggestions for the next round of discussion.

Andowa learns to use satellite eqpt This is how the final revisions are being made to the Yawa New Testament. It's all possible because a new geostationary satellite began circling the equator in early 2009. Just two weeks after it went into service, IT specialists from Wycliffe's Seed Company brought a computer and a small satellite device to the village, showed Andowa how to connect to the satellite, and taught him to use OurWord-the special software for mother tongue translators created by Wycliffe member John Wimbish.

Andowa and Linda have been working together long-distance for 17 years now, ever since Linda and her husband, Larry, had to move away so Larry could take on various leadership roles in Bible translation. Scripture drafts went back and forth by mail and in hand-carried packets. Linda and Larry made trips to the village. Andowa made trips out of the village. Always God helped them find a way forward, but they thought they had reached the end of the road when it came to the final revision process. "We did not see how we could finish the final revisions without greater community involvement," says Linda. "It just looked impossible. I could not go there for any length of time, and they could not come here." And then came the satellite-and IT specialists who knew how to take advantage of the satellite!

There have, of course, been a few maintenance problems with the equipment and satellite connection, but IT personnel have repaired most of them remotely. Only once did a faulty part have to be hand-carried to the city and back. That led to two and a half months without communication, but eventually the connection was repaired and revisions moved forward!

Sefnat Soon the final draft of the New Testament will be sent to the printers, and the Yawa people will begin preparing for the dedication, set for June 2011. Elder Sefnat, Grandfather Bertasar, and translator Andowa are waiting. Dozens of reviewers and their relatives are waiting. The Scriptures are reaching yet another group of people, isolated, but not forgotten by the God who loves them all. He has conquered space and distance.


Bob Creson


Wycliffe USA

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

People are Praying for Me!

Traveling to the village by canoeWith shouts, groans, and laughter, a beautiful new canoe is hauled up from the river bank into Iowa village (say, YO-wah). For the Bamu people of Papua New Guinea (PNG), dugout canoes are a vital means of transportation, and the rivers are the highways.

World of Mud and Water

The Bamu River cuts a wide brown swath through southwestern PNG’s vast sago palm swamps. Twice each day, salty tides from the Gulf of Papua rush up the river, reversing the direction of its flow. This tidal activity floods most Bamu villages regularly.

There are no rocks; there is no dry ground. The people’s world is one of mud and water. If they can’t quite believe that God separated the land from the sea, nobody could blame them.

Bible Translation overcomes Fear

It is in a canoe, of course, that Domai Gaida and her husband, Adau Kaniwa, commute from their home to their office several days each week. Adau and Domai are Bible translators working to make the Scriptures available in their mother tongue, Bamu.Domai working on translating

The couple hopes that through their work, many Bamu people will come to experience the joy and freedom Christ offers. Today, most Bamu people live in intense fear of sorcery and evil spirits. Many burn their hair clippings and fingernail clippings, lest someone should find them and use them to work deadly magic. Others feel spirits come to them at night, pressing their bodies until they cannot breathe.

“Their base state is fear,” explain Phil and Chris Carr, New Zealanders who assist Adau and Domai in their translation work.

Though a few churches are present in the Bamu villages, the Christian message is not well understood. Scriptures are read in English, a foreign language of which most Bamu people have little or no comprehension.

As a result, very few people understand the relevance of the gospel to daily life. Instead, they rely on sorcery and prayers to manipulate the spirits that they dread.

People are praying!

Domai herself recalls a terrifying encounter with the powers of darkness. She felt an evil spirit whisk her physically away. She felt branches whipping past her face as she moved at great speed. She could hear people calling her name, but she was unable to respond.

Adau and Domai at work on the translation She could think of only one thing: “People are praying for me!”  Domai knew that Christians in Papua New Guinea were praying for her, and the Carrs had told her that Christians in New Zealand and elsewhere were also lifting her up in prayer.

Finally, the spirit left her alone in the forest, where her friends found her. She was shaken but unharmed.

Every important undertaking, whether building a canoe or translating the Bible, requires the participation of an entire team. And prayer supporters are absolutely essential to the Bible translation team.

“If people stop praying, there’s no point in us going back there,” says a translator who works in another part of PNG. “The battle is so fierce that unless you have an army of prayers and supporters behind you, you don’t stand a chance.”

The next time that Domai or anybody else cries out, “People are praying for me,” let’s make sure that somebody is.

(Story by David J. Ringer)


Friday, October 22, 2010

Closed Door…Opened Window

Arrested because a revival among the people upset the religious leaders. Three days in an unlocked cell because he promised he would not try to escape. Reading God’s Word, singing, praying and praising God. A second revival – this time among the prisoners.

It reads like the biblical story of Paul and Silas but it’s not – it’s the story of Mumure, a gentle pastor living in a small village of Papua New Guinea.


Mumure Ttopoqogo began working with linguist Ernie Richert because he wanted to learn English. Soon he added Hebrew and Greek to his language repertoire as together the two men translated the New Testament into the Guhu Samane language. News of their work spread throughout the area. By the time they finished the translation, the Guhu Samane people were so anxious for God’s Word that the initial printing of 1200 New Testaments sold out almost immediately and a second printing of 1600 copies sold out in just two weeks. Even those who didn’t read purchased a copy of the Bible to save for their children or grandchildren. The people believed in the power of that Word.

And the Word didn’t disappoint them. Revival broke out. The people turned from witchcraft and previous forms of worship, burning their idols and other spiritual relics. They sang the Psalms back to God in their own language, and even learned to play the guitar to enhance their worship. They used scripture songs as tools for spreading the Word among those who couldn’t read. In fact every verse of the Guhu Samane New Testament and all the Psalms were set to music. They did all this to the glory of God and the consternation of several church leaders, who condemned such practices.

The Guhu Samane people began to embrace even deeper forms of personal worship, and the church leaders became more and more displeased with this new group of believers. When this new, united body of believers began to grow exponentially, the displeased leaders conspired with the police to arrest Mumure and six of his friends, hoping to put an end to what they considered a cult. But prison walls cannot restrain the power of God’s Word.

While in prison, Mumure read aloud from an English Bible, translating the words into Guhu Samane as he read. Fellow prisoners listened to God’s Word in their own language and responded from their heart. Almost immediately, twenty men in that jail gave their lives to Christ and joined Mumure and his friends in singing, praying and praising God.

After three days, a government official came and ordered Mumure and his friends to leave, saying, “You must not go back to your home. Instead, you must go around and preach in all the remote places where we cannot go.” Like the Apostle Paul, Mumure left that prison commissioned by God to preach the Good News to people everywhere; but unlike Paul, Mumure had the blessing of the local government official to do that work.


(Mumure’s son Steven outside the Translator Training Centre classrooms)

Soon thousands of people turned to the Christ of the Guhu Samane Bible. Today, 35 years later, this body of believers has sent more than 50 pastors to preach the Good News throughout Papua New Guinea.

The revival never died out: it continues to reach a new generation. The vernacular Psalms and songs are still being sung in churches today. Youth and literacy programs promote the on-going study of the Guhu Samane Scriptures. Mumure and his son Steven have shifted from training pastors to training translators, encouraging Papua New Guineans to assist in translating the Word into other languages of that nation. Their desire is to see more and more people changed by the power of God’s Word in their own language.

Written by Chad Owens & Dawn Kruger


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Metzger Ministry Payer Card | October 2010

We have a new prayer card which includes Matthias! Click here or on the picture below to download a high resolution copy.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Metzger Ministry Update | October 2010

Quick report

Since our last update we have seen God’s provision for a portion of the remaining funds we need to return to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in November. We are now only lacking $400 per month of the original $540 that we are required to raise by Wycliffe before we are allowed to leave… praise God! It is only by His moving that this is possible.

We are trusting that God will provide the monthly support that we are lacking so we continue to prepare to leave for PNG when we are finally granted Matthias’ visa. We have his US passport in hand and have sent off the application for his visa. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

From our PNG co-workers

We would like to share with you this letter from a translation team that we support 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.

wok translation

In our multi language project, computers are an essential resource for all of our work related to Bible translation, literacy and Scripture Use. Right now we are getting ready to consultant check the book of Luke, which will be the first big book published in all eleven language groups. Thank you for sending Kurt and Johanna to Papua New Guinea to do this vital work of supporting the technical side of Bible translation! Last year when we were on furlough, Ben's computer stopped working while he was completing an MA thesis and also checking translations remotely. He was able to get a hold of Kurt who spent literally hours helping him recover data and reconfiguring the computer. Not only are Kurt and Johanna helping us with the technical side of translation, but they are good friends and are good at talking through the issues we face in our village, parenting, marriage and life in general. If we didn't have people like them caring for us here in Ukarumpa, we would not be able to work in our project. We are looking forward to having them back in PNG again!

Again, many thanks for partnering with Kurt and Johanna!

Mandy and Ben Pehrson

Literacy Specialists

Aitape West Translation Project

Papua New Guinea

Would you be our advocate?

An advocate is anyone who shares about our work in their church, Sunday school, Bible study, home or just with their friends and family. Advocates provide an opportunity for us to share about our ministry in ways that may not be possible for us. Please let us know if you are interested in being a part of our ministry in this way.

Thank you for your investment in our ministry. We could not do it without those of you who so faithfully pray and give generously!

In His hands,

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Word – Weekly Photo – 10/17/2010


“The Word” is a weekly photo and caption, from Papua New Guinea, detailing the impact of Bible translation.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"...it tasted so sweet, like honey on bread!"

"Darasi's Testimony" -- This Papua New Guinea man, Darasi Bafimi, who worked for many years to translate the New Testament into his own language of Agarabi, testifies to the power of one's own language to speak to his heart like none other.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Praise God for His Faithfulness -- September 2010


“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” - Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

(to left: Molima NT Dedication)

Dear Friends and Family,

$540 per month?

"I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God; first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." - Hudson Taylor

During the past week we received word from the Wycliffe finance department in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that they had determined a final monthly quota for us to return and serve in Ukarumpa starting this November. The amount we need to receive per month needs to be increased by $540. We were disappointed at first because we had been given a smaller increase as an estimate at the beginning of this year. Then we realized that this was an opportunity for God to show himself strong in our weakness. For us it seems impossible to increase our support level by this much in such a short amount of time, but with God nothing is impossible! Wycliffe will not release us to leave for PNG until we are able to raise a 100% of our monthly quota.

Our Wycliffe administrators have asked us to explain to our partners why there has been such a large increase in our monthly support level and why it is so sudden. The PNG finance department has been doing a detailed study of member’s cost of living. They just recently completed the study and realized that the cost of living used to estimate a member’s financial support level was 35% less than what it should be. Food and utility costs have increased dramatically in recent months and will most likely continue to increase in the future. Here is a quote from the finance department -- “At the moment in the store, an item that was costing 7 kina a few months ago costs 13 kina. Canned goods that were 6 kina are now 8 kina.”

If you feel that God is calling you to be part of our ministry serving Bible Translation in Papua New Guinea, please let us know. You can find information on how you can donate to our Wycliffe ministry on the sidebar “Ways to Give.”

God answers our prayers!

We have many things to be thankful for this month and we would like to share them with you.

  • First of all we want to praise God for the birth of our son Matthias Andres Metzger Penaloza on August 8th, 2010. Thank you to all of you who prayed for a healthy pregnancy and for a good labor and delivery. God heard your prayers and labor and delivery went quickly and smoothly and we are now joyful to have Matthias as a new member of our family.

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DSC_0287 (from left to right: Matthias with Johanna’s parents; Matthias with aunt Miriam and cousin Ashleigh; Matthias sleeping)
  • Praise God for the Molima (pictured at top), Yopno and Surasunga New Testament Dedications that took place in PNG during July and August. We celebrate with these people God’s word in a language that speaks to their hearts for the first time!
  • Thank you for praying for our move to another house at the end of June. The move went as smoothly as possible and we are hopeful we won’t have to move again until we return to PNG.
  • Since the end of June, Kurt has been able to help at the SIL Dallas Network Services department and is thankful for the opportunity to serve while they have been short staffed.
  • Our trip to Maryland in the month of July went very well. We were blessed to be able to visit several of our partners there and visited with Kurt’s family. We also visited a supporting church, Mount Paran Presbyterian Church, and were able to share an update on our ministry in PNG.
  • On August 6th, we were able to send our belongings to North Carolina to be shipped PNG. Believe it or not, Matthias was born that Sunday, August 8th, and we sent everything on Friday without having a clue that this little one would come two weeks early. But God knew, and we thank you for praying for us as we packed our things.
  • We also want to thank you for praying for our return travel to PNG. Through the generosity of our partners we have received about 50% of the funds needed for purchasing our tickets. If you are considering a special gift toward our return travel, please include a note with the gift specifically designating it “for Metzger’s return travel to PNG.”
  • On September 3rd, we received Matthias’s birth certificate. Praise God! Now we can apply for his US passport and PNG visa.
Lord willing, our plans!

Our desire is to return to PNG in November as planned. Tickets are less expensive if we travel in November, but prices will go up if we travel from December on. Also, our PNG Branch will begin the renewal process of all the members work permits and visas in January of 2010 and we would like to be in PNG before the process begins. If we are still in the US by the end of January, we will have to do all the paperwork related to the visa renewal ourselves and get many medical tests that are not required when we are in PNG.

Please Pray!
  • Please let us know how we can pray for you! Pray for us as we do the paper work required to be able to return to PNG with Matthias. Now we can apply for his US passport and lastly (but not least) his Papua New Guinea visa so he can travel back with us.


IMG_1044 (from left to right: Matthias with Johanna’s mom; Lukas thinking; Lukas and Kassia with uncle Peter)
  • Ukarumpa has had more and more break-ins occurring. Please pray that this will stop and for wisdom for the PNG Branch Directors in talking to village leaders to gain their cooperation in solving the problem.

We truly look forward to returning to our ministry in Ukarumpa. We feel privileged to be a small part of what God is doing to bring His word to the Bibleless people of PNG. We could not do it without our ministry partners that faithfully pray for us and support us financially. Kurt is excited to get back to his job at the Communication and Technical Services Department as a Network Administrator and I (Johanna) cannot wait to settle back at our house as a “new” mommy of 3 children.

In His hands,

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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Follow up – Please Pray!

Here is a follow up to the meeting that we asked you to pray about yesterday… no sure answers but a starting place!

Thank you for praying, Kurt and Johanna

Papua New Guinea - Security situation, Ukarumpa.

SIL-PNG leadership did have a meeting in the neighboring Ukarumpa village this afternoon, Sunday 29 August. A number of members, employees and friends mingled with the Ukarumpa village people in a positive demonstration of togetherness. I (Tim Lithgow) felt I conveyed the pain and anguish that the security situation is causing our members and employees, highlighting that extended security issues could close our Ukarumpa centre, leading to the Bible translation work and support needing to happen elsewhere in the country.

Disappointingly, but not entirely surprisingly, the community dialogue centred on a number of issues in the past, some years in the past, that distracted and deflected from the ownership of the current security situation. However, it highlights that these issues of the past, are important to the Ukarumpa village community! We have good grounds to
continue to dialog with the village leaders and work toward a solution. This just a step on a very long and changing road.

Please keep praying for peace, for safety and for good communication as
we move forward in continued dialogue.

Tim Lithgow   
Director SIL PNG


(view from SIL Ukarumpa toward Ukarumpa Village)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Please Pray!

29 August 2010 (Ukarumpa time)

Dear Prayer Partners,

The following message is from our Director. It has been a long and very stressful month for our friends in Ukarumpa and we would greatly appreciate your prayers. The meeting he mentions will happen in 1 hour.

Thanks, Kurt and Johanna

Papua New Guinea--Over the past three months the SIL Linguistics Centre in Ukarumpa has seen a dramatic increase in home invasions and burglaries. To date, no one has been injured...and we praise the Lord for His protection. The SIL-PNG leadership has been actively talking with community leaders and police about the escalation in crimes throughout the valley and how to best respond. After much prayer and advice from surrounding neighbors, SIL-PNG leadership is planning to meet with the village leaders and community where the perpetrators come from. The current plan is that on Sunday, 29 August 2010, around 1 pm local time (GMT+10), SIL-PNG leadership will meet with the Ukarumpa Village community to talk about restoring law and order to the valley and stopping all predatory actions upon SIL-PNG residents and other neighboring groups and organizations.

We ask for your prayers in the coming days and weeks as tensions could worsen before they improve. Although additional security measures are being put into place, please pray for peace! Please pray that the SIL-PNG leadership will seek and speak God's words of truth, justice and mercy with cultural sensitivity; pray for the protection of all the valley residents and security personnel; pray that the Lord will strengthen and encourage the village leaders to stand strong when faced with the perpetrators' anger and frustration; pray for God's glory to be manifested through this difficult time; pray that God's conviction will lead to repentance, forgiveness and restoration.
In Him,
Tim Lithgow
Director SIL-PNG