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, 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


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Faithful for 60 Years – A letter from Bob Creson, President of Wycliffe USA


(Folopa New Testament – Papua New Guinea)

August 2010

Dear Colleagues,

In the 1930s, while Cameron Townsend was establishing Wycliffe’s work in Mexico, Jenny and her husband were planting a church among the Yazai* people of Southeast Asia.  Understanding, as Uncle Cam did, the need for Scripture in the mother tongue, they devised an alphabet and translated a catechism and the Gospel of Mark.  But just three years into their ministry, her husband died of typhus, and Jenny was driven away by political unrest, never to return.  Her prayers, however, did not cease.

Jenny was 37 years old when she left the Yazai village. She was 93 years old and still praying for the Yazai and other language groups every morning from breakfast to lunch, when an SIL translator named Mark visited her.  By then the church she faithfully watered with her prayers had grown to 10,000 believers…but they still did not have the Word in their mother tongue.  Mark had the joy of telling her that he was working towards starting a translation project.  He was studying the language with three Yazai speakers he’d met far from their homeland, and praying for an opportunity to meet church members interested in launching a translation project. 

The next year, 1997, Mark met two brothers who were Yazai church leaders.  They told him they’d been praying for four years for someone to come help the Yazai do a Bible translation. “Four years?” said Mark.  “I’ve been studying the language for four years and praying for a translation team related to the church!”  The Yazai joyfully formed a translation committee and Mark became the translation advisor who checked the material.  The Seed Company funded the project.

Individuals and whole communities threw themselves enthusiastically into the project.  The lead translator was so committed that when he married, he and his bride spent their honeymoon at a training event.  The future chairman of the translation committee, a paralyzed man, read in the Gospels that Jesus healed paralytics, so in faith he stood up and walked…and then went to work leading the committee.  Villages formed their own support committees. Though poor, villagers agreed to drop a handful of rice into a bag every day. As the bags filled up, they sewed them shut and sent them to the translation team.

The translation committee prepared books, songbooks, audio materials, and the Jesus Film, so that everyone, readers or not, could have access to the Word.  The church held literacy workshops, eventually training 100 people to serve as volunteer teachers.  Each time a Scripture portion was completed, the church published it, and people carried copies around in their shoulder bags, snatching moments to read them in the fields. 

Even non-Christians became interested.  Fifteen animists attended one literacy workshop; during the week every one of them found Christ and was baptized. Entire villages of non-Christians asked for someone to come read the Scripture portions to them so they could understand who this God was.  With breathtaking speed the church grew from 10,000 to between 30,000 and 40,000 believers—a quarter of the entire population. 

In 2009 the New Testament was printed and, in spite of opposition, imported and dedicated. One well educated woman, having read the national language Bible for many years, said, “Reading the Scriptures in Yazai is like finding a whole new Jesus. The national language went to my head; the Yazai goes into my heart.” 

Now the Yazai have their eyes set on the Old Testament. “The New Testament is like a shirt, but we need pants!” said one man.  “The Old Testament is those pants. Please help us get a complete outfit so we can be fully dressed!”  The main translator is now studying theology so he can translate the Yazai Old Testament and serve as consultant for other translations.

Jenny passed away in 2003 just a few days short of her 100th birthday, her part in the Yazai story complete.  I know that by faith she celebrated the completion of the New Testament and the rapid expansion of the Yazai church, but I wish she could have heard what one old man said: “Now the light of God has come to the Yazai people. Now the Yazai people will grow and be blessed.”

Language by language, the light of God is coming to people He loves all over the world.  Sooner rather than later, the last one will be blessed. Thank you for the role you play! 


Bob Creson


Wycliffe USA


*Name changed to protect work in a sensitive area

Monday, August 09, 2010

He's here... Matthias Andres Metzger Penaloza


We thank God for blessing us with Matthias Andres Metzger PeƱaloza!

Born: August 8th, 2010

Time: 10:45 PM

Weight: 7lbs 15oz (3600g)

Length: 20 ½” (52cm)

Johanna and Matthias are doing great! Thank you so much for your prayers.

Blessings from all of us, Kurt for Johanna, Kassia, Lukas and Matthias too!