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.

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.

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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!)