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, December 14, 2012

{Metzger Ministry Update} December 2012 | "6 years"

Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100:4b-5 NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

In January of 2013 we will celebrate 6 years of being in Papua New Guinea! We thank God for His faithfulness and care over our family. We also thank YOU for being a vital part of what God is doing in our ministry and our lives. Your prayers, encouragement, and support are what carry us through each day! Here is a short review of those years in pictures…

{ 2007 }
3DayHike 086
Kurt and I (Johanna) attended the Pacific Orientation Course (POC). This picture was during the 3 day hike.
Kurt helped at the STEP (Strengthening Tokples Education in Papua New Guinea) course in Ukarumpa.
{ 2008 }
Lukas was born in Cairns, Australia
Our family in 2008
{ 2009 }
Gapapaiwa New Testament Dedication
Iyo New Testament Dedication
{ 2010 }
Matthias (our second son) was born in Dallas, TX while we were on home assignment.
Kurt helped at the International Linguistics Center’s IT department while on home assignment.
{ 2011 }
Kurt helped to install a wireless link at POC (Pacific Orientation Course).
Kurt installed a satellite internet link for the multilanguage translation project at Aitape West in the Sepik region of PNG.
{ 2012 }
We served on staff at POC (Pacific Orientation Course) - Kurt was the village allocator for the course.
Our family in 2012

We pray for God’s blessing on you and your family as we celebrate Jesus’ birth! Come, Lord Jesus!

In His hands,

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


Friday, October 12, 2012

{Metzger Ministry Update} October 2012 | "POC"

Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 1:30b-31 NLT)

Dear friends and family,

Thank you so much for your partnership with us through your prayers, financial support, and love for us. Thank you especially for praying for us while we were on staff at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) from the end of July until the beginning of October.

We definitely sensed your prayers as we adjusted to being in a new house and around new people. Many of the students at POC were sick during the course but we managed to stay relatively healthy. It was a blessing for us to be in Madang (where POC takes place) to welcome the new members of our branch to the Pacific and to encourage them as they entered a new culture.


(Lukas and Matthias; Kassia)

Since we arrived at POC, Kurt worked on finding village houses and families to watch over the 7 families and 3 single ladies that attended the course. On October 5th, Kurt along with other staff took these students to be allocated with Papua New Guinean families and to stay there for 5 weeks, learning more about the language and culture of this country.

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(Lukas; Kurt and Matthias)

I (Johanna) was the nursery coordinator for the course and there were 12 children in the nursery ages 8 months through 4 years old (sometimes the nursery had 16 kids counting 4 of the staff children). Kurt and I were also able to help for 6 weeks as facilitators during the Tok Pisin classes. There were 5 Tok Pisin groups led by a Papua New Guinean and assisted by one of us on staff.

Kassia enjoyed her time hiking, swimming, and learning more Tok Pisin. Lukas and Matthias loved being in the nursery and liked being able to go to the ocean once a week.

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(Kassia; Matthias)

Every year UIS (Ukarumpa International School) high school students take a five-day retreat called Encounter to focus on their relationship with God. At the beginning of October I had the privilege of attending Encounter and being a cabin and discussion leader and sponsor while there. The 11th grade girls that I normally have a Bible study with in Ukarumpa also came.


(Johanna with her cabin group at Encounter)

Praise God with us:

  • For a fruitful time for us spent at POC as staff
  • For good health for our family while we were at POC
  • For a great time for Johanna at Encounter with the 11th grade girls

Please pray with us:

  • For the POC students as they spend 5 weeks in the village. For them to have good health, stamina, and strength. It can be a very challenging time for them. Pray that this time in the village will be a great learning experience and they can be a testimony to those around them.
  • For the students that attended Encounter to continue to cherish their relationship with God and be on fire for Him.
  • For a good transition for Kurt into his new role as the IT manager at the Communication and Technical Services department in Ukarumpa this week.

In His hands,

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


Monday, July 09, 2012

{Metzger Ministry Update} July 2012 | "Change of pace"

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 NLT)

Dear Loved Ones,

We want to let you know that you are a continual source of joy and encouragement to us as you so faithfully pray and stand with us financially. Please do let us know how we can lift you up in prayer also.

CIMG3760-2(Kassia during our POC village living | March 2007)

New SIL members in the Pacific are required to attend a 14-week training course entitled Pacific Orientation Course (POC). 5 ½ years ago we attended POC as students when we first arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG). At the end of July we will be heading back there to be on STAFF at POC. POC takes place in the lowlands of PNG close to a coastal town called Madang. The course lasts a total of fourteen weeks. The first nine weeks are spent learning the major trade-language (Tok Pisin) and the culture of PNG. The second phase of the course consists of 5 weeks of living in a village and being mentored by a Papua New Guinean host family.

IMG_3722-2(Lukas | July 212)

Kurt’s role at POC will be that of the village allocator, meaning that he (along with a Papua New Guinean) will find villages near Madang where each family that is taking the course can spend 5 weeks at the second half of the course. Kassia will be able to attend school with the children that are attending POC. I (Johanna) will take care of the house and the kids, but will also help during the course primarily at the nursery.


(Matthias | June 2012)

Please pray for us as we pack and get ready to leave home for 10 weeks. At the beginning of October, once the students go to the village for 5 weeks, we will return to Ukarumpa. Pray that we will all adjust to being in a new house and around new people. Also pray that God will use us in whatever way he sees fit as we minister to these new members of SIL PNG. We know we will greatly be blessed by serving these people and we hope that they, in turn, will be blessed by our service.

In His hands,

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

Monday, June 18, 2012

{Metzger Ministry Update} June 2012 | "Choose life"

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life... (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a NIV)

Dear friends and family,

God is faithful and His character never changes. We thank Him for the privilege of being able to serve here in Papua New Guinea. Thank YOU for the part you play in our family and ministry here.


(Our family in PNG | June 2012)

Celebrate with us that the Bariai New Testament Dedication will take place on July 7th of this year! Follow this link for a video of the Bariai celebrating the arrival of the printed scriptures.

We have mentioned Ben and Mandy Pehrson before in our updates. They are a translation team that works in the Sepik with the Aitape West Translation Project (AWTP). While they are away in the village we help support them here from Ukarumpa. We can rejoice that in May, they finished consultant-checking the book of Acts in the Onnele languages of Goiniri, Wolwale and Romei-Barera, and in the Bauni languages of Pou and Barupu. Praise God for that!


(Ben Pehrson consultant-checking Acts with translators)

I (Johanna) have just completed one year leading a small group Bible study with four 10th grade girls from our community. What a blessing it has been to hear from God’s word, to get to know these girls, and to learn from them as we study together. They are an encouragement to me in many ways! I look forward to working with them next school year as well.


(Ukarumpa International High School band)

Please pray for two of the girls in my community group that are currently in Brisbane, Australia with the High School band. During this trip the band will have seven performances in universities, churches, and schools.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer!


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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Worth the Trip

by Karen Weaver

Papua New Guinea
vine bridge over the Yuat River
Vine bridge over the Yuat River Photo by Markus Melliger

What would you be willing to do to hear God's Word in your language? Would you hike for half a day? Would you cross a rugged mountain? Would you navigate a vine bridge suspended over a raging river?

That's what Wapena Mei did in order to obtain a small solar-powered device that has a recording of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts in the Pinai-Hagahai language. You see, Wapena knew it would be worth the trip because he had already been listening to the oral Scriptures for more than a year. But when his family's player broke and they learned that 70 more would be distributed in a village across the mountain, his wife gave him the charge, "Go and get us another one of those MegaVoice units."

Wapena was successful in his mission and he and his wife Makome will again be able to listen to the Pinai-Hagahai Scriptures in their small dwelling as they go to sleep at night. Wapena also uses it as a resource to prepare sermons for preaching in area churches.

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Wapena Mei listening to the Scriptures in his language Photo by Karen Weaver

Convinced that God's Word is applicable to every area of life, Wapena is eager to share the truth with others. Because hospitals are not easily accessible to everyone, the Papua New Guinean government trains people to work at Aid Posts in remote areas. Wapena is one of those aid post workers. As he does his job, he does not forget the Scriptures he's heard. When he hands out medicine he tells the men, "You can swallow these pills, but they won't do you any good if you take another man's wife."

Hearing God's Word daily keeps it in the forefront of Wapena's heart and mind. Now that he has a way to continue hearing God's talk, Wapena will keep sharing that Good News with others in his home, his church, and in his work. Yes, it was definitely worth the trip.

This story can also be found on Wycliffe.net

Download images from this story

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

PNG map of language group

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

{Metzger Ministry Update} May 2012 | "Don't be afraid"

Dear Loved Ones,

It’s hard to believe that it is already May of 2012! This has been a busy year already and we thank God for that. Thank YOU also for being a very important part of our ministry team through encouragement, prayer and partnering with us financially. Each month we are humbled by your generosity and your faithfulness and we realize it is only by God’s grace that we can serve here in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

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(from left to right: Matthias reading; Matthias, Kassia & Lukas enjoying a cracker while mom was away)

Kurt has enjoyed working at the Communication and Technical Services Department (CTS) this year. His department continues to work on a communications project with the goal of providing each of our regional centers here in PNG with reliable internet access. Since we wrote you last, the regional centers in Buka and in Madang have been connected to the internet. Praise God for this with us! Also, Kurt is involved in working out the best solution for replacing our aging phone system here in Ukarumpa. We are unable to even buy used parts for our current system any longer.

Please pray for the Translators’ Training Course that is taking place from April 25th through May 30th. This is a course that helps Papua New Guinean Translators to be better equipped to translate the scriptures into their mother tongue. Kurt was able to help setting up technical equipment for the course to run and is helping with various other computer issues.

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(Kurt has been able to help national translators with computer issues during the current TTC – Translator Training Course at our Ukarumpa Center)

The kids are doing great. Kassia will be finishing 1st grade in 5 weeks and she truly loves school! She amazes us as she reads, writes, works on math, social science, and science. Lukas continues to enjoy the two mornings a week when he attends pre-school and he loves his little brother. Matthias is a year and half now and is talking more and more each day.


(from left to right: Kassia & Matthias; Matthias; Lukas & Kassia)

I had the privilege of subbing for Lukas’s teacher a few weeks ago and am going to be subbing for Kassia’s class in the near future. I will also be teaching a High School Spanish class about Colombia this week! It is special for me to get my feet back in the classroom a bit after not teaching since Kassia was born! Of course I have been teaching my kiddos at home and I count that a huge privilege as well.

In April, I was blessed by being able to attend my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We had a beautiful ceremony for them in Bogota, where each one of their four daughters was able to say to them how much we love them and how we thank God for our family! The four sons in law were also able to express their admiration to my parents even through videos and so did their 10 grandchildren.

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(from left to right: Johanna & her sisters; Johanna’s family at her parents 50th wedding anniversary celebration)

Praise God with us:

    • that the regional centers in Buka and in Madang have a reliable internet connection now.
    • that our children are growing and thriving.
    • for His faithfulness through 50 years of marriage for Johanna’s parents.

    Please pray with us:

      • for the Translators’ Training Course taking place April 25th through May 30th.
      • for the Communication and Technical Services Department as they try to figure out a reliable phone system for Ukarumpa.
      • for continued good health for our family
      • for our relationship with the Lord to become deeper and stronger and that we can become an example to those around us.

      May our Lord bless you!

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

      Tuesday, April 10, 2012

      Can't see the darkness?

      IMG_2091 Please consider sharing our ministry with friends and asking them to join you in praying that God will use His translated Word to shine light where there is darkness this Easter season.

      Can't see the darkness? You'll have to look past these young children, from a remote Arop village in Papua New Guinea, into their homes and everyday lives. Like many Pacific peoples who've been “christianized” for hundreds of years, this people group still doesn't have the chance to fully understand what it really means to be rescued from darkness... to have the access to the Word of God in a language that speaks to their hearts.

      Translation and support teams are hard at work, as I am writing this, seeking to create access to that message for the first time.

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

      He is risen!

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