Monday, December 13, 2010

Brotzler's Picture of the week - Dec. 12, 2010

We have been continually amazed by the blessings we have received since we left PNG.  One of the most recent was a private concert that was put on here at Kangaroo Grounds by the Sons of Korah for the Wycliffe Australia Christmas Party.   The Sons of Korah is Jacob's favorite band, but we had no idea that they were based out of Melbourne.  We enjoyed a few songs followed by lunch with the members of the band.  That same evening the Sons of Korah held a concert at one of the local churches and we were able to attend.

Jacob and Kim

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brotzlers' photo of the week - Dec. 5th

This last weekend a Wycliffe friend took us to a zoo with purely Australian animals.  We saw everything from Tasmanian Devils to Emus to Koalas to Goannas ( kind of like iguannas) to kangaroos.....and the list could go on.  One of the highlights of the day was feeding the kangaroos.  Thus today's photo of the week is Kim feeding a kangaroo.  Enjoy  :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 29th picture of the week

Hi Everyone,

This week's picture of the week is a picture of Jacob's friend Bakeid.  When we checked our email today there was a picture message sent from a Digicel Phone (Digicel is PNG's cell phone company and you would be amazed how remote some of the places you see people talking on Digicel phones are).  A day before we left PNG Bakeid brought us each some home made hats, similar to the one he is wearing in the picture, and Jacob gave Bakeid our email address as well as our mailing address.  Like most Papua New Guineans, Bakeid lives in a village, he does not own a computer, and he does not have a mailing address, so as with all of our other PNG friends who live in villages, we were resigned to the fact that we would lose touch with Bakeid when we left PNG.  It appears however, that we under estimated the power of Digicel.  

Jacob and Kim

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ukarumpa Update

As we write this newsletter, we are in a guesthouse in Cairns, Australia.  Although it is only four hours by plane from Ukarumpa Center, it truly is a world away.  Since our last newletter in August, we enjoyed a visit from Kim's sister  and Jacob's brother.  It was a great taste of home for the two of us to have them in PNG with us.  We spent a week at Ukarumpa Center.  Justin helped Jacob work on the water project while Tammy and Kim visited the clinic, the school, and Kim's friends on center.  Our friend David was able to take Kim and our guests on a tour of Kainantu and give them a taste of a PNG town.  We took them to a mumu (a traditional feast) at Ukarumpa village at our friend Inok's house.  We also took them to Ba'e village for a mumu at Jacob's friend Steve's house.

By the end of the week at Ukarumpa Center, both Justin and Tammy had been given several bilums (traditional woven bags) by our friends and Steve gave Justin his bow and some arrows.  It was a blessing for us to see our national friends embrace our brother and sister as family.

The second week of Justin and Tammy's visit we flew to East New Britain, an island to the east of the mainland.  We have friends who are translators in Kilu, East New Britain.  They offered to let us stay in their village house while they were at Ukarumpa Center.  By coincidence, their village happens to be next to Walindi Resort, a world-class dive resort that offers snorkeling and scuba diving on some of the most pristine reefs in the world. Our time in East New Britain was a great opportunity for Justin and Tammy to see village life, get to know village people and see firsthand the commitment and sacrifice that Bible translators make to get the Word of God into the hands of the peoples of Papua New Guinea.  (We also enjoyed seeing some WWII airplane wrecks, snorkeling and hiking through the rainforest to the summit of a volcano.)

During the month of October, tensions between Ukarumpa village and Ukarumpa Center rose dramatically.  At the center of these tensions was Jacob's water project.  During the past few weeks, there have been altercations between the Ukarumpa villagers and our guards, unreasonable demands from Ukarumpa villagers towards our leadership, and threats to the Construction Department and personally to Jacob, as he is the lead man on the water project.

Threats are a part of living and working in Papua New Guinea.  While living in PNG, Jacob has had his shoes and watch stolen by a man threatening him with a knife.  Once a man threw his sweet potato and hit Jacob squarely in the kidney while Jacob drove past on the Construction three-wheeler.  When Jacob stopped and hollered at the man, the man charged and threatened Jacob.  Threats are not new to Ukarumpa Center nor  are they new to Jacob.  However, as this situation with Ukarumpa village became more tense, the threats towards Jacob were repeated  They became more aggressive and they were directly from the leadership of Ukarumpa village.  It is for this reason that Jacob made the difficult decision that our time at Ukarumpa Center was over.

Once Jacob made this decision, we had 5 days to say our goodbyes, pack our house and leave.  The show of support we received from our fellow missionaries during this time was wonderful as we never could have done all that needed to be done without them.  The hardest part of saying goodbye so quickly was leaving our national friends.  It is very difficult to keep in contact with nationals once you have left as they don't have email or mailboxes.  Most of them would tell us that this is not goodbye because "we will see you again in Heaven!"

Our early departure meant that Kim had to leave her classes mid-semester.  This was a very difficult thing for her to do as she really enjoyed her time teaching at Ukarumpa International School and had developed many close relationships with the students and her fellow teachers.

Walking away from the water project was also very difficult for Jacob.  But the Lord used our leaving to bring about something good.  The afternoon of the day Jacob stopped working, the Directorate called for all able-bodied men, women, and children to go down to the water project and finish it.  This was in direct defiance of Ukarumpa village, and it sent a powerful message to them that we were not going to be bullied anymore.  Plus, the remaining work that would have taken Jacob and his men weeks to complete was done in three days.  In addition, the water project, which up until now had been taking place without anyone's noticing, suddenly became the rallying cry for the entire community.  We were blessed by the outpouring of community support for the water project and for us as we prepared to leave.

Prayer Requests:
  • Praise the Lord that the water project was completed prior  to our departure.
  • Praise the Lord we have arrived safely in Cairns.
  • Please pray for us as we adjust back to Western Civilization (i.e. no bars on windows, the ability to go out safely at night, modern conveniences, etc).
  • Please pray for us as we are looking for a way to serve with Wycliffe in Australia to finish our 1-year term.
                                         Thank you for your continued prayers and support!  Jacob and Kim Brotzler

Saying good-bye to good friends.........

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week of Oct.24th

This week's picture of the week is of Kim teaching her French II class.  This has been Kim's first opportunity to teach French.  She has really enjoyed having an outlet for her French degree, however she has found it a little bit difficult to teach French while trying to learn Tok Pisin.  From time to time she finds herself speaking a combination of French and Tok Pisin which her students find very funny.

 Jacob and Kim

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week of Oct. 17th

This week's picture of the week is of Jacob's water project.  The 1.5 meter diameter culverts Jacob has been waiting for finally arrived and he was able to get the end sections welded shut, essentially making the pipes into tanks.  He then was able to hire a national contractor named Jimmy to assemble and place the tanks.  The first tank was finished and placed on Wednesday, and the second was placed on Saturday.  (The picture is from Friday morning).  As you can see in the picture, the tanks are large, 1.5 meter diameter by 10 meters long and each weight over a ton.  The steel for the tanks is lowered by hand into the hole and then each piece needs to be cleaned, and all of the joints sealed with putty prior to bolting the sections together.  A 9-inch diameter PVC pipe with holes drilled in it is placed within each of the tanks (This pipe will collect water from the tanks and convey it to the pump).  Once the tanks were completed they were moved into their final resting position by hand.  (The second tank was placed down in the hole parallel to the first tank that is already in position in the photo).   Praise the Lord; no one was hurt during the construction and placement of the tanks.


Jacob and Kim

Week of Oct. 3rd.

After a week at Ukarumpa with Justin and Tammy we took them to the coastal city of Lae for two days and then flew fro Lae to West New Britain.  On West New Britain we stayed in a village house belonging to some translators we know who are working in Kilu Village.  West New Britain was a very major area in WWII in the Pacific and it is littered with plane and shipwrecks to this day. In addition, there is an active volcano a few miles inland from the house we were staying at.  While on West New Britain we had the opportunity to hike to the top of the volcano.  The hike was through the thick jungle and it took us 9 hours to complete.  We also had a chance to visit some plane wrecks.  One of the plane wrecks is a B-25 that had been specially configured for strafing Japanese ships.  West New Britain is also home to some of the world's best snorkeling, some say it beats the Great Barrier Reef, and we had the opportunity to do some snorkeling with turtles, sharks, barracuda, and countless other fishes and corals.  It was a very nice trip.  Attached is a picture of Kim and Tammy on our jungle hike to the volcano, and Jacob and Justin pretending to be pilot and co-pilot on the B-25.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week of Sept.26th

Prior to Justin and Tammy coming to visit we had several of our national friends asking if we could take Justin and Tammy to their houses.  Obviously, there was only so much time, so we could not visit all of our friends, but were able to visit two of them.  On Saturday, we walked over to Bae' Village to visit Jacob's friend Steve and his family.  Steve was one of Jacob's guys on the water project and has become a good friend.  Bae' Village is a beautiful village full of very wonderful people.  It is a stark contrast to Ukarumpa Village in the fact that Ukarumpa Village has been attacked and burned twice in the last year and everyone is living in small shacks made from burnt out roofing iron.  Bae' Village is peaceful and the people live in grass huts.  Steve wanted to show us how to do a mumu so we could do one for our family when we got home, so he went through the whole procedure with us, explaining what and why he was doing each step.  Then while the mumu was cooking he walked us throughout the whole village, it was very nice.  At the end of the day Steve and his family presented us with necklaces and bilums.  Steve really took a liking to Justin and in addition to a bilum presented him with his own bow and four beautifully carved arrows.  Attached is a picture of the four of us with Steve's family.

Jacob and Kim

Week of Sept. 19th

You may have noticed that we have not sent out a picture of the week for the last three weeks.  That is because we have been out and about showing our siblings (Jacob's brother and Kim's sister) around PNG!  We were very excited to have Justin and Tammy come visit us.  We spent one week at Ukarumpa during which time Justin helped Jacob on his water project, and Tammy and Kim hung out and toured the clinic on center.  On Thursday our friend Enok from Ukarumpa Village invited us over to his house for a mumu (traditional PNG feast).  At the mumu we sat around and ate traditional PNG foods while sharing stories.  The people were very happy to have Justin and Tammy visiting PNG and Enok presented the four of us with bilums (traditional PNG bags).  One of Enoks friends, George, took a liking to Justin and at the end of the mumu feast stood up and took off his own bilum and presented it to Justin right then and there.  It was a great time with friends and family.  Here's a picture of the four of us with Enok's family.


Jacob and Kim

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 12th pict. of the week

This week's picture of the week is Kim with our friend Marjan (from Holland) at the Yopno Bible dedication.  Marjan arrived in Ukarumpa the same day that we did.  We have had numerous adventures with her, and have adopted her into our family.  (In Tok Pisin, she is our adopted Wantok).  Our next adventure with Marjan is another highlands Bible dedication in December.  Following the dedication will be a multi-day hike from the highlands jungle down to the coast with overnights in remote tribal villages, then a speed boat ride (on the ocean) to Lae, followed by either a plane or bus trip back to should be quite an adventure!

Jacob and Kim

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

August 2010

Who knew a month could possibly go so fast?  In the first week in August, we had the opportunity to travel to a Bible dedication 28 years in the making.  The Yopno live at 7,000 feet in the heart of the rugged Finnisterre Mountain range.  Therre are no roads and no navigable rivers near the Yopno, the only way to the village is by airplane, and the runway has only been contructed in the last three years, prior to that it was hike-in only.  The dedication was on a weekend and we spent approximately 26 hours total in the village, but what a 26 hours it was!  The Yopno were excited to have God's word in their language in the form of a written Bible and Megavoice players.  We enjoyed watching the Jesus video (based on the book of Luke) in Tok Pisin with them the evening of the dedication.  (Most of the Yopno people had never even seen a movie before).  As more and more flaming torch carrying Yopno villagers arrived throughout the movie, the crowd swelled to the hundreds.  Any thought provoking moment in the life of Jesus portrayed by the film would bring a clicking sound emanating from the tongues of the many Yopno pressed in around us.  It was a blessing for us to witness.
Kim's school schedule has been very fluid this past term.  As the Branch Photographer, she missed the first week of school while covering the Molima Bible dedication.  Upon her arrival back to school, she was switched from tutoring two young girls to teaching a seventh grade Pre-algebra.  After 4 days of seventh grade Pre-algebra, she was switched again to teaching Digital Photography.  She is now teaching high school French and Digital Photography, both of which she enjoys very much.  She fills the rest of her day in with her photography job.

Jacob's water project is moving forward.  The hole is now complete.  Due to a large seam of coal (9 meters thick) encountered in the hole that has been leaching some form of petrol chemical, Jacob has redesigned the intake to ensure that contaminated ground water from the coal seam cannot infiltrate into the water collected from the river.  The redesign involved ordering large diameter pipes.  Jacob is now waiting for the pipes to arrive so he can continue the process of constructing the intake.

We are expecting visitors!  Kim's sister, Tammy, and Jacob's brother, Justin are planning to visit us for a few weeks in the middle of September.  We are super excited to have them visit.  We are planning a week in Ukarumpa for them to spend time seeing what we do and helping out as much as they can,  Tammy as a nurse and Justin as an engineer.  We have some friends here who are translators on the island of New Britain and they have offered to let the four of us stay at their village in their house and use their truck for free!  New Britain has some of the world's best snorkeling, is home to many WWII aircraft wrecks, and has an active volcano.  We are hopeful that it will be a fun adventure for Justin and Tammy.
Prayer Requests:
  • Praise the Lord that the excavation portion of the water project was completed early.
  • Praise the Lord Justin and Tammy will be visiting us in September.
  • Please pray for Kim as she is juggling photography and school duties.
  • Please pray that Jacob has continued wisdom while working on the water project.
  • Please pray for Ukarumpa Center as raskol activity is once again on the rise.
  • Pray that God will use our efforts here to advance Bible translation in Papua New Guinea.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!  
Jacob and Kim Brotzler

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aug. 28th picture of the week

This past Tuesday we finished the hole for the water intake structure.  (I know normally digging the hole for an intake structure is not a big accomplishment, but this in PNG, and holes are not too easy to come by here.)  It was a nice day and my guys were super excited.  Picture 1 shows the guys, the back of the gabion baskets and the back of the concrete intake struture.  This hole was dug entirely using the tools shown in the pictures!  The guys had an incentive of 100 kina a day for every day early they finished, and liquidated damages of 50 kina for every day late that they finished.  The hole was supposed to be completed by September 24th, and they finished it on the 24th of August!  That is a 2,100 Kina bonus for the guys!  (When I wrote the contract I was really hoping that they would come in ahead of schedule so I could give them a bonus, but I never imagined how hard they would be willing to work.)

 I initially started this project with four guys, Steven, Garry, Gibson, and Bakeid.  They constructed all of the gabion baskets.  Then when it came time to start on the hole I told them to bring four more guys for me to hire, Richard, Monkia, Avvo and Phillip.  Then Gary got really sick and sent his son Rasta to work in his stead.  When Gary came back I was happy to keep Rasta on as he was a hard worker.  At this point I found out that under PNG law, I could only hire temporary workers for 60 days and then would have to fire them.  I discovered this one week prior to the 60 day cut off for Steven, Gary, Gibson, and Bakeid.  Because of all the training I had given these guys, it was important for them to finish the job.  So I worked out the plan to fire them and then hire Steven, Gary, Gibson and Bakeid as private contractors to finish the job for a lump sum payment.  I did this and told each of them I was no longer the boss but they were my co-workers and would each need to hire four employees of their own to come work on the trench.  The following day I had 20 men with 10 spades and 10 wheelbarrows digging at break-neck speed.  I was so  busy that I never got to learn the names of all of the new gurys that they brought, so I am only able to name nine of the men in the pictures.
On top of gabion baskets (on grey blanket) from left to right: Bakeid, Unknown, Unknown, Monkia, Avvo.  Second row above wheel barrows:  Unknow, Unknown, Unknown (in purple shirt), Unknow, Unknown, Rasta, Richard, Jacob (me), Gary, Unknown  Bottom row and also kneeling behind wheel barrows: Unkown, Unknown, Phillip (sitting on over-turned wheelbarrow), Gibson (kneeling behind wheelbarrows with short dreds), Unknown ( in  the red hat), Steve (reclining in the wheelbarrow out front)

Picture 2 shows Steven presenting me with a bilum (a traditional hand-woven bag).  He stood up and gave a speech about how much they appreciated the opportunity to work for me and presented me with the bilum.

Picture 3 is a wide-amgle shot that shows most of the trench.

Jacob and Kim

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Greetings Everyone

At our prevous house we had a yard man named Kuri.  A yard man is like a gardener; he mows the lawn and tends all of the flowers and other plants in the yard.  By hiring a yard man, it gives people from the local villages a chance to make some cash, and it frees missionaries up to focus on their ministry rather than their yard.  Kuri was the yard man at the house when we moved in, so we just kept him on.  One day, Kuri was working on the pineapple patch in the garden because the pineapple leaves were yellowing.  Kuri told us it was because there were grubs getting to the roots.  Kuri up-rooted all of the pineapple plants, and sure enough grubs were the culprit.  After removing the grubs Kuri re-planted the pineapple plants and then gathered up all of the grubs to take home with him because, as I am sure you all know, they are tasty in a stew!

Jacob and Kim

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yopno language group dedication

We have just returned from a dedication of the New Testament in the Yopno language group.  The Yopno live at 7,000 feet in the heart of the Finisterre Mountain Range.  The Finsterre's are beautiful rugged mountains covered in dense jungle.  We had the opportunity to fly in to the Yopno's village, Keweng on Cessna 206's due to the fact that an airstrip was constructed there three years ago to aid in the protection of a local population of tree kangaroos.  Keweng is a beautiful place, and the Yopno were very friendly and accommodating.  Upon our arrival they sang and danced for us and then presented us with gifts, boar-tooth necklaces and bilums (traditional woven bags).  The celebration was beautiful and the people were very excited to have the New Testament in their own language.

Jacob and Kim

Brotzler's Picture of the week - Aug.15th

Hi Everyone,
A few weeks back we had the opportunity to travel to the Molima Bible dedication on Fergusson Island.  The Molima people group are very remote and can only be reached by several hours of hiking through the jungle from the coast, or a few minutes in a helicopter.  Kim flew in on Friday morning, and Jacob followed on Monday.  The weather did not cooperate, and an airstrip that had been cut from the bush was too muddy for the plane to land safely on Fergusson Island, more than once that is, so an alternative drop point had to be found.  That alternative was Goodenough Island.  Goodenough Island has a paved runway that was constructed during WWII by the Australians.  Goodenough is very bush, with no roads, no cars, and well not anything except the old airstrip.  This airstrip was chosen as the location from which helicopter shuttles were to be made to the Molima village on Monday morning when Jacob arrived on the first plane.

When Jacob's plane arrived, the helicopter was already waiting at the end of the runway near a grove of mango trees and was surrounded by a large group of men with bush knives and spears.  Upon deplaning, the helicopter pilot pulled Jacob aside and told him of a small problem that had come up that he needed Jacob's help with.  The problem was that there were seven people on the plane and the helicopter could only hold six.  As everyone else on the plane was coming in just for the dedication and did not know any tok pisin, the helicopter pilot felt that Jacob was the best suited to wait while the helicopter shuttled the guests to the dedication and the airplane went back to the mainland to get the next load of guests.  And so all the the passengers exited the airplane and boarded the helicopter and then both aircraft left...and as Jacob watched the helicopter slowly disappear over the jungle, he looked around him at all of the men with spears and knives that were beginning to gather.

Thinking that his best chance to not be a late breakfast for these men by the time the aircraft returned, Jacob walked over to the mango grove, found a nice rock in the shade to sit on, and started telling all kinds of stories about ice fishing, and snow, and elk hunting in the mountains of Montana.  Then the men would return with hunting stories of their own.  It turns out they were out hunting wallaby that morning when they heard the helicopter come in and so they gave up on the wallaby and came to watch the helicopter.  After about an hour the sound of a helicopter was heard and then an airplane, and both aircraft landed and taxied to the end of the runway.  Jacob walked over towards the aircraft only to count six passengers deplane and climb aboard the helicopter.  Jacob waked back over to the mango grove where Aslon, and Joseph, and Mathias, and Atson, and Steve and Simon, and all the rest of his new friends were waiting.  He passed the rest of the day with them sharing stories, and eating sweet bananas while watching helicopters and airplanes land and take off and land and take off two more times.  Then finally, on the last trip of the day, Jacob said good bye to his new friends and climbed aboard the helicopter with the airplane pilot and flew to Fergusson Island.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The July 26th Ukarumpa Update

This month PNG has very much been living up to its reputation as the Land of the Unexpected!  A few weeks back the Seventh Day Adventist church in the valley went around to all of the different villages involved in the fighting that has been plaguing the Aiyura Valley and asked them to wash their hands of the violence.... and Praise God, they did!  The fighting has stopped and we ask that you pray with us that this new peace remains.

 On July 17th we had the exciting opportunity to attend a wedding.  One of Jacob's co-worker's sisters got married and we traveled to the Ramu Valley for the wedding.  It was interesting as the ceremony was intended to be a "western" ceremony.  We were the only white people at the ceremony and when we walked into the church the pastor saw us and, speaking into the microphone, he said,"Hey two white man, you come sit up in the front with the bride's family.".... so much for blending in!  After the ceremony there was a traditional mumu feast followed by the "pasim meri" which is a ceremony where the bride is passed from her family to the groom's family.  The pasim meri also involves the giving of gifts and a re-paying of the bride price.  You will notice in the picture the bride is wearing several meri blouses one over the other and many bilums (hand-made woven bags).  These are all gifts from her family.  The groom's family added even more bilums.

 On July 23rd Kim left Ukarumpa for Fergusson Island, the location of the Molima people group, to photograph a Bible dedication which took place on July 27th.  Jacob left Ukarumpa on July 26th and joined her there for the dedication.  The Molima are a very remote people group and we had the opportunity to fly into and out of the village by helicopter!
  In addition to the printed Bible, a small device called a Mega Voice  a super durable audio player with the New Testment recorded on it in the Molima language, was also dedicated.  The Mega Voice players are solar powered and allow those who can't read a chance to hear the Gospel.  After the dedication we had the opportunity to spend three days in the coastal city of Alotou.  We very much enjoyed a few days rest!

 The new school year just started over here.  This term Kim will be teaching French, Algebra and helping with the Digital Photography class.  She will be doing this in addition to her photography duties.

The gabion basket portion of Jacob's water project is complete and he is now in the process of digging the hole for the infiltration gallery.  To do this he has hired four more men and now has a crew of eight working with him.  The digging has been slow due to lots of rain.  The excavation will need to be completed, the infiltration gallery installed, and the excavation backfilled, prior to the start of the rainy season in October.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Off to Ferguson Island

This morning Kim left Ukarumpa on her way to Ferguson Island off of the east coast of PNG.  The Molima people group will be dedicating their newly finished Bible on July 27th!  The Molima live on Ferguson Island near the Miline Bay.  The Molima are very remote, so much so that they don't even have an airstrip.  Kim will fly on SIL's new Kodiak to Alatou and from there take a helicoper to the village.  She will arive in the village today and the dedication will take place on Tuesday.  Jacob will leave Ukarumpa on Monday and join Kim in the village for the dedication on Tuesday.  After the dedication both of us will helicopter back to Alatou for two days of snorkeling and rest before returning to our jobs at Ukarumpa.Blessings,
Jacob & Kim

Baby Smith

We have a friend named Enock that lives in Anamonampa village.  Jacob met him on Easter Saturday, and since then we have been working to build a relationship with him and his family.  Enock and his family have been to our house for lunch once, and to tell us stories and eat snacks lots of times.
 Enock's wife Jacinta had a little baby about a week before Easter and she has proudly toted little baby Smith around the valley and to our house several times.  Over the past month, little Smith has been having some medical problems and has had to spend some time in the hospital.  Yesterday we arrived home in the early evening after attending a wedding and found an email from another missionary that knows Enock informing us that Smith had died.  This morning we went to Enock's village to support and grieve with him and his family.

 Enock requested that we take a picture of the family with Smith one last time before they bury him tomorrow.  Smith died from a hole in his heart, an ailment that would have been treatable had he been in a developed country, but is a death sentence here in PNG.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Ukarumpa Update

It's time for another exciting edition of the Ukarumpa Update!  We are officially experiencing winter in Papua New Guinea.  Rain comes much less frequently, and in much smaller amounts.  The temperature has fallen as well, with lows in the 40's at night and highs in the 60's to 70's during the daytime.  Though we both have grown up in areas with cold winters, we find ourselves wearing jackets when it gets into the 60's and building fires in our fireplace at night.

It is school break for Kim now; she goes back in the middle of July.  She has enjoyed some time to be around the house and relax.  There is one Bible dedication coming up at the end of July, and two following closely in the first part of August, so she is busy sharpening her photography skills when she is not reading a book or cooking.  She is also excited to be gearing up to teach French for the first time starting this next semester.

Jacob has been very busy being an engineer lately.  The gabion basket portion of his water project is progressing and should be finished in the next day or two.  The next step in the project will be to begin the construction of the large intake trench.  Jacob has calculated that he will need to remove a little over 58,000 cubic feet of soil using shovels and wheelbarrows!  He currently has four guys working for him, and will most likely need to double he's workforce.  The other day, a friend of Jacob's from a neighboring village asked Jacob if his son could work for him.  Before Jacob knew what had happened, the young man showed up at the project and Jacob's men sent him away.  When Jacob visited the work site his men were quite upset with him regarding the other workman that had stopped by.  They scolded Jacob and said that, if he wanted more help, he could ask them and they would bring more men.  They went on to remind Jacob that there are battles taking place all over the valley and if he sent the wrong man they would have to kill him or he would kill them.  Fortunately the young man that stopped by was from their same village, the men were just making a point by sending him away, and they said he could come back and work during the next phase of the project

There is an old dilapidated suspension bridge that spans the Bae' River between Ukarumpa Center and Ukarumpa village.  A few weeks ago we went to church at Ukarumpa village with some others from Ukarumpa Center and, as we crossed the bridge, it was decided that the bridge needed to be repaired; and that this could be an outward expression of our desire to re-build the relationship between Ukarumpa Center and Ukarumpa village.  (Much of the rascal activity that has been plaguing Ukarumpa Center over the last few years originated in Ukarumpa village.  Since many of the rascals became Christians this past Easter, the rascal activity has declined sharply, and both Ukarumpa village and Ukarumpa Center have been working towards repairing the strained relationship.)  During the conversation, it was stated that no one knows how to fix the bridge, at which point someone pointed at Jacob and said, "He does."  Now Jacob is working on rebuilding the old bridge.  The bridge piers are being threatened by erosion and will need to be protected prior to October (the start of the next rainy season).  After the piers are protected, Jacob will start the process of renovating the bridge deck.  The renovated bridge will be open to foot traffic only.  Between the bridge and water projects, June has been a very busy month for Jacob.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!  Jacob and Kim Brotzler

Friday, June 25, 2010

A PNG Picnic

The driving purpose behind our time  in Papua New Guinea is so Jacob can design and build a new water system for Ukarumpa.  As he works towards this goal, he spends much of his time working alongside nationals from the surrounding villages.  Jacob has spent the last month working with four men to install gabion baskets along the river bank by the new water intake site.  Over the last month, Jacob has worked very hard to build relationships with these men and learn their language (Tok Pisin).  The other day Jacob was able to see some fruit from his labors when the men asked him to join them for lunch at the project site.  The lunch consisted of chicken (a huge blessing as chickens are very expensive here, approximately 12 hours wages for 1 chicken) squash, sweet potato, and leafy greens.  One of the men, Gary had gotten up the previous morning at 3 am to kill the chicken and start preparing it!    Also served  was chicken soup, which consisted of ramen noodles, leafy greens, and all of the chicken entrails.  When the men were dishing the food out onto the banana leaves, Jacob watched as they pulled out the head and feet of the chicken and then the wings and legs, ect.  Jacob was relieved when they put a thigh on his banana leaf, but then the chicken soup came out and a large scoop was placed in the middle of Jacob's leaf.
Then all of the men sat down next to a leaf and began to dig in.  It was quite a feast, and the men really seemed to appreciate Jacob's willingness to sit on the ground and eat their food off of a big leaf while talking and joking with them in their own language.  What a blessing it was for Jacob to be given this honor and to spend time hanging out and talking as just one of the guys rather than the boss.  Pictured, from left to right is Steven, Gary, Gibson, Bakeid, and Jacob.  Take note of the size of the men compared to the size of Jacob.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


A few weeks ago a young PNG native in need of a good home relocated from his village near Madang to live with us.  When he first arrived he had been neglected and was not super healthy.  In fact, he looked kind of sick.  We could not even get him to talk to us, all he would do is huddle in the corner of the cage we set up in the living room for him and make a growling-squawking noise.  He was also very dirty and he had some kind of lice that you could see crawling around on him.
 Squirt, as we named him shortly after his arrival is a Black-Capped Lori, which is a type of small parrot.  Squirt is a nectar drinker, which means he only drinks nectar, like a hummingbird only bigger, and able to speak.

  Due to his diet of only mashed up fruit, Squirt has a problem with diarrhea, or maybe we should say, Squirt has diarrhea, which is normal for a Black-Capped Lori, and WE have a problem with his diarrhea!  When he first arrived we set up a wire bird cage for him in the living room.  He would be standing on his perch in the cage and every so often he would back up take aim at the nice white wall behind the cage and let fly with a stream of blended fruit juice. 
After some carefully placed newspapers, Squirt’s cage has become more diarrhea friendly, and we are starting to enjoy having him around. 

He is a young bird, only a few months old, and has started to bond to us. 

When we come to the house after having been out and about he will see us walk up to the front door and let out a whistle.  He also comes out of his cage and sits on our hand while he eats his dinner.  We usually hold him over a garbage can just in case he lives up to his name. 

One of Squirts favorite things to do while sitting on our hand is to walk on our arm over to our elbow and then reach up and wipe the banana that is on his beak off on the sleeve of our shirts. 

        He is lucky he is so cute! 

Squirt also has other unusual habits that we are starting to learn, he loves to sing along to music, especially rock and roll, he loves to take baths in his water dish (he makes a big mess doing this and gets really wet). 

Squirt loves to eat mashed up bananas and papaya but his all time favorite treat is sugarcane.  When we can buy it at the market we put it in his cage and he spends all of his waking moments licking it until it is completely dried up and gone.