Update: Ukarumpa – USA

Dear Friends, Family, and Partners,

leavingLeaving Papua New Guinea and returning stateside has been bitter-sweet.  The morning we left brought many tears.  So much so, it was difficult to get on the plane.  We were all very sad to say good-bye to friends and colleagues, knowing it may be a long time before we see them again.

The sweet side was the excitement and anticipation of being reunited with family, friends, and wonderful supporters. When we left I remember saying, “Seven months is not a long time, we usually go for three years!”  Well, I have to say that it is a long time when you leave behind a home, loved ones, and lots of work.

We are just beginning our third week back and the roller-coaster of emotions continues.  Daily, we are reminded that reverse culture shock and transition are real.  However, many little joys and lots of special people have helped us through the adjustments.  We are learning to treasure each day.

Our hearts are full and our stories are many.  We look forward to the opportunities of sharing our passion and vision.  As a family, we are excited to see where God takes us next.  You never know…it just might be back to PNG.  A deep heart-felt thank you to all who encouraged, prayed, and financially supported us during this time.

Sincerely grateful,

“Thank you God for this day of life, it is a precious unrepeatable gift.”  Sarah Young


PNG Update – Ukarumpa 6

girls-friendsDear Friends, Family, and Partners,

Both Mikayla and Emily have flourished during our time in Papua New Guinea. They excelled at all the physical and educational activities during the Discover program at the beginning of the summer. The friendships they built with the college girls were strong, yet the depth of relationships they developed with peers once school was in full swing were amazing.

heart dissectionThough the schoolwork was challenging both girls remained near the top of their class. Mikayla enjoyed her Anatomy & Physiology class, but dissecting a cow heart was not at the top of her list.

bball teamIn sports, they had the opportunity to play together in both touch rugby and basketball. Mikayla was chosen by the team as one of the captains. It was encouraging that her teammates saw her leadership abilities. They had a great season on the girls’ varsity basketball team, winning all but the last two games of the year.

As we return to the US, please pray for our transition back to a different life, especially for the girls. We will all undoubtedly encounter a mixture of emotions over the next several weeks. Pray that we will embrace our return to Michigan, yet hold closely the memories of our work and life while in PNG for the past seven months.

PNG Update – Ukarumpa 5

Dear Partners, Friends, and Family,

grade 3 class

Helping teach grade 3

So many hats, not enough heads to wear them. Our blogs have become fewer and farther between, our sincere apologies for not getting PNG news to you. Life here is quite similar to life in the U.S….busy, busy, busy! We are involved in many different tasks each week. Our work here is a privilege and very rewarding, but it does tax our energy by the end of a given week.


Working with Jolene in the library

Molly & Julie

Hanging laundry with Julie

Molly shopping

Grocery shopping in a nearby town

We would like to share with you some of the hats we have been wearing.

Molly is substitute teaching, assisting in classrooms, and tutoring. She also works afternoons in the high school library. In addition, she holds the home together – laundry, shopping, cooking, etc.

coaching bball

Coaching girls’ varsity basketball

Robert spends most of his time at the high school. He has installed a new computer lab, built desks and cabinets for the new faculty workroom, and teaches yearbook class. He is involved with high school sports as basketball coach, organizing sports competitions, and managing the sports teams, coaches, and facilities.


Building cabinets for the workroom

Robert takes his turn as one of the on-call ambulance drivers, as our clinic provides 24 hour urgent care to the community.

Both of us support the many youth activities. Mikayla and Emily are thriving and making new friends. Creating deep relationships is the highlight of their week. Both have matured in many ways and would love to stay for the entire school year.

ambulance driver

Taking his turn at driving the ambulance


The high school students put on the annual Ukarumpa Carnival that provides fun to hundreds of local children and raises money for valley ministries. Pictured is the Grade 11 students.

PNG Update – Ukarumpa 4

Dear Friends, Family, and Partners,

Touch daughters3Mikayla and Emily were recently part of the Ukarumpa Girls’ Touch Rugby team.  They competed in several matches over the short seven-week season. They won or tied most of their games. It was a special treat for our girls as it was their first time playing the sport. During the Eastern Highlands High School Sports Provincial Tournament our nine-person team came through the day undefeated! It was a wonderful experience for all the girls.

Mikayla and Emily just started term 2. They are both playing basketball on the varsity team and I have the pleasure to be coaching both girls on the same team for the first time.

Sports are a terrific outlet after a day of rigorous academics.  Each girl is meeting the challenge of our highly academic school. It is a blessing for Molly and I to see them embrace their time here as teenagers.

A special thank you to everyone who makes it possible for us to be serving in PNG once again and for those who are lifting us in prayer.

PNG Update – Ukarumpa 3

Dear Friends, Family, and Partners,

It has been over a month since we said goodbye to the Discover Team. All of the girls – Lacey, Christina, Dana, Katie, Catherine, and Hannah returned to the states to continue their studies. We never thought we would miss them as much as we do. However, after two months of experiencing PNG together, their absence has left a bit of a hole in the Clementz family. Our prayers are with them as they continue to seek God and His plan for their futures.
hiking girlswaterfall girlsDuring our time together in PNG, the girls enriched our lives in many ways. From studying the culture, to hiking the lowland jungles and the highland mountains. We enjoyed every minute of their craziness and laughter.

school girlsThe Discover girls were like sisters to Mikayla and Emily. On the first day of high school at UIS they made breakfast for them and even walked them to school.
grade 3 workers

All of the girls came to engage and interact with the culture and people of PNG. We were all blessed to have such a hard working group. Not only did Katie and Dana work diligently in the clinic and Highlands Office, they also helped get the third grade classroom ready for the beginning of school. Mrs. Halbrooks and I appreciated the many hours they spent cleaning, organizing, writing names, and creating bulletin boards.

wokim kaikaiCatherine and Lacey assisted the Howard family as they translated the Jesus Video script for the Adzera people. They also learned that much of village living includes the arduous labor of working the gardens and preparing food. They spent much of their time interacting with the women of their village.
Bilas meris

Christina and Hannah spent hours assisting with the Rapid Word Collection Workshop on the island of Bougainville. During their time in the village, the group was able to catalog over 10,000 words for the dictionary! When it came time for them to leave those in the village bilased (decorated) them and had a joyous celebration.boy reading

Discover teamWe miss having all ‘our girls’ here working alongside us and our colleagues. The impact they made during their time in PNG will continue on to future generations.


PNG Update – Ukarumpa 2

Dear Partners, Friends, and Family,

Wow, it has been over two weeks since our last update!  It seems that the longer we are here the more we get involved and the busier we become.  It has been great to settle in and become a part of the community here in Ukarumpa.

Coffee Molly

Molly and Pastor David display tubes of coffee

Coffee1Over the past couple weeks we have had the opportunity to take the Discover girls and family to two different villages.  In Ba’e village we showed the Jesus Video.  The girls shared that it was exciting to sit with the children of the village and see their expressions as they watched the video for the first time.  Next we hiked to another part of Ba’e village where we visited with pastor David who not only preaches but also has a small coffee business.  He showed us the process of making coffee.

Every experience helps us learn more about the people and culture of PNG. Relationships are key components of every culture, but they top the list here.

Girls & coffee pastor's kids

Emily, Katie and Mikayla with the pastor’s daughters

We are all involved with many different tasks here on center.Emily weighing baby

Emily and Katie went with the clinic staff on two occasions to help with baby visits to nearby villages. They traveled in the clinic ambulance, helped set up the work area, weighed the babies and recorded health information.

All the Discover girls will be here at the Ukarumpa center on Wednesday. We are looking forward to reconnecting with the ones that have been out in other parts of PNG.  We ask for your prayers for the next phase of the Discover Trip.  All the girls will be reunited to share stories, debrief and learn more about Ukarumpa and the team of people here that help make translation possible.

PNG Update – Ukarumpa 1

Dear Partners, Friends, and Family,

Thank you to all who prayed for us as we traveled from Wewak to Ukarumpa. Though our flight plans changed we all arrived to our designated locations safely.  Christina lost her luggage for a few days, but the airline finally found it and everything was there.  We are so very thankful for answered prayer as we could not imagine what she would have done without her belongings.

Family Uka houseThe Clementz’ are settling into the Wright’s house and thoroughly enjoying the cooler weather!  The Wrights just left for a one year furlough in Michigan, (of all places!)  We will be renting their home for the next six months. It is the perfect place for us and the location between both the schools couldn’t be better.  Mikayla and Emily are getting reacquainted with friends and adjusting very well.

Katie and Dana are also in Ukarumpa, and working in different areas. Both are learning about the many support jobs that are critical to the Bible translation task.

Katie Ambulance2Katie spends much of her time at the SIL clinic observing and working with Dr. Tom. She will also visit local villages next week with the clinic nurse to do mom/baby check-ups. The SIL ambulance and team does rounds in 12 area villages each month.

Dana HighlandsDana is working in the Highland’s Office with one of our colleagues who works with villages in the surrounding area. She has been working with a new Scripture application so it can be accessible on cell phones.

Catherine and Lacey are located in the Markham Valley in Morobe province working with a translation team in the Adzera language group. Christina and Hannah are working with a team on Buka Island in Bougainville.  We keep in contact with them either by radio, phone, or e-mail.

Tomorrow those of us in Ukarumpa are overnighting in a nearby village to show the Jesus Video.  Stay tuned for more adventures and pictures.