Printing for a Purpose

By Karissa Uhlig

Steve Kaetterhenry grew up as a missionary kid in Bolivia in South America; his parents served with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Therefore, he was well-acquainted with missions, and with JAARS and Wycliffe, from a young age. But he never guessed that he would one day be a part of both organizations.

After living for most of his childhood in Bolivia, Steve came back to the United States to attend college in northern Minnesota. His main occupation at college was developing negatives in a darkroom and taking photographs. After Steve graduated with a Bible diploma, he went back to Bolivia for a conference. There, a Wycliffe member challenged Steve, asking how he planned to make an eternal impact with the skills he had acquired. The man suggested that printing might be one way Steve could serve the kingdom of God—printing serves an eternal purpose by enabling mission organizations to spread the word about what God is doing through them.

Back in the U.S., Steve felt God prompting him to heed this man’s challenge. He was working as a paid staff member in Wycliffe’s buying and shipping office in Miami when, feeling God’s call, he applied to join Wycliffe as a full-time member. 

Steve returned to Bolivia with Wycliffe in 1979 where he worked in the print shop for a little over a year. He learned the skills of the trade, following his supervisor’s example. They started him in the darkroom because he had experience there and then trained him on the press. It was there in Bolivia that he met his future wife, Betty. Then he returned to the States.

Steve poses in the print shop in Bolivia.

After Steve and Betty married in 1980, they lived in Huntington Beach, California, for four years. In the Wycliffe print shop where Steve worked, he met Frank Doejaaren, who became a friend and now works alongside him at the JAARS Center in Waxhaw, North Carolina. 

In 1984, Steve and Betty were assigned to Papua New Guinea, where Steve once again worked in a print shop, supporting the local missionaries. This time, however, he was co-manager. He and the other manager trained local people to run the shop, essentially working themselves out of jobs. 

Steve working in PNG.

Steve and Betty then returned to the U.S. in 1988 to work at JAARS for three years. In 1991, the Wycliffe director from Darwin, Australia, invited Steve to come over to Darwin to fill a need for a printer. The couple stayed until 1994, when they returned to America for health reasons. They have been in Waxhaw since, for a grand total of 34 years! 

Retirement is not even in Steve’s vocabulary; as long as he is able, he will keep printing with a purpose! Steve said that in his time with JAARS, “[God] has taught me to rely upon him.”


See how you can serve at JAARS and make an eternal impact like Steve!