Welcome to Ukarumpa

After months of waiting the Reeves family finally arrived at their new home and place of service. Come along and discover Ukarumpa with them.

In the time between receiving our assignment to Ukarumpa and our arrival, I had sought out any snippets of information or pictures that I could find of this place that we’d be calling home. Being able to envision our family here brought me so much joy and comfort. Because I know what pictures and insights about even the most mundane tasks can mean to someone, I am going to do my best to share what I can about this beautiful place now that we are here.

We received a warm welcome.

First of all, we were so overwhelmed by the wonderful welcome we received in our first couple of weeks here. Upon arrival each new family is assigned a fellowship family to help them learn the ropes of Ukarumpa living and adjust in any way that they can. We were so thankful to have the Aceves family guide us through our first two weeks. We’d have been lost without them. Literally. Ukarumpa is a fairly large center and feels even bigger when you’re maneuvering the rocky hills by foot. Now, we easily know our way to the store, market, post office, and meeting house (for church) so that’s a pretty good start.

Ukarumpa from the air

Check out the map of Ukarumpa (above) to see where key buildings are located. We’re located near the bottom left of this picture where the road makes an oval around eight houses.

For now we’re renting side A of a duplex-style home which they call the translators’ lodges. It’s a great space for our family and we are so thankful for the housing options in Ukarumpa.

Our side is on the left.

Here, you can see our water storage tank where rain water is collected.

We use this water (many times in combination with creek water) to wash dishes, shower, and do laundry. We also filter it for drinking/cooking. Most people don’t have dryers here so clothes go out on the line. This is one chore that at times I even enjoy, although dodging the sporadic rain showers can make things interesting.

Two major bonuses: Dear friends live on either side of us (with more coming to live behind) and a small playground is practically in our backyard.

The playground

We walk everywhere in Ukarumpa, making for long tiring days. However, we are thankful for the exercise. The walk to the store isn’t bad from our place as long as a certain two-year-old can keep up while Mommy “wears” Weston in the carrier.

Sometimes Brody hitches a ride up a steep hill.

The Ukarumpa store is fantastic! Although items go in and out of stock, they carry a wide variety of food and basic household supplies.

This is the playground across the street from the store. Often kids will play outside while moms shop for groceries.


At the playground across from the store

The store provides a delivery service for your purchases! A number of people don’t have vehicles here and walking up steep hills and long distances isn’t possible with arms full of groceries. This truck delivers the groceries shortly after you get home!

At the Ukarumpa market, which happens three times a week, we can get fresh produce for cooking. They also have flower arrangements for around 60 cents!

Johnny and fellow pilot, Brian, with treasures from the market

We are learning the food options here and how to be creative with what’s available.

Our dinner table and chairs were made right here in Ukarumpa!

And check out those gorgeous flowers! So much grows well here—there are flowers everywhere we go.

What a driveway entrance!

There is a Tok Pisin and English worship service every Sunday morning at the meeting house, along with other activities such as a morning of prayer every month.

At times our journey felt like a long and winding road … but here we are! God is faithful and he has seen us through every step. We’ve had a lot of newness to take in and process over the last several weeks, but the welcome and support we have received from this community have even exceeded our expectations. We are so happy to be here and look forward to exploring more about our new home. We are blessed and excited to finally be putting our hands and feet to work in- country to support the efforts of Bible translation in Papua New Guinea.

Until all have heard.

Johnny Reeves

Johnny Reeves

Johnny and Sarah are serving Bible translation efforts in Papua New Guinea. Johnny is a fixed-wing pilot and mechanic. Sarah is a teacher and full-time mom. Their two boys are Brody (2⅟₂) and Weston (8 months).