JONATHAN AND SUSAN KOPF
Jonathan and Susan Kopf live among the remote Hewa tribe in the rugged mountains of central Papua New Guinea (north of Australia). The Hewa have minimal contact with the outside world. The Kopfs started a literacy program to help the Hewa people learn to read and write. The Kopfs learned the Hewa language and created an alphabet to write the tribe’s language for the first time in history.
Over the past 18 years, the Kopfs have translated the Bible into the Hewa language, developed lessons to teach the Bible, and planted churches.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Before moving to Papua New Guinea, the Kopfs were successful business owners in Arizona. “We were into the groove of the American dream, thinking about how much money we could make and retire early,” Jonathan said.
As followers of Jesus, Jonathan said that God would not let them be satisfied with the American dream. “I realized that I was living full-time for myself really, to make a living, to make a retirement, to be secure, to be comfortable . . . all those kind of things,” Jonathan said.
The Kopfs were convicted by the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” “I realized I wasn’t matching up to that,” Jonathan said. “I was seeking first my kingdom, my financial status, my comfort, whatever. It was all about us. And over time, we realized, ‘We’ve got to make a break.’”
Motivated by their faith in Jesus and His teachings, the Kopfs sold their business to follow Jesus into the jungle. They genuinely believed that Jesus loved these people who had never even heard the word “Jesus.” They determined to do everything in their power to show and then tell the love of God.