1. Anticipating Our Move
  2. While We Wait

After hearing the early draft of an audio Bible, an elderly Papuan tearfully exclaimed, “I have heard God speak to me!” She had already heard the Bible in English, Tok Pisin, and Dobu, but it was during this community checking session when she first heard it in her language–the language she could best understand.

Harold and Justine standing with Bishop Edoni, one of the Papuan church leaders.

A Papuan pastor told us this story when we were on our pre-move trip to PNG (Papua New Guinea). While there, we were impacted by the church’s passion and vision to give Papuans in Milne Bay access to the Bible in a language they can best understand, so they too can be transformed. At the beginning of 2022, the church’s newly formed Translation Desk set a goal to begin a project in all of the remaining languages in the province by the end of the year. They are doing an unprecedented amount of work, and God is blessing their efforts. We look forward to moving and being a part of what God is doing in Milne Bay.

Papuans crowded at the beach on Fergusson Island

In addition to meeting church leaders in the region, we were able to visit an international school, experience the market, look at housing, and think through what island living might look like for our family. PNG has a population of 9 million people. Alotau, the small town where we’ll be living, has around 15,000. It’s located at the southeast tip of the large island of New Guinea and is part of Milne Bay province which includes more than 600 little islands.

Justine and Harold on a dinghy - before we got drenched :)

There’s only one major road through the town, so we will be able to walk most places. Taxis are available, but the road doesn’t extend too far beyond Alotau. To get to the capital (Port Moresby) or other large cities, we would need to fly. However, most of our serving will be done on the smaller islands where we’ll travel by boat or dinghy.

“Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You islands, and all who live in them.” Isaiah 42:10

Anticipating Our Move

Earlier this year, Wycliffe thought we could relocate to PNG by the beginning of August. But the timing of our move is dependent on several things that neither we nor Wycliffe can control. Many countries like PNG operate with a different sense of time than we do here in the US. As of right now, the government still needs to approve the appropriate work permit and visa for us. However, they’ve been preoccupied, having just come out of a tense election with significant civil unrest.

Harold at the UCPIR morning devotions. Harold meeting with Papuan church leaders

Although Wycliffe has a number of people in PNG, what we’ll be doing, where we are serving (Alotau), and who we are serving with (the Papuan church) are all unique. We’re grateful the church is acting as our advocate with immigration. Thank you for praying that everyone involved would have insight, that delays and setbacks would be minimal, and that the right government officials can help us and our leaders navigate the process in an efficient manner.

While We Wait

The past few months have been full as we purged many of our possessions and moved out of our house. We also completed lots of paperwork, spent hours in Zoom meetings, and shared with several churches and small groups. Friends and family have surrounded us with “goodbye” gatherings and prayer send offs, and we continue to connect with people near and far. God graciously provided a furnished missions apartment on Southern Seminary’s campus for us to stay during the interim. Our children are currently enrolled in a small school nearby that is working with us on a month-to-month basis.

A'zalea and Andrew in our “backyard” at Southern Seminary A'zalea and Andrew in our “backyard” at Southern Seminary

As we’ve been preparing to live in a new culture, we’ve had to consider health recommendations for diseases that have long been eradicated in the US. Things that were once relatively simple are now more complicated: banking, mail, taxes, medical care, and education for our children. Thankfully, Wycliffe has pointed us to a number of resources that are helping us navigate the way forward.

Harold has continued training and meeting with his cohort on a regular basis over Zoom. September 29 to October 15, they will all meet together in Italy at the Nida School of Bible Translation. We are grateful that expenses for this trip are covered by Wycliffe’s Convergence project funds. In July, we met virtually with Harold's mentor to discuss training possibilities as well as opportunities for him to observe consultancy checking sessions. We also discussed contingencies for service should our move to PNG continue to be delayed.

Our commissioning at our home church, Sojourn New Albany Our commissioning at our home church, Sojourn New Albany

How to Pray

  • Peace in PNG
  • Unity of heart and mind with our Papuan team
  • Our family as we navigate change and decision fatigue
  • That God would make a way for us to move by the beginning of November

Thank you for your prayers, giving, and encouraging notes.

Because many are still waiting, Harold, Justine, A’zalea, & Andrew

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Partner With Us

As the details of our assignment and living expenses have gotten clearer, Wycliffe has increased our budget accordingly. We praise God that He has been faithful to care for our financial needs and are trusting that He will continue to do so. If you are not already, would you consider being a part of what God is doing in Bible translation by partnering financially with our Wycliffe ministry? You can give a single donation or set up regular online giving here.

You may also mail a check to: Wycliffe Bible Translators
P.O. Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862

If you are giving by check, please make it out to Wycliffe Bible Translators with a separate note stating: “Preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Harold & Justine Bradley, Account #200266.”