1. Reflections on the “Eubone” Project
  2. Happening Now

After an unimaginable saga of delays and communication difficulties, our work permit—the biggest hurdle for us moving to Papua New Guinea (PNG)—has now been approved.

Why did it take so long? It really wasn’t one thing but a hundred little hurdles that made it seem like moving to PNG would be impossible. Several times we had promising developments followed by periods of silence that culminated in the frustrating feeling that nothing actually moved.

The Bradleys and Dave McNeill eating Dinner Dinner with Dave McNeill

Throughout the process, Dave McNeill (Wycliffe’s Convergence coordinator) indicated he would support us if we believed God was moving us to another location. At the same time, he made it clear that the position in PNG is a strategically important role to Wycliffe and Global Partnerships. If we don't fill it, they would immediately begin looking to place another family there. Under his guidance, we are continuing to persist, and our next step is to obtain our visas. Our visa applications are currently in process.

The Dobu translation team internalizing Mark 1:1-13

Excerpt from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “After we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again. We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18

Reflections on the “Eubone” Project

This past May, Harold spent 2 weeks in PNG with colleagues from several organizations (Global Partnerships, Mission Mutual, SRV, American Bible Society, and Battle). Their primary objective was to observe and analyze how the church is implementing a model that is being called Church-Based Bible Translation (CBBT). This model was developed by ETEN's Quality Assurance Innovations Lab.

Our Multi-organizational Bible Translation Team

Church-Based Bible Translation (CBBT)

Historically, Bible translation agencies have driven the process of translation. Recently, however, God has been raising up churches around the world and leading them to take ownership of Bible translation for their own people.

The Church-Based Bible Translation Process

The church in Milne Bay Province, UCPIR, is one of them. Last year, they established a Translation Desk to help equip their people for the task of Bible translation. We serve the Desk as a resource, providing technical skills, support on process, and feedback for quality assurance.

Oral Bible Translation (OBT)

The CBBT model allows a church to develop and use existing skills within a community for Bible translation. One way it does this is by focusing on an oral translation first before producing a written text.

For a mostly non-literate people group, an oral translation in a mobile app is more accessible than a book. Moreover, the OBT process allows them to be directly involved in the translation process. This means the translation can benefit from a 70 year old story-teller who, although he can’t read, intimately knows the poetic features of the language better than anyone. The translation can also be made more understandable by input from the 12 year old who knows how her language is being used today.

The Dobu Translation Team doing Community Review The Dobu translation team internalizing Mark 1:1-13

The most important part of the OBT process is a stage called internalization. Translators cannot accurately translate a text they do not understand, so a trained leader, who has already studied the passage, guides the team so that they thoroughly comprehend and “internalize” the passage. Throughout the process, they work through various exercises retelling it to one another in their heart language. Together, they ensure that they have correctly included all of the details. At the end of the process, they choose someone to record it. This is the first draft of their translation.

Translation through Scripture Engagement

The end goal of Bible translation has always been for people to understand God’s word and be transformed by it. A finished translation is useless unless people are engaging with it.

The Dobu Translation Team doing Community Review The Dobu translation community review

Historically, Scripture engagement has been a process that happens after the translation has been completed. The model being used in Milne Bay can be seen as a focus on Scripture engagement through which translation is the outcome. The community involved in the internalization, drafting, and review are impacted—not at the conclusion of a decades-long process—but on “day 1.”

Happening Now

While we are still in the US, Harold has had several opportunities to serve in other areas of Bible translation. He continues to work remotely with his mentor and another colleague checking the “Meadowlands” translation for a language in East Africa. He is also part of a user group for a team developing a software tool for Bible translation consultants.

Trip to the Pacific Islands & South Asia

In mid October, Harold is going with Rev. Nibo Taudili (Translation Desk Coordinator) and a small team from other Bible translation organizations to facilitate workshops in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. These workshops will help local church leaders consider how they might implement the CBBT model in their contexts. From the Pacific Islands, he will travel to South Asia to meet with his cohort. There he and a colleague will be checking a translation of 1 and 2 Timothy.

A'zalea and Andrew at Deam Lake A'zalea & Andrew at a nearby lake

Family Life

At the end of the summer, we moved into the fifth transitional home we've been in this year. God provided a quiet haven out in the country in Southern Indiana. Andrew turned 6 in August. When he grows up, he wants to be a worship leader. For his birthday, we explored Squire Boone Caverns.

A'zalea and Andrew at Squire Boone Caverns

How to Pray

  • Wisdom during times of perpetual transition and uncertainty
  • Timely approval for our visas
  • Health and safety for Harold on his upcoming trip
    Oct 15–Nov 19
  • Peace for Justine, A'zalea, and Andrew while Harold is away

Your prayer and financial partnership is making an eternal difference. Thank you.

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

Invest in Bible Translation

Partner With Us

We praise God that He has been faithful to care for our financial needs in the past and are trusting that He will continue to do so in the future. 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.”