1. A Brief Visit to PNG
  2. Translation Workshop in South Asia

On Saturday evening, as the sun sets in the US, it begins to rise on the other side of the world, and churches in the Pacific gather for Sunday morning service to proclaim the resurrected Jesus. Soon after—like a wave chasing the sun—a trail of churches follows, each in turn meeting to worship. As the sun slowly moves westward across the sky, the faces of the church begin to look different. The music sounds different. Even the smells are different. This mosaic of cultures worshiping God anticipates the future realities of heaven.

“I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,

‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
    and from the Lamb!’” Revelation 7:9-10

As the only foreigner in a church in Alotau, PNG, this was one of the things I (Harold) reflected on while worshiping barefoot, my shirt soaked with perspiration. It also reminded me of the many who still don’t have God’s words in their heart language.

Worshiping at a church in Alotau, Papua New Guinea (PNG) Worshiping at a church in Alotau, Papua New Guinea (PNG)

PNG was my first destination on a whirlwind itinerary that included two weeks in South Asia for my bi-annual cohort practicum. All together, the trip took 22 days and covered nearly 26,000 miles.

A Brief Visit to PNG

In January, our Wycliffe leaders began to recognize the value of sending Harold to PNG early February on a short term visa. There were three reasons for this:

  1. To continue building relationships with church leaders face-to-face
  2. To participate in an important meeting with the translation desk of the church
  3. To inquire on the status of our work permit and long term visas

During this time, Harold was thankful to become better acquainted with the new Translation Desk Coordinator, Rev. Nibo Taudili. It also enabled him to connect with Bible translation colleagues from other parts of the country.

Harold, Rev. Watson Sakaio, and Rev. Nibo Taudili Harold, Rev. Watson Sakaio, and Rev. Nibo Taudili

Translation Desk Meeting

The Translation Desk met for three days to consider how to coordinate with other churches, discuss staff roles, and set the calendar for translation workshops in 2023. The meeting was productive. In total, they scheduled 14 translation workshops throughout the region, juggling concerns about transportation and personnel while also organizing around local, regional, and national church events already on the calendar.

Due to city-wide power outages from 6am until 6pm, the meeting was held at Napatana Lodge, where there was a backup generator. These outages were affecting the Translation Desk’s ability to work and communicate with us in the States. During the meeting, project funds were designated to purchase solar panels for the office so the work could continue during blackouts.

Translation Desk Meeting, Napatana Lodge, Alotau Translation Desk Meeting, Napatana Lodge, Alotau

This translation project that Wycliffe calls the “Eubone Project” (53 languages across Milne Bay) is a massive and unprecedented venture that has a number of moving parts. Over 2000 Papuans are involved, and, so far, 15 translations have been started. Pray for wisdom for Rev. Nibo (the Translation Desk coordinator), Patricia (the Translation Desk clerk), and Harold as he supports them in this work remotely until we are able to move.

The Status on our Work Permit

When we moved out of our house last summer, we never expected to still be in the US at this time. Our Wycliffe leadership has also been surprised by the myriad of unending obstacles and delays. A major earthquake, a tumultuous election, communication difficulties related to unreliable power and network infrastructures, and changes in church leadership have all contributed to this delay, yet we are trusting that God will move us to PNG in His timing.

While Harold was there, he received helpful information from the immigration office that clarified a number of steps the church needs to take in order for us to be approved for a work permit. We are regularly communicating with leaders on the ground regarding the way forward.

Boats at East Cape, PNG Boats at East Cape, PNG

Translation Workshop in South Asia

Harold continued his westward journey around the world stopping in South Asia where he met his Convergence cohort and participated in a translation workshop. He led checking sessions for portions of the gospel of John for the “T” translation and his practicum mentor gave him positive and helpful feedback on these sessions.

View of city in South Asia from the sky View of city in South Asia from the sky

He enjoyed building relationships with some of the local translators. Many of them traveled on foot for days through rough terrain and politically unstable environments to get to the workshop. Harold and his cohort also had many valuable discussions around some of the tough questions regarding what makes an accurate translation.

Part of Harold’s Convergence cohort at a library Part of Harold’s Convergence cohort at a library

How to Pray

Harold is currently consolidating and uploading translation resources to AVTT, a software used by local translators in PNG. These resources help translators better understand the passages and enable them to produce higher quality initial drafts.

Additionally, he is working remotely with his cohort mentor, Dale Hoskins, and other colleagues checking the book of Acts for the “Meadowlands” Project. This East African language is situated in a location that is hostile to Christianity.

As you think of us and the work, pray for:

  • An approved work permit and visas to enter PNG
  • The “Eubone Project” to effectively enable more Papuans to understand God’s word and be transformed by it
  • The “Meadowlands” translation and their people to come to know Christ
  • A’zalea’s and Andrew’s sensitive hearts to grow in desiring God

Thank you for your prayers and partnership.

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

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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.”