Derek’s desire to serve the Lord was nurtured from childhood, having been blessed to grow up in a strong Christian home. Derek grew up in Temiskaming Shores and Timmins, Ont., while his wife Kristie grew up near Brantford, Ont.
On a mission trip to Ukraine in 1998, Derek decided that Bible translation was how God wanted him to spend his life. He met Kristie in 1995 at a Christian youth camp and they were married in August 2000.
The Harmans both completed linguistic training at the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) in Langley, B.C. Derek and Kristie became members of Wycliffe in 2002. That same year, they were blessed with their first son, Jayden Samuel. Then in 2005, their second son, Cedric Xavier, was born.
In December 2005, the Harmans moved to Asia to work on Bible translation. They eventually began the role of helping a minority language group of 8,000 to 12,000 in Asia to translate the Bible into their own language.
In August 2016, the Gospel of Mark was printed and distributed. In March 2017, a collection of 50 Bible stories was published on the Internet. Video files of the Bible stories are also available for cellphones and in DVD format. In 2020, Genesis was printed and distribution began. In 2022, the translation team completed a church liturgy for nine church services including 73 Scripture verses from various books of the Bible.
Also in 2020, Derek and his family moved back to Canada so Jayden and Cedric can finish their education here. Jayden is currently in his first year of studying Engineering at Queen’s University. Cedric is currently in grade 12 at Temiskaming District Secondary School.
In 2021, Derek was approved as a translation consultant and continues to serve languages in Asia in this role.