Every missionary wants to make a difference in the country and culture where they minister. They want to “get their hands dirty” serving others. When missionaries enter a new country or culture, they can often feel listless as much of their early time is absorbed in learning a new language, culture, and rhythm of life. Imagine our surprise to “hit the ground running” almost as soon as we arrived.
On our second weekend in Timor-Leste, Joe helped Pastor Sam and Ully baptize 7 new believers at a local beach. Not long after that, Joe preached for the first time, and has preached a dozen times since. This list does not include teaching in our Ephesus leadership development program, two more baptism services (7 more baptized), performing a wedding (in the local language!), hosting Regional NCM Meetings, and multiple visits to our Nazarene churches in districts and villages several hours from the capital city of Dili, where we live.
One special highlight has been our daughter Hannah, who has volunteered to join the children’s ministry teacher rotation at our Dili Church of the Nazarene. She studies, plans, and practices hard, so that she can present lessons in the local language, lessons that include a puppet show and bible lesson.
What’s next? A full schedule of ministry activities and endeavors, including opening the Nazarene Course of Study program to train ministerial candidates.
Pray for our family as we, different than usual, immerse ourselves in ministry while also learning a new language and culture. God is on the move here! We are so thankful to be an active part of making Christlike disciples in Timor-Leste.