When we were asked about accepting a reassignment to Timor Leste, we were also invited to take a survey trip there. During this trip, we spent a week in Timor Leste, meetings with the pastors, leaders, and Nazarene there, exploring the area, making plans for our relocation.
First, we attended the Occultism Seminar mentioned in the previous news story. Then, we traveled to some of our remote preaching points or fellowship groups, to check on our pastors there and get updates about the work they are doing and the progress they are making.
First, we visited pastor Merlando and his family. Merlando and Lina have begun outreach into the community through a school tutoring program that operates out of a hut on their property. They have begun a small fellowship group through the contacts they have made, and hope to plant a church from this growing fellowship. Pray that they will continue to build effective bridges into the village of Atabae that lead to a healthy and strong church.
Next, we visited pastor Ebi and his family. Ebi and Lita have rented a house in the village there and have begun making contacts with young people in the community, who they invite over for fellowship, games, and tutoring. Pray we can find a sustainable solution for providing water for the neighborhood, which is situated in an area that suffers from water shortages due to dry ground and a deep water table.
Finally, we visited our one organized church in Timor Leste, the Dili Church. Sam and his wife Uli having been leading the Dili church for just over 5 years, which now runs around 60 people. Joe was asked to preach, and he enjoyed sharing an encouraging word with our Dili Nazarenes about how God gives us strength, especially when weary, to live like Christ and accomplish God’s will.
On the campus of our Dili church is a temporary high-school dormitory, set up after the loss of our lease of another property. Students that live in the village of Timor Leste typically do not have access to a high-school education. They move into the city of Dili to complete their education. We provide a dormitory for these students, providing a safe and godly environment for them to live. The dormitory has proved a successful discipleship tool as well. Did you know that pastors Sam and Marlando are the product or fruit of our dorm ministry? Both came to Dili seeking an education, also finding Jesus and discovering a call to ministry.
Pray for us as we oversee the construction of a permanent and adequate dorm on the Dili church campus.
Our survey trip was a success and we are thankful that we could visit Timor Leste before beginning our Home Assignment this Spring.