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Lauren's Update from East Timor

by Bob Harvey last modified Sep 10, 2016 07:38 PM
Lauren waits for her visa, but uses the time well in language study and cooperation with the Presbyterian Church in Dili.

Bondia hotu hotu!

Good morning all! It seems whenever I sit to write this newsletter update and reflect on the month just past; each month seems to be busier than the last! The month of August has been a very eventful one. As I mentioned in my last update, due to the ongoing processing of my work VISA, and the limit of my tourist visa to only 90 days; on the 14th August, I left Timor Leste and hopped over to Bali for 5 days. I was incredibly blessed to have Sandra come along with me, which was a great time of relaxation, laughing and shopping!

The Joy of Camping

Once back on Timor soil, there was little time to catch our breath before the youth camp was upon us. Approximately 60 youth from across the districts of Timor Leste, came to Dili for the premiere Evangelical Presbyterian Youth Camp. It was a great time of encouragement, growth, fellowship and fun for all involved. I was tasked with being part of the paparazzi that took photos across the weekend.

The focus of the weekend teaching was on identity - youth as the future of family, church and the nation. Thank you to all who prayed for this event and especially for those that emailed or messaged me to encourage me that you were praying for the camp. Please continue to pray for the youth, as they get back into the ‘swing of life’ in their home villages that their passion, and all that was learned at this weekend will not be forgotten, but be put into action.

Learning God's Timing

As for VISA news, upon my return from Bali, I visited the Ministry of Foreigners and was excited to find that my file had been sent onto the department of Immigration. I was then advised to return in two weeks to check its process. Lord willing, my next newsletter will bring the good news that my working VISA has finally been granted. But in all things, the single greatest lesson I have learnt since coming to Timor Leste in 2012, is that God’s timing is perfect and is quite often very different to my own timing.

Do what you have to do!

Looking ahead to the month of September… I will again be focusing on language learning and working through the final stages of my VISA. With all the activity that happened in August, I have been a little slack in doing regular language study!  Whilst in Dili, I will also continue to help with the Sunday School ministry and teaching sewing at Kadi Kapasidade where I held a group teaching session in July. Lord willing, if my VISA all goes through, I will make an overnight trip out of the country to collect my VISA, then head out to the district of Same, Weberek where I will be able to meet with the congregations of Besusu and Same.

Prayer Needs

Please continue to pray for:

  • the process of my VISA as the rules and regulations surrounding it often changes;
  • motivation and stamina to remain dedicated to language learning;
  • God’s perfect timing for when I am to head out to the district of Same and for His guidance during this season staying in Dili;
  • a greater understanding of the Timorese culture;
  • the strengthening of relationships.


Until next month,

Maromak fo bensaun


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