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Tales from East Timor - June 2016

by Bob Harvey last modified Jul 09, 2016 10:47 AM
On the 14th May, 2016 I arrived into Dili, the capital of Timor Leste and thus commenced my two year term here. It was an overwhelming moment when I came to the realization, a week or so later, that I had actually made it and was going to stay!

Friends - A Blessing!

My first few days were spent with the Bacon family. As some of you will remember from the last time I was in Timor September 2015; I helped Cynthia & Samuel Bacon deliver their forth child, Kaiyil just before I returned to Australia. Can you believe this little guy is already 9 months old! The time has certainly flown!

God's Amazing Provision

After a few wonderful days reconnecting with this family, I moved into the family home of Ps. Carlos Marcal, the Senior Minister andTales from East Timor - June 2016 President of the Igreja Evangelica Presbiteriana Ebenezer, Dili, Timor Leste (Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste, Dili). I had met Pastor Carlos last year and knew that he spoke a little English, but was still quite nervous at the thought of having to rely on my very little Tetun language skills. Even before arriving to Timor, I had been asking God for a Timorese friend in Dili, whom I could spend time with during my time in the capital, and to help me with my work VISA application. The Lord graciously answered my prayers. Upon my arrival to the Marcal home, I met Pastor Carlos’ daughter Sandra, and was so blessed to find out she spoke wonderful English and was able to help me with language learning and my VISA needs. More than that, she has become a wonderful friend. It has been such a huge blessing staying with the Marcal family during the past month.

On the topic of my VISA…. It has been an interesting process that is still continuing. I have hopefully been able to secure all the necessary documents for the final submission. Needless to say, Sandra and I have become quite acquainted with the department of Labour here. When I spoke to several other expats about it, they all mentioned that this department can be a bit of a headache to navigate through. Some have taken up to 5 months to complete the whole process. I have been granted a tourist VISA extension until the 14th August; please pray that the process can be completed before then. If not, I will need to leave the country, and upon my return, will have another 30 day tourist VISA.

On a positive note, this time in Dili certainly has not been wasted. I have started daily language learning lessons with Sandra, attended several bible studies, and been able to help Sandra and Febia with their Sunday School program. I was even the recipient of a surprise birthday dinner from the whole Marcal family! On a night when I would usually be celebrating with family at home, it was such an amazing blessing to be able to share it with the Marcal family.

Looking ahead

On the 28th June, the Peak Hill Uniting Church arrived into Dili for their annual missions trip. This year there are many familiar faces from previous years. After a few days in the capital, the team travelled to Weberek to encourage the believers and do practical works around the base and village. It is always a great time of fellowship and encouragement when the team is present. Please pray for God to prepare and guide them physically and spiritually for the work ahead. Unfortunately, due to the limited time left on my tourist VISA, I will be remaining in Dili to continue working away at my VISA and language learning, while the team is in Weberek.

My hope and prayer is to make language learning a priority over the next 6 months. Once I’m more confident in my language skills, I will be teaching English, and assisting Lucinda and Alina with their work in Weberek; whilst also partnering with the Besusu Presbyterian Church. Besusu Presbyterian Church is located 30 minutes from Weberek and has a congregation with many young people. After spending time connecting and building relationships with this congregation, I will hopefully be assisting with running simple bible studies and teaching English.

Please pray for this congregation, as they currently have no full time minister, and recent heavy rain has caused damage to the simple church structure they meet in. Pray also that the Lord would guide the people of this church, and me as well, to know how I could be of greatest blessing and assistance to this congregation.

Besusu Presbyterian Church (2015 Visit) Prayer needs

In my last newsletter I asked for prayer for the shipping container that was on its way to Timor with donated goods & medical supplies. Praise our gracious God, the container arrived safely and its contents able to be distributed via 5 trucks to various hospitals, clinics and Weberek. Please continue to pray for the second shipping container from NSW that will be arriving soon also.

  • Please continue to pray for this transition period into life & culture in Timor Leste.
  • Please also pray for language learning as I find it quite mentally exhausting and difficult at times to grasp certain concepts of the Timorese language, Tetun.

Until next month,

Lauren Crase

Maromak fo Bensuan

Contact Details

Mobile (Timor): 7512 0326 Dili Weberek

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