Month: July 2016

Church News You’ve Been Waiting For!

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Rev. Moises Da Silva led the ordination service of the newest IPTL pastor on Sunday morning

Igreja Protestante iha Timor Lorosa’e (IPTL) had its seventh General Assembly this week in Dili. During the course of the week a number of significant things happened. A former moderator of the church who had been estranged for a number of years was formally reconciled. Church partners from Indonesia, the United States, Australia and the Christian Conference of Asia sent delegations to show solidarity with IPTL, a minority church in one of the poorest countries in the world. In addition, the Assembly heard inspiring words of encouragement from the Catholic Bishop and the Minster of Education.

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Women of IPTL sining at the opening worship for the General Assembly

 

IPTL had some good discussion on the role of the church in the nation’s development. Topics included the effects of climate change on Timor as well as Timor’s current battle to establish a just and fair maritime boundary with Australia in the Timor Sea – which is where the oil and gas is. Notably, several delegates called on church partners in Australia and the U.S. to support Timor Leste’s struggle to get the Australian government to come to the table and negotiate a just and fair maritime boundary according to international law.

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A delegate assures the assembly that Australian and U.S. church partners will support Timor Leste’s struggle to secure a just and fair maritime boundary with Australia.  “We cannot be silent on this issue and we are not alone” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit to Lospalos

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New signs on the road to Lospalos!

Saturday morning we packed up and took some stuff to Lospalos.  It’s a long drive if you do it straight through, about 5 hours.  So we stopped in Baucau, about 3 hours from Dili to enjoy what is quite possibly the world’s best swimming pool.

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This pool, a relic of the Portuguese colonial period, is built on the side of a hill outside of Baucau.  It is spring fed and surrounded by well-kept tropical gardens, and it only costs 50 cents to swim!

After lunch and a couple of hours of swimming we headed to Lospalos and had a great reunion with friends at the clinic and church.  We will be living in the apartment attached to the clinic, so I spent a fair amount of time assessing what needs to be done to move in.

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Monica with good friends Ibu Rita and Amena, members of Immanuel Church and long time workers in the clinic.

We were all pretty tired from the day but slept pretty well in the cool night air of Lospalos and rejoiced in the slow pace and calm atmosphere of life in a rural town.

Sunday morning we worshiped in the newly renovated Immanuel Church. Alberto, the intern serving there preached on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4.  He talked about the need to “rejoice always” (4:4) and in so doing to know the peace of God.

In typical Timor style, the liturgy was all in Tetum.  The sermon was in Indonesian, repeated in Tetum and then summarized in the local language, Fataluku.  Older people sometimes only speak local languages.  Alberto is an example of the linguistic capacity of Timorese people, amazing!

We had a long trip back to Dili, bringing an additional 4 people who are delegates to the General Assembly which will be happening all this week.  What could be more exciting than a 5 day church meeting!  We’ll be moving to Lospalos after the meeting.