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.
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.