My guess is, if you found yourself here, you probably already know who we are. Nevertheless, we are Tom, Monica, Hannah and Simon Liddle. Monica and Tom are mission personnel of Global Ministries, which is an ecumenical witness of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Both are ecumenical Protestant churches in the United States. We are members of Peace United Church of Christ in Duluth, MN.
Here in East Timor, we work in partnership with the Protestant Church of Timor Leste (IPTL). Monica is a naturopathic physician (ND) and certified professional midwife (CPM) working with IPTL’s health ministries. Tom is an ordained UCC minister working with IPTL’s pastoral ministries.
As representatives of Global Ministries, we seek to embody our church’s commitment to:
“Receive and share the good news of Jesus Christ by joining with global and local partners to work for justice, reconciliation and peace.”
We seek to accomplish this by being present with our partners, and sharing the joy and challenge of learning what it means to be the church in this context. This approach to ministry is best summed up in Timor’s national language Tetum, by the phrase la’o hamutuk. To la’o hamutuk, means to “walk together” or to accompany one another on a journey. It’s a term of solidarity and mutuality. We do this by sharing in the pastoral, health and educational ministries of IPTL, all of which strive to embody God’s justice, reconciliation and peace.
One important aspect of our work is sharing stories, reflections and observations about life and work in East Timor with our UCC and Disciples of Christ churches in the United States. By doing this, we hope to be a bridge between our local U.S. churches and the wider world, giving both constituencies a deeper and more expansive sense of what it means to be the global church.