Prayers for East Timor: Matthew 25:14-30
Almighty and every gracious God who cares for all; whose love over flows to all living in the corners of our uncertain world, and yet whose presence is not felt by everyone; whose voice is heard only by a few and whose faith is based on unquestioned surrender to your will.
Be among those faithful in East Timor and other lands who are faithfully trying to be honest in their everyday work in farms, shops, stores and offices even if many are not, even if others will not, even if others cannot. Amen.
Mission Moment from East Timor:
The Christian Church in East Timor being an outgrowth of missionary endeavor of the different Indonesian regional churches became a suspected organization for collaborating with the Indonesia military during the war of East Timor’s freedom and independence. Many of church buildings were burnt; only concrete skeletal structures remained
The Maliana church building is one of them. It is a large structure that could easily have seated 500 or more people. When the Indonesian colonial administrators left who were mostly Christians, its number fell to just over 30 people belonging to five families. Like other congregations of the Christian Church in East Timor, the Timorese members struggled to survive by scraping out a living from something. One of the leaders of this congregation is a shoe repairer. Another is a government employee, a small store owner, a farmer and laborer.
From the perspective of the Conference and Synod officials, this group cannot even be a congregation; it was too small a group to assign a pastor. When I first visited the remains of Maliana’s burnt out church building, the care taker set up his tent at the alter section, while the huge floor was partitioned for pigs and chickens. This definitely was not a house of worship.
The five remaining families in the Maliana church, resolved by themselves to do something about their own spiritual plight. They needed and desired to have a place of worship of which the Synod and Conference was not interested to help for their number was small. So starting as a house church they began raising funds for the repair of one window and the next. They raised other resources for the doors. After almost three years, the huge Maliana church building was completed and re-painted. There is a strong Christian commitment fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have frequently visited this congregation over the period of five years and I am a witness to the reality that God still speaks to people in this far away land. Hopefully there will be more congregations like the Maliana congregation for this is where the hope lies for the Christian Church in East Timor. Praise be to God !
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Carlos Madrazo)
Video Resources on East Timor:
· Interview with Tom and Monica Liddle: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/east-timor-liddle.html
· Interview with John Campbell-Nelson: http://globalministries.org/resources/multimedia-resources/videos/video-mission-moments/eastern-indonesia-pastoral.html
Global Ministries Partners in East Timor:
The Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL): represents the Reformed Church presence in a predominantly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia.
Global Ministries Missionaries in East Timor:
· Tom Liddle, a member of Peace United Church of Christ, Duluth, Minnesota, serves with the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). He works as a facilitator in the IPTL's program for strengthening congregations and continuing education of pastors.
· Monica Liddle, a member of Peace United Church of Christ, Duluth, Minnesota, serves with the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). She works as a naturopathic doctor in the clinic in Lospalos, which is run by FUSONA, the relief and development wing of the IPTL. Monica's appointment is supported by One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).
· Carlos Madrazo, a member of Bethany United Church of Christ, Seattle, Washington, serves the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). He works as an adviser on institutional capacity building, resources and curriculum development with ITPL and its two related foundations - Foundasaun Didache (for the Lisa Dila Vocational High School) and Foundation Social Naroman (engaged in relief and development).
For more info on East Timor: http://globalministries.org/sasia/countries/east-timor/
Pray for Partners without Global Ministries Mission Personnel: Switzerland
For more info on Switzerland: http://globalministries.org/mee/countries/switzerland/