Last week I was talking with a pastor friend in Minnesota who I check in with occasionally for support and reflection. I asked him what it was like being a pastor in America these days. He said, “…Actually, the task of the church has never been more clear.” He went on to talk about how he sees that task amidst the current events unfolding in the United States. Here in Timor-Leste, I feel a similar clarity in terms of the task before our partner church, the Protestant Church of Timor-Leste (IPTL) and by extension, our role as Global Ministries mission personnel.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 9:1-41
Prayers for East Timor:
A Man Blind from Birth Receives Sight
“The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.”
Each day in Clinic Immanuel Lospalos, as we address people’s health concerns, continue to help us provide any physical healing that we can. But people also come to our clinic seeking spiritual healing. God, continue to help us provide patients with another way of “seeing” illness, helping them understand that illness is not just something that someone else, living or passed, makes happen to them.
This way of seeing also holds people accountable, and so help us as we teach people each day how their behaviors directly affect health.
For the mind-body-spirit medicine that is reaching people every day in our clinic in Lospalos, we pray. For the possibility to continue the teaching and healing that happens here, we pray. And for the vision of our partners, the Protestant Church in East Timor, to see how best to support the continued work of Clinic Immanuel, we pray.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
One rainy afternoon, Alberto, the local pastoral intern, and I were Bible sharing with the few youth who came. Suddenly, two strangers walked up to the church door. Greg, a Brazilian, and Joyce, from Malaysia, were traveling all over Southeast Asia. The two traveled light; each with just a small backpack.Read more
Well, America has a new president, and it’s a new year. Here in East Timor, we have settled in to our new normal here in Lospalos, none too soon. It has been a more painful than usual transition period for us, despite returning to a familiar place. We did expect a rocky path back to Timor. But as you know, when you are actually experiencing things, not just imagining how they might be, well, reality sometimes hurts.Read more
based on Isa. 2:1-5
In days to come,
Children in Timor shall have enough to eat,
Because no longer shall there be a “hungry season”
Or fear of scarcity…
Well, it’s late October and it appears that the rainy season is upon us. Normally it starts sometime in November or December but people around Lospalos are already planting corn, so there seems to be a sense that the rains have come to stay.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 18:9-14
Prayers for East Timor:
This is a prayer in the time of transitions.
God, be with us as we walk through this world, doing the best we can, wherever we are. Help us to see ourselves for who we are. Help us to take off the blinders we wear that keep us from seeing our arrogance, our insensitivity, our self-righteousness. Help us to see ourselves in the way that YOU see us: with compassionate eyes. Remind us not to be ashamed of who we are, ever.
For our partners in the Protestant Church of East Timor, in a time of transition, we pray for the synod, for guidance in leading the Church forward. For Fusona, the Church’s mission branch, we pray for good leadership. And for us, help us to always be compassionate and humble as we accompany our partners in the daily walk of life. God, hear our prayers.Read more
It’s been a busy two months in Timor! We go back and forth between feeling totally at home, like we never left Lospalos, and wondering where on earth we are. It’s a confusing but natural part of making the transition to living in a culture so different from our own.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 11:1-13
Prayers for East Timor:
Gracious God, we give you thanks for our partnership with the Protestant Church of Timor Leste. Through this partnership we hear the good news of your presence among the people of Timor and we see how your Spirit is at work bringing faith and hope, nurturing a spirit of service in the search for justice and peace.
We pray this day for the people of East Timor. And we pray as well for the land and sea and creatures big and small. We pray for the ministries of the IPTL: Clinic Immanuel Losplaos, Lisa Dila School, youth activities, and pastoral ministry. We pray for IPTL’s faithful pastors; many serving with very little pay and all striving to bring a word of life, grace and hope to the people. We ask that you give wisdom, guidance and trust to all of us working together to serve the people of Timor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
18 June 2016, Originally posted here
This month, Timor-Leste signed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the French company Bolloré to build and operate a major new container port at Tibar, 15km west of Dili. La’o Hamutuk has analyzed the project in depth, identifying some social and environmental impacts, raising concerns about economic viability and pondering implications for Timor-Leste’s sustainability.Read more