Global Ministries mission coworkers Tom and Monica Liddle share these success stories of Global Ministries scholarship recipients from East Timor.
Amena Cristovao is off on another adventure! Some of you may recall Amena’s story. She started working in Clinic Immanuel Lospalos as the lab assistant in 2009. Then, in 2012 when we went back to the States she came with us and studied for 4 years. Global Ministries provided scholarship funds and our home congregation, Peace UCC Duluth, hosted, supported and encouraged her. Amena lived with two different Peace Church families during her time in Duluth studying at Lake Superior Community College. In 2016 she came back to Timor with us. Since then she’s been working in the lab again and serving as the coordinator for community health promotion program at Clinic Immanuel.
You may not know this part, but while Amena was in the States those years she also fell in love. Joel Cooper moved to Timor in 2017 and they married. Now the two are off to America again. Amena hopes to finish her Bachelor’s in medical laboratory science (she earned her AAS from Lake Superior College). It’s been a joy and privilege to get to know Amena and accompany her journey for the past 10 years. We wish her the best in the States this time around and hope they come back to Timor before too long!
In the summer of 2018 when we were in the States, we told many of you about an inspiring and deserving young woman, Leila Virna, who has aspirations to study midwifery. Our daughter Hannah has been friends with Leila since they were little kids. Leila is the oldest of seven children and her family eeks out a living selling vegetables in Lospalos. Leila started her studies at the Institute of Health Sciences in Dili in January 2019 and is doing very well. Many thanks to folks in the States who’ve contributed to her scholarship! By doing that you’re helping plant seeds for the church’s future health care workers.
Alberto Viegas was the pastoral intern when we got back to Timor in 2016. Since August 2017, he’s been studying for his master’s in theology in Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. Alberto showed up in Lospalos in April 2019 to do the research for his thesis. His topic is the church and poverty. Over the next couple of months, he’ll be visiting congregation members, conducting interviews, and linking his research with perspectives of the various theologians he’s been studying. Exciting! Tom is really looking forward to accompanying him the next couple months in his work here in Lospalos.
In 2011, a Global Ministries colleague asked me if I could recommend a young Timorese person for a program called the School of Peace. It was an initiative of the YMCA of Asia and the Mennonites. The program was an inter-religious program in peacebuilding that took place in India. 25-year-old Julio Martens went and loved it. Over the next few years, he participated in subsequent Schools of Peace in Vietnam and Indonesia, and he helped organize one here in Timor-Leste. The past few years Julio has been studying at Union Theological Seminary in Cavite City, Philippines. He’s studying for an M.Div and doing great! This year he will be doing an internship, then he’ll have one more year before he comes back to Timor-Leste.
Last but most certainly not least is Akito Dias. Akito has worked at Clinic Immanuel for 5 years. He gained an interest in laboratory technology from Amena who taught him the basics before she left in 2012. Last year Akito decided to go back to school and start a formal program in lab technology which is great because people with those skills are few and far between here. We are thankful to Global Ministries for his scholarship and glad that Akito plans to come back to Lospalos to work when he finishes his program.
Tom and Monica Liddle serve with the Protestant Church of East Timor (IPTL). Mission Co-worker appointments are made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS and your special gifts.