FCBC Serves Timor Leste (September, 2016)

Pre-Trip Preparation

The September 2016 medical team consists of 7 members, of which 4 of us are doctors. During the pre-trip preparation, we met to discuss the clinical flow, work to be done as well as a children’s programme which we would be anchoring. On our last meeting, we distributed the medications that we are supposed to bring for the trip and there, we are all ready to “Go”!

Day 1

Rise and shine! The team was greeted with a beautiful red sky in the morning as we met at 7am at Changi Airport. Daniel and Ps Kang Ying came to send the team off. When we arrived in Dili, we were greeted by Ps Catherine and Denise. Thank God we managed to clear the custom smoothly.

We then checked into the hotel and proceeded to Timor Plaza to meet Prof Stephen & Dr Jong Jong, who were already in Timor. We ended the day with our 1st team dinner. 

Day 2

We started the day with breakfast consisting of bread with eggs and Timor Coffee. The team of 3 cars then proceeded with a two-hour drive to a skills training centre in Manatuto to visit our 1st group of patients. There, we were warmly welcomed by Francis and Grace from St. John St. Margaret’s Church, Singapore.

After the consultation, the team had some snacks. We celebrated Denise’s birthday with 2 Lo Mai Gai and 1 mooncake, specially flown over from Singapore. “Blessed Birthday, Denise!”.  Before the team left for lunch, Francis prayed for the team.

After lunch, we headed to Viqueque, during which we travelled through bumpy roads and it poured heavily. The team spirits were not dampened by the rain but remained high as we shared jokes along the way. 

Finally, after 7 hours on the road, we reached a convent in Viqueque, where we will be staying for the next few days. The team took stock on all the medications after dinner and packed the medications, before calling it a day.

Day 3

We started the day with breakfast, worship and devotion. As the team was on the way to Fatudere Village, one of the car’s tyre punctured. Thank God that we discovered this before we left Viqueque town centre. The car was brought to the mechanics for repair. While waiting, we took the opportunity to bless the cook who prepared our lunch by providing her medical consultation. 

After the car was fixed, we continued travelling to Fatudere village. We started the clinic at 11am and ended at 4:30pm. During this period, we managed to register and diagnose 68 patients and their children.

When the team reached the convent where we stayed, it was already dark. The team had our dinner and did some preparation for the children’s programme before we ended our day.

Day 4

Today, the team stopped by 2 villages and a church to render medical support. First stop, we met 4 women in a village near Bibileo of which 2 of them are old. We prayed for them at the end of the session and moved on to a church.

At the Luca CV church, the team diagnosed 3 leg related cases. One of them came with an infected foot where pus had to be removed from the injured area. 

After lunch, we continued our journey to Horokuan village where we met 36 patients and their children. While waiting for the doctors to clear the last few patients, the registration group interacted with the villagers, teaching English and learning Tetum. 

The team wrapped up the whole session with a prayer of blessing to the villagers.

After all the hard work, the team decided to stop by a shop to get our long awaited Coke. The taste of chilled Coke was really good on a hot day as such!

The team continued to interact with students whom study English in Dream Centre and we managed to have Dr Angeline to share her personal testimony on how she gets to know God.

We ended the day by rehearsing the skit for the children’s programme after dinner.

Day 5

For the last day of service, the team set up a clinic in the village of Luca. 32 villagers came for medical consultation. There was a boy who came with a swollen upper right leg. It was found to have an infection, causing the swelling. Prof Stephen had to do an incision to drain the pus. 

The team had beef for lunch which was a change from the usual chicken served on the other days. After closing the clinic in Luca, the team headed to Igreja Evangelica Visao Crista de Timor Leste Church where we met some patients, including the church’s pastor. 

While waiting for the doctor’s diagnosis, the remaining team surveyed the church compound to plan for the children’s programme the next day. 

After consultation, the team split into 2 where the doctors continue their last home visit while the rest proceeded back to the convent. During the time back at the convent, we met 4 boys from the convent. We sang songs and the boys shared their aspirations.

After dinner, the translators of our team, Algy and Nata, worked on the translation of our scripts for the children’s programme. We then rehearsed for the skit together with them. We ended the day learning the line dance and 2 songs in Bahasa which we will perform for the children the next day. 

Day 6

The team visited the Igreja Evangelica Visao Crista de Timor Leste Church for service today. During this period, we ran the children programme where we played the hunter, squirrel and tree game, showcased the skit on Jonah and did handicraft with them. At the end of the session, we took photo of mommento with the church.

The team walked back to the convent after church and had time to rest, have lunch, before the next children programme at 3pm in Dream centre.

In Dream centre, we met children from as young as 2 years old to those of 13 years old. We started off with some ice breaker games followed by songs, skit and craft. 

After the children programme, the team stayed to continue to interact with the children while the doctors when over to visit the landlady for a short consultation.

At the end of the day, the team was caught in a drizzle but thank God that it was only when we reached the convent, the rain started to pour heavily. We had our last dinner at the convent and continued to sit around to interact with one another.

During the sharing, the team received news from Singapore that Francis son, Isaac, was hospitalized due to being unwell since Monday. The team prayed and interceded and called the day with prayer and words of blessing.

The following were shared:

"This trip is a reminder of being passionate on what I am doing now as a dentist."

- Dr Cheryl


"Thank God for Pastor Catherine for making so much a difference to the people in Timor Leste. It really warmed the hearts of the people." 

- Dr Angeline


"Hang on to the passion as a doctor. Use the talent God gave us to serve Him, bringing souls to come to know the Lord."

- Prof Stephen 

Day 7

The team started to move out of the convent early in the morning to head back to Dili. We stopped by 2 scenic locations along the way for some photo shot. 

Our rented car had a leaking roof and this means if it were to pour heavily, the people in the car will be wet. As we travel back to Dili, God's protection was evident all around us. He held the rain and watched over our cars. 

The rented car got a bolt in its tyre, the same tyre which we replaced few days ago. However, because we were in the town centre of Bacau, help was readily available for another round of tyre replacement. 

The journey continued on for another 3 hours after lunch. At one point of the journey off Bacau, the rented car was unable to accelerate. After some attempt, the car came back alive and we continued the journey. 

The team stopped at Bemvindo Praia de Cristo Rei in Dili for photo taking and bid farewell to our translators, Nata and Algy. 

After watching the scenic sunset, Ps Catherine and Denise came back to bring us to our last dinner stop. 

During dinner, Denise shared the issues she faced with the rented car on the way back to the mechanics. It was so bad that when they reached the workshop, the exhaust was fuming with black smoke. The car was returned and another car was provided to us. 

Thank God we made it safely back to Dili before all these happened! The team ended the day checking in back to Hotel Camora where we can enjoy the comfort of hot water again.

Day 8

The team set off to the market at 9am to purchase fruits and food stuff to bring back Singapore. 

After shopping, we dropped by Prof Stephen and Dr Jong jong house for Tea eggs. We sat around and chatted before we left for hotel to pack our bags. 

The team lunched and headed to the airport to check in our return back to Singapore. Dr Jong jong came to send us off and before the team leave Dili, we prayed for Ps Catherine, Denise and Dr Jong jong.

The team boarded the plane and headed back home.

It is still so great to be Home. We appreciated everything we have even more after the trip =)

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