Having been meeting up weekly to prepare for this trip, the eight of us were all ready and excited to go to Timor Leste! Our FCBC missions staff, Esther Seah, and a few of our friends came to pray for God’s protection over us and to send us off.
We flew to Bali and had brunch there, before transiting to Dili Airport. The flights took two-and-a-half hours and two hours respectively. Upon arrival, the team was introduced to Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit. Afterwards, they drove us to Faith House to put down our luggage in our rooms. Before dinner, we went to visit “Cocoon Timor Leste”, a kindergarten school where we asked them about how they engage the children and heard some interesting stories about running the school.
We made our way to a nearby Chinese restaurant for our first-ever local dinner. It was also a time where Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit got to know some of the first-time volunteers better, and also a good catch-up session with familiar faces who have served in Timor Leste before. After dinner, we went back to Faith House and had an early night to prepare for the journey to Dili the next day.
Early the next morning, we had breakfast prepared by Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit, before having a bus drive us to Viqueque. We stopped briefly to pick up some of the children and translators, and started our nine-hour journey to Viqueque. Two-and-a-half hours in, we had a short toilet break and subsequently we continued to travel for another three hours straight to Bacau and had our lunch. With full stomachs again, we travelled the remaining journey to Viqueque, reaching close to evening time. We had dinner opposite the Borala Motel, our home for the next four nights.
We had our breakfast together, followed by a time of devotion. It was led by Crystal, who shared about the heart of worship. We were reminded that we are here to serve the people, and though there may be situations outside of our comfort zone, we are here to serve the people and to surrender fully to doing God’s work. With the right posture of serving in mind, we went to Christian Vision Church to start our teaching on worship.
Asher and Andy led teachings in specific areas of worship – “What is Worship” and “Heart of a Worshipper”. After a short tea break, we split the children into separate tracks to teach them how to play the instruments.
At Dream Centre, Denise, Christina and Vanessa taught the children and youths how to play the guitar. The group was further broken down into beginner and intermediate groups.
Over at Christian Vision Church, Crystal was teaching the keyboard group. To better accommodate the large group of people, the keyboard group was split into two, which allowed two people to play at once, instead of one. Jovyn was around to help out as well.
Andy and Donovan taught the children some basic cajon skills. The children sat in a circle, and they took turns to play the cajon. While waiting, they clapped along as a means of practice.
Afterwards, we went for dinner and shared about the experience we had with the children. After dinner, we headed back to Borala Motel to have a proper debrief of the day, and to prepare for the second day of teaching.
After breakfast at Borala Motel, Asher shared a devotion with us from Luke 10:2, “He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” He encouraged us to rely on God when teaching the children, as we will face moments where we do not know what to do. We were reminded to just take a step back and choose to listen to God; to ask Him what is it that we should do before taking a course of action.
Asher and Andy began to teach the children more on the technical aspect of worship.
Asher taught the children and youth about rhythm and how to count them.
The children and youth followed Asher in counting the four counts in a song.
After a short tea break, we split into the separate instruments’ tracks again to prepare the children for a mini worship concert.
After a few hours of teaching, everyone gathered back at Christian Vison Church. With some last minute touch-ups, Pastor Catharine, Ai Kit and the team were all very excited and also slightly nervous for the children to showcase what they had learnt over these past two days.
The performance was a success and we were all very proud of them.
We attended the morning service at Christian Vision Church. After worship, the team presented a song item – “Turn It Up”.
We also prepared a Sunday School programme for the children. After service, we went for lunch and had a short rest before heading to Dream Centre to conduct another round of our Sunday School programme.
Afterwards, we visited the children at the convent.
We departed for Dili today and got to admire the mountainous terrain and beautiful scenery.
Today, we woke up early to go sightseeing around Dili.
Slowly but surely, we made our way up Cristo Rei. The view on the top was breath-taking.
We had a wonderful breakfast by the beach. After breakfast, we went to the supermarket near Timor Plaza for some shopping. After lunch, we prepared for our next training, which would be held at New Community Church.
It was an amazing evening spent with Pastor Acy and her group of youths and leaders who work with the children. Donovan opened with a time of icebreakers, while Jovyn led worship. Although we had a brief power outage, that did not stop us from worshipping freely. Andy then shared about how God has a plan and purpose for children. Asher shared with the group on how to disciple the children in the G12 Vision. He challenged them to see that the church has no future without the children, and to start discipling them from young. He encouraged them through the testimonies of Crystal and Jovyn, who grew up in FCBC and are now cell leaders, leading children.
We ended the night praying for New Community Church, and were blessed to receive their prayers in return. We went back to Faith House for dinner and a proper debrief of our experience in Timor Leste.
We had our breakfast at Timor Plaza and went to the local market to shop for more fruits.
After shopping, we left for the airport and said our goodbyes to Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit.
During our brief stopover in Bali, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant – a treat for the team after a week of serving!
Every one of us who went on this trip are truly thankful for this opportunity to serve the people of Timor Leste, alongside Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit. We all received something that we needed to hear from God personally and we will miss Timor Leste.
We believe in Isaiah 55:11:
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
We believe that the seeds we have planted in their lives will bear fruits that will last! We will continue to pray for God’s blessings and protection over Pastor Catherine and Ai Kit, and every team that is sent to Timor Leste. And we pray for Timor Leste to be a place where God’s presence will reign, and signs and wonders can be seen.