The first village we visited in Timor Leste is called Tiha-Aitahan. It was the smallest and closest village we visited, and the only one without a toilet! This village has an interesting history. The village chief, who was not a believer, had a really bad temper. When Pastor Catherine Foo and team visited him and prayed for his various ailments, including high blood pressure, they realised these ailments were the cause of his bad temper. He accepted Christ soon after, and was also receptive to Pastor Catherine's advice to control his temper and not use violence. Even when he was beat up by the leader of a neighbouring village, he abided by what he was told and did not retaliate despite being physically capable. Till today, he still bears scars from that incident.
Our team set up a medical clinic to treat the villagers of their ailments. Two huts had to be used to house the crowd. One of whom was a boy who fell from a horse seven months ago and broke his leg. Some of us prayed for him, while others looked for a plank to be tied to his leg to support bone growth. When a suitable plank could not be found, we started to make one ourselves! Using a long, thick branch, we starting hacking it to size with a parang. With help from several people, we successfully created a decent crutch for the boy. Meanwhile, after the prayers, his leg straightened slightly, making it easier for the doctor to push it into place. Thank God for this miracle!
We also did a check-up for the children at the Dream Centre, and enjoyed playful, fun times with them.
From there, we moved on to the next village called Fatudere. It was situated near the sea, with a nice-looking school. Our medical clinic was set up in its town hall. At the clinic, we met a boy named Simon who suffered from short leg syndrome. Because of his condition, he was limping quite badly when he came to us. Some of us prayed for him, and told him to come back after lunch if he wanted more prayers. Lo and behold, he really showed up and after two hours of prayer, we noticed that his leg grew slightly, though it was still not completely healed. One of our team members received God's prompting to tell the boy to change his name to Peter, which means "The Rock". This is as the Lord wants him to grow into a man with faith as sturdy as a rock, and He will build His church on the rock. We wrapped up the clinic at 4.00pm, after seeing more than 100 patients.
The next day, we prepared to move out to the third village Luca which means "wound" in Malay. True to its name, the village had sadly been poorly treated by the Japanese and Indonesians. After a two-hour drive, we arrived and hosted our medical clinic.
On our way back to Viqueque, we stopped by the home of Ito, one of our translators. There, we were served fresh coconuts. While we enjoyed the refreshing drink, coupled with bananas, our doctors gave Ito's family a check-up. From there, we headed straight to the Dream Centre to conduct a children's programme.
We performed skits and sang songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus Loves The Little Children". Pastor Catherine then shared John 3:16 with the children. Some of them received Jesus into their hearts for the first time! Hallelujah! As their exams were just around the corner, the team decided to pray for each and every one of them.
In return for our performances, the children decided to teach us their childhood songs called "A New Friend Found" and "Building Community" coupled with line dancing. Although, the time we spent with them was short, I believe that we've impacted their lives. By God's divine plan, even through the most insignificant actions, He will touch their lives. It was such a privilege to be His vessel and serve His people in other less-developed nations!
We headed to our final village, Lugasa, the next day. At this village, instead of setting up our usual medical clinic, we assisted their local doctor in an existing medical facility.
Before we knew it, it was time to wrap up and head back to Dili. Another miracle happened at the foot of Cristo Rei of Dili, which is a 27-metre tall statue of Jesus. One of our team members, David, was feeling unwell and another member, Joseph, decided to accompany him as he looked for a seat around the beach to rest. While Joseph was praying for David, a man approached them and introduced himself as a third-generation Timorese of Chinese heritage called David. He told them that he wanted someone to pray for him because he was feeling troubled and when he saw Joseph praying, he jumped at the opportunity. He also shared that earlier he was contemplating whether to go the beach or head home after a fight with his parents, but decided on the former. He told them that he believes in Jesus Christ – the one true God. Joseph and David immediately prayed for him. Joseph led him in praying the sinner's prayer to receive Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. Joseph recalled meeting a lawyer, Mr Wong, at Timor Plaza earlier who said he's currently worshipping at Victory Family Centre at the Excelsior Resort, which he shared with David. David agreed to pay the church a visit and parted ways after exchanging email addresses. Up till now, they are still in contact. It was such a divine appointment! It was truly amazing to see how God orchestrated a sequence of activities that led to the salvation of this man! To God be the glory!
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)