Timor Leste: One Year On

Oct 13
Posted by Chris Herbert (13 Oct 2016)

19 September 2015. We will remember this day as the day we set foot on the ‘Ground of Hope’, Timor Leste.

Quite a challenging year! An exciting wait to see what God had in store for student ministry in Timor Leste. Learning the language. Understanding the culture. Hearing stories from individuals. Seeing the way things actually happen in a new country. These were some challenges that brought tears to my eyes in this first year.

There were times when I wanted to give up. ‘What keeps you moving forward?’ people ask. The doors that God opens each time keep me marching on!

One thing that amazed me over the past year was student initiative. There is nothing more important than to cheer and offer support if students initiate something! In the church that we attend, one of the students has started a group called “Campus Community”.  Our Timor Leste team was invited to be part of it.

The group includes students from various universities. We meet once a week. Our focus is to shape and train these students. So Campus Community has become a platform for us to encourage and train key leaders, shaping our next milestones with these amazing students and challenging them to be more radical and creative in the university.

Anselmo da Costa is one of those students. Last July and August he went to FES Malaysia’s three-week discipleship training, Camp Cameron. He was the first Timor Leste student to ever attend!  He shared with us about his experience:

What do you treasure from your time at Camp Cameron?

So many things! But I will especially remember how important it is to know God’s will and do it. In life I must have a mission. God has given me a second chance. He will always dwell with me and he wants me to stay close to him.

What did you learn that would benefit students in Timor Leste?

Actually all that I learned would benefit students in Timor Leste! But one of the things is that what we really need in our country is to redeem our relationships with God, others and ourselves. We need to find out how we can bring people more closely together and encourage them to have a genuine relationship with God.

How can we pray?

My prayer for university students in Timor Leste is that they catch the dream and commit to have a Christian fellowship group in their own campus. Pray that as Christian students gather together, my country will change and have no corruption, and all the people in Timor Leste will bow down to God.

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About Chris Herbert

Chris is a staff worker with FES Malaysia. He has been seconded to IFES Asia for pioneering work and is one of the Kernel of Wheat (KOW) Timor Leste team members.

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