Sarah’s Update – August 2017
Wow – where did the last few months go? My time here continues to be full of amazing experiences. We have spent the odd week here and there in Bahareduk. When in the village we help make blocks, work in the community garden which is beginning to flourish and spend time visiting families. Each day we are there I try and spend some time with the children, whether that be reading them a story, singing songs or applying band-aids. They are enjoying the ‘Lost Sheep’ books, which I have started to translate into Tetun with the help of Anabel and Pamella.
I continue to learn new Tetun songs and they continue to improve their knowledge of the English songs. I really do love the time we spend in the village. There is something very special about the community.
When in Dili, we are kept busy doing numerous jobs, such as washing the cars and cleaning around the base. I am gradually being given more responsibilities and they are even trusting me to help with the cooking!!!
The DTS (Discipleship Training School) Program has started and it has been great getting to know the students. Every morning we have a devotional time together and each Thursday night we have a time of worship at the base.
I also spend quite a lot of time with Mery’s children (Rosaria, Gloria, Octavia and David) and lately we have been reading the ‘Lost Sheep’ books and doing some activities.
Every evening before dinner, Pamella and I go for a walk/run to help us unwind and reflect on the day’s activities. The other week, the kids all joined us so we headed down to the beach and we all ran along the foreshore together and then they spent some time playing in the sand. This was a really special time, as they don’t often have the opportunity to do these things, and it was great to just sit there and watch them having so much fun.
At the beginning of July, we had a team from Adelaide come and join us for 2 weeks. They were an ok bunch and they managed to achieve a few of tasks/jobs which we had outlined for them around the base, although they didn’t quite manage to complete them all! No, it was great to have the team come, to spend time with Mum & Dad and to catch up on all the Adelaide news. We did work them all reasonably hard, so I daresay they have all returned in need of a holiday.
My understanding of the Tetun language continues to improve and I try and set aside time each day to learn new words. We have visited a number of churches and it is interesting to see how varied the services are.
Amongst all the goings on, we have importantly had time to relax as well. We have spent time at the beach, going to the movies and also a weekend up into the mountains. The weekend turned out to be quite eventful and unfortunately we didn’t get the climb Mount Ramelau (the highest mountain in Timor) as planned. Although missing the chance to climb, it did mean we were able to see the sun rise up over the mountain, which was pretty amazing.
Most recently, I spent a week in Bali. The reason being, you can only stay in Timor on a tourist visa for 3 months before you have to leave and re-enter, and Bali was cheaper than Australia. Having never been before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, however I thoroughly enjoyed my time. It was a great opportunity to relax, refresh, do some shopping, but most importantly it gave me time to reflect on my time so far and to look ahead to the next 2 months.
I certainly feel very privileged to be able to spend time in East Timor. Each day there is something new or different and I have had so many great opportunities and experiences. This place and the people continue to take hold of my heart.