Sydney Adventist Youth took a group of 31 people on a Mission Trip to Timor Leste from July 1 to 16, 2023.
The group turned a church building in the region of Baucau into a school (including accommodation for teachers) and ran a vacation Bible school (VBS) program while they were there.
“Despite heavy rainfall at the start of the trip, and only two kids turning up to the first VBS program, the Lord’s hand moved while the group was there!” said Pastor Simon Gigliotti, Greater Sydney Conference (GSC) Youth director. “At the end of the first VBS program, a whole truckload of kids turned up, and the group eventually grew to 30+ participants.”
The entire building project was also completed also, with the final touches being put in place on the morning before the group left.
“I’m so grateful to have been part of such an amazing experience where we could see God’s leading through the whole process,” said participant Ms Natalie Despois. “We had the best team and were able to make so many friends along the way!”
Planned over a year and a half, the group was able to raise approximately $A30,000 to donate to the Timor Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“The Timor Mission is doing pioneering work in Timor Leste,” said Pastor Gigliotti. “Close to 20 years ago there were only a handful of Seventh-day Adventists in the country but through faithful work and prayer, there are now around 400 members who attend church on Sabbath.”
Timor Mission Leaders, Pastor Chris Anderson (president), Pastor Inaciu Da Kosta (general secretary), and Roni P Manurung (chief financial officer)—who helped the group from Sydney organise the Mission trip—are excited to see Adventist schools going up across the country.
“They view quality Adventist education as the Churches entering wedge for the Gospel of Jesus to be proclaimed, before He comes, in Timor Leste,” said Pastor Gigliotti. “Please keep the church in Timor Leste in prayer.”
This is not the first time a group from GSC has travelled to aid the Timor Leste Mission. The Australian Union Conference is currently supporting Laos and Timor Leste in mission as part of its Global Partnership Program.