People in East Timor

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The physical starvation of the East Timorese people cannot be compared to the spiritual malnutrition they suffer. The aim of Sonshine Baptist Church’s mission work in that impoverished and war torn country is to meet that need. To share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and bring hope to a people who have known only fear and uncertainty.

Chris and Margaret Smith head up the team in East Timor and have been there since the month following the country’s independence in 2000. The Smith’s arrived in the country and leased a compound in the capital Dili. Initially church services were made up primarily of UN workers, sent from other countries to help bring stability to the fledgling state. However many of these workers are now returning home to their own countries and the mission’s focus has turned to areas outside of Dili. Much work is done in surrounding villages such as Manatutu, Foutamakerek and Loklubo where the missionaries have found many people hungry to hear about the Lord.

A Bible translation program is in full swing in Dili, where Chris has employed three local East Timorese people to translate the KJV Bible and various Bible studies into the native Tetum language. The Smith’s son, Tim, runs the Print Shop Ministry in Dili which prints the work that’s been translated.

Margaret works extensively with the local women, taking craft supplies to the villages and mineral supplements for pregnant women. She and Chris also take a monthly trip to villages in order to deliver rice (and other food supplies when available) to help ward off starvation and malnutrition amongst the people. This is delivered to Christian and non-Christian people alike, demonstrating that the love of Christ knows no boundaries.

There is much yet to be done in East Timor, for the need is great. There are many ways you can contribute to this critical ministry. Major projects require financial support, the daily physical needs of the workers must be met and fervent prayer and fasting for the Lord’s protection and provision in the work is always needed.

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