After 8 weeks in Australia, we have returned ‘home’ to East Timor. While we were away, the Nazarene Church from Los Palos was able to use our house for accommodation while they attended their national conference in Dili. So we have a new record for how many guests staying at Sonrei House – 60 people! (O my goodness!?) Surprisingly, the house looked pretty much in the same condition as when we left it. Emmy had done a great job. The cat and dog are still alive. We didn’t lose any kitchen knives either (highly valued by local women). I’ve only noticed the loss of the battery drill, one boat roller and the outboard to the boat with its fuel tank. I’m fairly confident it’ll come back. Anen, our neighbour, who I’ve been giving construction training to, has won a good contract to build five units further down the beach which is great news that he’s getting out on his own. The sewing business is still running and considering how to improve advertising and improving the work space. They were very excited about the certificate they were awarded from last year’s markets and couldn’t believe they were one of only four recipients (we heard that line a few times). Tobias with the fishing business returned his $200 loan and says the profits are still on their way. We got the little white suzuki back with a large crack in the windscreen after being rocked on the way back from a Bible Distribution run on the other side of Baucau. Pastor Samuel is talking about the construction of the fence wall for the Nazarene Conference centre with limited funds as well as developing a Bible Leadership course to train house church leaders (very exciting). We went to a Korean Ballet which was a bit weird, but I feel like I’ve moved up into a new world of sophisticated culture. I’ve had a couple of meetings with the Japanese regarding their household biogas systems and will travel to the mountains with them tomorrow for two days. I’ve just been back from a 3 day journey to the south side of East Timor to survey corn crops with Seeds of Life and have been asked to assist a farmers group to build a corn drying ‘shed’ to secure the next corn harvest in April. We’re yet to visit our Los Palos corn project but I’ve bought a hand cranked sheller for them (to take the kernels off the cob). Our light truck never sold and the brakes have failed (again). Bible distribution has begun again with a few being sprinkled across the country during my travels. Cynthia is back into teaching the kids – the big event being that Serenity will start high school. We’ve been back for 8 days so it will take a bit to get into the swing of things I suppose. One of my big missions this year is to give more time to my family – I think its achievable, but I’m ever the dreamer.
We invite you to come over if you can,