Sunday, January 25, 2015


The big news this week is that Cynthia is pregnant! That will bring our tally up to four. The first three are rip-snorter specimens so I hope that number four follows suite. You can’t get too confident though. If my maths is right I also think it means we’ve contributed to a doubling of the world’s population. However if you include our siblings into the picture it’s still an overall decline in the population. So no biggy. We receive what the good Lord gives. It is quite difficult for Cynthia though because of a leaky valve in her heart so she’s pretty short on breath but still coping (just).

I’ve finished drawing the Beto Training Centre.  It’s a rather ambitious project that I’ve been musing over for a good 18months or more. I’m still not exactly sure if I should proceed but then I’m not exactly sure about a lot of things these days. Here it is…


This is the first floor, its got several snazzy features:

1. Large sewing room for Bele Kria

2. Shop front for Bele Kria sales and other items

3. Reception for the whole centre including handling sales for Bele Kria

4. Large training and meeting room – multi-purpose space

5. Kitchen for daily use of staff as well as trainees

6. Office for administration

7. Small library and study space.

8. Sound room for recording local music.

9. Bathroom, shower, toilet (extra facilities including laundry located in separate building at back)

Then the top floor looks like this:


1. Dorm 1: Accommodation for up to 8 women – designed for women in need, or young women coming to Dili for study. Women will be trained in sewing, design and hospitality and assist in the operation of the centre.

2. Bed 1: Bedroom for staff member caring for women.

3. Unit 1: Unit for foreign volunteer assisting with operations

4. Dorm 2: Dorm for visiting teams to sleep 12 – either foreigners from overseas or local people from the mountains coming to receive training.

5. Unit 2: Separate unit accessed from outside centre. Designed to be a source of income to help in paying for operation of the centre such as food, electricity and maintenance.

So there you have it.  We could do with some help on this one.  My neighbour just scored two loos for $25 each so it looks like we are on our way.  I am interested in sourcing some specific materials from Oz for this such as quality louvers and some regular door handles, and taps and sinks – the sorts of things that are difficult to find here.  Let me know if you’ve got ideas.

Looks like we’ll be preggas with activity this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A New Year in Timor-Leste

So 2014 is done and its time to look into 2015 and think about the year ahead – what to do, who to be, how will our family grow?

Some highlights from 2014 were:

  • the shifting of management of Bele Kria from Cynthia to Emmy to become a more independent Timorese entity.
  • the teaching of young church leaders in a joint Bible course with our Brazilian friends
  • the groups who came to visit us such as the Darwin crew preaching the good news of Jesus with the Timorese churches in Los Palos.
  • the support of a number of Timorese ministries with finance, mentoring and that ambiguous term: “capacity building”
  • the ramping up of water filter systems as a small business operated by Serenity.

Of course there were a bunch of other cool things that happened but I list these as the more unique highlights of 2014.  I think its important that we do things each year that stand out from other years, things you can go wow at.  Something I’ve been brewing on over the year is the sense that great deeds are accomplished beyond our day job.  The task we do each day like going to school, looking after our family or going to work is really important but I think the things that change the world around us is what is done in addition to the day to day life.

So what’s on for 2015?  Who knows? but here’s some guesses …

Given that water filters could take off and I see some other pressing needs around me like good rolls of barbed wire (go figure!?) I decided to go into international trading.  We’ve ordered a container of mixed goods from China: filters, buckets, barbed wire, chicken wire, hand grinders, hand corn shellers and star pickets.  This will be imported with a small business here in Timor to help them ramp up their current activities of meeting the needs of poor families in day to day activities.  Its about observing the menial and challenging tasks in the home such as cooking, getting clean water, growing veggies, preparing food and then trying to find appropriate solutions to these tasks.

I’ve also started on that training centre I’ve mentioned in 2014.  In fact, the first patch of concrete was poured today – the driveway to get onto the land.  I’m not exactly totally committed on this task which is sort of massive but I’m not getting any vibes to back off so its more than likely to go ahead.  You’ve gotta love my anti-“call of God” sort of approach to this sort of thing.  Its more like “yeah, maybe I will, but then maybe I wont”.  Its like a “wandering around blindly in the desert after God” sort of approach, which is what it feels like most of the time.  No offense intended to the big man upstairs.  Lets just hope he makes some sense out of our actions down here.

On that happy note, God bless you all in 2015, watch a little less telly and do something beyond your day-to-day this year and I guarantee your life will get just a little more lively.