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Masterchef – The power of narrative and story

When I go to a restaurant to eat a meal, I look at the menu, think about the winelist, wonder if I should have desert and then pay the bill and go home, having enjoyed good company.
But the new Network 10 program Masterchef is challenging me to reconsider such superficial and self-centered behaviour. What is important, apparently, is the passion of the Chef, their love for, and knowledge of their ingredients, and, above all, the story that they and their food represent.
Human stories resonate deeply within us, to the very core of our beings. Though poles apart, the producers of Masterchef appreciate a truth which was embraced by the Lord Jesus: people are more receptive to learning truth through the subjective realities represented by stories more than they are to the abstract realities of propositional teaching.
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Koorong Sale – Wishlist

Koorong are having a 20% off sale from April 29 to May 5. I’ll be visiting the Ryde store on either Monday or Tuesday. So, what’s of interest? Precious little in the catalogue these days.
But the following items are on my wish list:
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Have you heard of ‘The Cambridge Seven’?

My recent visit to Timor Leste is not my first overseas trip with a member of the Benn family. Fourteen years ago Shirley Benn led an OMF Mission Experience Tour, on which a much less mature and far more brash version of myself was sent. I continue to be thankful for her grace and patience on that trip, and trust whatever fruit is gained from the encouragement I can give to cross-cultural Gospel work is some compensation for her trials.
On that trip I encountered the idea of ‘story’. Accompanying our group along the way was a tote bag of books, generally missionary biographies. It was on the islands of Indonesia that I first encountered the stories of Isobel Kuhn, Pauline Hamilton and others. My concept of what God does through those who hand their lives over to Him was greatly expanded.
So, as I looked through Koorong in Melbourne the day before the trip I purchased a marked down copy of ‘The Cambridge Seven’ [Christian Focus, 2006 111pgs]. In this revised edition of his 1955 book of the same name John Pollock provides a sketch outline of what the cover terms ‘The True Story Of Ordinary Men Used In No Ordinary Way’.
The book is not a mystery, so it does no harm at all to explain the outline of the story. On February 5, 1885 seven young men left England to work as missionaries with the China Inland Mission. This in itself was still not commonplace, but the extraordinary aspect of these seven is that they were all graduates of Cambridge, all from priveleged backgrounds and each, by their choice walked away from lives of comfort and high society. These facts are no mystery, but the mystery the book seeks to explain is this: what influenced the cream of a generation to forsake all for China’s lost millions?
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Day 10 (Visiting the EPC-TL Part 16 and final)

Given the state of regional travel over weekends, the choice to stay in Darwin and fly home on Monday was fairly easy. It also means I have two hours in the Alice Springs airport to type up and post this blog.
It also provided an opportunity to visit the Darwin Presbyterian Church and to listen to the Robert Benn (no longer Secretary General Most High) preach God’s Word.
The Service is held in the Kormilda College Auditorium. Their website explains that the property has a fascinating history as a transit centre for international travellers. In 1967-68, the Northern Territory Government acquired the property to create a post primary hostel and boarding school for indigenous children from isolated locations. In 1989 the ownership of the College transferred to the Anglican and Uniting Churches and is now a large school with a significant indigenous representation in its student body. The property and grounds are well appointed and it is an inviting place to conduct Worship.
The auditorium is state of the art and seats about sixty to seventy in theatrette type seating. A grand piano is available for music. Disabled access is available by lift. The room is air-conditioned. I cannot but think of the difference between these surroundings and those in Dili last week.
Before the Service I am sitting alone, but Ann comes to introduce herself and keep me company. Ann, who I will learn is four, tells me about her brothers (5) and her mum and dad (1 of each). Her dress features pink and her sandles match. Later at morning tea she will bring me a Jatz Cracker to eat. Ann has a great future as a church welcomer.
The tone of the Service is reverent and relaxed, which suits Darwin. Rob Duncason leads, with Jeanette on piano and Ben accompaying on guitar.
Scripture is read, prayers are offered. One of Rob’s Timor Leste scarves (or ties as I am now told they are called) is draped over a music stand. Another scarf is proudly draped around the shoulders of Jo, creator of Timotio.
Our hymns for the day are: Crown Him with many crowns; Yours is the glory; Search me, O God and I’ll tell you the last one later.
There is time for a brief report on the trip. Due to technical problems photos will have to wait for another day. But the Congregation are assured their prayers have been answered and we know that even as we sit there are prayers being said in Timor Leste for the Australian Presbyterian Church, and for Darwin in particulary.
RB’s sermon will focus on John 18:15-18 & 25-27 and particularly on 21:1-19.
To contextualise his sermon, RB outlines the story of a man who, while serving in the army in WWII, was smuggled out of East Timor by the locals. These and other stories like them have escaped the general notice of Australians, certainly to the extent of New Guinea’s ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’. The reason for this gap in the historical register may be because it served Australia’s political purposes to accede to East Timor’s assimilation into Indonesia.
So soon after the Vietnam War, there was a fear that communism could find its way so close to Australia’s borders. Our nation’s own virtual colonial interest in Papua New Guinea was ended, it could afford little perception of seeking an empire. Indonesia’s growing interests and power were placated. The death of journalists who knew the truth about those who were in favour of independence was marginalised.
But the fact is that East Timor was left bereft of friends in its time of need. Turn to John 21.
Peter has betrayed Jesus. The bitter tears of that morning must have continued to burn. At the town of Same, on Timor Leste, the rooster crowed at 5.03am each morning. Imagine how each day began for Peter, awakened but such a tangible reminder of his betrayal.
Such thoughts and memories probably echo through every life: words said that cannot be taken back; an attitude that is out of control, again; tenderness toward children not extended; and every missed opportunity to speak a word for the Gospel. Each memory brings its own pang of regret. Over a lifetime they can prove a crushing burden.
Yet here we see Jesus reach across this gulf of betrayal to seek restoration. He models for us a Kingdom pattern of living.
Think for a moment that as Jesus interacts with Peter He seeks no healing of His own. His words and actions are purely for Peter’s healing.
The Psalmist writes:
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6)
This is the one who knew Peter inside and out. The Lord Jesus comes to restore his friend.
After Jesus’ fishing instruction, after a fish breakfast, what seems to be recorded as an awkward silence is broken by Jesus asking a question of Peter: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” With increasing emotion Peter would have to reply three times that he did, mirroring his three denials.
Jesus is not tormenting Peter, remember the Lord has no petty hurts to expunge. Rather He is dealing with Peter’s failing and accepting him, indicating that in his repentence there is the capacity to now move forward. “Feed my sheep.” First repentence, then forgiveness, then restoration, then service.

As I listened to these words I reflected on the many failings of my life. I was thankful for the Lord’s forgiveness and acceptance of me. I am also thankful for those who in graciousness and patience have bourne with me when I have succumbed to hubris, excess and self-centeredness. I like to think that my life now shows some fruit for their efforts, though there is still far to go. I am thankful that there is the opportunity to grow and invest my life more deeply in others, for the cause of the Gospel.

I also think of the people of Timor Leste. The people we have met bear no malice for the past. That is a work of grace in itself. As they have spoken to us of the situation and needs over the past week there has never been a suggestion that we need to make good on past failings. They have shown great grace to us, and that is very winsome. It invites us into a partnership not based on guilt or shame, but on freedom and grace.

Our final hymn is ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’. We come to Him for grace and forgiveness. We show that we have received this grace by forgiving others; by repenting freely; and by living freely and generously as we move forward. Wherever we are.

To those of you who have been reading out of interest in the Timor Leste trip, thank you for your interest and prayers. There have been many of you and it is good to make new friends, even if I don’t know that you exist by any other means than the stats meter. I’ll be posting here frequently. If you check back later I am intending to post about my thoughts having read ‘The Cambridge Seven’.

Gary.


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Day 9 (Visiting the EPC-TL Part 15)

Sacrifice and service are woven through the ANZAC Day Service. They are enduring themes and provide a fitting coda to our visit to Timor Leste.
The alarm went off at 4.45am, Gary Ware’s first and Rob Duncanson’s one minute later. It’s hard to explain in detail, but with our phones still reflecting the half hour difference between Australian Central time and Dili time, it takes the two of us a full five minutes to set our alarms last night. We put it up to tiredness. Really. RD changed the time on his phone, just to be sure.
David had told us the location and time of the dawn service which the Australian and New Zealand contingents would observe in Dili. Robert Benn has graciously agreed to remain behind, just in case we are delayed in return and our friends turn up to take us to the airport and are confused if we were not there.
We walk out of the Turismo Hotel at 5.15am. We have been told the service will start at 5.45 and it would be good for us to be there about 5.30. Crossing the street we rouse a taxi driver from his rest and are on our way to the Heliport. The trip continues without incident. It seems incongruous, but joggers and early morning walkers are out and about. Apart from that the city is largely deserted.
Motoring along the road toward the airport, GW mentions the presence of some helicopters back behind a building. A quick tap on the shoulder of the driver by RD and some words of clarification result in an about turn and prompt arrival.
We are welcomed with a familiar accent and told that early breakfast is being served. This is a ‘gunfire breakfast’. The aroma of Bundaberg Rum is prominent. The lore of the ‘gunfire breakfast’ is that consumption of alcohol settled the nerves before combat. Though there is no threat of combat this morning, those present embrace the tradition with gusto. Foam cups with a (generous) shot of rum sit out. Coffee powder and hot water are added. Milk is optional. The presence of Milo just looks odd. GW, as many of you know, will always pay homage to tradition, RD makes his coffee in an empty cup.
Everyone gathers in the driveway area in front of the company office. As mentioned earlier the Service is being observed by Australians and New Zealanders. It probably counts as the most ANZAC ANZAC Day Service I’ve been to. It is also the first time I have been priveleged to be present at its service in an active military environment. We stand before the two flags of our nations, at half-mast. A modest white wooden cross is planted in a catafalque of sandbags.
The Service is printed out in full. Service personel, including Chaplains, read the parts. Before we commence a reading from the writings of C.E.W. Bean, the noted World War 1 historian is read. My library is a long way away, but Bean’s prose, in no small part, was instrumental in the ANZAC legend becoming embedded in the national conciousness. The catafalque party take their places.
Those of you who have attended these Services in other places would find the order and the elements familiar. That commonality of language and structure helps unite the individual commemmorations with a larger whole.
I appreciate the simplicity of the language, but also the depth which is present. Part of what was called ‘The Serviceman’s Prayer’ was read to us by a New Zealander, and contained these words: ‘When I am inclined to doubt, strengthen my faith. When I am tempted to sin, help me to resist. when I fail, give me the courage to try again. Guide me with the light of your truth, and keep before me the example of Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.’ The prayer for peace asked: ‘It is our prayer this ANZAC Day that the suffering inflicted by men on men may cease, and that all people will turn to the only source of peace, which is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ These words show more Christian understanding than some I have heard used in similar Services.
The Odes of New Zealand and Australia are recited and then the Last Post is played. Today we stand for a full minute’s silence, the only irreverence is displayed by a particularly noisy cricket. As Rouse is played the flags are raised high.
The familiar words of the twenty third Psalm are read with an accent that is reminiscent of the Pacific Islands, and after a benediction we listen to the national anthems of NZ and OZ. Later in conversation RD will mention that playing God Defend New Zealand and Advance Australia Fair back to back is unfair to one of the anthems. GW grudgingly concedes the point.
After the Catafalque party dismount and the flags return to half mast, the assembled company are invited to the mess for a proper breakfast and ‘traditional games’. Even Rex, the Army Dog goes along too. He will probably be the only one not out of pocket by the conclusion of the festivities.
We talk to David, expressing our appreciation for being able to be present. To our knowledge we were the only civilians there this morning, but the light was not good. RD expresses how good it will be when David rejoins them in Darwin.
From there we return to the Turismo, where Arlindo and Robert Benn are waiting for us. Arlindo has a wedding to conduct in the Ermera district today. We marvel again at his work ethic. Check in at the airport involves not only our luggage being weighed, but also ourselves. GW wins. There does not seem to be a prize. Maybe a gym membership.
On our flight home, a team from YWAM (comprised of largely of young people from Greenacre Church of Christ, Hawkesbury Baptist and a local Anglican Church) are returning from a short term project that involves rebuilding a village near the town of Manatutu. When completed over a series of yearly visits, they hope to have constructed in a village thirty seven houses, a school and a clinic.
RB receives his customary seating in the exit aisle. RD and GW are seated in a different exit aisle and find we have almost another seat row of leg space. We breakfast on soft-drink, Kettle Chips, Arnotts Biscuits and Snickers Bars, all provided as inflight catering.
Tormorrow we will worship with the Darwin Presbyterian Church and also fellowship with the Darwin Indonesian Congregation. Pray for RB as he preaches to both groups and as we try to provide helpful input about our recent activities. I will probably post some summary of his sermon, as well as giving you some sense of worship with the Darwin Presbyterian folk.
Our homecoming represents the conclusion of a beginning. Now comes a work of reflection that will involve distilling a report and recommendations for mission partners/APWM. We also have many stories to tell. We have deepened some friendships and begun others, we have listened to the leaders and people of the EPC-TL and have been touched by their committment to the Gospel and to integrity. They have forsaken much for the cause of the Kingdom, in that respect we have little to give them and much that we can learn. In their situation there is much support that could be given if partnership is possible. Our hope is that we can encourage these brothers and sisters in their response to the gospel, and walk together in a mutual Christlike expression of sacrifice and service.


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Day 8 (Visiting the EPC-TL Part 14)

Those of you who have been following our itinerary will have noticed that today was ‘wrap up’ day. If you haven’t known what you’ve been praying for in anticipation of this day, well neither have we.
We knew we would be meeting with some of the leadership of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste and considering some directions that our relationship might take. You will remember that our purpose in visiting has been to: encourage a newly emerging Presbyterian church; respond to a call to help from the nearest Presbyterian church to our shores; and investigate the possibility of entering into partnership with the EPC-TL.
As we are carrying out this work on behalf of mission partners/APWM, you will understand that our findings and recommendation will appear in a report which they will consider and act upon in due course. Mission partners/APWM will not first read those details in this blog.
The day began with breakfast and some consideration of the issues we wanted to raise at our meeting. Gary Ware was able to finish the details of yesterday’s activity and head around to the Xanana Gusmao reading room in order to post a bumper amount of information on the blog. We had arrived back last night and we walked past the center at around 9.20 with Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s entries only to find the attendant had gone home well before the 10.00pm advertised closing time. Oh well. Flexibility.
By the time I walked out of the centre Daniel Marcel drove past, already having picked up Robert Benn and Rob Duncanson. The four of drove to the office of the agency for which Daniel works as Director. It is a branch of the Church World Service, an ecumenical aid body. Daniel’s branch in Dili is charged with HIV/Aids education. None of the ministers of the EPC-TL have been full time in church work since their formation. They all work other jobs to provide a wage.
Daniel has invited us to meet with some of the members of his staff so that we can learn of the work they carry out. This is a dimension of life in Timor Leste with which we have had little contact. The CWS carry out a dual role: education and support. Education attempts to minimize the spread of HIV/Aids and the support role seeks to carry out advocacy for those who are ill or are affected by the illness of others. Of course the work is under funded.
As we eat a lunch that Daniel has provided, pastors of the EPC-TL arrive. Our meeting starts about 1.00pm. By 4.00pm we are finished. The following comments are meant to be general and not policy statements. Please pray that the desire of the leaders of the EPC-TL to nurture a church that can take its place among the other faithful churches of the worldwide Presbyterian family can be honoured. Please pray that they and the people of the church will remain faithful to the narrow path they have chosen and resist temptation to return to the less faithful way. Please pray that a future of useful partnership with Christians of other nations will serve the Gospel cause in Timor Leste.
After our meeting we try to do some shopping. As mentioned some days ago, most foreigners seem to be in Timor Leste as workers, not tourists. Shopping is very dull. I imagine in time the retail opportunities will grow. That will carry problems of its own. As we continue to walk we meet a young man who seems affected by something, hopefully nothing worse that alcohol. He seems happy enough and eventually loses interest in escorting us.
We return to the Turismo for a little time of refreshment. Tonight we will have a final dinner, it is sure to be a happy time now that our minds are clear of agendas and things to be done.
Our flight is due to leave at 9.00am tomorrow morning. That will leave us time for one more very special activity. If all goes according to plan we will join some of the Australian Defence Forces for their Dawn Service at 5.45am. This is GW’s one willing early morning of the year. Perhaps we will encounter RD’s Darwin friend Dave on this special day.
Thanks for your interest, prayers and encouragement.
The next post you read will be lodged from Darwin.


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Day 7 (Visiting the EPC-TL Part 13)

Daur and Dili are separated by a distance of only 127 kilometers, but represent a separation far greater than that. Today we will travel between the two.
Our second morning in Samé commences in much the same way as the first. The rooster starts his crowing before the light. Apparently he is set for 5.03am, for this is the time at which he has started work each morning, according to Robert Benn. In the distance his colleagues respond in kind, whether by emulation, encouragement or competition. After daylight the tumbling rooftop chickens also repeat yesterday’s performance and then the sound of household life takes prominence.
Rob Duncanson has again taken the rooster option with regard to rising and this morning is rewarded with a satisfactory photograph of the dawn. RB must have been one of those responsible for the sound of much splashing water because he is looking bright and refreshed. His diligence in not staying up last night has been rewarded. Gary Ware greets the morning in his usual fashion, as late as possible.
Yesterday, around dusk, we had been taken by Daniel to a local clinic. It bears government markings, but is also supported by a foundation funded by the generosity of Dutch and Australian benefactors. The building is almost brand new, its construction having only been completed late last year. It has a dispensary, consulting room, treatment room and laboratory. There is a mobile clinic, a part of the work, which visits around the local region. Though operational, the clinic is beset with problems at a management level and these have shaken the confidence of the benefactors of the Board. It may take a new Board to be formed in order for the work of the clinic to grow.
Our final visit in the Samé region will be to the Duar congregation. Our motorcade today is the truck, laden with about twenty passengers, the Hilux with six extras in the back tray and the Pajero. A young man named Chris has been traveling with us. He has finally gathered up the courage to ask for his own copy of Timotio, a request we gladly fulfill. I ask him particularly about the page which contains John 3:16 in Tetun. He patiently explains the various English words translated out to me. We have driven out of the Samé Township in a south westerly direction for about twelve kilometers, which takes twenty minutes as the road is quite good. At this point we pull off the road in the usual fashion and I look for the crowd and the structure in which they worship. There is nothing to be seen. With all three vehicles present we follow two wheel tracks off into the bush.
We drive at a very deliberate pace along the track. The undergrowth is quite dense and easily reaches as high as the roof of the car, so we cannot see much of our surrounds. The greenery is making a strong attempt to overcome the incursion which the road represents. Small shrubs grow in the wheel tracks, Branches grasp out toward each other across the space, scratching against the sides of the vehicles. We emerge from the bush, but we have not arrived. We are on the banks of the river Karmulun.
The rivers we have seen have been small free flowing streams running along paths in much wider beds. These beds are full of gravel and basket-ball size (and larger) river stones. In the wet season, the forty meter width will be a raging torrent. Today we must cross about twelve meters of wheel deep running water. The truck precedes us, itself preceded by a couple of young men who sound depth and locate the best path. We follow, Arlindo wisely engaging the four-wheel drive. RD and GW get out watching the Pajero make its way across as well. All three vehicles on the other side, the dense plantlife envelops us again. As we continue I promise never to take issue with the assigned location of our next Presbytery or Assembly meeting.
Suddenly we enter a large clearing. The field is flat, and huts are spread around it. Toward the middle a substantial wooden framework is covered by a steel roof. People stand at the front of it in anticipation. We have arrived in Daur. Since we turned off the road we have traveled five kilometers. It has taken thirty minutes.
As we walk from the cars to our welcome three young men break into song. Two of them play guitar and their words begin to express the appreciation which is universally expressed for our presence. Though the various welcomes have shared elements they have all been marked with individual expression, as well.
We have scarves placed over our necks. These, the last we will receive from a local church all bear the red, yellow, black and white national colours of Timor Leste. This conveys the degree to which our hosts want to convey the sense of unity they feel with the Presbyterian churches of the world and particularly the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
The meeting, as it turns out, has a slightly more comprehensive element built in. As our final meeting visit, the program has sought to include and reiterate the appreciation felt for our other visits. Most of the other Congregations have representatives.
First though, we pay respect to Daur. Their Congregational name is Ebenezer. They have thirty families and 154 souls. We make our words of encouragement to the local Congregation, present them with copies of Timotio and then listen to their reports to us. RB makes special reference to the faith behind the reference to Ebenezer, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.” Their building is a wooden frame, twenty meters long and ten meters wide. The roof is gabled, but there is no covering over the ridge, the sun shines through and will end up traversing across both RD and GW before the meeting concludes. The roof iron looks like some of the thinnest we have ever seen. About two thirds of the floor is concrete, the rest remains to be completed. We see the cement waiting in an adjoining hut. The sand will be carried from the river bed, no doubt. A free standing, four sided bamboo partition wall has been erected under the roofed area, on the two thirds of the sheltered area which has a concrete floor.
The word ‘report’ sounds very formal, and because of the local culture a certain formality pervades all of these interactions. Add to this the fact that translation between English or Bahasa and Tetun (or sometimes from Tetun to Bahasa to English) almost doubles the length of these meetings from their actual content.
The organizer of the Congregation, a younger man named Martinho da Costa. His wife Celestina is expecting their fifth child. There was great concern that rain earlier in the week would prevent our visit. The people felt that our visit helped them know the reality of the fellowship that they have with God’s people. Visits are so rare that we are a tangible expression of Christian fellowship. Once we hadn’t met face to face but we have begun to meet at the throne of grace. They are sustained in their desire to witness because of this new experience of Christian fellowship. Problems abound. Their children have to walk great distances to school. If the rivers are up the children cannot come home. The mountains are really only reachable by horses, which are in short supply. (This is a change from being told about the need for motor bikes.)
An older man spoke with tears in his eyes that really said more to us than his words. A younger man, one of those who had sung and played guitar for us, spoke with great animation, (and some amount of respectful cheek) the most interesting of his requests was for a generator so that the young people would not have to hold their meetings in the dark. (One supposes they could also have louder electric music.) He felt that as they were from Daur, which sounded so much like Darwin that they were twins.
As the meeting drew to a close, representatives of other Congregations which we had visited address us again. A representative from the Hallelujah congregation, a body of twenty two families that was too distant for us to visit made a brief appeal. Arlindo would later comment that even he is limited to visiting churches that are reachable by car. Another church were simply too inaccessible to be reached and contacted with news of our visit.
Arlindo seeks to communicate to the people that our presence is not the answer to their needs or the end of their problems. In all things they must continue to look to Jesus. Leonel Marcel, who has overseen all the meetings of our visit in a most thoughtful way, thanks all who have worked to enable the visits to take place, mentions that the perception of dark times now seems to be lifting, affirms our mutual relationship in the Gospel, assures us of the prayers of the EPC congregations for the PCA and declares now that everything that could be said has been said. RB closes in prayer.
Our refreshments afterward are roasted peanuts from which we hand rub the papery husks, dried banana and coffee. Then we make our way back into the jungle, returning to Samé for lunch at the Marcel’s. While there we extend our thanks to Daniel’s mother for the hospitality she has shown to us. RB uses the words of an Indonesian song: ‘My mother’s love for me is forever unlimited. She gives without expecting to receive. Her love is like the sun which continues to shine upon the earth.’ We pass on some copies of Timotio to help her continue to share the love of God with her family.
The trip back is slow and tiring. The country side changes as we drive from region to region. At one point we stop and stand atop a mountain range, able to see down into the valleys on either side. Cloud sweeps up from the south and threatens to envelop us like a fog. The temperature has dropped to about twenty degrees, maybe eighteen. As the locals shiver and clutch their jackets tightly I stand in my light cotton shirt enjoying the freshness and am reminded of the changes that twelve winters south of the Murray have wrought in me.
Even as the night falls and darkness imposes itself, there are still numbers of people walking the road at every point, continuing their journeys without light to invisible destinations. I wait for us to finally cross the mountain that will bring us into sight of Dili. When it comes into view I remember that in the darkness of the night at Samé, I was able to look up at the Milky Way, an unnumbered array of heavenly lights. Whenever I do so I remember God’s promise of a heritage to Abraham. The gentle glow of Dili below us brings a similar thought to mind. This city needs the Gospel and in it are those who form part of Abraham’s heritage. Today in the midst of a field I have looked upon that heritage, and that heritage is also present in Dili. The challenges of sharing and nurturing the Gospel in both places are immense and vary greatly. But it is the same Gospel which must be proclaimed and received. Both in Daur and Dili.