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Timor Leste Partnership Working Group Meeting 30/1/12

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Timor Leste partnership working group meeting Monday January 30, 2012
I hope you’ll understand these notes are more about what we did than the actual detail of our decisions. Many of these decisions need to be communicated to other bodies and they need to see them first. Sorry for any mistakes.
Kevin Murray (mission partners director, Convener), Robert Duncanson (Darwin PC, Co-ordinator), Robert Benn (living legend), Stuart Bonnington (WA rep), Alex Ralston (Treasurer), Alex Shaw (chair, mission partners), Gary Ware (SA rep), Brian Wong (Bull Creek Westminster Presbyterian rep).
The Rev Daniel Marcal, Moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste was present by invitation.

Our aim in this and other meetings is to develop the framework by which churches in Australia can relate to the congregations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste (East Timor) in a way that is positive, constructive and accountable.
Discussion about the history of East Timor.
Our growing awareness of the history of this nation contextualises the sense of priority which the Presbyterian Church of Australia feels in seeking to assist and encourage the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Timor Leste. It also informs our understanding of cultural issues so that we can offer support in a way which will best help the IEPTL grow as a biblical witness for the Gospel in their own country.
With input assistance from our Timor Leste friends we have working documents, outlining the history of Timor Leste and our present observations about how best to grow a fruitful partnership with our Christian partners there. Evangelism Explosion training has been offered to them. Looking further into the future, a property for the Dili congregation and local theological training for pastors were mentioned.
Input from the Daniel Marcal, current moderator of the IEPTL
Daniel Marcal spoke about present opportunities and challenges which are before the IEPTL. Equipping and training of pastors, growing a biblical culture, and establishing sound and accountable leadership structures. Supporting education scholarships for young people, transport to allow pastors to minister more widely
Money matters.
A thoughtful discussion about how best to maintain integrity is seeking and distributing financial support? How can we regularise a flow of general support without sacrificing the preference of many to give for specific needs? A strategy was developed which will be put to our national mission body for approval.
Translation work.
Rob Duncanson spoke about his interactions with those who are involved in Tetun Bible translation in Timor Leste and how they can most effectively be supported in a way that will see the translated Scriptures in the hands of as many East Timorese as possible.
Trips by Australians to IEPTL congregations 2012 and beyond.
Prospective visits for 2012 were discussed. We were conscious of not being a burden to the resources of the IEPTL, particularly for translators, but were affirmed with the knowledge that visiting Presbyterian Christians help to cement the credibility of the IEPTL as a Christian church among the wider population.
A variety of other practical issues were discussed, most of which revolved around how encouragement could be provided to the IEPTL in ways that serve to enhance the unity and fellowship of the individual congregations, while wanting to maximise opportunities for those who want to offer support.

A time of fellowship over dinner was enjoyed by all. Even Stuart, who doesn’t like spicy food.

2 thoughts on “Timor Leste Partnership Working Group Meeting 30/1/12

  1. How very encouraging! Keep up the great work guys.

  2. Pingback: Timor | Timor East

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