Building Unity : East Timor
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” – John 15:16
The churches of East Timor have joined together to claim this year as a “time of fruitfulness”. Our goal is to make the Church aware that being a Christian is not a set of religious habits, customs and traditions. Because of the Catholic influence, this can be the way of thinking here in East Timor. We must abide in Christ and allow him to bear fruit, be a blessing and change lives around us. Fruit is the result of living a life like Christ, not only producing it in ourselves, but especially in the lives of others.
We held a Pastors national conference here in Same, that would offer the Lord’s servants a quiet time in the presence of God, receiving spiritual food and have a time of renewing. This was an amazing time for everyone as we shared in messages, moments of prayer, testimonies, and time to listen and hear God together. We encouraged and challenged the workers not to fold their arms while there is domestic violence, destroyed families, slaves of sin, evil oppression, animal rituals, and poverty and social misery. These are all signs that there is still much to do – the Church has to impact the villages, bringing moral and social transformation; it has to be a blessing.
There was a strong sense of building unity in this conference as many pastors and evangelists shared meals together, relaxed in conversation, and strengthened bonds through fellowship. We also gathered and celebrated the church’s 11th anniversary, with the presence of believers from all our churches in the area. We chose to hold the national event in this specific church because of the difficult time that church has faced. It was a way of showing her that the other sister churches are together with her. We are one Church, one people, and together we overcome challenges – That is the body of Christ.
We already see fruit coming from this time, as several people attended from the Suai church. This district has always been very challenging, as the church has faced difficulties, and many people show disinterest in listening to the message of the Gospel. However, two families came, along with three young men who had not yet accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. During the event, the three surrendered their lives to Jesus, being the first fruits of the church of Suai in this year. I learned later that these young men had been the greatest troublemakers in the community and had even stoned the church several times. Now they are children of God, our brothers in Christ, and a perfect example of how the church can be a blessing to the community!
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