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Church Planting in East Timor

Asia Business Church Planting East Timor

East Timor is a tropical island, between Indonesia and Australia. Colonized by the Portuguese nearly four hundred years ago, East Timor clung to its animistic roots. With the arrival of Indonesian control, they were forced to abandon their religion and become monotheistic. Out of rebellion against their Muslim opressors, Catholism became their cultural identity and the symbol of the Timorese’s separation from Indonesia.

Less than .2% of the population is evangelical with the majority practicing a mixture of animism and Catholicism. There are a few churches, but many Christians don’t have a basic grasp of biblical doctrines. Avant needs people to disciple them.

In the past, the team has held bi-monthly kids’ Bible clubs, Bible studies, movie nights, and conversational English classes. More recently, Avant missionaries have opened a small school for Timorese who want to learn English, Portuguese, and develop computer skills. From this, a small house church has sprouted. For new missionaries, teaching skills are valuable. Evangelism, preaching, and discipleship are also crucial in this ministry.

Due to most of the team leaving for health reasons, we’ve had to cease many of the outreach activities we’ve done in the past. In addition, We are often presented with the ministry, social work, discipleship, and business opportunities that we simply cannot take on due to our already full schedules. We need more help. We need more team members. 

There are some challenges in this laid-back culture, including electrical outages, possible water shortages, a disorganized government and bad healthcare. But there are exciting opportunities to make a difference, as well as adventures outdoors like snorkeling, spearfishing, and hiking. 

Currently, Avant is recruiting for both short-term 1 year as well as long-term missionaries.

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