Methodist Missions Society (MMS) started its hostel ministry in Timor-Leste with the setting up of Sundermeier Home in Gleno, Ermera District, in 2016. The home serves to provide high school youths with a safe and healthy environment to continue their education and to grow with the right spiritual values.
Joseph Manner is our missionary serving as house-parent, with his wife Grace, in Sundermeier Home in Gleno. Joseph wanted to help graduates of Sundermeier Home transit from high school to tertiary education and vocational training in Dili.
After much prayer and the full support of Bedok Methodist Church, who shared Joseph’s heartbeat, Dunamis House was established in 2019 as a ministry of the MMS in Dili. Dunamis House provides accommodation as well as Christian nurturing and discipleship training for Sundermeier Home graduates as they continue their education in the university or vocational training centres in Dili.
Dunamis House is aptly named as it represents a desire to see God’s miraculous power at work and also connotes “a powerhouse”—to mould the lives of the youths while they continue with their studies and to prepare them for service to the community and the church.
We have 15 hostelites—six studying in the university, eight pursuing a one-year vocational study with EIROS, and one who is working. The hostelites live a disciplined life by carrying out their daily chores according to a roster that includes cooking, doing marketing and house-cleaning. They are also rostered to facilitate the twice-weekly Bible study on Monday and Wednesday nights. We also have a worship session on Friday nights.
Recently, we started a community service/blessing through giving free tuition to Grade 1 to Grade 6 children living near us. This takes place on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Our hostelites are learning the ropes of teaching and communicating with children as they do so.
This tuition ministry was birthed from empowering the hostelites to “fish”, rather than to be “given fish”. All hostelites come from Gleno and, most of the time, money from their families does not reach them regularly because of the distance between Gleno and Dili. With this tuition ministry, they now have the ability to earn pocket-money from sponsors who providet them with financial support for their efforts. This helps to free their minds from monetary concerns, enabling them to concentrate on their studies better.
We thank God for the partnership in ministry with individuals who stepped forward to sponsor this tuition ministry. The hostelites are taught to go beyond giving tuition to the children, oto also pray for their salvation and well-being. We pray that we will be the light that shines for God in this community where He has placed us. We believe that God’s miraculous power will be at work to change lives and transform communities.
If you are interested to help in this ministry, please contact MMS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev See Swee Fang is MMS missionary in Timor-Leste. She and her husband, See Jin Hoe, are serving as house-parents at Dunamis House in Dili, Timor-Leste. / Photos courtesy of the Rev See Swee Fang