Dili, Timor Leste: On Easter weekend of 2021, the island nation of Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) experienced heavy rainfall. This resulted in historic flash floods and landslides throughout the country severely affecting the capital city of Dili and other low-lying areas. The streets in Dili turned into streams as floodwaters which submerged entire city blocks, businesses, and neighborhoods.
Over 30,000 households were affected, 15,800 people were displaced, and 41 lost their lives. Crops and food stores were destroyed, creating food insecurity and economic hardship for many families. As a developing country and also battling COVID-19 cases, this kind of disaster only created greater need and anxiety. But it was exactly these needs that Nazarenes in Timor-Leste stepped forward to answer.
The Church’s Response
I am thankful to God we had the opportunity to help people experience God’s love
Sam Soares, the pastor of Dili Church of the Nazarene, rallied his congregation together to meet the needs of their neighbors. After assessing the needs of the congregation and the surrounding neighborhoods, the church began to pull its resources together. The church’s initial response was to provide hot meals to more than 150 displaced families. Then, they got to work cleaning mud and debris out from neighboring homes, yards, and streets. They also began to put together and delivered care packages, containing rice, oil, non-perishable goods, and cleaning supplies.
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As the church continues to respond to the needs around them using their own resources, donations started to come from other organizations and individuals. Pastor Sam and Dili Nazarenes have distributed over 200 care packages to families and 25 university students in 5 neighborhoods. This also allowed them to meet their neighbor’s spiritual and emotional needs by praying, counseling, and encouraging them during this difficult time.
“I am thankful to God we had the opportunity to help people experience God’s love. Thank you to our team for working so hard and taking risks. Thank you also to those who spent time praying for Timor-Leste and giving relief efforts. I really appreciate it” says Pastor Sam.
Please pray for:
- The recovery of Timor-Leste.
- Ongoing COVID-19 mitigation and vaccination efforts
- The continued response of the Nazarenes across Timor-Leste, especially in Dili, to the needs in their communities.
To partner with Dili Church of the Nazarene, contact Joe Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.