In 2018, our team of five set off for East Timor (Timor-Leste) on a STOMP trip with two aims: to gain a better understanding of cross-cultural mission in a developing world context, and to serve as an encouragement to our WEC colleagues there. The STOMP team consisted of two WECers (Chris and Steve), one WEC intern (Amber), Lauren and Adriana.

Prior to departure, the leaders in East Timor had prepared a program covering things like ministry to kids, leading worship seminars for Bible college students and churches, teaching English to small groups of Timorese youth, preaching and visiting an isolated district in which there have been evangelistic opportunities. It was a privilege to be exposed to and involved in these ministries.

Timorese Christians are a humble people, with a heart to learn and grow in Christ, and our colleagues are doing a wonderful job to support and encourage them. Conditions are not easy; the heat is oppressive and the living conditions are basic; yet contentment is reflected by the people. For anyone interested in exploring missions, in East Timor the opportunities are numerous - public health and education, children’s and youth ministries, media, English teaching and evangelism.

Our WEC colleagues in East Timor are a growing multi-cultural team with ten long-term members at present. This is very encouraging as, historically, there have been many short-term workers yet few committing to long term. However, it appears that it is a new day for East Timor!

The STOMP team returned, tired, yet content and thankful to the Lord for a very positive experience.

Steve Preston

Steve and his wife Coralie are the Directors of WEC Australia, having previously worked with WEC in Spain. Steve led the East Timor STOMP.