• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 18 October 2018 10:01

“The greatest joy of working here is the people”

Br John Alting SVD with patients at a clinic in Timor Leste 300Brother John Alting SVD has been a missionary in Papua New Guinea, Angola, Central Australia and Timor Leste and says while his experiences have been different in each place, there has been one common thread – the joy of being with the people.

Born and raised in Sydney, Br John says he was attracted to  the life of a religious from when he was a young man.

“I was attracted to the SVDs because with them you almost certainly work overseas unless you don’t want to,” he says. “But I have always wanted to, and still do!”

A trained nurse, Br John joined the Divine Word Missionaries in 1997, taking his final vows in 2004.

He has been working in Timor Leste for almost two years now, following several years serving the health needs of the remote indigenous communities of Canteen Creek and Epenara, about three hours south-east of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

“I’m living in a town on the south coast of Timor Leste called Uatolari, in the east of the country,” he says.

“The whole area is more prosperous than many other areas in Timor Leste, probably because it rains more here. So that means more rice yield, more foliage for animals like cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens, of which there are many.”

Most people in the semi-rural area have rice fields, gardens and animals and most children attend school.

“I am the only ‘Malai mutin (white man) in the subdistrict,” he says.

Br John Alting SVD in Timor Leste 450Br John works in a small health clinic run by the Holy Spirit Sisters, the sister order to the Divine Word Missionaries.

“I work as a nurse, and am registered as such here in Timor Leste,” he says. “But there aren’t so many patients, so there is a lack of serious nursing work.”

With a missionary spirit of responding to need, Br John is open to suggestions he might teach English in his spare time, or maybe be transferred to Dili to teach English to the seminarians, who are now being trained in Timor Leste.

Br John says that throughout his missionary life, it has been the local people he has lived and work amongst who have welcomed him into their lives and shown him what it means to be a missionary today.

“The great joy of working here is the people, who are very nice and friendly,” he says. “And, living in a community of faith is also inspiring, as the great majority of the population are believing Catholics who are serious about their faith.”