Empowering People, through Church

By Rev. Au Wai Ching


Ps. Wai Ching and Ps. PY, all smiles in small boat.

Mastering Tetum

East Timor is a land that has suffered much unrest since her birth as a nation in 2002. The churches are young in faith and the Bible is still in the process of being fully translated into its local language, Tetum. The Lord opened doors for us to work with the Assemblies of God Timor Leste. During the early years of our stay in East Timor, we had the privilege of teaching English to the police and soldiers stationed in the district of Aileu and classes were conducted in the church!

Ps. Wai Ching with Tetun teacher Catharina.

Our friend, Catharina Williams-van Klinken, who works with Wycliffe Bible Translators, was a constant source of help to Ps. Chan P Y and I, as she often vetted and corrected our Tetum. God also sent other Timorese to help us learn the language.

When our Tetum improved, we were invited to teach, preach and even interpret for missions teams that visited the church. We also had opportunities to minister at revival meetings in provincial areas. We realised that the teaching of God’s Word was very much welcomed in the land. The people’s hearts were open to the teaching of God’s Word and they were attuned to the move of the Holy Spirit. Ps. Chan P Y and I taught at the Bible School in East Timor, on the island of Atauro. I also had the opportunity to work with local pastors to help them set up a missions office.

Church buildng dedication.

Keeping Good Cheer

Travelling around in East Timor can be risky business. We had to use lorries, cars, boats, ferries, and even undertake river crossings and trekking through jungle terrain. It was a miracle that we had never experienced a breakdown or a punctured tyre even though the terrain was rough. We are also thankful that no one had ever attacked our vehicle or our homes. The community gave us favour and we appreciated the rich Timorese culture, through food, dances, music and worship. I was amazed at their simple faith in trusting God for the basic necessities in life. They hardly ever complained and were always trusting and believing God for miracles. Suffering and martyrdom for the sake of the Gospel formed the foundation of the church.

As a Singaporean who relied greatly on modern facilities, I felt helpless and confused when faced with no electricity and water and ministering in mosquito-infested places. However, I drew strength from the Lord and from friends and pastors who constantly prayed for us. They cheered us on and brought food and snacks for us whenever they visited. My parents, my sister Wai Leng, Grace Group ‘Channels of Blessings’ and many other missions trippers were a great source of encouragement during our time in Timor Leste.

It was a season of miracles. We witnessed God healing people and providing rain in the drought season. More amazingly, we heard firsthand the testimonies of those who experienced the supernatural workings of God during the revival of the Holy Spirit on the island of Atauro in the 1960s. When I left in 2010, there were 16 church planting works established under The Assemblies of God Timor Leste.

Providing Relief


After Timor Leste, I was deployed to Cambodia to work with Bro Soon Kim Tat on a seed fund project to help church planters sustain their ministry. I am thankful to New Life Fellowship church for their strong partnership with Grace Missions over 20 years, hosting numerous missions teams from Grace Assembly. From 2013 to 2018, there were 29 churches planted through the seed fund project and as a result, we witnessed the setting up of 26 second-generation churches and six third-generation churches. As of 2019, more than 60 churches had been planted.

The year 2020 was particularly tumultuous for Cambodia. When the COVID-19 pandemic spread, churches in Cambodia were shut down temporarily. To cope, many small group bible study and prayer meetings started in homes. New Life Fellowship church quickly adapted to use technology to share the Word with their members. They were also able to attend the online training for church planters hosted by Grace Missions. As many Cambodians lost income when the factories closed, Grace Missions provided food packages for 100 families. In October, floods damaged 161,500 houses and some 14,300 households were evacuated to safe sites, evacuation centres, while others were sheltered in tents or plastic sheets. Grace Missions again provided disaster relief aid to Cambodia through New Hope Church in Pursat. The church partnered the government to buy, pack and distribute the food packages to 1,000 families.

It has been an exciting journey of faith in both countries. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve God in these two countries. So let us work “while it is still day, for when night comes, no man can work.” (John 9:4).


Rev. Au Wai Ching started her missions work in East Timor and stayed from 2005 to 2010. She was the Country Director for Cambodia, from 2012 to 2020. Currently, she is the Regional Pastor of Region D and is also the pastor-in-charge of Grace Prison Ministry.

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