A House of Life!
The story of “Casa Vida” (House of Life) where Lucinda works in East Timor’s capital, Dili, is truly captivating. The Mission’s Committee sat enchanted as we listened to the story of its development straight from the heart of the present CEO, Sujana, who spoke kindly of her 40-odd staff who work with some 70 abused girls from 0-18 years of age, who take refuge there.
East Timor Realities
Child abuse, rape and incest are not uncommon but once a teenage girl becomes pregnant she is cast out and left to fend for herself. Many of them are forced to turn to prostitution to survive. But those who, by God’s grace, are touched with Casa Vida have a very different story to tell, for here they are welcomed, cared for, loved, valued and introduced to the transforming Good News of a living Saviour to save them.
God’s Love in Action
The love of Christ not only values the girls (and their children) but also cares enough to take practical steps to help them be transformed into useful citizens. They continue their schooling, obtain training in various areas (computing, languages, literacy, handicraft, sewing, food and beverage preparation and hospitality).
A Life to be Lived
But more than this, Casa Vida has 3 work outlets for the girls where they receive payment for their services: Aroma Café and Restaurant, Casa Vida Bakery and Confectionary (cakes, sweet and bread) and Casa Vida Handicrafts where creativity can be expressed. This is designed to lead to economic independence and security when they move out into society again by establishing their own micro-businesses.
With some (diminishing) backing from the Timorese Government and the Australian Government for which they are grateful, they are longing to be more independent and free of pressures from those who pay. Any help is greatly appreciated and will be used wisely. Lucinda is one their team as a nurse and assistant and I’m sure she will make sure of that.
The Mission’s Committee was greatly appreciative of the time Sujana gave to be with us, and we assure her and Lucinda of our on-going prayers.
Get to Know Casa Vida a little bit by watching this video (Turn volume up in video window)