Happy Birthday!

Our friends from Garden of Hope in Gleno have reached a very exciting milestone –

On the 24th November the Kindy/Pre-primary School turned 10!


We think of the beginning at other times, of course, but allow us to share our reminiscing with you at this special time…


For Sylvia and I, the connection with Gleno began in July 2007, when we went into the mountains to visit our friends Eliana and Regina. Regina and Eliana came from Brazil and had responded to the call from the Gleno Church to work alongside of them. The Church wanted to re-start their pre-school ministry and restore the building which was badly damaged during the 1999 destruction of Timor Leste. As is the case in many situations, only the lack of funds held them back. Praise God, our short visit led to a very generous donation from a congregation in Geraldton, and after a lot of hard work, the school was ready to be opened again.


01 GoH Original School Pre-renovation02 GoH Original School Concrete Work03 GoH Original School Rendering Work04 GoH Original School Security Screens05 GoH Original School Post-renovation

I clearly remember our excitement when we received the invitation to attend the opening ceremony, and the generous financial help from a friend, so that Sylvia and I both could go to Timor at such short notice. I also remember that, due to some miscommunication, we arrived in Dili on the very morning the official opening was to take place, and how we were promptly picked up at the airport and whizzed up into the mountains… (Well, we were “whizzed” rather slowly, as it took almost 2 hours to travel the 50 km to Gleno). Everyone was waiting for us, and as soon as we arrived, the proceedings began.

06 GoH Official Opening GuestsThere were speeches,  praise songs and prayer…07 GoH Official Opening VIPs09 GoH Official Opening Australian Visitors… the cutting of ribbons and a cake, the handing over of the key to the building…08 GoH Official Opening Cake Cutting… lunch for all, an inspection of the class rooms by the grown-up guests and the test run of small tables, chairs and toys by their children.10 GoH Official Opening VIPs and Missionaries

The full use of the facilities was reserved, however, for the 20 four and five year old children that started school at Garden of Hope. We even discovered that three of the students were “stowaways” and already of primary school age. – In 2007 preschools were still not common in Timor Leste and the Education Department turned its focus to formal early childhood education a little later on. 

11 GoH Official Opening First School Day 112 GoH Official Opening First School Day 2

We want to congratulate our friends in Gleno on reaching this wonderful milestone. They are the ones doing the “hard yards” day in and day out. They face most of the challenges and deal with the obstacles. They have grown tremendously and they are faithful. 

We want to thank you, the friends and supporters, for faithfully getting alongside our friends at Garden of Hope. Some of you have been part of this ministry from the beginning. 

Most importantly we want to thank our God for sustaining the school and ministry in Gleno, for providing everything that we need, for being our wisdom and anchor and strength. The Lord’s plans are the very best plans, and it is such a privilege to participate with Him to make them happen.



Elke Graham

(Garden of Hope Sponsorship Publicity & Communication)

Here is a printable copy of this newsletter – Dear Sponsors and friends – 2017.12.01

Here is a short 10 Year Anniversary video of the Garden of Hope ministry gives a glimpse into our history, our environment, the people and our growth.



2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!

  1. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary and well done for all the great work you’ve done for our Lord and the children. From Linda & Ian Gouldsmith and all the team at Access Hope Inc.

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