In July this year, I travelled to Pulau Fordata, located in Tanimbar Islands of Maluku province, Indonesia. A Bible Dedication Ceremony took place in one of its villages, Romean, to celebrate the publication of the New Testament in the Fordata language. This photo essay will give a glimpse into Fordata and its people — whose hospitality, warmth and beauty were unforgettable.

A Fordata lady holds up a plate of eggs (telur) while preparing a meal. The Fordata locals take their celebrations very seriously — women cook all three meals for guests and neighbours. Eggs in Fordata are served hard-­boiled, halved, with a dollop of chilli sauce on the yolk.
Between meals, three ladies decided to put on a song and dance performance. They were insanely comical, even if this baby was seriously not impressed.
Our host, Papa Son, lost his left arm in a work­-related accident two years ago. That didn’t stop him from insisting on helping with our luggage. We were deeply touched.
The locals were shy around the cameras, but once they have warmed up to your presence, their cheeky side shines through.
(Left) Over the years, more churches have emerged in the Tanimbar Islands. This is a church under construction in a village next to Fordata. (Right) The day after the ceremony, life went on as normal. Children were seen neatly dressed in full uniform as they went back to school.
Terima kasih: The journey to Fordata from Singapore and back can be excruciating. It took us three flights, a two-hour car ride, and finally a three-hour boat ride. It was all worth it.
A missionary’s child waves goodbye to the locals, who bade us farewell from shore.
Pulau Fordata in the distance, shot while I was leaving on the boat. This is what the missionaries called “the ends of the Earth”.