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"Preach The Gospel, Plant The Church, In South East Asia"
Selayar People Group

Bira Girls

“Bira Girls” 1999,  by Richard Bartz

Country:  Indonesia

History:  The Selayar people are indigenous to Indonesia.  The majority of Selayar are Muslim. Selayar cultural customs are strongly tied to their religion and are very influential in their daily lives, producing religious syncretism. Ten to twenty years ago there was a group of Christian believers among the Selayar. As time went on, their numbers dropped because of pressure from the government and a mixing with Hindu beliefs. This has created a syncretistic form of Christianity.

Their Lives:  Farming is the primary economic mainstay in the region and frequently is referred to as Bumi Tana Doang (place on earth that beseeches the Omnipotent). Plantations' produce includes kapok, guava, cloves, coconut, candlenut, nutmeg, cocoa and vanilla. Kopra (dried coconut meat) and cloves were the two crops relied on in years past.  The prices on these has fallen, but still a large number of farmers continue their coconut plantations. Several years ago, many farmers made the move to grow vanilla. The crops that were considered to be intercrops have begun to increase in value and have become the primary cash crops.

Market prices are very high in Selayer so many people have the buses that come over from South Sulawesi daily bring items back for them.  The cost they give the bus driver is still cheaper than the cost to buy in Selayar.

Population:  118,000

Location:  They are located the island of Selayer and several other small islands off the coast of South Sulawesi.

Language:  Selayar

Religion:  Islam

Christian %:  5 % adherent and 0.24 % evangelical

Scriptures:  No Bible, no Jesus film and no resources.

Missionaries:  Church planting has been initiated locally in the last two years.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that the church planter’s efforts will be successful and that more will join them.

  • Pray that the hearts of the Selayar people will be prepared to receive the Good News.

  • Pray that signs and wonders will follow them that believe.

  • Pray that an indigenous church will be planted among the Selayar people group.

Photo © 1999 by Richard Bartz, used with permission.

Who?  What? Where?

"In a nutshell" as they say, SEAMIST works in South East Asia!  We plant churches in South East Asia.  We try to focus all our efforts and resources on reaching the least reached peoples in South East Asia.

What does "least reached" mean?  It simply means the people groups that have few or no workers reaching out to them, few or no churches or believers in Jesus Christ.  These would be the most needy of all people in the world!

Our workers are trained to use contextual methods to share the good news.  We just want everyone to know about Jesus!  Our goal is always to leave behind a New Testament church. 

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