Tengger People in Mount Bromo
The Tengger people in East Java are a small unreached people group consisting of around 100,000 people. They live around Mount Bromo which is an active volcano in The Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. It is named after Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, and is 2 hours from Surabaya, the 2nd largest city in Indonesia.
This mountain is one of the most popular tourist destinations because of its cool temperatures, beautiful mountain scenery, and crater you can hike up. Many people will wake up in the middle of the night, hire a jeep driver to drive them up the mountain, then watch the sunrise over the mountain and crater. The view is absolutely stunning!
Hindu Ritual Kasada
Most Tengger people are majority Hindu but there are also many Muslims that live at the bottom of the mountain. Every year they hold a ritual called Kasada. The event is held in the middle of the night on the full moon of the 10th Javanese month. They meet at the foot of the Mount Bromo Crater (which they believe is a holy mountain) then climb up to top of the crater. Each person will bring offerings (food, money, flowers, and livestock) and throw them into the active and smoking crater.
They believe this as an act of gratitude to the gods for the abundance of agricultural produce and livestock. There are many locals who dangerously trek the inner side of the crater to catch the offerings thrown. They believe the offerings will bring them good luck. This is a unique ritual of the Tengger people that Hindus in Bali do not adhere to.
Farmers and Jeep Drivers
The land in Bromo is very fertile for planting vegetables. So 80% of the Tengger people are farmers and mainly grow potatoes, cabbage, and onions. Many people work in the tourism business as jeep drivers and hotel workers for the thousands of tourists that visit each year. However, COVID19 greatly affected the tourism business because foreigners could not enter the country and other Indonesians could not leave the cities to visit Mount Bromo.
God is moving among the Tenggerese
A few years ago, a church planting team from a nearby city began visiting the mountain and intentionally shared the gospel with the locals. They noticed a rare openness among the people that they didn’t find in their city. A Hindu woman was the first to believe in Jesus and has led her family and dozens of others to faith. In 2020, 35 families heard the gospel and believed! God is moving in amazing ways among the Tenggerese and is raising up more laborers among the locals to be sent into the harvest field!
~Prayers for the Tengger People~
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20
- Pray for unity among the Tenggerese believers and that more people would believe in Jesus through them
- For wisdom for the church planting team as they share the gospel and disciple new believers
- For the tourism business to grow again and for provision for the families affected by COVID19