Introduction / History The Ayamaru Brat or Maibrat are indigenous people. They speak a “language isolate” which means their language is not related to any other language family. A New Testament in Maibrat became available in 2007.
Where are they located? The Ayamaru live in the central region of the Bird’s Head Peninsula of the island of New Guinea in the nation of Indonesia. The land they live on is classified as tropical rain forest on the slopes of mountains on the peninsula.
What are their lives like? The Ayamaru practice “slash and burn” agriculture. They cut down the trees and vegetation on a plot of land. Then they burn the remaining plant so as to produce a type of fertilizer. Once the soil is exhausted, they move on to another plot of land and do the same thing until it too is exhausted. The main crops of the Maibrat are rice, copra (dried coconuts), corn, and peanuts. They also hunt and fish to supplement their diets. The Brat live in small villages ruled by the heads of families or elders. Most now speak Bahasa, the Indonesian national language as well as their own language of Maibrat. They trade their crops of peanuts and cobra to obtain things that they cannot make for themselves like metal tools and solar panels.
What are their beliefs? The vast majority of the Ayamaru are animists. They believe that spirits inhabit parts of nature such as trees, rocks, rivers, the sky, mountains and animals. The spirits must be appeased by sacrifices, rituals and charms or they can bring harm to the people. Each village has a shaman who connects the Brat to the spirit world. The Ayamaru also ask the shaman to deal with their medical needs. A small minority of the Ayamaru are believers.
What are their needs? All Ayamaru need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. They would also benefit by having agricultural experts come and teach them how to farm their land more effectively since their slash and burn method damages the plants and animals of their environment. Medical teams can help improve the Brat’s health. Many Ayamaru are illiterate. Teachers can help the Brat learn how to read and write Maibrat and Bahasa.
Prayer Points * Pray that the small group of Maibrat believers are nurtured in the faith and that they are used by the Holy Spirit to begin an unstoppable movement to Christ.
* Pray the Lord raises up Bible believing pastors and church leaders who can teach the Brat the Word of God.
* Pray for teams of believers come and help the Ayamaru with their physical and economic needs.