Introduction / History
Traders introduced the people of Rote Island to the Gospel in the 1700s. Impressed by the Christian religion, three rulers went to the larger, more populated island of Java a few years later to investigate it further. There they became Christians, were baptized and went to Bible school for three years. They returned to their island with a copy of the Bible written in their local trade language.
After starting schools, they taught people to read, and Christianity quickly spread throughout the island. Though proud of their faith and their churches, the Tii speakers still do not have God's Word in their own mother tongue. Pastors use the national Indonesian language Bible in services, but it is inadequate. Without Scriptures they can understand deeply, believers here lack access to foundational truths, which can lead them to practical applications for Christian living.
Tii speakers live on Rote Island in Indonesia. Several other people groups live there also, in separate areas established by historic kings.
All Rotenese eat what their land produces. One of their basic foods comes from sap of the lontar palm, harvested during the annual dry season. It yields sweet syrup that they also make into sugar. Gardens yield vegetables during the intense but short, wet season. The Tii also fish and raise pigs, goats, sheep and water buffalo. Horses provide transportation.
Text source: Anonymous