The Puinave live along the Venezuela and Colombia border. Originally, the Puinave lived along the Nooquéne and Inirida rivers, but because of the rubber tappers, settlers, and other groups coming into the area, they were forced to move. They have a slash and burn form of agriculture, and they also fish and hunt.
Their cosmology involves four siblings. The eldest brother created the universe with the sun, moon, and stars, but he did not finish the earth. A different brother was murdered, and from his bones, Dukjin, the cultural hero, was born. He created the mountains, rivers, animals, plants, and he established clans and rituals. His successor, Tudon, taught the world how to grow crops. Many converted to Catholicism, but only .7 percent are evangelical.
Engagement // What’s Happening Now
In the article, “A Priest, a Pastor, and a Witchdoctor Walk Into a…” by Jeremiah and Marj Campbell, they explain the difficulties in reaching people groups in LAC. They tell the story of parents who want to keep their baby safe from evil spirits, so they go to a pastor, a priest, and a witchdoctor. Where there is Christianity, it is highly syncretized. Consequently, many put faith in Christ, but do not have a true relationship with Christ. Pray for missionaries working with people groups in LAC, that the reality of syncretized Christianity would be met with wisdom and proper discipleship.
LAC has multiple educational services to train ministers, such as Latin America Theological Seminary, Caribbean School of Theology, and Latin America Advanced School of Theology. Pray for the students at these institutions, that through their training, they may effectively reach unreached peoples in LAC.
Partnership // Move Beyond
- Pray churches are planted in Puinave villages as centers of discipleship for new Puinave believers.
- Pray for LAC Assemblies of God colleges and universities, that educated ministers would be able to combat false teaching.
- Pray for a spiritual awakening in Puinave churches.