Introduction / History
The Uyajitaya people live in Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. Most Uyaji villages are located just inland of Astrolabe Bay near where the Rai Coast and Madang-Lae highways meet. Speakers of Amowe, a dialect of Uyajitaya, live along the Ioworo River.
The Uyajitaya people cultivate gardens, consuming much of the produce themselves and selling any excess at markets. Their primary crops are sweet potato, taro, bananas, pineapple and peanuts. Cash crops include cacao and vanilla.
The Lutherans first came to work in the area in the 1930s. Three of the four local mission stations were abandoned around the time of the Second World War, but the Lutheran churches remained active. In the mid-late 1990s some disputes arose, resulting in one church being disbanded and another burned. These disputes have yet to be resolved and there are currently no Lutheran church services held in any Uyajitaya villages.
The Lutheran Renewal Church, Four Square, and Revival Centres of PNG are active in Uya village. There is also a small Four Square Church in Buai, but no churches exist in any of the other Uyajitaya villages. There has been talk of reestablishing Lutheran churches in some of the villages, but residents are resistant to church planting by other denominations.
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