Blimbingsari Protestant church

Written by on July 1, 2012 in Bali Temple with 0 Comments

Blimbingsari Protestant church



Bali’s pristine beaches are world-renowned, but it has more to offer tourists than sun, sea and sand, says Bishop K. Suyaga Ayub, who heads the village church in Blimbingsari, 127km west of Denpasar, Bali’s capital.

The only all-Christian village in predominantly Hindu Bali, Blimbingsari is located in the western region of Jembrana – one of the least visited parts of the island.

It has grown from a settlement of 29 families in 1939, to 162 families, while its satellite village, Ambiarsari, is within walking distance and contains 67 families.

“Visitors can stay at a villager’s house for between Rp75,000 (RM29) and Rp100,000 (RM38) a day, or at my guesthouse, Puri Penelokan, for Rp150,000 (RM57) a day including breakfast,” says Bishop Ayub.

Puri Penelokan, which means “house with a beautiful view”, is attached to a bungalow and sits on a knoll in the centre of the village.

It offers a bird’s eye view of the surroundings as well as the magnificent blue-grey mountains that fringe the West Bali National Park, 1km from the village.

“We have opened our homes to visitors not merely for the income, but to allow the villagers to mingle with foreigners, learn English and experience other cultures.

“At the same time, visitors learn conservation from them, experience the idyllic life, and participate in the various cottage industries I have started,” says Bishop Ayub.

The former chairman of the Synod of the Protestant Christian Church in Bali (PCCB) has turned Blimbingsari into a “living village” based on eco-tourism projects.

Bishop Ayub encouraged the villagers to switch from growing rice to growing mushrooms, vanilla, cocoa and coffee because these fetch better prices on the world market.

These crops are thriving, thanks to the Drip Irrigation System which he introduced. The irrigation system is so successful that even the highlands are receiving water.

And at the behest of the Bali State Government, the PCCB has begun similar irrigation projects that sustain 26 other villages.

Income from the irrigation and other eco-friendly projects has helped Blimbingsari’s villagers to finance their children’s college education. Today, the village is one of the most educated in Bali.

One of Bishop Ayub’s successful eco-friendly projects is the production of organic fertiliser from cow dung.

“One kilogramme of processed cow dung fetches Rp600 (30 sen). We obtain about 1kg of dung per day from each cow,” said Bishop Ayub, who is also teaching the villagers to produce methane gas for energy.

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