Baptist International Missions, Inc.


Located on the north Atlantic coast of the South American continent, French Guiana is actually a department or state of France. Settled in the 1700s, modern-day French Guiana is one of the "forgotten places" when speaking of the independent Baptist missionary movement. After substantial research, we know of no independent Baptist missionaries living and working in French Guiana. It seems that this tropical French state, which shares the mainland of South America, has been overlooked. God has burdened our hearts to bring attention to the great need and tremendous "Open Door" waiting for missionaries in this "forgotten place" in South America.

With a growing population of approximately 235,000, French Guiana is a mixture of Creole and Caribbean culture. It is also heavily influenced by the sizeable number of Europeans who have migrated there over the centuries. Even today many European nationals live and work in French Guiana, because the country is home to the Guiana Space Center, a prime launch site for the European Space Agency and a principal French spaceport. French Guiana enjoys a reasonably stable economy mainly because it is heavily subsidized by France. The country's official currency is the Euro.

French Guiana is an open door to the Gospel in South America. While our research revealed numerous religious entities working in the country that include several evangelical, protestant and Pentecostal groups, it also poignantly reinforces the tremendous need for fundamental, independent Baptist missionaries to go there to preach the Gospel and establish indigenous churches among the French Guinness people.

French Guiana is widely known for its infamous Devil's Island, located nine miles off the mainland. It served for more than 100 years as a notorious French penal colony. Now closed to public access, Devil's Island continues to be a popular tourist attraction even though it can only be viewed from excursion boats passing by its shores.

More than 90% of French Guiana's landmass is made up of often inhospitable, and in some cases nearly impenetrable, rainforest. Numerous small villages exist, mostly populated by Creoles and some native Amerindian tribes. Large numbers of Haitians and people from the island of St. Lucia have migrated to French Guiana and pockets of other South American and Caribbean ethnic groups are common in the urban and suburban areas. The country's three principal cities, Cayenne (pop. 61,500), Matoury (pop. 26,300) and Kouron (pop. 24,500), are all situated along a narrow coastal strip where the majority of the inhabitants of French Guiana live. There is a tremendous need to train nationals to go into the interior villages, the ethnic enclaves and the large coastal cities. We must move quickly and decisively to take advantage of this great open door for church planting and Bible training ministries.

Pray with us that God will raise up at least three missionary families who are willing to go to this tropical land to plant churches and train national workers. Please help us remove French Guiana from the list of "forgotten places."

South America Director

Sean & Stephanie Lunday
Read more about Sean & Stephanie Lunday. He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050.

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