The 41st Commencement Service of the Asian Rural Institute was held on December 12 (Sat). This year, 31 participants from 16 countries graduated from the ARI training program. About 85 guests came to attend the ceremony.
We are deeply thankful for the many visitors from far and near as well as the volunteers from Japan and overseas. Without their cooperation it would not have been possible to complete the Rural Leaders Training safely.
After beginning the ceremony with an opening hymn and a prayer from Rev. Ban, the program proceeded with an address from director Rev. Otsu, a prayer of thanksgiving by Rev. Appau and the report of the training course of 2013, given by curriculum coordinator Oyanagi. After this, the graduates were solemnly handed their certificates of completion of the training.
Congratulatory messages were given by three honorary guests: Rev. Kokai Chang (Missionary of the United Methodist Church and Administrative & Program Director of the Wesley Foundation), Rev. Akiyama (Moderator of the Kyoudan Kantou Parish) and Mr. Akutsu (Mayor of Nasushiobara City).
As response from the new graduates, Ms. Yanti Jacob from Indonesia spoke to the audience, with an interpretation by Ms. Sakura Omuro from Japan.
The ceremony endded with a benediction by Rev. Dr. Toshihiro Takami, Honorary President of the ARI. The graduates, guests, volunteers and ARI staff members enjoyed fellowship during the tea party afterwards.
We would like to again express our sincere appreciation to the many people who warmly supported the successful completion of this year’s training program.