Class of 2018: Joe Ginting

ARI Nickname: Joe


Gereja Batak Karo Protestan, GBKP


“In fact at this moment we do not need competition, but how we can work together. Work together to produce the better life, by working together will certainly ease the burden of easing the cost that we should bear alone, and by working together we learn more what we didn’t know.”

In the Indonesian heartland of Kabupaten, the duties of a pastor don’t end after the Sunday service benediction. Joe Ginting knows this well, as his work schedule demands he make daily efforts to help improve the lives of the Karo people of Sukajulu. Since Sukajulu is a rural village in which 99% of residents participate in agriculture to some degree, Joe’s work outside of the chapel usually involves aiding community members with their various farm chores. Additionally, he holds weekly meetings with the local heads of household to encourage more cooperation between them in their work. Though there is some resistance to the idea of group farming in Sukajulu, Joe has been able to make progress on this issue with the establishment of a successful collaborative green chili plot. Obstacles still exist in his work, however, as nearby volcanic activity and prolonged periods of drought can often make the cultivation of healthy crops difficult. Despite these problems, Joe remains steadfast in his desire to prove to his community that they can achieve more together.

At ARI, Joe wants to discover what it truly means to be a rural leader, as well as hone his skills in the fields of agriculture and home industry. He is excited to share the culture and history of the Karo people with his fellow participants, as well as learn from their own life experiences.

The Gereja Batak Karo Protestan is a tribal church in North Sumatra that works to serve the Karo people, who primarily inhabit the rural highlands of Indonesia. Since most of these areas are remote, the GBKP seeks to improve the livelihoods of their inhabitants with projects that include farming, animal husbandry, water supply, road access to the remote areas, ecological projects, Micro Hydro Power electricity and organic farming. In order to be as effective as possible in the implementation of these projects, the GBKP sends its employees to institutions of learning (such as ARI) to learn more about these topics.