ARI Nickname: Lar
Shweli Shan Baptist Convention, SSBC
Project Directer / Pastor
“I remember one of my childhood experiences in family table. When I eat the food sometimes the food fell down the table. My father always reminds that the farmers plant the paddy field and it is not easy to get even a seed of rice.”
Lar comes from a community in the northern reaches of Shan State. The community is very diverse, consisting of many cultures, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. Lar works amidst this gathering of humanity as director for the Shweli Shan Baptist Convention’s Christian Social Services and Development Department, which strives to improve the livelihoods of local church members through agricultural assistance and educational development. His efforts to uplift the community extend across religious boundaries, however, as he is also involved in the SSBC’s MINA program. This program seeks to promote understanding between faith groups through awareness training, prayer meetings, and shared celebrations. Lar understands that, despite the efforts of his sending body, Lashio still faces challenges that impede its development. Drug dependency is common, as is a lack of knowledge that prevents local resources from being fully utilized. Lar knows that his people’s desire to live together in peace will allow them to overcome any obstacle.
In order to best serve his community, Lar wants to focus on sustainable agriculture, community-based learning, and servant leadership during his time at ARI. He believes that community-based learning will benefit his people because they have their own unique innate values that can and do enrich their learning experiences.
Founded in 1813 by American missionaries, The Myanmar Baptist Convention is the largest Christian denomination in Myanmar, with over 5,000 churches across all 14 states. Lar serves the Shweli Shan Baptist Convention division of the MBC as a staff member of their Christain Socal Service and Development Department, which is made up of farmers descended from the ethnic groups of Shan, Kachin, Bamar, Lahu, and Lisu. Like its parent organization, the SSBC seeks to encourage holistic development in its communities through inter-church networking and the establishment of programs that help rural people utilize their local resources.