Thet Paing Aung

ARI Nickname: Thet Paing Myanmer Pwo Karen Baptist Conference, Myanmar Baptist Convention, MBC Project coordinator / Church and community mobilization program “It is sure that I was born in rural community and my family are earning with planting paddy field. I feel honor that I came from the farmer family because farmers are the main supporters of food resources in our country.” Born into a family of poor but honorable farmers, Thet doesn’t just understand the struggles of the people he serves: he has lived them. Now a coordinator for the Pwo Karin Baptist Conference, his goal is to foster a social environment in which his community can prosper. To … Read more…

Lar Dar Wi

ARI Nickname: Lar Myanmer 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 … Read more…

Class of 2018: Joe Ginting

ARI Nickname: Joe Indonesia Gereja Batak Karo Protestan, GBKP Pastor “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 … Read more…

Class of 2018: Chlaodhius Budhianto

ARI Nickname: Chlaodhius Indonesia Christian Church from Northern Central Java (GKJTU) Pastor “I know that many of my church members are poor farmers. Because of this, I not only nurture their spiritual life, but I also work to empower economically.  Organic farming is the solution to my people sustainable economic growth.” As the pastor of a small farming village in rural Indonesia, Chlaodihus has seen first-hand that spiritual words alone are not enough to alleviate the struggles of those who live in poverty. As such, he has taken it upon himself to realize the Christian creed of ‘preferential treatment for the poor’ by actively working to improve the economic situation … Read more…

Class of 2018: Prokhen Phangcho

ARI Nickname: Khen India Amri Karbi Baptist Association, AKBA Pastor “I know that my community has capabilities within themselves, so I want them to bring up together and work and to live by themselves not depending on any other.” Born in the same village he now serves as pastor of, Prokhen has lived his whole life among the people he now serves. As a spiritual leader, it is Prokhen’s calling to tell the word of God, pay visitation to the sick, and offer support to the needy and disenfranchised members of his community. Prokhen is a devoted Baptist, and at the same time very respectful of the local animist traditions. … Read more…

Class of 2018: Gabriel Gonmei

ARI Nickname: Gab India Rongmei Baptist Association Subject Specialist “I always have my heart for rural people as I have also come from a rural place. Now I am  involved in nurturing rural poor and leaders in accumulating new strategies and approaches in transforming agricultural practices and development.” Gabriel was born in Dimapur, Nagaland, India. Coming from a rural area, and with the influences of his grandparents who are farmers, Gabriel has been interested in rural agriculture and development from a young age. Currently, he works as a Subject Specialist for the Rongmei Baptist Association in Nagaland to help the people of the Peren district. The Peren district is composed … Read more…

Class of 2018: Benigno Estevao Simoes

ARI Nickname: Beni East Timor Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Field Staff “I prefer to work with rural farmers because I want to share my science skill in terms of knowledge that I already had in university, in turn to get experienced from them to widen my experience.” Since his childhood, Benigno has been immersed in agricultural life. Inspired by his family’s tradition of farming in the rural Baucau region of East Timor, he made the decision in his youth to pursue an education that emphasized the natural sciences and agronomy. After completing his schooling, Benigno went on to volunteer with a number of agricultural organizations before joining … Read more…

Class of 2018: Nisansala Maduwanthi Hettiarachchi

ARI Nickname: Madu Sri Lanka Asia Lanka Social Development Corporation, (ALSDC) Field Officer “I have more experience to work with rural people. At the same time, I’m feeling their ambitions & expectation in day today life. Therefore, I thought to select my working areas as rural areas & to do my best to give hands to eliminate their poverty in some extent.” Having spent her entire life in the rural heart of southern Sri Lanka, Nisansala understands what the communities require to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This knowledge has made her an effective field officer for the Asia Lanka Social Development Corporation, as it allows her to tailor … Read more…