“A strong sense of community fosters a strong desire to improve, individually and collectively.”
Jontra has observed that most people in his community engage in agricultural practices involving harmful chemicals, negatively impacting the environment. In his free time, he often meets community members at the local tavern to exchange ideas and has gradually shared his agricultural practices.
Jontra spends one and a half hours daily riding his motorcycle between his home and the villages he serves. He is social and has built good relationships with young and older members of his church community. As a pastor, his weekly responsibilities include performing home visitations to see the youth, elderly, and sick, overseeing choir practice, leading Bible study, managing church finances, and preparing and preaching at worship services at homes and church. Additionally, he helps manage a catfish farm several afternoons a week.
He hopes to expand his knowledge and skills in organic farming, livestock management, and community development by studying at ARI to improve the livelihood of his community. In addition, he wants to improve his knowledge of seed saving.
Gereja Kristen Protestan Indonesia, or The Christian Protestant Church in Indonesia (GKPI) was founded in 1964 to focus on evangelism and social services throughout Indonesia. Most of the congregation and priests are from the Batak Toba people. The community’s main livelihood is farming livestock and vegetation, with some fisherman near the Toba Lake. When Jontra returns from ARI, GKPI hopes that he will manage and execute various sustainability projects for rural villagers.