“Trust is earned by regularly responding to the community’s needs.”
Gu Tar Hu is a Baptist minister and the director of development in the Waing Maw Lisu Baptist Association, which serves the predominantly agricultural and ethnic Lisu community in Kachin State, northern Myanmar. Alongside his religious responsibilities, Gu Tar has led emergency response programs to support those affected by Covid-19 and internal displacement.
Amidst the various challenges that the farmers of Ding Jang Yong Village confront, the lack of cohesive leadership within the community exacerbates conflicts, as an absence of organizational structure within the farming community has impeded the adoption of organic farming methods. Gu Tar has worked to improve mental health and morale, leading a course on mental awareness training for the men of his community. In addition, he has taken charge of efforts to assist internally displaced persons and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Gu Tar manages a rice farm with his family, but he is also keen to expand his knowledge in nature-positive agriculture, environmental conservation, and community leadership. He hopes to bring new ideas back to his community and increase the adoption of organic farming practices.
The Lisu Baptist Convention is a group of regional Baptist associations serving the Lisu community throughout Myanmar. Serving a primarily agricultural community, the Convention incorporates elements of sustainable agricultural training into activities, including training for seminary students on organic farming and environmental awareness.
Recognizing the importance of sustainable agriculture, the Lisu Baptist Convention hopes that Gu Tar’s training will enable him to implement sustainable lifestyle methods and bring a prosperous future to his community.