Closing Wounds, Making Peace

We have had the honor of inviting Ms. Keiko Holmes from Agape World to our campus at Tochigi to present her message on peace and reconciliation to the ARI community. As the Japanese coordinator for Agape World which is an organization dedicated to promote reconciliation between Japan and her former World War II prisoners of war (POWs), Ms. Keiko is no doubt a well-fitted speaker for this topic. Her presentation to the ARI community was full of personal stories which touched the hearts of all who listened. We marveled at … Read more

Western Japan Study Tour 2023 (Part 2)

Participants of ARI successfully completed their study tour around Western Japan, where they break out of their usual classroom setting and come face-to-face with real persons and communities. 5: Minamata After a short midway break in Osaka, Participants took a ferry to Minamata and visited multiple sites to learn about the history of the Minamata Disease and its painful impact on the people in the community. They visited Minamata Disease Museum, the former Chisso company, the Hyakken Drainage site, and the eco-park made on the landfill (reclaimed land) area where … Read more

Participant Introduction- Pa Maung(Myanmar)

“My village is in northeast Chin State, in Myanmar… my community’s livelihood is from shifting [slash-and-burn] cultivation in upland. Our strengths are that we are hardworking and help each other. Challenges are poverty, poor health, unemployment, and illiteracy.” Pa Maung’s description of his community is like many stories of village life in Myanmar or many countries – one struggling to make a living from the soil. As a pastor and farmer, Pa Maung understands the problems of his area. Since 2016 he has worked full- time for the CARD as … Read more

Participant Introduction – Gu Tar(Myanmar)

“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 … Read more

Participant Introduction – Fung (Myanmar)

“A good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. They are kind in their actions, merciful in their decisions, and patient in their approach, always striving to uplift and empower those around them.” – as this quote inspired Fung, and he hopes to be of inspiration at ARI. Fung’s community comprises mostly ordinary farmers who use shifting cultivation and slash-and-burn farming as their primary means of livelihood. Most people in the community are illiterate, with only a few educated individuals. Fung has experience … Read more

Participant Introduction – Mary (Liberia)

“My community has one public school, which is overcrowded. Children walk several hours to get to school. Even though the community hosts the hydroelectric power plant and the water treatment plant for the Monrovia metropolitan area, the community does not have purified water nor electricity services.” Mary is all too familiar with these problems in the White Plains community that survives by subsistence farming. As field supervisor at UMRADP farm, she is responsible for planning and supervising all field activities. Rural and semi-rural communities across Liberia are primarily uneducated and … Read more

Participant Introduction – Heley (Liberia)

“What motivates me is my experience with the present situation in our country. Unless we work to become self-supporting, it is practically impossible for us to gain selfhood. This is why I deem it necessary to work with rural community members to produce their food and eat the food they grow.” Helena Koko Ben is a project manager at the Voinjama Free Pentecostal Health Center. Her community is ready to help in times of difficulty. They are open-minded and show respect no matter which culture, religious, economic, political, social, or … Read more

Participant Introduction – Yohanes (Indonesia)

“Being a leader does not mean having control over others, but rather taking responsibility for their well-being and ensuring that they are cared for and supported.” – Yohannes’s philosophy of leadership was inspired by the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo.  Kenda village is predominantly Christian. As one that strives for food security and economic advancement, Yohanes is responsible for working with the farming community, which contains like-minded local farmers. His work includes plant propagation and cultivation to improve plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and … Read more

Participant Introduction – Yeni(Indonesia)

“For neither did the Son of Man come to be served. He came to serve and to lay down His life to set many free.” (Mark 10:45), as Yeni describes her drive to serve the people. Yeni and her sending body, HKBP, work in a community of predominantly Christians, but many residents practice a diverse range of spiritual beliefs. Thanks to the support provided by the organization, some of its members engage in organic farming and enjoy a thriving, safe, and healthy environment. The community emphasizes unity and solidarity through … Read more

Participant Introduction – Jontra (Indonesia)

“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 … Read more


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