Training Church Leaders
Asian Rural Institute
Longtime Global Ministries' partner, the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Tochigi, Japan, equips grassroots leaders from around the world to work with the poor and marginalized, especially to encourage sustainable agriculture. Although ARI sustained damage in the March earthquake, it will continue with its regular training program, albeit on a delayed schedule.
None of the 30 men and women has changed their plans to attend this year's session, now slated to begin May 2. No staff or volunteers were killed or seriously injured in the earthquake, but roofs and farm buildings collapsed, requiring extensive clean-up and eventual repair. ARI director, Kenichi Otsu, and Global Ministries' chief executive, Thomas Kemper, were in touch within hours of the earthquake.
In the 2010 term, Global Ministries sponsored two ARI participants, Daneth Him from Cambodia and John Nday Kyoni from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Both young people are now deeply involved in ministries with the poor in their home countries. The 2011 roster includes a United Methodist participant from Haiti.
United Methodist Women, working through the Women's Division of Global Ministries, has provided numerous scholarships to ARI over the years. The institute has also served as a placement for Global Justice Volunteers, young adults who engage in justice ministries through a joint program of Women's Division and the Global Ministries' office of mission volunteers. More