Our students returned today from a week-long break with family and friends. In this season of thanks, giving, and joy, we are reminded of our recent business colloquium speaker Dr. Rudi Maier, President of ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency). In front of a packed room of business students, Maier described his early experiences of development and relief work as a child in Germany receiving gifts of food from “Sister Linda,” who he later learned was Loma Linda. “Someone was willing to care for me,” said Maier, describing the feeling of connection with individuals on the other side of the world. It was this experience which set Maier on a path to share the Gospel through action. With a message that Christianity “is not one-sided,” Maier continued to explain that Christians can not only serve others targeting spiritual needs but physical needs as well. Case-in-point, Maier told of his experience in Sri Lanka as a pastor. After asking the people there what they needed, he shifted his work first to building toilets, sanitation infrastructure, and improving clean water access.
“I wake up every morning with joy in my heart because the work we do in ADRA is fulfilling the ministry of Jesus”
-Dr. Rudi Maier President, ADRA
“If you find yourself with an opportunity to serve your community, then take it!” said Maier. And in an economy full of job applicants with degrees in business and little to no experience, these words certainly ring true. Maier invited all of the students to consider working with ADRA to do the work that needs to be done around the world. “Our greatest goal is that one day, we will be put out of business because others will already be doing this work” that one day, everyone will know too that there is someone who cares for them.
Dr. Rudi Maier became president of ADRA International in 2010. Prior to joining ADRA, he worked as a professor of international development studies, development consultant, community development project director, and director for program evaluation. Born in Germany, he has served in various professional capacities in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the former Soviet Union, and the U.S.
To learn more about the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), visit their official website here.