Sorry – the title’s German, not Dutch! In our recent blogposts we have introduced some of the people we work with here in Amsterdam. Next up is Rupen Das, a Canadian who joined IBTSC in 2015 and leads the Missions stream at the Study Centre. Rupen is married to Mamta and they have two grown-up children and three grandchildren. Their daughter Layla and her family live in Canada. Their son Nishant and his family live in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where he works for World Vision.
Like ourselves, Rupen has been seconded to IBTSC and his sending agency is the Canadian Baptist Ministries http://www.cbmin.org/. He also works with the European Baptist Federation http://www.ebf.org/, whose office is based here at the Baptist House. His focus is on enabling churches to respond to the refugee crisis, especially in Ukraine and Turkey. Before they moved to Amsterdam, Rupen and Mamta lived in Beirut, Lebanon, where Rupen was seconded by CBM to the Lebanese Baptists. He served as Program Director of a postgraduate course in Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the Baptist seminary there. He also assisted the Lebanese Baptist Society (also known as LSESD) to set up a humanitarian response to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and inside Syria through local churches. Early in his career, he had been on staff with the Navigators.
With this background, it is not surprising that Rupen is passionate about missions, global Christianity, and the issues of theology, poverty, compassion and social justice. He completed a DMin in 2014, focusing on Islamic understandings of poverty. Rupen has extensive experience in humanitarian assistance and development, having worked for World Vision across the world, and as a consultant with the Canadian Government, other NGOs, and the UN.
Moving to Amsterdam from Beirut was quite a change for Rupen and Mamta. They are enjoying 24-hour electricity, proper heating in winter and reliable internet. Mamta is enjoying the walks along the canals in their neighbourhood. However, Rupen misses the mountains and the blue Mediterranean… I asked them a few questions about life here:
What’s good about working here? The mix of nationalities, cultures (and accents) of the team make for interesting and enjoyable times. It is also a privilege to work with the calibre of students in the programs.
What do you do in your spare time? We both enjoy hiking. I (Rupen) also enjoy Middle Eastern history and culture.
What are your hopes for the future of IBTSC? As IBTSC finds new life in its present incarnation, that it would nurture a new generation of leaders through its academic programs, and also develop as a research centre that would serve the churches.
Final Fascinating Facts: The Netherlands is the 12th country that Rupen has lived in since childhood, and the 6th country as a family! Waow!