Jonathan P. Larson
Though born in Minnesota, Jonathan Larson's early home was the Brahmaputra River Valley of northeast India, amid the rice fields, bamboo groves and tea gardens where Burma, Tibet and India meet. The oldest of eight children, he studied at Woodstock School in the Himalayan foothills where he was classmate and trekking partner of Daniel Terry. Having completed studies in history at the University of Minnesota in 1970, he and his childhood sweetheart, Mary Kay Burkhalter, volunteered to teach school in the Congo, where two daughters were born and where they first encountered Africa's beauty, burdens, and promise. Following graduate studies, in 1981, the family returned to Africa under the auspices of the Mennonites to Botswana, on the doorstep of apartheid South Africa and on the eve of what became the harrowing AIDS pandemic. Known for his grasp of Tswana language and lore, he served as a leadership trainer in African communities and churches. A third daughter was born to them in those years. Since 1994 Jonathan has been based in Atlanta as he writes, mentors, and travels to visit conferences, campuses, and churches as storyteller and world citizen.