An ADC Reunion in Kenya

This past spring I had the pleasure of travelling for 34 days in Europe and Africa on college and denominational business.

It began with the ADC tour to Turkey and Greece that I hosted with another leader from South Carolina, Delaine Blackwell. At the end of the tour, Stewert Dockendorff and I left from Athens to visit some CBM ministries in Kenya, where I consulted on a library project. Stewert had joined the tour to celebrate completing his DMin thesis, and came to Kenya in conjunction with his DMin thesis work. I had been asked by CBM to assess and offer guidance on the development of the library of the East Kenya Integrated College in Mitaboni (SE of Nairobi). It is owned by one of CBM’s partners in Kenya, the African Brotherhood Churches. Randy and Elizabeth Legassie are the current CBM field staff who teach there, having recently returned after serving there in the ’70 and ’80s.

Both Legassies are Acadia alumni and have a significant history of teaching courses at ADC. [photo left to right: Glenn Wooden, Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, ABC, Elizabeth Legassie, Randy Legassie] For a small denomination the ABC is making great strides in offering education to its members, and hopes to move the college to a fully-recognized university level of training for teachers and other professionals, in addition to ministry training.

 

Faculty and students at EKIC, in Mitaboni, Kenya, sending their greetings to their Canadian Baptist partners.

I also had the chance to meet with leaders of the Africa Christian Churches and Schools in Thika, just outside Nairobi. [photo left to right: Shannon Baines (PhD candidate at McMaster Divinity College), Wayne Morgan, CBM Field staff; Jeremiah Ngumo, Deputy General Secretary of ACC&S; Glenn Wooden, Stewert Dockendorff]

This is the denomination of two past ADC acquaintances: James Waithaka, the previoius Moderator (=Executive Minister), and Julius Karanja the present Moderator, both alumni of ADC.

As I planned for this part of my spring travels, I realized just how many ADC/Acadia alumni could be in the same area at one time. So, I arranged an Acadia-ADC alumni gathering and on May 31st 2013, seven alumni (alas, neither Waithaka nor Karanja could attend), with several spouses and some CBM staff, gathered for an evening of fellowship and entertainment.

 

Harlyn Purdy (’00, ’01), Gary Cymbaluk (’11), Randy Legassie (’77), Elizabeth Legassie (’76), Aaron Kenny (’02), Stewert Dockendorff (’78, ’13), Glenn Wooden (’84, ’87)

We met at the famous Nyama Choma restaurant at the Safari Park Hotel complex;

 one must be a ‘meatitarian’ to enjoy the food at this restaurant! We talked, ate, and enjoyed the evening’s entertainment: African dance,

which was a combination of traditional dances from Kenya’s tribal groups, and some modern dance and acrobatics.

It was a good night of fellowship and relaxation—although the volume of the music for the dance was a bit louder than my ears enjoyed.

After travelling for 20 days (Turkey and Greece, then Kenya), I planned a three day break along with Harlyn and Helene Purdy (missionaries in Lilongwe, Malawi) and Stewert Dockendorff. The four of us went on a safari to the Massai Mara (the Kenya section of the Serengeti in SW Kenya).

Helene Purdy, Harlyn Purdy, Stewert Dockendorff, Glenn Wooden; On the escarpment overlooking the savannah on the way from Nairobi

It was, well, … fantastic—more than I ever imagined. We saw: elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinoceroses, cheetahs, zebras, Thompson gazelles, elands, Topi antelope, impalas, wildebeests, water buffaloes, hyenas, warthogs, crocodiles, hippopotami, baboons, mongooses, an African Rock Python (boa constrictor), ostriches, vultures, and several other bird varieties!! And we visited a traditional Maasai village and were greeted by the men as they (and we!) jumped in the air in their traditional greeting ceremony, and the women as they sang a greeting. They dressed in their traditional garments, introduced us to their village and homes, and some of their customs.

It was certainly a month of travel I will never forget!

Glenn Wooden Assoc. Professor of Old Testament