It took the whole day (Wednesday July 15) as the program in church started at around 9.30 am and finished around 3 pm. After that there was a meal, and that of course is a time to greet people and talk with them.
One of the graduates, Angu Anyole, is known to me as he worked at the hospital when I arrived in Adi in 2007. He is a very friendly man and also well known in the community. He is the grandson of a famous evangelist and pastor of CECA 20 Adi, Yoane Akudri (AIM has a book written about him by former missionary Peter Brashler). Angu started thinking about being a pastor himself and in 2011 began his training at the Adi Bible Institute. Now he was one of the 32 students who graduated. As the wives are following lessons as well in the women’s section (although two in the men’s section), they march with their husbands into the church and also get a certificate.
When that (long) march is finished, the invited people get welcomed and a special welcome is for the ‘wise old men’. Although old, they are very much respected for their knowledge and their presence is always specially mentioned.
After a long sit with singing and a time when people give speeches, there was a sermon (about the call of Peter, Andrew, James and John), and then it was time for the graduation part when all the students get their certificate, and receive presents.
When walking to the place where we would be served, it rained – and that is a sign of blessing here. It didn’t rain hard though, so we could walk through. I walked with one of the old wise men, papa Yosse. He is around 110-112 years old, but still walking (though with a stick) and he’s getting deaf, but he is still very much involved in what happens and knows a lot about the past.
Yosse is the grandfather to Nghota, who is the chief here in Adi and who works, when he is not accomplishing his responsibilities for Adi, for me in the upkeep of the other missionary house. He also is a gifted carpenter. Last month I visited his parents, who are in Ariwara, and took a picture with them. His mom looks like her father, Yosse.