International Students Minister in Middletown

By Vidah Otieno on December 18, 2007

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On February 16, 2002, Maxwell Academy alumni participated in the Sabbath morning service at Middletown Adventist Church. The students, who now attend Pacific Union College, filled the divine meeting with a lively song service, a trumpet duo, and a song in Ndebele—one of the languages spoken in Zimbabwe, by the musical group Agape. To top it off, Richard Doss, a junior theology major, gave a sermonette on salvation.

Maxwell Adventist Academy is situated in Nairobi, Kenya, and over the years, PUC has recruited more than 20 of Maxwell’s graduates. Alumni from Maxwell are from a variety of different countries around the world. Comprising 25% of the international student population at PUC and living thousands of miles away from home, Maxwell alumni share a unique bond with each other.

One of the highlights of the Middletown service was the music. At Maxwell, all students are required to earn two credits in a music class to graduate. Some students choose choir or piano lessons, while others opt to learn a new instrument. As a result, Maxwell’s graduates appreciate music in one way or another. Singing brings Maxwell alumni together; at first it was just a way to remember good old high school days but; now it is to bring glory to God.

Glen Kulasekere, a senior digital media major from Sri Lanka, originally suggested the idea of doing a church service at Middletown Adventist Church. With the different talents distributed among the Maxwell alumni, this was an opportunity to share God’s love as well as do something for the community. Agape, a musical group that represents six countries from the African continent and the Philippines, had been practicing songs and was happy now to have the opportunity to share their music with the Middletown congregation.

“We enjoy singing, and we are using this talent to help spread God’s word,” said Blessed Gwebu, a student from Zimbabwe who leads Agape. “Since most of us are from Africa, we plan on doing most of our songs in different African dialects.” The unique group includes Michael Mochache, Duncan Nyachieo, and Andrew Ogot representing Kenya. From neighboring Tanzania, there are Yohana Tuguta and Sammy Maradufu. Other members include Deriba Fekadu from Ethiopia, Isaac Zirimwabagabo from Rwanda, Yinka Adeogun from Nigeria, and Shem Aguila and Ardel Gorospe from the Philippines.

A trumpet duo by Clive Kulasekere from Sri Lanka and Andrew Mataya from Malawi added to the musical program. Because the church service was presented by young adults, the routine was a bit different; instead of someone’s preaching, the divine service was filled with praise and the sharing of verses by Richard Doss.

Rather than the usual one person doing song service, most of the Maxwell alumni, did their share in helping out with the songs. The whole church program turned out very well. The Middletown congregation was happy to have their little church filled with young people willing to lead out. Ministering at the Middletown Church was just a first for the Maxwell alumni and they are ready to continue spreading God’s wonderful word in their own different way and different languages. Keep them in your prayers.