|GENE'S STORY (Continued)
|Princeton offered me three years of free tuition, a classical seminary education with world class scholars
like Bruce Metzger, Jurgen Moltmann, T. F. Torrance, & the opportunity to focus on Greek and Hebrew exegesis.
|After Princeton I served two years as associate pastor of an Alliance church in Los Alamos, New Mexico,
7000 feet up in the Jemez mountains, some of the most beautiful country God ever made . . .
|The Alliance appointed us to Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa;
we left three months after our son Malcolm Sawyer Smillie was born.
|While at Princeton I worked as a chaplain
in the Philadelphia city prison system.
|And then I met SUSIE !
|In addition to pastoring, for two years I coached a 5th & 6th grade
soccer team at Los Alamos
|To read more detail
about our whirlwind
courtship and romance,
see Susie's Story
|Our first assignment in Cote d'Ivoire was to teach in the Yamoussoukro Bible Institute for one year.
That really helped us nail down French, using it all day in the classroom teaching Bible
Although the church asked the mission to let us stay there and fill that crucial role, the mission insisted we should
"get out in the bush and learn African culture, and an African language, thoroughly."
|We moved down to Santa Fe, capital of New Mexico
where we tried for a year to start a new Alliance church from zero.
We failed spectacularly.
|So we spent two years doing that
and also teaching lay church leader seminars and conferences.
|After a year in France learning the language, and pastoring a French church for one
summer, we flew to Africa
|One summer I traveled all over South East
Alaska, teaching Vacation Bible School in
many native American villages and
supplying the pulpits for Presbyterian
churches. Got to eat a lot of fresh game too!
|Waylon and Jessi sing what we can affirm thirty years later
: (click to listen to them)
|For three years I got to work with Dr. Metzger not only in the classroom,
but also in his home yard! He & his wife Isobel (whose father John
Mackay had been President of Princeton after the split, and who before
that had been a missionary, and had studied with both Karl Barth and
Miguel de Unamuno! and wrote the classic "The Other Spanish Christ")
became close friends who "kept up with me" even after I went to Africa.