By Bethany Taylor, Contributing Writer
It’s that time of year again: midterms are approaching, homework is piling up like the season’s falling leaves and students are getting hungry for World Gospel Mission’s annual Goat Roast on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Since 2005, WGM’s Goat Roast has been an October tradition for Asbury’s campus. Hosted at WGM’s Student Center, the event draws in over 400 people from Asbury University, Asbury Seminary and the Wilmore area. Nowhere else can you experience Kenyan culture like this, while enjoying a tasty bowl of roasted goat stew.
Among these crowds lay untold stories of humor and community, all which revolve around the traditions of the Goat Roast: roasting a goat over a fire, racing through the cardboard box maze and dressing up like Masaai with your friends in a photo booth. If you’re still feeling unsure and wary of what this Goat Roast is all about, take the word of students and staff who come back every year hungry for more.
When asked if he had ever been to the WGM Goat Roast, Ransomed class member Micah Huber said, “I was finally able to go two years ago. I wanted to see how a goat would taste and I ain’t afraid of no goats. I was curious about what it would look like since I had never eaten a goat before.” Huber tried the meat and reassured: “It tasted pretty good. It was an interesting animal that I had never eaten before.”
Merciful class member Natalia Berkey, who serves as prayer coordinator for World Gospel Mission Cabinet, has been attending the Goat Roast for the past two years and will be part of organizing this year’s event. While there are many activities to enjoy at the event, Berkey stated, “The box maze is the best part of the Goat Roast. You’re encompassed in the dark and trying to find your way around with your friends.” Berkey explained that part of her role on cabinet this year is to help set up the box maze. “I was asked to help build it last year, so this year I’m excited to actually plan it and build it.”
While James Ballard, Director of World Gospel Mission, is new to the job, he is quite familiar with the Asbury event and is thrilled to continue the tradition. “We feel this is something that enriches the Asbury University community with a cross cultural experience. To the rest of the world, goat is the most common meat, and even then it is a luxury. This is an opportunity to see how the rest of world feasts.”
Ballard also looks forward to promoting the event, hinting that there “may or may not be random goat sightings on campus.” He also wished to clarify that the event really does revolve around goats. “A lot of people think it’s a comedy event. It doesn’t mean we’re roasting something like on Comedy Central. It’s actually roasted goat over a fire.”
The Goat Roast is open to all Asbury students and the Wilmore community. Tickets are sold at $1 a piece. Admission to the box maze is one ticket, while cheesecake and caramel apples are two tickets. The photobooth, coffee, apple cider and goat stew are free.