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Cain, Glenmaye Hall
1903 to 1984
Sudan Interior Mission (SIM)
Ethiopia

Glen Cain was raised on a farm with his three sisters and three brothers on the Avoca River, Victoria, Australia. He attended the Natte’ Yallock State School to 8th grade, then boarded at the Caulfield Grammar School through to grade 11, after which time he was employed by the State Electricity Commission for four or five years. While attending the Melbourne Bible Institute from 1925 to 1927 he heard Dr. Rowland Bingham and became interested in serving in Ethiopia.[1] . Immediately after graduating from the Bible College, he departed by ship to Ethiopia to serve with the SIM. He was one of the 11 initial SIM party that arrived in Ethiopia on Christmas Day, 1927[2] . Glen Cain was assigned to Garbitcho, Sidamo Province along with Dr. and Mrs. Lambie. But before the SIM could get established at Garbitcho, the missionaries were issued an eviction notice by the local governor, Dejazmatch Biru. Eventually Dr. Lambie was able to have an official letter written from Addis Ababa to appease the local governor. The new mission site allocated to Glen Cain and his cohort Eric Horn was located at a much lower elevation at Homacho[3] . On Christmas Day, 1932 in Homacho, Glen Cain and Dr. Lambie baptised the first four Sidamo believers[4] . In 1933 Glen Cain began the translation of the Gospel of Mark into the Sidaminya language with the help of the four baptized believers. Before the SIM missionaries left Ethiopia in 1937 printed copies by the Bible Society of Mark’s Gospel were distributed among the Sidamo believers[5].   

In 1933 Glen Cain married Winnifred Robertson of New Zealand. They served together at Homacho until their eviction in 1937. Daughter Naomi was born in Soddo in 1936 and son John in Khartoum in 1938. After Winnie’s death in 1961, Glen Cain married American Lucile Wickstrom in 1962[6] .

Because if the Italian invasion of the North, communications were blocked from the four SIM missionaries stationed in the Lalibella/Debra Markos areas, Dr. Lambie assigned Glen Cain and his wife Winnie to trek by mule to the North where they successfully established contact.   

Because of the Italian/Ethiopian conflict he transferred to the Anglo Egyptian Sudan in 1937 to initiate with other SIM expatriates the ministry of SIM. 

In 1941 he joined the British Army and was attached to the Sudan Defence Forces. He served with the rank of captain in their Intelligence Department and was with the troops that successfully cleared the way to bring Emperor Haile Sellassie back to Addis Ababa. In 1947 he returned from Australia to Ethiopia where he became Area Director of SIM Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia – a position he retained until 1957. After spending a several years in church work in Alatta Wondo with SIM, he then joined the Baptist Bible Fellowship in 1962 and assisted this organization in pioneering ministries in Northern Ethiopia. After his wife, Winnie, passed away he rejoined SIM in 1967. With his new wife, Lucille, and nurse daughter, Naomi, they opened a new station at Alaba and served there until 1974. After a 10 year battle with Parkinson’s disease at the SIM Retirement Centre in Sebring, FL he passed away in 1984.

E. Paul Balisky


Notes:

1. Naomi Cain letter to Brian Fargher, 14, August, 1984.

2. Peter Cotterell, Born at Midnight, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1973,pp. 21,22.

3. Thomas A. Lambie, A Doctor’s Great Commission, Wheaton, IL: Van Kampen Press, 1954, p. 178.

4. Alfred Roke, They Went Forth: Trials and Triumphs of an SIM Missionary in Ethiopia, Self-published in New Zealand, 2002, p. 146.

5. Roke, They Went Forth, p.151.

6. Glen and Lucile Cain, March 12, 1981 letter to Brian Fargher.


This article, received in 2013, was researched and written by E. Paul Balisky, former lecturer at the Ethiopian graduate School of Theology. He and his wife, Lila, serve as members of the DACB Advisory Council and now reside in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.