Category Archives: Africa

Congo Kids

At the evening service last night here at the ECC Annual Meeting the speaker spoke of how we must respond to the needs in the Congo.  The Covenant has launched a project called Congo Kids powered by World Vision.   Hoping to make an impact on the lives of kids in the area of the Congo known as the Nord Ubangi – the area I used to live in. 

all the neighborhood kids

The needs of this extremely poor country are huge.  This could make an impact.  They are hoping to have water points in Gemena within 500 M of every home.  No more walking all the way to Bokonzo to get drinking water for Pascaline, who did this for Willadeen and myself while we stayed there.

Bokonzo water tower Water towers at Bokonzo.

The Canada Covenant is launching its own part of this project.  This will happen in October so watch for it and think seriously about sponsoring a child from this project through World Vision.  The money you give for support will go to development of the whole community in which the child lives.

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Filed under Africa, Photos, Travels, Worship events

This week I’m back

I don’t know, it has been almost two months since I posted.  It is not as if I have nothing to say, just that saying it publicly seems to have lost its urgency.  But since I do want to share some of my experience in the Congo, this does seem a good place to do it.

young boy

The kids out there are great.  As you can see they are not camera shy and they loved getting their pictures taken and then seeing them on the digital screen. This is one of the boys from the neighbourhood in Gemena where I spent a week.  Every day when we returned from class, the kids would come running to greet us.

World Vision is starting up a project in this area of the Congo.  More on this another post.

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Filed under Africa, Photos

Canadian, eh?

You bet.

And by this time tomorrow there should be two new citizens that have joined the ranks. 

Christian and Yaounde have passed their tests and all they must do is get sworn in.  Massa will have another go at the test but it will come.  Hard stuff to know for a struggling with English guy. 

Celebrations will be in order.


Filed under Africa, Dealing with stuff, Family

Power is really only temporary

Just got news that a person important in the little corner of the Congo where we used to live, has died in Brussels.  Bemba Saolona. 

If you read French, you can catch the story here.

Leo played tennis with him and his son, Jean-Pierre at Karawa a couple of times. 

He owned businesses and an airline and many plantations while we lived there.  His son is now going to trial for war crimes.  How the mighty are fallen!

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Filed under Africa, In the News

What will change Africa?

A friend from my missionary days in the Congo posted this link on Facebook.  Very insightful, considering the writer professes to be an atheist.  I think he recognized the heart of what we believe, what we hope shows in spite of our failures – that following Christ makes a difference. 

I would contend that this may be more visible to him in Africa but it should be no less true here, in North America.

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Filed under Africa, In the News, Reflections

Thirty Two

Just got of the phone from wishing my second son, David, a Happy Birthday.

I still remember the night.  I’d ben in labour most of that Sunday and finally, in the dark of the night, everyone medical at Karawa gathered in the private maternity suite. Kerosene lamps were lit, Leo and the others began playing cards, (Rook of course, it being a mission station) and I lay there wondering how long the ordeal was going to take.  No fetal monitors, no monitors of any kind that I can remember. Sheesh – no lights or power even till the last the stage . The power plant was started up at the bitter end so the delivery was not done in the dark. Al the mission station knew I was having my baby since the power plant went on!

And then David arrived. Leo had the audacity to take some photos. I had the wisdom to destroy them.

Happy Birthday, dear boy of mine.

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Filed under Africa, Day to Day

Good friends honored

Some good friends and fellow missionaries, Roger and Eileen Thorpe, were recently honored at the Annual Meeting of the Covenant Church.  You can read the story here.

Dr. Roger and Leo worked together for almost all of the years we were in the Congo.  Roger and I did a few procedures together as well – stuff involving the head and neck.  Eileen attempted to teach my kids music at the missionary kids school but I mostly remember her gift of hospitality.

For the past two summers, they have hosted Randall and I as we studied in Chicago, living only a few blocks from North Park Seminary.  They are gracious in opening up their home to us.  And so, again this summer we (and Leo and Lauralea who will join us at the end of the course) will be privileged to stay with them.

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Filed under Africa, In the News, Reflections