Saturday, October 5, 2013


Ralph and Coralee Kleinschmidt left St. Louis in December 1923 under the auspices of the Heart of Africa Mission.  Ralph was 29, just recently graduated from medical school, and Coralee, a nurse, 23.  They were married just 3 months before the ship left for London.  I doubt that any mission would send out such newlyweds these days!
Our Party leaving December 8 D.V.
Seven missionaries off to Congo.

They were bound for the Belgian Congo.  It took several months, but they finally made it all the way to Ibambi, their initial mission station.  Eventually they moved to Aba, where they worked tirelessly together until Ralph died in 1964.

This blog consists of letters written by my grandparents to their friends, family, and supporters during the years 1924 through 1968.  There will also be letters from my own parents, Dr. Wayne Meyers and Esther Kleinschmidt Meyers, as they were missionaries in Ruanda-Urundi  (now Rwanda and Burundi) and Congo from 1960 to 1973.  Occasional letters from my aunt, Edith Kleinschmidt Kleynhans will also appear, as she and her family lived in Congo and then moved to South Africa.

There are hundreds of letters, and I do not have them all in perfect order. Many are very difficult to read as they were written on both sides of aerogramme forms or very thin paper. Some are typed, some are handwritten in pen or pencil.  I have done the best I can to edit for clarity and spelling, but the general text is as it was. (There may be portions deleted from posting if they are just too personal to broadcast to the general public.)  The original letters are not all in my possession - often I have just a copy.

These letters were written in an older time, often with concepts and language that we would not use today.  I present them as primary source documents only, not has a religious or cultural  ideal. They are part of my family history.  Through retyping and researching these letters I have learned so much about the personal life of my grandparents and parents.  Even when conditions were dangerous or difficult, they never gave up.  I've gained a deep appreciation for their character and steadfast dedication to the "Work".

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