Monday, February 5, 2018

Aba, Belgian Congo - April 24, 1946

In which Ralph and Coralee describe the many comings and goings of missionaries traveling through Aba. 

Dear Darlings,
Your letters have been very precious and I do thank you for being so faithful in writing. They have comforted my weary heart and encouraged me. These have been days too full for words. Daddy was away at the F.C. for a whole week and life was too hectic for words.

Misses Wightman and Utting left for furlough this last week. Daddy is telling of the other comings and goings. Marube and all the boys have been so helpful. I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't! This is the last week of womens school and Boys school. Miss Gingrich was pleased to see how well the boys had come on. I am so glad about that. Aunt Rose Mary will be coming back home soon  now when the Kerstettles come back which may be any day.

We're beginning to get the Stam house ready in case Langfords come ere long. It's a real "matongo" over there with lots of jamba.

Now about clothes - thank  you for telling me in detail about your things. Do get new shoes when you need them and other things. I want you to have things that you need. You can always get up to $50 by writing to the Mission office. We've told them to send money when you request it. I think it is very wonderful how the Lord has cared for your needs and I am so thankful and pleased at all your cooperation. The idea of keeping an account is helpful and I am glad you are doing it. You know I'm so proud of you both sometimes I tell the Lord it's too wonderful. All the hard things seem easy when I remember how wonderfully God has cared for you both who are the dearest on earth to us. We are much in prayer for your future.  The DuBoses will never fully know how much we appreciate all their loving help.  Never will we forget it. It was so nice of them to give you new dresses. They do too much. I wonder what we can do for them. Have you any ideas?

The Epps and Mr. Bill have left for furlough. Pauls hope to go very soon and Brashlers before very long. Harters are assigned to go to Blukwa to have charge of the station when they return.

We have been having lots of rain.  It looks like spring now and it is so nice.

My time has gone and so I'll close here. My dear girls I hope you receive some letters soon. Yours have been reaching us quickly. This mail we had yours of March 31 and the written regular mail.  All you tell us of your good times help us to picture you and your life there. Your report cards were perfectly lovely. Congratulations to you both.

Now dear dear girlies goodbye and much much love to you both,

Dearest Edith and Esther,
Just as I got this far we heard a car coming and thought it was the Imhoffs coming from Bafuka on their way home to Putu, but it turned out to be only a Kurukwata truck. We expect the Imhoffs will arrive some time this afternoon however for they are planning to catch the boat at Rhinocamp next Sunday. Then on May 1st we expect to see the Dix family and the Landriths, as they too are leaving for furlough.  But they will be going via the Nile. Miss Wightman and Miss Utting left via the Nile last week. But while we're glad to see folks being able to go home for much needed furloughs, we are also glad to see others returning. And now that the Nile route is being used by so many we are getting to see quite a few of those who are returning to the field.

You have probably already received word of the fact that Eddie and Nellie have arrived, and that they are already hard at work at Blukwa in the Evangelist School I saw them at Rethi last week at the meeting of the field Council. The next ones to arrive after the Schuits were the Hubers. They are stationed at present at Dungu, while awaiting the decision of the Mission as whether or not F.E.A. field is to be kept up by the A.I.M or to be turned over to the Mid Africa Mission in F.E.A. Then last week Miss Gingrich arrived, and she is already on her own in her house. And last Sunday morning at 2AM, the Cook family and Miss Ruth Meredith arrived from Juba, having flown down from Cairo.  We had not expected them for two or three weeks. Miss Lois (Basha) Uhlinger was also in their party but was left behind at Khartoum. Mr. and Mrs. Uhlinger had received a telegram from her and had arrived at Aba on Saturday, just a couple of hours after I came back from Rethi. Then Sunday morning they went to Juba and got Lois, who arrived there by air while they were there, and they returned to Aba Sunday evening. Miss Short had come to Aba with me for a little medical attention, and Mr. Huber also, and so we had a big crowd here over the weekend and - the Cooks, the Uhlingers, Miss Short, Miss Meredith, and Mr. Huber.  Huber will take the Imhoffs to Aru tomorrow and come back the next day, and the following day probably leave for Dungu. Miss Short will be here until next week, and then the Dixes and Landriths will be here. This week end I expect to go to Todro. The Kerstetters are now in Egypt, and we will not be surprised to see them arrive by air any day. And so you see we are having plenty of excitement; and all this, while pleasant, doesn't help us get our work done.

Last week also our freight finally arrived at Aba, and yesterday I got them out of the Customs. The boxes are still on our veranda, unopened, as we have not had time to open them, with all these people here. However there are not many things really exciting in them. We are still waiting for some drugs and surgical supplies that we ordered after arriving here. And yesterday I cabled final instructions about the X-Ray. I suppose we will have to wait another six months or more for that. The thing we were needing most is the car. The car strikes have held that up and so far we have had no news whatever from Mr. Schuit. In the meanwhile we are still running around in the little Chev Roadster, but at least it has brakes that work now, after having driving it 2000 miles without any brakes at all. Being an open car it is not much good for long trips in the rainy season, but I guess we are fortunate to have a car that runs at all these days.

Mose Mude has just returned from a bush conference at Bagali where Enoka Wulinga is the teacher. You may remember him as our bedroom boy of years ago. Mose was full of good news about the time they had at the conference, and said that six people had made profession of faith and about twenty Christians had come back into fellowship with the Lord. The Kapita of the village had attended the meetings with twenty of his men. Soseten Diriba and Yosefa Dropa, former medical boys who are now outschool teachers near Bagali also attended the conference.

Thanks for all your good letters. It certainly is great to get them and we are very sorry that we have not written for so long a time. We are very happy that you are enjoying your time at DuBose so well, and that you are profiting so much by it. Congratulations to both of you on your excellent grades. The reports arrived last mail. We're proud of you and glad for you!  We are eagerly looking forward to the next "Esse", and hope it will have lots of good pictures in it. The two photos you send were good, and brought back memories of the day we were there. Hope you'll be able to send more soon.  But don't send any films for our camera, I think we will be able to get some before very long from Leopoldville.  Many thanks just the same.

The Lord bless you,

Landriths - probably Loren and Henrietta Landrith, missionaries with the Africa Inland Mission.

General Motors strike - from November 21, 1945 to March 13, 1946, the UAW organized a strike against General Motors, who produced both Dodge and Chevrolet cars.
F.E.A. - French East Africa, I believe.
Mid-Africa Mission - More info here.