Monday, October 28, 2019

Aba, Congo Belge, Africa, August, 1949

In which Ralph and Coralee write to their supporters in the United States regarding the ongoing work in Congo. 

Dear Friends:
I will lead them in paths that have not known, I will make darkness light before
them, and crooked things straight...”
He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by springs of waters shall He
guide them...”.
[personal, redacted]
In recent months there have been many new experiences along with the duties of
each day. Life on “hospital hill” is never dull. Often there are weariness and stress
and strain in caring for the sick, but there are also many joys, and we praise the Lord
for all the help and blessing that He provides. During this year a good deal of time
and effort has gone into construction of new buildings and repair of old. The biggest
of these jobs was the remodeling of the dispensary building, which included the
addition of some new rooms and an entirely new roof with tiles to replace the grass.

It was well worth the effort for new the building is much more convenient and more
fire-proof as well. We are hoping to start soon to put a tile roof on the other main
hospital building, as it houses a good deal of valuable equipment and the fire hazard
is a very real one.

Long journeys have been made during the past year in an effort to establish new
leper colonies at nine of our stations in the section of our field. A beginning has been
made so that more than five hundred lepers are now under treatment at these
various places. Government formalities are still pending, but we trust this part of the
work may be developed into a means of reaching many of the lepers for the Lord.
We would especially value your prayer help that these colonies may be established
without undue restriction.

This year’s class of “nurses” or “medical boys” has settled in nicely. There are fifteen
students, coming from eight mission stations, all of them Christians who plan to
serve the Lord in ministering to the sick on their own stations after their period of
training is completed. The class work and the supervision of their practical work
helps make a full schedule, but it’s all in the days work.

The surgery has been a strenuous part of the job and somehow we never seem to be
able to catch up with the waiting list. There is enough of variety to keep it
interesting. This department more than any other enables us to reach patients from
far afield, for they readily walk two or three hundred miles for an operation. One of
the recent “interesting cases” was an old man who walked about two hundred miles
from his village in the Sudan for a cataract operation. He had waited over a year to
come because his mother, whom he needed to lead him, had no dress to wear.
Somehow a dress materialized, for she proudly wears it every day. And he too is very
pleased with himself now that he can see again, and it’s fun to watch him walk up to
 the Gospel service in the morning on his own and not at his mother’s apron strings.
And her grin is as broad as his.

Our warm greetings to each of you, together with sincere thanks for your prayers,
your letters, and your gifts, all of which have been a great help in the work here.

May his blessing be yours daily in a very special way.
Yours in His service, Ralph and Coralee Kleinschmidt

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