Celebrating birthdays and revisiting old memories

The weekend has been busy with visiting, getting the routine stuff done as well as getting ready for the course I will be attending in a week. 

We celebrated and recelebrated Kieran’s birthday.  He is definitely initiated into his third year.  Yesterday we had cake.  Tonight we had a picnic at the Little Red Park and more cake.  Grandma and Kieran climbed a very tall hill, got bitten by mosquitos and got very dirty feet.  It was fun. 

This morning in the morning service we watched part of the DVD on Paul Carlson.  Besides the fun of singing again in Lingala, the movie Monganga Paul brought back all sorts of memories for me.  I was a teenager when Paul Carlson was killed and I already had aspirations of going into missions.  I remember clearly the tension leading up to the day the news broke of the paratroopers landing in Kisangani and Carlson’s death. 

Eleven years later, there we were.  I guess it was another year before I visited Wasolo.  Then we were given the task of reopening the mission, going up to the hospital where Leo was the first medical doctor to take up residence there since Carlson.  People in the area still carried guilt for what happened to him, powerless as they had been to do anything to prevent his death.

Memories – it is weird the things the are prominent in that storage bank: the sermon or series of them, very similar, same text, that went on interminably on the theme of ‘women obey your husbands”; Eric running around wild as usual falling on a stick and pushing it into the roof of his mouth, Leo sick as a dog with TB coughing so hard he threw up almost every evening yet going off to do an emergency appendectomy for a Swiss lay missionary pregnant with her first child, parking the LandRover on the hill so we could push start it, Tim falling through the roof as he worked on getting another house ready to live in.  The stuff of a missionaries life. 

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0 responses to “Celebrating birthdays and revisiting old memories

  1. peg

    Wow – A Covenanter my whole life and I don’t think I had ever heard that story. I wonder if growing up in the 70/80’s the missionaries that visited our Bible Camps and VBS wanted to get past such a tragic period. Likely isn’t something you would want to share with young hearts and minds.

    I just looked up the story on the Covenant Bookstore Website and I would love to get a copy of the book. Sounds fascinating!

    I am sure the memories must have been strong for you today. Just reading your post I am transported once again back to camp and listening to Ms. Benson speak of wrangling snakes and caring for people of “Zaire” (still hard not to think of it as that for me).

  2. Linea

    Melvina Benson – now there was a missionary for you. she was one of the most remarkable people I knew. She didn’t let being a woman hold her back. she not only would have dealt with snakes but was one of the best hunters around, even amoung the locals. I believe she even killed a leaopard – a priviledge only allowed to a certain few chiefs.

  3. peg

    yup- Her missionary talks were what I looked forward to almost every year and still one of my best memories of camp. She certainly was fiesty. She was also a great story teller. I can still almost picture her house there and the people she described through her slide shows. If there were ever an inspiration for me to become a missionary she was it.