My wife Orleanna now carries a big stick every where she goes. She advised me that she saw a snake and a tarantula in the kitchen house and now with our help, Mama Tataba, gone, the stick is her weapon. My weapon is the Bible! Our protection is the Lord because we came to Africa in His service!
Now that Mama Tataba was gone, Anatole a 24 year old Congolese school teacher, who can speak some English and French, was sent to me by the Underdowns, sent us a boy called Lekuyu or as he wanted to be called Nelson. He helped my wife and children around the house. At least I agree with one thing about Africa, the Congolese are not allowed to go to college, just like my thought on women! As I`ve stated to the girls, sending a woman to college is like pouring water in a shoe – it`s a waste!
Orleanna says I’m stubborn, obsessed an unwilling to change. I don’t have to change! The African’s need to change! They need to be saved! Can you believe that the men have more than one wife here! How backwards is that! I will not bend my will to Africa! I had already tried with the baptism and compromised with a sprinkling rather than a dunking in the river. Yet the village chief Tata Ndu would not endorse my church stating that, “the previous predecessor Brother Fowls had disturbed the chief with peculiar ideas about having only one wife at a time (Kingsolver: pg. 97)”.
My youngest daughter, Ruth May, appears to have made friends with some of the village children. They play “Mother May I?” A young village boy named Pascal has been tagging along with Leah. Here in the Congo childhood is no guarantee as Leah has observed. African children take on the responsibilities of the adults; there is no distinction between them. I have heard Leah mutter under her breath, ‘its like childhood was invented by white people ‘. She better not be angry with me for raising her like I have! She better be gracious!
Ruth May broke her arm falling out of a tree. We had to have the slick American Mr. Axelroot fly us in his plane to Stanleyville to cast her arm. Stanleyville was at least civilized, not like the Kilanga village. The doctor was Belgian and spoke of Patrice Lumumba ‘the new soul of Africa’ and Independence. He compared Patrice Lumumba to Jesus stating sooner than later Lumumba will have a larger following. I wanted nothing to do with that silly talk and told the doctor that the Africans should be grateful to the Belgians and Americans for bringing civilization to the Congo! Lumumba is nothing but a barefoot post office worker who’s never even been to college!
My congregation is slowly growing. Anatole, translates my sermons. Anatole has scars all over his face; they call it beautifying; I call it a mark of the devil. He was orphaned at a young age and other missionaries saved him from the diamond mines and taught him to love Jesus and how to read and write. He has advised me that Chief Tata Ndu is angered that my congregation has grown as he fears a disaster will come if we anger the gods, their false idols.
The Underdowns have advised us of rioting in Leopoldville and Stanleyville; Belgium is fearing an African takeover. Lumumba is out of jail and they have settled on a parliamentary system of government. Elections will be in mid May, Independence on June 30th, 1960.
And so it was. Leah and I went to Leopoldville and saw history in the making. Patrice Lumumba`s party won 35 of a 100 and some odd seats in the new parliament. He will be the Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo.
The Underdown`s have advised us to leave the country for fear of what might come due to the uprising. Belgium is walking away from Africa and the Godless will be left to rule. This just solidifies my mission to save these souls. These people cannot read or write, they speak two hundred different languages, and there is no way that they could run a country. “Africa is not a nation, it is the Tower of Babel…If these people are to be united at all, they will come together as God`s lambs in their simple love of Christ (Kingsolver: pg: 168) “. I plan to stay and not run away like a coward! Orleana and the children will stand by my side over hell and high waters!