Billy Graham Center
Archives


Collection 252 - Robert Wesley Brain. T6 Transcript.

This is a complete and accurate transcript of the oral history interview of Robert Wesley Brain (CN 252, T6) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations, such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. Readers should remember that this is a transcription of spoken English, which, of course, follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.

... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.

.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.

() Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.

[] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.

This transcription was made by Christopher Easley and Paul Ericksen and completed in January 1992.

Collection 252, T6. Continuation of interview with Robert Wesley Brain by Paul A. Ericksen on October 26, 1987.

BRAIN: [continued from CN 252 - T5] I said, "I don't know if this is true or not. Has the church gone into it? I feel the church should go on into it...should go into it and clear up this matter. Is he guilty or isn't he? If he isn't fine. Then he should get back to work. But if he is, then this thing should be dealt with properly." Well, Mr. Cavita took that and twisted that just like he had done the previous time years back, and he said that the missionary had accused him of witchcraft. Well, I hadn't. I had just simply asked the church whether they had gone into it or not. Well, now this was...this was really a complicated situation now, because [clears throat] they have...they went to the government authorities about this. You know, "This missionary's accused a...a Zambian of witchcraft and so on. And they came in and [pauses] a government official, (who is by the way a member of that tribe, he's high up in...

ERICKSEN: The Mbunda?

BRAIN: ...in the Mbunda tribe and high up as an official in the Zambian government) came in, I think, came in, I think, it was two or three different times, and a big huge public meeting and so on. And "This was terrible, this was tribalism, and so on. And who had done it?" And finally the third meeting they put so much pressure on me to reveal who it was that had told me this, so [pauses] I revealed who it was, that it was this acting pastor. And there was another man in my office as witness. So at least that covered...covered me. But in the meantime, things had really gone to almost a point of no return. We found out later, after my deportation, the mission found out that the government officials, immigration, had started a file on me back in '84. So these people had...every once in a while would go and report things to the government officials against me, most of them lies and so on, trying to build a case and get me...get me deported. So I think basically that's where the opposition comes from. After my dep...trip into Lusaka, some missionaries in Mongu, about a hundred miles east of Luampa, reported to us that this Mr. Cavita was in Mongu at that time, and some African Christians told him that he stood up in a meeting in a church that he had split out of the Africa...out of the Evangelical Church of Zambia, and said that they were just..."Wait and see. There was something going to happen at Luampa." The three people who opposed him were going to be..."they...they would just see what would happen to them." And they reported this to the missionaries and then I had been picked up the day or so...the day before. So we feel that there was a real...real connection there. And since then we've heard that he's gone around to villages and boasted that he was the one that had me deported. And he has made a concerted effort to split the work in Western province, to take out churches or groups of churches, and he has already formulated a separate denomination. He calls it the United Evangelical Church of Zambia. So that this is his whole purpose.

ERICKSEN: How much...how much of a factor is tribalism in the Zambian church?

BRAIN: Yeah. I...I would say that tribalism is a big factor almost in any...anywhere. Except, of course, where you have a church that is within a given pro...tribe. But where tribes border on one another or intermix, it can be a very real factor, especially if the people aren't real spiritual Christians. I find that in some cases, and I want to be very careful about my wording here, in some cases these Christians are first of all a member of a given tribe and then a Christian in a...in a secondary sense. And they place all their interests in...in their tribe. And there's a...in some churches there is a constant tension. You know, "Who preached last Sunday? It was a member of the other tribe and now this Sunday we should have a member of this tribe." And "How many members of our tribe are on the board of deacons, and how many members of that tribe?" And there's this constant tension that exists there and there's a vying for positions of leadership and authority. It's too bad, but this is the way Satan gets into the work and destroys it. And I feel that Satan has won a real battle there at Luampa.

ERICKSEN: Going back to when you were in prison, you...this international director came down, and it was decided to buy the tickets, were you sort of in on the discussion at that point?

BRAIN: Oh, no. I was in prison. This was an executive committee up at our...our mission headquarters.

ERICKSEN: And then...was the word passed on to you?

BRAIN: Yes, they came in and told me that they had decided to do this.

ERICKSEN: And then how long after that decision was made...?

BRAIN: The decision was made...I've forgotten what day it was, but there was a British, I think it was a British Airways or Caledonia Air flight, but the couldn't get me on it so I had to wait another two days. I think it was like, maybe it was flying out on a Tuesday or Wednesday and I had to go out on a Thursday or Friday. So it was an extra two days after we knew that I was leaving.

ERICKSEN: And what was the process of being taken out of the jail and...?

BRAIN: Well, the mission had to provide transport, believe it or not, and they came down and picked me up. I was...I knew they was coming...they were coming, so I was able to get washed up and put some clean clothes on. And they came down and the immigration authorities were there. They took me out. We went down to a studio and they took pictures of me from the back and from the side and from the front, and we had to pay for that [laughs]. And then they drove us up to the airport and turned us over to the immigration authorities at the airport. The immigration authorities at the airport knew the mission and knew the mission personnel, so they allowed us to just drift off into the sitting room and had...we had a bite to eat at a restaurant there, and we sat around and chatted and had prayer together.

ERICKSEN: And then you went on the plane?

BRAIN: Then...then the immigration authorities came and took me again and escorted me out onto the plane, turned my passport over to the pilot of the airplane. I never...I never got my passport in my hand until we were up in the air and got off Zambia.

ERICKSEN: What was the purpose of that?

BRAIN: I...I really don't understand. I...I suppose they thought if I had my passport in my hand, I might try and run away or something [laughs].

ERICKSEN: Were you ever in any kind of physical danger while you were imprisoned?

BRAIN: No. No, I was very thankful the Lord undertook in that area too. Just let me back up into these South Africans that were in there. Boy, they told me that when they first were picked up, they took them to a...a police station out of town, and they worked them over systematically, every day for over a week until finally they just broke down and admitted that they were South African spies just to...to stop it. But they never once mistreated me, and I was really thankful for that.

ERICKSEN: How much interaction was there between the prisoners and the prison officials? It sounds like there's a whole lot of sort of keeping track of things among the prisoners.

BRAIN: Yeah. There was one or two police officers that would kind of meander around the courtyard [pauses] and just.... And they were all very friendly. There was lots of tobacco and drugs being passed around and smoked and so on. And I'm sure the police were in on it [laughs].

ERICKSEN: Going back to your comments about the Mbunda [pauses] tribe, you said that there was a certain point were the...their...Mbunda opposition started to develop. What kinds of...what kinds of things were they doing?

BRAIN: Well, I mentioned the first opposition. It came through the...the...the language that we would use in the Bible institute. They wanted me to use the Mbunda and the Mbunda New Testament, but I had grown up using Luchazi, and we had the full Bi...the Bible in Luchazi [bumps microphone]. So I used Luchazi. We had another missionary teacher there that had studied and learned Mbunda, so she used Mbunda. So it wasn't as if the Mbunda people were excluded at all in the Bible institute. And later on I called in a graduate who is a Mbunda, just as Mbunda as you can get to teach in the Bible institute. But it just didn't seem to satisfy them. [hiccoughs] Pardon me. So, this was the first element of opposition. Then they turned on a teacher that I had there. And he...he was from a refugee camp. I went into Lusaka and talked to the commissioner of refugees and got permission, written permission for them to come and live at the Manna Bible Institute. And he taught there. But the...these people, these Mbunda people felt that it should be a Mbunda. But their...well, their pressure...the pressure was put on the fact that he was a refugee and it should be a Zambian. This is the...the front that they...the leading argument that they put forth. It should be a Zambian and not a refugee. Aren't there any Zambians in the whole of Zambia that can teach in the Manna Bible Institute. But the real motive behind it was to get a Mbunda in there. They wanted a Mbunda speaking person in there. So they...one day this teacher was out in the village and he gave some money to a lady that, I guess, some days before he had received some fish from [sic]. And the...the Mbunda people got a hold of this and they said that he was paying a price to...to this woman that he was...that she was...that he was having adultery with. But the husband of the woman heard about it and he went to the teacher and he said, "I know you and I know your background and I know you wouldn't do this thing and I know you haven't had any relations with my wife. But you be careful of these church leaders, these Christians. This is what they're doing to you. So that whole plot kind of [pauses] fell flat. But this was the type of thing that they would...they would absolutely stoop to everything that they could possibly think of. And even twisting my statements and accusing me. I was accused of training soldiers at Manna Bible Institute to go back into Angola. And this would be training soldiers to fight with the UNITA [National Union for the Total Independence of Angola] forces, as over against the...the MPLA forces [Populist Movement for the Liberation of Angola; Marxist in orientation], who are in control. And the...the communist forces are the ones that are recognized by Zambia, so the UNITA forces aren't. In fact Savim...Savimbi was in Zambia and got kicked out when the UNITA forces, I mean the MPLA forces gained control. So I was accused of...of preparing soldiers [laughs] to fight in...in...in Angola. Nothing could be proved, of course. Then I was accused of favoring Angol...Angolan people over and above Zambians. And at one time there, I had written permission from the commissioner of refugees. We had fifteen refugees in there as students, and they were from another tribe, the Chokwe tribe and the Chokwe tribe are responsive and aggressive. They're just wonderful to work with, and they just...are just born leaders. And they were in there, and, shall I say, just carrying the school spirit. And it definitely developed jealousy. And I was favoring, you know, these people over...over and above the...the Zambians and so on. And finally, the immigration authorities came in with a big truck and took them all back to ca...took them out of...out of school, [pauses] said they weren't properly authorized. And yet I had all these signatures from the commissioner of refugees. So it's that...that type of thing.

ERICKSEN: Another comment you said, the way that the allegation that Mr. Cavita had threatened to...to kill these people, the way that the church dealt with that was typical of African church discipline. Could you elaborate on that a little?

BRAIN: Yes. I feel that [pauses]...I feel that, and I could be wrong in this, but it's my...in my own judgement, I would like to say that since the advent of independence in many of these countries, church-mission relationships have suffered many changes, and the same spirit of nationalism and tribalism that you find on a political and social level has crept into the church. And we feel that many times church leaders will...are not willing to face up to issues [pauses] in church discipline beca...many...many times because they throw this...throw this tribalism concept into the picture. "You're...you're disciplining me because I'm a member of...of this tribe", or something like that, and "You don't love us," or something like that. And we find that...I have found that there's a...there's been a breakdown in...in the strict church discipline that we used to enjoy when under the colonial powers tribalism was suppressed, and there was a unity there and the missionaries back in those days, I suppose also because it was in the early part of the...of the process, had more of a influence, a greater say in church affairs. And today the missionary has less and less. In fact, for example there at Luampa, I was...I and Dr. Springle were the last missionaries to serve on the board of deacons. So it's now...it's all Zambians. And we find that there's a greater sense of accommodation. They just seem to fear one another. And there are other areas, not only in church discipline, but in the whole matter of finances, too, misappropriating funds and so on. It's really...it's becoming more and more of a problem in my estimation. And coupled with this is a tremendous influx of witchcraft. During the colonial period, the witch doctors were suppressed and forced into prisons, sometimes into like prison villages where they would have to live in a given village and couldn't leave the village, because they had been found guilty of killing somebody or something like that. But now with independence, they're back in their villages and witchcraft, and these witch doctors and sorcery, and all of this is really coming back into being. And in fact, there in Zambia to my amazement, there's a whole new sect that has come into being, and these witch doctors claim to have authority over the disembodied spirits of white people. Otherwise they...they worship mainly the disembodied spirits of black people. And now there's a whole new sect that worships the disembodied spirits of white people they fear. And the...the practical outworkings of this is this. Suppose [pauses] you as a missionary had a...had a black man working in your garden or in your kitchen or somebody doing your laundry, and they stole something. I'm just thinking of, you know, a practical illustration of this. Okay, they stole something. Many years has...have gone by. The white person dies, but the back...black person is still...is still living. And supposing he gets a stomach ache. He might have an ulcer. But they don't get things from natural causes. So they go to the witch doctor and the witch doctor says, "What happened? You know, this...." And then they dig back into the past and, "Oh, I did this to that white man." "Okay, then you better start offering a sacrifice and appease that spirit of that white man." And presumably that white man has gone back to England or Portugal or America and has died, and they fear the spirit of that...that white man. So there's a whole new sect in witchcraft and sorcery that has developed to appease the spirit of...of disembodied white people.

ERICKSEN: How was...how was the African church dealing with that? I mean, not necessarily that...

BRAIN: Yeah.

ERICKSEN: ...specific thing,...

BRAIN: Well, [clears throat]...

ERICKSEN: ...but just the influx of witchcraft and...?

BRAIN: I think that at this stage it's definitely considered a sin and people who do this are disciplined. But it's coming in. It's...it's a real problem. Let's take just another example. Suppose this girl marries somebody that is a Christian, and she becomes a Christian, but all the relatives are heathen. And they moved into the mission because, well, we have medical facilities there and there...there's the school, and their children want to go to school and make something of their lives. And she gets sick. [pauses] So she goes to the doctor at the missionary hospital...at the mission hospital. And they make an examination and they take X-rays and...and they just can't find anything. So they send her back to the village, "We just can't find anything. We can't find what's wrong with you." Then the relatives come and visit this girl, and right away, "You know, your doctor," and perhaps put sarcastically [laughs], "...hasn't done anything for you. We want you to go to the witch doctor with us." And even though her husband might be opposed to this, she'll say, "Well, I want to go visit my mother back in the village." And they'll go back to the village. And then the parents or relatives will call the witch doctor and they'll go back to their heathen customs. And let's suppose that [clears throat] they...they go through these [pauses] ceremonies and orgies and Satan comes in and does perform a miracle and she get better and comes back to her husband. And she can keep this a secret or she can reveal it to him. And will he tell it? Will he reveal it to the church? Normally he won't. He won't tell on his wife. So you have this thing creeping in more and more. I...I read an article in a magazine a few days ago and it really hit me. It was some leading [man], and I don't know his name, I...I don't know the man, but he spoke to some big convention in a large city in the southern part of Africa. He had a doctorates degree in theology, presumably from this country or from some seminary over there. And in his speech, he lamented the fact that even though Christianity had been in Africa, using round figures, for over a hundred years, they hadn't developed an African theology. What's he mean by an African theology? I mean we don't have a Canadian theology. We don't have an American theology. And I'm just wondering if in his thinking, he is not considering the necessity of adopting some of these...and they won't call them heathen, they'll call them cultural practices into Christianity, and will come up with some kind of synthetic Christianity similar to what happened in ancient Israel when the Assyrians imported heathens, and a syncronistic [sic] religion resulted in Israel. So I don't know. I don't know what he means by African theology [laughs]. But, to me they are...they are signs on the horizon. I think that in the next ten or fifteen years, we're going to see some big changes.

ERICKSEN: I'd like to go back to that morning when you were at the church, and you were told that someone was at your house who wanted to see you. When in that whole process...what would you...what were you thinking was going on when...when that started, when that series of events started to occur?

BRAIN: I hadn't any idea of what was happening. And I...I had...certainly had nothing, shall I say, on my conscience that I could say, "Well, they caught up with me," or something like that. I had not violated any Zambian laws. The Bible institute was functioning. We were a department in the Evangelical Church of Zambia, therefore perfectly legal. And I [pauses]...I really...I really didn't have the foggiest idea of what it could have been. Interestingly enough, this teacher that I referred to, Mbunda teacher that I brought in to [the school], I knew him as a boy in Angola. We use to play together as children. And he came to Catota Bible Institute, where I used to teach back in Angola. And we had a very close relation, because we played together and so on, and...and even in school were very, very friendly. He...we hired him at our house, and he worked around the home and he took care of our children and.... He was just a super guy, very sensitive, very quick, very.... He could anticipate almost what you needed and wanted and he'd be right there on the spot. And just six or seven weeks before he was due to graduate back in Angola, he was picked up by the Portuguese authorities and arrested. And they took him away and they really almost bit...beat him up to...to a hair's breath of death. But finally he was released and he came back. But he was afraid for his life. And one night he and his wife just disappeared, and I hadn't any idea where he had gone to. I...I didn't suspect that he...he'd had gone to Zambia, but appar...he did. He fled to Zambia walking across country, through the woods for maybe about maybe three, four hundred miles. So that when we came to Zambia there he was. And it was a...a really a joyful reunion for us. And then in 1980, when we opened the Bible institute, he was the first one to come in and start building a house. He wanted to repeat the whole course and graduate. And he did. And all thuring...all during those years we had absolutely no problem. He was just.... I considered him to be one of my...one of the Zambians that I could really identify with, and became close to. He went back to a village, started a little church, pastored it, and then when we needed a teacher, I called him in and he was teaching there at Manna Bible Institute. But apparently, all through this time he was taking these reports back to Mr. Cavita. And a day or two before my arrest, he must have had an inkling that something was going to happen, because he came into my office, and he sat there, and he was quite upset. I could tell, but I didn't know what was behind it. He said, "I've come to thank you for all you've done for me," and so on. And he said, "Wherever you go," he said, "I'm gonna go, too." And I...I didn't, you know, I didn't understand what he was saying. And he said, "From now on in," he said, "...my name is no longer to be Agustu, but it is to be Onesimus. I am Onesimus from now on in." And here again, I...I, you know, well, anybody...they change names out there and adopt names right and left. It's not like in our society. But, you know, looking back over it now, I can see that he was definitely involved with the Mbunda people [recording level reduces, perhaps because Brain covers the microphone] reporting...making false reports on me. And [tape recorder noise] I...I don't know, I suspect [normal recording level returns] that he was pulled into this whole thing, not realizing the full implications of it. And when, finally he realized that I was going to be deported, it just broke him completely. We have heard since then that he...he's lost his mind and he's living out in the woods like an animal.

ERICKSEN: You said when you were [pauses]...I guess you were describing your first...the first few days in jail that you were really broken up. Can you describe a little more your feelings [pauses] as all of this started to...when you started to realize what was...what was transpiring?

BRAIN: Well, I don't know just other than what I have said there. You know, "Why this and why me?" I...I couldn't understand why the Lord had permitted it. I...I never doubted the...the sovereignty of God and...or his wisdom in that he made a mistake. It was just a matter of wondering why. What he had in store for us and what would be the end result of Manna Bible Institute, and so on. As I said, the Lord comforted my heart with various Scripture passages. I had opportunities to read the Bible, especially the New Testament mainly. And there was the experience of Joseph [Genesis 39:19ff] and Paul [Acts 16:16-40, 21:27ff; Ephesians 3:1, 4:1, 2 Timothy 1:8, ] that was a big help. And finally I just settled in, resigned myself and made the best of a situation, adopted [sic] to the conditions that we were in there. I mean, you can't fight it, so you might as well roll with the punches [laughs].

ERICKSEN: As you look back on it, and I'm sure that you've had lots of time to reflect on what happened, is there anything you would do differently?

BRAIN: No, I don't think so. I mean [pauses], no, I...I don't think so. I...I would still use the Luchazi language. This is the language that the Lord has gifted me in and that I grew up knowing it. I spoke it before I spoke English. I'm very fluent. All my notes and everything are all written in Luchazi, which by the way, has all stayed back there and is being used in the Bible institute today. No, I...I wouldn't say.... And I feel that even what I did at that meeting in...in revealing this threat, this supposed threat that Cavita made, whether he made it or not, I don't know, I think I did the right thing. Because if this was an issue, it was an issue in somebody's heart, if not more than one person, and should have been. If they told a lie about Cavita, then they should be disciplined. And if, in fact, Cavita threatened to kill these people, then he should be disciplined. Now that would not exclude him forever from working on the translation work. He would simply be disciplined, and then get back and get on with the job. They accused me, oh, of many things. For example, we ran out of Mbunda hymnbooks. And they accused me of...of keeping the hymnbooks from being copied and printed up. And then when we came home on furlough, Mr. Cavita was going around and accused me of keeping the New Testament from being...being printed. But it was printed. And before we got back from our furlough, they had a dedication right there at Luampa, and these Bibles were sold. So...and...and the hymnbooks came in. And in both cases he was proved wrong. But he was just out...just out to get me. This is exactly what Auntie Alice had [pauses] prophesied. [laughs]

ERICKSEN: What did you learn about Zambia or perhaps the government or the culture or the church or whatever that you didn't know when you came back in 1983?

BRAIN: Yeah. Well, the whole...the whole picture in Zambia, it w...is different from what it was in Angola. We had a different situation. In Angola, we had a live active church, dedicated and committed to the Lord. We had forty-three churches spreading over thousands of square miles that were committed to the Lord and gave liberally to the support of the pastors, and they sent out missionaries and supported them, building up new work. And there was just a wonderful working relationship between us missionaries and the ch...and the church. We were in the process of drawing up a constitution and...and so on. It was just wonderful. And they supported their work heavily. And when we came to Zambia, they had already drawn up their constitution, and, of course, had already gone through the process of gaining their independence, and this thing was beginning to...to creep into the church and cause problems and difficulties.

ERICKSEN: How did your wife handle all of this when you were being carted off to jail and then held?

BRAIN: Yeah. She should have been here herself to...to explain. She has a...a real testimony. Do you want...shall we do that or...?

ERICKSEN: Well we do have.... Not yet.

BRAIN: No? Well, why don't you hold that question ti...'til she comes, because she has some verses that the Lord gave her, and I think it'd be good for her to....

ERICKSEN: What's the status of the mission's work in Luampa now?

BRAIN: Yeah, that's a good question. When we were taken off like that, the missionaries, they were just ready to...to give up and leave. We appreciate very much their sympathy and support at that...at that point. In fact, they got together as a group and formulated a letter to the Africa Evangelical Church stating something to the effect that if, after sixty years, this is the condition of the local church, they feel that their presence there was no longer serving any useful...was not useful anymore. But [pauses] the...the church officials felt that this should not be, and begged them to stay on. And this is what they are doing. But the...the condition in the local Luampa churches is really serious. These Mbunda people have put into positions of leadership, deacons and so on, men that are not spiritual. One man is the party leader locally, the unit party leader, and he has...he's a man that even though he's practically been born and brought up there at Luampa, he's...he's a very hard, very callous man and has been disciplined by the church down through the years off and on. And we sense a real anti-white feeling, anti-missionary feeling on his part and...and other men like him. And they have these men right into the church now, and they just seem helpless to deal with the situation. Not to say that all of them are like that. I think that there are some wonderful really sincere people that really love the Lord. And I think that all of this really grieves them. But they are fearful and just will not stand up. So the work there, the missionaries are carrying on. The hospital is going on. But we know of one missionary that has sent in her resignation, and she feels that...that the primary purpose of the church should not be medical work, but should be spiritual work. And if this is what they're doing and if this is the condition of the local church, she feels that she just doesn't want to work anymore in the hospital. Because [pauses] they've just...they...they just can't...they can't witness. They just seem to not to have a real witness, an effective witness, because there are these tensions, and this party, this division, tribal division there and you know, "Whose side are you on?" and sort of thing. And it's just...it's just terrible. Satan has won a...a local battle. Now let's emphasize at this point that this is just a local situation. I wouldn't say that this was true all over Zambia at all.

ERICKSEN: Well, my next question was how...what...what impact did these localized events have on the mission's work throughout the country?

BRAIN: I think that it's...it's been a shock to everybody. [intermitent clicking noise, perhaps the door opening and closing] They just didn't realize what was going on or what...what could happen. In fact they received an anonymous letter, the people there at Luampa, they sa...and said that "if you close this hospital, then we will call...close the sister hospital up at...up in Mukimi, which is a bigger hospital than Luampa hospital. So if the missionaries left the one, then this tribe would go to work and close the other one. [laughs, pauses] So, I don't know. It's a...it's a very, very difficult situation. I feel sorry for them [pauses], for the people who've had to stay on and deal with it. [laughs] The Lord's taken us out and we're looking to the Lord to...to...for other types of ministry. But they're in there struggling with that situation and I...I really feel for them.

ERICKSEN: What's your current status with the mission?

BRAIN: Well, we are home on furlough now, premature furlough. And in January, Lord willing, the mission has asked us to go to Binea...Guinea-Bissau because WEC [International, formerly Worldwide Evangelization Crusade] has asked our mission for help because they are only reaching a small number of people in the southern end, and they would...they've asked us to come in and work some new areas in Guinea-Bissau. So the mission has asked me to go there and conduct a survey trip. This used to be a Portuguese colony, and because of my background in Portuguese, I was chosen to do this. So we have started correspondence with the...with the field headquarters WEC has out there, but our letters were lost. So when I got a second letter from them and realized that they hadn't received my first letters, I quickly rushed off another set of letters. So we don't know now if this will be possible in January. We hope to go in January, but we'll see. That's what we're waiting on.

ERICKSEN: What kind of time period is involved in that?

BRAIN: It would be a short term project, just like six weeks [bumps microphone]. We would...we hope to be about three weeks in Guinea-Bissau and then go on down to two islands that are right on the equator, San Tome and Principe, and survey, those too, as well. And the whole idea is, our mission board being an international mission, we are interested in...in trying to influence fundamental churches in Brazil to send missionaries, and challenge them because then they don't have to learn two languages. They would already have Portuguese. Because our mission is already working in Mozambique, which is Portuguese, Angola, which is Portuguese, and if we could get into these two other countries there, it would be...it would be wonderful.

ERICKSEN: And so, do you...it there a possibility of your working in Guinea-Bissau or one of the other islands?

BRAIN: Yeah. It's been suggested but we just feel that the Lord hasn't that in mind for us [laughs].

ERICKSEN: What do you see...?

BRAIN: We have an active...even while we're in Manna...Manna Bible Institute with theological education by extension, and this is a very, very strong program in Zambia that is being really used of the Lord. We have a separate department established in our mission board with several missionaries dedicated to this, and a team of Zambians. And they're full-time, translating books and getting them out. We have a thousand five hundred people registered in courses, working in five different languages. And one of the languages in which this whole operation seems to be the weakest is in Luchazi. And we are one of three in the whole world who are qualified to do this. There's a girl out in California and myself and then another single lady that is in Zambia, but will be retiring soon. So we just feel that we would like to get into this and do translation work. And this is what we've been doing during this furlough. There's a team of men back at Luampa that have been translating I Corinthians. And they send me the manuscripts and I put it onto the computer. And then send them back a printed copy so that they can correct that, and then they send me back...introduce their corrections in the manuscript. And then I'll send the floppy disk out to Zambia and they'll print up the books from that.

ERICKSEN: The wonders of computers.

BRAIN: Amen [laughs]. It's tremendous. Yeah, it's tremendous.

ERICKSEN: Now is that something that you'll be able to do from [unclear] long term?

BRAIN: Right from home, yes, yeah. Yeah, the demand...as I say, we just can't keep up with the demand. They have a system worked out whereby a man can take these courses, and after a given number of courses, and I'm not sure of all the facts about this, they can get...they can receive what they call the pastor's certificate, which qualifies him to be ordained in the eyes of the Evangelical Church of Zambia. So, we would like to become involved in that.

ERICKSEN: Well we're real close to the end of the tape, so I guess that's a good place to stop, too. Thanks very much Bob.

BRAIN: Thank you.

END OF TAPE


Send us a message

Return to BGC Archives Home Page

Last Revised: 5/18/99
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005