Billy Graham Center
Collection 468 -
Elizabeth Carolyn (Quackenbush) Stough
. T5 Transcript
Click here to listen to an audio file of this interview (71 minutes)
This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Elizabeth Quackenbush Stough (CN 468, T4) 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. Foreign terms which are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. 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. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing.
Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which 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 transcript was made by Robert Shuster and Nelson Summers and was completed in August 2012.
Collection 468, T5. This is the first portion of the interview of Elizabeth Quackenbush Stough by Robert Shuster on January 20, 1993.
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Mrs. Elizabeth Stough by Robert Shuster for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, and this interview took place on January 20, 1993 at noon. Mrs. Stough, you were mentioning something on the last tape that you wanted to correct.
STOUGH: Yes, I listened to the tapes and when you asked me about the number of pupils there were in the school, Rethy Academy, where I was teaching. I noticed that I said I though about fifty in each class, and I’m sure it didn’t exceed thirty, in case that makes any difference.
SHUSTER: That was about 1944?
STOUGH: ‘40...yes, that’s right.
SHUSTER: Well, let’s see. Last tape, we had just reached the point when you were returning from furlough and going to Bunia. What do you remember best about...about the station at Bunia?
STOUGH: Bunia was a town, a small town, but the only town of any size up in that area, northeast Congo. And many Africans had been flocking to that town. So we were sort of pioneers in opening up a work there. There was already a chapel in the native part of the town. There was a great gulf fixed [Luke 16:26]. There was a white section of town, and then there was a black section on the other side of the river or stream. We had a chapel over there with a leader or two. The church was somewhat established but very small. And we had the great joy of seeing that church grow until we put up a new building, a much larger one. And two pastors installed there with, as always, a minimum of training but good men. I involved myself, well, it being in town where missionaries came constantly for government, for errands, shopping, garage work, coming and going on furlough. We had a constant stream of guests in our home, very few days or nights when we didn’t have guests. The house was built with extra rooms for that purpose. If they weren’t overnight, we had lots of them for the noon meal because they would be there for the day. So that took up a lot of our time. But personally, I involved myself a lot with the women’s work, following pretty much the pattern I had done at Blukwa, trying to establish leadership and trying to get the women to do the ministry, as it were. We had a weekly meeting at seven o’clock on Wednesday mornings. And I involved the women at speaking in that. We had a weekly meeting, I think it would be on Friday, when we would gather at the home of one of the women, and this would take us around to the different sections of town. I had a little phonograph, crank phonograph, and quite a number of the Gospel Recording records [see BGC Archives collection 36] in many different languages. This gave me a tremendous opportunity for reaching people as...as they would walk by this house. I set the phonograph up on a little table, just along near the little street where they would walk. And say a man or a woman came along, I would greet them, try to get them to stop and talk a little bit and say, “Well, where did you come from and what is your tribe?” They would tell me. And I said, “Would you like to hear this machine speak in your language?” They would look at me in bewilderment. I would put on the record of Gospel Recordings in that language and you should see their face. They were so amazed to hear their own language. And of course, it was spoken by a person of that [language]. So it wasn’t a foreign accent. It was their very own language. And they would stop and listen to this thing all the way through.
SHUSTER: It was spoken by someone who was a native in that tongue?
STOUGH: That’s right.
STOUGH: And they knew it from mothers. This had a great effect and we used it a lot all around the town. Then, we would go out when we were farther away to a nearby village away from Bunia. I also spent a lot of time in translation work. By this time, I had become relatively fluent in Kingwana, which we gradually were upgrading to call it Congo-Swahili because Kingwana is a very simple form of Swahili that ignores most of the grammar of Swahili and the various noun cases and all of that. So we were trying to upgrade it. But I did a lot of translation. I used a set of Bible studies by Roper (can’t think of his first name or what the studies were called), But they came from Texas somewhere, I believe, and we got permission to translate them. I did six or seven of those books into this Congo Swahili. I did a book on child training. I....
SHUSTER: Why the book on child training?
STOUGH: Oh, because that was our interest with the women. They had so little idea about how to train children and I, though I had a few [chuckles], experience or reading. I tried to take illustrations of their own lives that they would give to me. We put it into a book. Paul was very helpful with this, and he took some pictures of women with their children to illustrate the book and make it more interesting. We did a lot of translation for study materials and books for the Bible school. I was in the Congo Swahili hymn book committee. We spent a long time revising and adding to that hymn book. It would be a book without music, just words. But we tried to upgrade that. I think that was greatly appreciated. These things were all published, printed down at Nyankunde, a Plymouth Brethren station just south of Bunia. Bill Deans was the head of that work, a very fine printing outfit there, well supported, well supplied. And so all of these things that we were doing from the African mission. Much of it we did in inter-mission cooperation. Paul was also instrumental in some of that because when he was working with ELO [Evangelical Literature Overseas], he coordinated language areas and encouraged them to not duplicate work but to get it done together. So we did that. With our hymn book, for instance, we had the Plymouth Brethren representatives and we had representatives from the UFM, Unevangelized Field Missions, some from the Conservative Baptists. All of us who were using that language went together on that. So I spent a lot of time with that. Had a daughter to raise at the same time. She was away three months at a time.
SHUSTER: She was at the AIM boarding school?
STOUGH: Yes, and Rethy Academy. Had to take her up there when she was six years old. That was very difficult, to take a little girl, kiss her goodbye, and walk away, very hard.
SHUSTER: Why was that necessary?
STOUGH: If I didn’t do that I would have to home school her and I wouldn’t have gotten anything else done. Not much anyway. Paul had always said, and I agreed thoroughly, that missionaries have sacrificed a great deal to go to the foreign field and be missionaries and so on. He said, “I don’t feel that I have sacrificed anything except my children.” It was very difficult to leave his children in this country. I remember back in, it would be, ‘47, ‘48, when we went back and left the older two boys down at Hampton-DuBose Academy in Florida. It was so difficult for him. He sobbed the whole night long. So when we took our little girl up to Rethy Academy just about sixty miles away or so, but had to leave her, that was hard. We got her again every fourth month.
SHUSTER: Did some missionaries home school their kids?
STOUGH: In those days, no. It was just assumed that you took your children there. I understand now that it’s being more encouraged and supported both in Congo and Kenya.
SHUSTER: Do you think that might have been British influence? I know it’s much more common in England.
STOUGH: Oh, the British influence would leave the children in England. I know of one couple that left their tiny baby in England and came back to the field. No, it was just that that was the provision and from...almost from, year one the African Mission thought that schooling for the children was very necessary and they established Rift Valley Academy initially, and then as Congo developed, they established Rethy Academy. Then, they had Victoria Academy in Tanzania for the first several grades down there. We felt that that paid off because of our very high percentage of our second and third generation children. They’d been kept on the field and...and wanted to go back.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that Bunia was a relatively new town.
STOUGH: Not a new town, but it was growing. It started out like a little crossroad with a few native shops and just continued to grow. The great...Greeks came in and they ran the businesses generally and the garage business. It was a government center so that the district commissioner was there. Before we left in the evacuations, they had a paved street down the main street where the shops were. They had a paved street out to the airport. They had beautiful government buildings. They had a supermarket in business a very short time before everything blew up. They had carts to go around and pick up your groceries which was unheard of in the Congo before that. But things were really booming. Then, they went thud. [chuckles]
SHUSTER: About how large a town was it? How large a city was it?
STOUGH: I have no idea. I’d have to say....
SHUSTER: In relation, say, to Wheaton, what would it be?
STOUGH: Oh, no. Nothing like that, no. Just a little town.
SHUSTER: So, maybe just four or five thousand people or...?
STOUGH: At the most.
SHUSTER: What did the area around Bunia look like? What was the country like?
STOUGH: It was rolling hills, farm land chiefly, uh-huh.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that when you were working with the Gospel Recording phonograph records you asked people about their tribe, about their language. Was there...was this a real crossroads for different tribes or different languages?
STOUGH: Oh, yes.
SHUSTER: Why was that?
STOUGH: Well, the same reason that still holds today. People out in the bush think the real life is in the towns. Get there while you can get a good job and life would be so much better. It never proved that way, of course. But, take a place like Nairobi that has so much slum area because of that trend. But people from all over our area would come and....
SHUSTER: To look for work?
STOUGH: To look for work.
SHUSTER: Did they find work and stay? Did they just pass through?
STOUGH: Yes, they would. Sometimes it was just trading. They would bring in goods from their villages and set them up in the market and actually make some money on their trades. Sometimes they’d go work with the Greek merchants. Of course, there was a limit on that. A few of them came as government employees.
SHUSTER: Was there any industry in the town?
SHUSTER: What was the main tribe in that area?
STOUGH: I suppose the Bahemas or the Lendus. Same as we had at Blukwa. But it was such a mixture that it’s hard to name a tribe there.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that you also started with the women’s work like you had in Blukwa. Was there any differences in the way people responded or the kind of things that you did?
STOUGH: Not really, the women were a little more advanced than the bush women. I could teach the Bible class and most of them would be able to read and have their New Testaments with them. They had had schooling. Things were advancing continually in that way. They.... I don’t know whether the general feeling among them was different because they lived in town. I don’t know about that.
SHUSTER: You mentioned you had this book on child rearing...book translated and printed for them. So there were many of them that were literate?
STOUGH: Yes. Oh, yes.
SHUSTER: Was this something that they had learned at the AIM schools or...?
STOUGH: Many of them, right.
SHUSTER: So, there had been a generation of AIM work there or...?
STOUGH: Right...not right there but they had come in from all around the other AIM stations I suppose, generally. There was no schooling for them right there in Bunia. The schools there would be for the children.
SHUSTER: Uh-huh. What were some of the practices you were trying to correct or points you were trying to make as far as child rearing?
STOUGH: Often, the African mothers are very lax. The children just grow like Topsy [A colloquial expression for unplanned growth, from the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. When the young slave girl Topsy is asked if she knew where she came from, she replied, “"I s'pect I growed. Don't think nobody never made me."]. They didn’t have a concept of teaching them as far as I could see. There were tribal customs. Respect for elders and things like that which came with their culture. But to try to teach the children the things of the Lord and...and help them to...to love the Lord Jesus, and to receive him as their Savior and go on. They had no concept of that as I know. We tried to instill in them the habit of praying with their children and teaching them the Bible stories.
SHUSTER: So, the book was more on how to teach children about Christianity than child rearing?
STOUGH: Well, a lot of that. But the things that go with it of being honest and not...not stealing. These are so characteristic of the...children would be snatching anything that they could find.
SHUSTER: Did your book have an effect?
STOUGH: I hope so.
SHUSTER: Did you observe an effect.
STOUGH: No, I can’t come up with any instances, but some of the women did speak to me about it being helpful to them.
SHUSTER: What were...what were the ages of women that you were working with in your program?
STOUGH: Africans didn’t really know how old they were. But my guess would be anywhere from the early twenties on up to fifties or so maybe.
SHUSTER: You mentioned to that you had worked on translation of hymns or working on hymn books. These were translated from English?
STOUGH: In those days they were, all translated from English. Now, I’m sure that there is more of the Africans are doing their own translation and using some more native tunes perhaps. Although, the standard hymns will go on, I’m sure. We...we picked up from what had been done by the early missionaries and just kept adding to it.
SHUSTER: What were some of the early hymns that were popular?
STOUGH: “There is not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no not one.” They loved that. “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Any of the hymns that had a repetition like that were especially popular because that was the way they sang, with a lot of repetition. “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Like that.
SHUSTER: What kind of instrumental accompaniment would they have when they sang?
STOUGH: Originally, there was none. We just sang. But then Austin Paul began bringing out trumpets and trombones and he had a class for Africans up at the station at Aru where he taught them. And this one would teach another and another and it just flooded the field with horn music eventually. At the chapel in Bunia, I used an accordion for a lot of the accompaniment also.
SHUSTER: Was the AIC starting to develop in these years? The African Inland Church?
STOUGH: Yes, it was beginning. Yes, there was...the local churches were beginning to organize and have elders and pastors and they...they formed the district councils and representatives from each church would meet together. Then, they formed what was called the central church council. And the representatives from each district would meet together. At that time, it wasn’t too hard to get them together. Sometimes they walked, but a missionary with pick-ups [trucks] would take them to the meetings. Of course, the missionaries were still very involved along with the Africans. These days, it’s very different. The Africans take the initiative and the missionaries are invited if they want them. Paul was very much involved in that and helping to develop the church and the organization of the church.
SHUSTER: In what way?
STOUGH: Well, in giving them leadership, in choosing elders, in encouraging these formation of district councils and the central church council. He was called church advisor for the district where we lived, but he was also on the central church council. They looked to him a lot for leadership. The Africans, as I said, respected him very much.
SHUSTER: Who were some of the important leaders of the AIC in the early days?
STOUGH: Kornelio Balonge from Rethy, Zefania Kasali from Oicha, Yoane Akudri from Adi.
SHUSTER: What was his name again?
STOUGH: Yoane Akudri. Yoari Sosi from Bogoro. [pauses] Those are the names that come to my mind just now.
SHUSTER: Did you have contacts with any of these people?
STOUGH: Oh, yes. We had them in our home. In Bunia, we had no color distinction and...and I gave meals to Africans as well as to others. When they would have a church council meeting in Bunia, then I took responsibility for a lot of the entertaining there.
SHUSTER: You mentioned Granlio Balinde?
STOUGH: Youane Akudri?
SHUSTER: No, Gunlieo.
STOUGH: Oh, Kornelio for Cornelius.
SHUSTER: What was he like? How would you describe him?
STOUGH: He was a great leader. Tall, important looking fellow. He preached and led the church at...at Rethy very efficiently. People loved him. He has been in this country (he’s with the Lord now), but since we came back to retire, he’s been in this country at least twice that I know of speaking around. He stayed with us in our home over here on Washington Street [in Wheaton] during one of those visits and I remember I had to go off. Paul had his church responsibilities and he went to go off to the offices, and I had to come over here to the [Wheaton] College to my job, and left Kornelio there for the morning. He loved to sit and listen to the cassette recorder. I said, “What music would you like me to put on before I before I leave?” and he said, The Messiah [by Handel]. I was so surprised that from his background, but he loved.... He was a fine man.
SHUSTER: Let’s see. You mentioned Zephram Kasali?
SHUSTER: Zefania Kasali. How would you describe him?
STOUGH: He was down in Oicha in the forest, a very capable leader down there and a wonderful preacher. I can almost hear his voice now as I think of him. He worked all through the forest area giving leadership to the church.
SHUSTER: What kind of preacher was he?
STOUGH: Just a good African preacher, I suppose. Most of them tended to preach basics: salvation messages over and over again, uh-huh.
SHUSTER: And was he also an evangelist?
STOUGH: Oh, yes. He traveled around the area.
SHUSTER: Was there anything distinct...? You mentioned he worked in the forest area. Was there anything distinctive about working there?
STOUGH: The people were different. And that, of course, was the pygmy area. From Oicha there was a real emphasis on the work among the pygmies. Now, I don’t know that Zefania specialized in that at all, but he certainly reached them. He was head of the church on the station, which it was a large church. There was a big hospital work there. Dr. Becker was there at Oicha, the doctor of that hospital. They would have many, many people coming from all over to seek medical help there, and, of course, Zefania then undertook to try to reach those people.
SHUSTER: That was, of course, Dr. Carl Becker.
SHUSTER: You mentioned the people in the forest were different. In what way?
STOUGH: Just a different tribe. Each tribe has its own distinctives.
SHUSTER: What might be some of the distinctives of the people in the forest?
STOUGH: I don’t think I could really name those things now.
SHUSTER: Let’s see, you also mentioned Yande Akurdi.
STOUGH: That’s John. Yoane Akrudi.
STOUGH: A-K-R-U-D-I. A powerful preacher. He was... I would think he is the outstanding church leader of our day back then. He suffered a great deal for the Lord up in that area. But he...he led that very large church. I can still hear him when you call on him to pray. He’d say, “Oh! Zambe nabisou!” and shouting it out in a very loud voice. Very distinctive man.
SHUSTER: “Zambe nabisou?”.
STOUGH: Zambe is God. Nabisou is our.
SHUSTER: Our God, our Father.
STOUGH: Zambe nabisou.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that he suffered much. In what way?
STOUGH: Well, his story is told. Pete Braschler has written a book, Yoane, I believe. From his own people in the early days who were not sympathetic to anybody coming in and spoiling their tribal culture. He, of course, broke away from that to follow the Lord.
SHUSTER: And then, you also mentioned Sosi.
SHUSTER: Yoare Sosi.
STOUGH: That would be Joel. Yoare Sosi. He was the leader out at Bogoro down by the Lake Albert.
SHUSTER: What was he like?
STOUGH: Just a respected leader. I don’t remember that he was the outstanding preacher like some of the others I mentioned. But he was a good solid man, giving leadership in that area.
SHUSTER: He was more a leader because of his character?
STOUGH: I would think so, mm-hmm. Respected among people.
SHUSTER: Were there any women who had positions of leadership in the church.
STOUGH: Oh, goodness, no. Horrors. [laughs] They never would, no. They wouldn’t dream of it themselves.
SHUSTER: I don’t mean necessarily elected or appointed, but someone just by their own natural personality or authority.
STOUGH: Well, leaders in the women’s work. That would be, yes. The chief one there...well, at Blukwa, then they came down with us to Bunia, our friend, Fanelli and his wife Dina. Dina was a wonderful woman, a real leader, very, very zealous in witnessing and I could count on her going out on their witnessing tours every time. She had a family of six children she brought up to love the Lord and today they’re either wives of teachers or pastors or in the work themselves as nurses and things. They’re a fine family. She is been with the Lord for two or three years now, but you could always count on Dina to lead the meetings and to lead the women out on their evangelistic groups, lead them over to the hospital, the government hospital, to visit patients over there, take them to the prison to speak to women there. She was great.
SHUSTER: What tribe was she?
STOUGH: She was Bahema.
SHUSTER: Bahema. And do you happen to know how she came to know the Lord?
STOUGH: No, I don’t. But as I try to bring something back, seems to me her parents were Christians. So I think she probably would say she was a Christian from the time she was a little girl.
SHUSTER: To what extent, by say, 1960 or so, was...were the churches independent, or AIC churches independent, and were they still dependent on missionaries for leadership?
STOUGH: I think at that point they were still pretty much looking to missionaries for leadership. They were beginning...as I say, they were beginning to form their church councils. But they never, as I remember...they never became independent until after Independence [of the country].
SHUSTER: How did independence come about.
STOUGH: Well, it followed the trend of other African countries demanding independence. And of course, the spirit filtrated into Congo. Some of the leaders, then, began asking for independence. So they called a council in Brussels, and some representatives from the various areas of Congo went to this meeting. We were amused and a bit interested anyway, that one of the representatives, a man that Paul knew up in our area, had been chosen to go to that concert...council. When he came back he said, “Bwana, we went there, never thought that we would come away with independence. We thought we would do like we do in the market, where you offer so much and then they counter with another offer. Then, finally, you reach a median price. He said, “We went there and said, ‘We want independence.’” The Belgians said, “Alright, you can have it.” He said, “We were flabbergasted.” We didn’t...we knew they weren’t prepared for it, and they certainly weren’t. The Belgians said on June 30, 1960 they would be independent, which was tragic because they’d never been in government. And they were...they had minimum educational qualifications. It was a very undeveloped country to turn independence over to. After independence, some of our people up there, they said, “Well, when is this independence going to end?” They didn’t like it because it was becoming bad. But it...of course, we were way up in the northeast corner and things started down in Kinshasa, which was still Leopoldville at that time, when the army revolted.
SHUSTER: This was after independence.
STOUGH: Yes, this would be on June 30, 1960. And the Belgians then began to flee. Well, then the word got up to our territory. We didn’t think anything would happen in our area, and Paul had been scheduled to go up to the station at Aba where our son Bill was the missionary, and he was to speak at a conference up there. We went back in forth in our minds and prayers as to whether we should go or not. And things seemed quite quiet so we went, and they had this conference in which Paul was speaking. And while we were up there, we got word that from the mission authorities who got it from the American government that we should get out because things were getting bad. Well, we knew there was unrest in Bunia. We were getting by radio, and the Belgians would be coming in periodically to our home and say, “What do you hear? What do you hear on your radio?” And they were scared to death and beginning to flee. Our little girl, Helen, at that time, who was only eleven years old, she was becoming scared. But still we didn’t think anything would come of it and we went on up to Aba. Then, we got this word that we should get across the border as fast as we could.
SHUSTER: Word from the American consul?
STOUGH: Yeah, and it came through our mission network, radio network. So we talked about it up there with the missionaries, decided these were orders, we better do it. And we were very close to the Uganda border. Paul and this friend, Fanwelli (who I mentioned earlier, who was just a right-hand helper to us all the time) Paul and Fanwelli went back to Bunia to collect our passports and a few things that we hadn’t thought to bring along. Then, we began to think maybe we better send Helen home to her brother to take care of her time until things settled down. So they brought back things for Helen. Well, it was quite an event trying to get back again. Finally got across the border, went down to Kampala and were able to get Helen onto a plane with some of the other missionaries who were scared and were...were leaving. We had no intention on leaving ourselves, but we didn’t want Helen to develop this fear of Africans or be subjected to all the tension. And so we sent her here to brother Phil. We were gone only about ten days and we came back and things were fine, and we said, “Why did we leave anyway? It’s all quiet.” So, we carried on, went right back with the work we were doing. Things were quiet. A good many of the miss...the Belgians had left. Some of the merchants and some of the government people, most of them, had fled over to Uganda. We’d seen some of them over in Kampala. Some of them had said to us, “You’re going back. Go to our house and take whatever you want because we’re not coming back.” Well, Africans had already got that idea and we found them looting the white people’s houses when we went back. But generally, we were able to carry on.
SHUSTER: Was your house looted?
STOUGH: No, no. The house boys and Christians had taken care of our things. And there was no thought of disturbing us. We weren’t Belgian and we weren’t government. We came back and things went along fine until January of ‘61, which would only be a few months, of course. Then, we suddenly got word, also by the mission radio, from the American authorities, “To get across the borders as fast as you can.” They couldn’t say on the radio why, but we found out much later that they had had word that there was trouble and they were going to assassinate Lumumba, who was the leader at that time.
SHUSTER: Who was going to?
STOUGH: The other ones who were anti-Lumumba.
SHUSTER: Who were they?
STOUGH: Africans, Africans. Also, they were going to eliminate all the white people in the Province Orientale, which is where we were, the eastern province. That’s why we were told to get out quick. So we felt we had no choice. We began packing up what we could into the car. I can remember that the women came over and they sat down in the bedroom all around the wall, sat on the floor watching me pack things and crying because I was leaving them. And so, we said goodbye to our dear friends, and this...we headed down south toward Oicha thinking we could cross the border at Beni and go to Kampala.
SHUSTER: This was in ‘61.
STOUGH: ‘61, January. We got to Beni. And when we turned off the main street to go on the road that would take us across to Uganda, there were soldiers with a barricade there, and they said “What are you doing?” and we said, “We’re going across to Uganda.” They said, “Oh, no you’re not.” They took us back to the army camp. We sat there pretty frightened, but Paul talked with those who were in charge there, and they finally said, “Well, you can’t leave the country. You’ve got to go back to you’re mission.” So, we went back to Oicha.
SHUSTER: Why did they want you to go back? Why didn’t they want you to leave?
STOUGH: They just didn’t want us to leave.
SHUSTER: Did they give you any indication as to why?
STOUGH: They had a funny idea that if we left, we were taking the wealth of Congo with us because they searched the car. I don’t know. It just didn’t make sense. It was just a thing in their minds. We went back and told the missionaries at Oicha what had happened. We said we can’t get across at that border. They said, “Well, we’ve been told to get across. But if we can’t, we can’t. We’ll just stay on.” But still, there was this fear because the American government had been very firm in the order. While we were meeting together with them, we were sitting in the living room of Dr. Becker’s home talking with the other missionaries, two of the men, Dr. Atkinson and Hal Olson, who had been across in Uganda, had gone the day before to get supplies at Kasese for the hospital and for the mission. They came back and we told them what was going on. They said, “It was very interesting because we were over at Kasese and we ran into Count Isenburg .” If Austria still had a monarch, he would have been the successor, and he and his sons had a plantation just at the border of Uganda just to the east of Oicha. They had been talking about the situation in Congo, and this count had said to these men, “Well, if you ever need to get out. Here’s how to do it.” and he drew them a map of how they could take a forest road from Oicha and cross over to where his plantation was, (he had a papaya plantation), and where they should turn off and how they should get through the plantation and he said, “If you get up to the river, which is the border, then send word up to my sons who have taken our heavy machinery up across the border in order to save it. And they’ll come and help you across.” So, we prayed about it and talked about it and decided we better give it a try. So we agreed to meet at two o’clock in the morning out on the road. There must have been half a dozen cars, pickups, I suppose. Then, we started off. Hal Olson with his pickup led the way and led us through the plantation. We went across one small stream which we thought nothing of particularly, and the cars went down and up and got across. Then, we came to this larger stream. It had a lot of rocks, big rocks in it and it was impossible to get across. And so....
SHUSTER: Do you recall the name of this stream?
STOUGH: No, I have no idea. And the men decided that they would just manually push Hal Olson’s pickup across over the rocks. They all got out and did this, and he went off up the hill to look for these sons to get their tractors who would come down and pull the rest of us across. And as he was just gone, we heard this terrible screaming and carrying on coming toward us, and a group...large group of African so-called policemen or something were following us in a rage. They had been in the village back there, and they’d heard in the darkness, cars going by. [imitates sound of cars] They began to follow to see what was going on and they found us all congregated there and began grabbing keys out of the car and just screaming like mad...mad men. I sat on the keys of our car, and they wanted them. I said, “Well, bwana’s up there helping push their car up there,” and I stalled them off. Before long, some Uganda policeman or soldiers came down the hill on the other side shouting at these Congolese and said, “What are you doing in our country? Get back into your own country or we’ll shoot at you.” By which we discovered that that first small stream was the border and not the one, that we were already in Uganda.
SHUSTER: Why were they so incensed, the Congolese?
STOUGH: The Ugandans?
SHUSTER: Well, no, the Congolese.
STOUGH: No, the Congolese, because the same thing...reason they wouldn’t let us out on the proper because they didn’t want us to go.
SHUSTER: They didn’t want you to leave.
STOUGH: Dr. Becker tried to reason with them, and he finally, being Dr. Becker and this was characteristic, he agreed that he would go back and keep the hospital open if they would let the rest of us go peacefully. Well, they wouldn’t...if he had waited some minutes before the Ugandans came down and threatened them, there wouldn’t have been any problem. They would’ve had to retreat, but he had made this deal. So he was going to go back and his wife said she was going to go with him, and then, young Dr. Atkinson, who was very new on the field, said, “I can’t let this elderly man go back alone. I’ll go with him.” And he, Dr. Atkinson sent his wife and children up ahead. These Isenberg sons, two of them came down with their tractors and pulled the rest of us across. I don’t know how the cars made it, why the bottoms of them weren’t torn up. But anyway, we all got across, got up to the top of the hill to the first village and found an African Anglican pastor there who had his wife cook up some rice for the children and bind...boil up water for tea for us, and it was a great haven at the moment because it had been a very exhausting night. From there, we went on. Well, these two Isenburgs said to us, “You know, we wouldn’t have been here. We would have been on our way to Kampala early this morning...or yesterday, but our pet monkey got away, and we spent all day yesterday trying to find this monkey and we finally did. It was late in the afternoon. It was too late in the afternoon. It was too late to start out, and we were planning to leave this morning, but you got here first. So, Paul always said that in the Providence of the Lord, we were saved by a monkey. [both chuckle] But we went on and got to Kampala finally, then went on down to Nairobi.
SHUSTER: What were the sides that were fighting in the Congo? Well, who was the conflict between?
STOUGH: I think it was political parties, Lumumba’s party and whatever the other one was.
SHUSTER: Did you ever hear Lumumba speak or...?
STOUGH: Yes, we did. He was in our town and ranted and raved.
SHUSTER: How would you describe him?
STOUGH: That’s about it.
SHUSTER: What was he ranting and raving about?
STOUGH: Oh, independence and how bad the white people are. And how they had been persecuted by the white people. They would have had nothing if the white people had never come, but that wasn’t the political attitude.
SHUSTER: So, there was a strong sentiment for independence in the country?
STOUGH: Just among these political leaders. The common people were very happy. Life was peaceful. They were well governed. It was just the rabble rousers.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that when there was this conference about independence, and the Belgians said, “Alright, you can be independent.” Why do you think they gave in so quickly or so suddenly?
STOUGH: They probably thought that the Africans would fight for it, maybe.
SHUSTER: Would fight for it?
STOUGH: I suppose, somehow.
SHUSTER: Oh, they were afraid that they would have...there would be a revolt, and so they just....
STOUGH: I think so, probably.
SHUSTER: You mentioned that they had not....
STOUGH: Anyway, I think they were tired of trying to govern the country.
SHUSTER: You mentioned they had not done too much as far as preparing Africans for taking over the country.
STOUGH: No, they hadn’t.
SHUSTER: Why do you think that was?
STOUGH: It was just not the way they did it. The British were very good in supplying education for the people in Uganda and Kenya, wherever. And the Belgians left education to the missions, initially, only the Catholic missions. Finally, some of the more liberal members of Parliament, (or whatever they called it in Belgium) forced through a law to make the government give religious liberty to the Protestants too and to help support their schools. So Paul was a leader in that in our area in getting government help for our schools by which they could move forward to a higher level. We had only primitive primary schooling before, and that’s what most...the most that anybody had except just a few that were able to go on to higher education of a high school level and a few were getting some university training but not enough to make any impression on a country of that size. It’s a tremendously large country. [pauses] I don’t think people in America had any idea how large it was and how difficult it is to govern a country of that size and the diversity of it with very poor transportation.
SHUSTER: So, that, as you said, the government left the education mainly to the missionaries.
SHUSTER: And transportation as well? Or not to the missionaries but they didn’t do too much about transportation.
STOUGH: The government kept up the roads very well in our area. They turned it over to chiefs and made the chiefs responsible. But the chiefs kept the roads, gravel roads they were, very good. We could get around very well. But transportation over a large area of that country, say to get to Leopoldville.... Well, back in those days, airplanes were still very new. There would be a river boat and that would be about it.
SHUSTER: After the...after you missionaries had left Congo was there some kind of meeting to discuss what to do next or...?
STOUGH: On this ‘61?
STOUGH: We stayed in Nairobi about six weeks at that time and trying to get word as to what was going on up there. From all that we could find out, our area was quiet. Lumumba had been murdered [January 17, 1961] and therefore the plan to eliminate all the white people had fallen through because he was the one that wanted to do it, I guess, and all the white people had fled. So that all died down. And so Paul felt that we should go back. And that caused considerable consternation. Some of the other missionaries said, “Oh, you got out. Why would you go back in?” He was...he felt we should do that and....
SHUSTER: Why did he feel you should go back?
STOUGH: He felt such a responsibility to carry on with what the Lord had called him to do, and I was one hundred percent with him. And we pictured these dear friends and church folks up there in Bunia like sheep without a shepherd. We...they still needed our help, and we just wanted to get back. So we went back and the Assemblies of God missionary, Jay Tucker, went with us in our car. We drove back up through Kenya, Uganda, and crossed at Beni to Oicha. Things were very quiet and we went back to Bunia, and again we felt that we could have stayed without any problem except that threat that white people were going to be eliminated and it didn’t happen. So we just picked up the work and went on with it. Other missionaries then came back and...and things got pretty much back to normal.
SHUSTER: Did you have your daughter come back here?
STOUGH: Not then, she had been gone only a few months, you see. But we were back, let’s see, in six weeks. We were back by early February or early March, whatever. We carried on the work for just maybe a couple of months, then the normal time for our furlough came. So we came home then and were home for a year, went back and took her with us then because things were very quiet. We were back there in 1962 and things went along fine. She went back to school, and we carried on with our work and the church continued building more independence.
SHUSTER: How’d it do that?
SHUSTER: How did it do that? You said it was building more independence.
STOUGH: Well, in the same way that I said before, Paul’s encouragement to...to carry on these district councils, getting together in the central council and choosing leaders and developing them, uh-huh.
SHUSTER: And when did you leave Congo for the final time?
STOUGH: In August of ‘64. We had been there just over two years, and this rebellion which was called the Simba Rebellion was breaking up...breaking out down country again.
SHUSTER: How did that start? Who was rebelling?
STOUGH: I understood that the Chinese communists were always blamed for that. The Russian communists were blamed for the ‘61. They would have had a great influence on Lumumba. This one for some reason, I was told in a way, that it was the Chinese communists influencing that, and these leaders would get a hold of just kids, young boys mostly, and promise them that they...well, they put a spell over them that bullets couldn’t hurt them and promising them all kinds of things and stirring them up to go after us.
SHUSTER: These were the national government leaders?
STOUGH: Oh, yes, yes.
SHUSTER: Who were they stirring them up against?
STOUGH: White people. Previously...well, 1960, it was only against the Belgian government. By 1964, it was anti-American, and that came, of course, from the outside, were influencing them and telling them that the Americans were so bad.
SHUSTER: So, the sole purpose of the Simba Rebellion was against America?
STOUGH: It appeared to be white people in general. They were indiscriminate and killed off missionaries. Some of our dear friends from the UFM [Unevangelized Fields Mission] down in Stanleyville were murdered in terrible ways. We got word in Bunia on Saturday that the Simbas were going to be in Bunia the following Monday. We got this by radio from Stanleyville, Al Larson, some of the UFM people down there were saying “You better get out. You have no idea what’s going on.” They were trapped. They couldn’t get out. They were too far from the border, but we kept in touch with Al Larson until his radio was taken away and he couldn’t. But the word came that these Simbas would be in Bunia on Monday, and as far as we could find out they kept their schedule everywhere. For some reason, they sent word ahead where they were going to go. Well, we had this young teenage daughter and the things we heard were going on, we weren’t about to stay. So we packed up what we could in the car. She was ready at that time. She would have gone down to Rift Valley Academy in September because she had finished the schooling available at Rethy. We packed all her things up. We took pictures and slides and irreplaceable things, whatever we could get into the car. On Saturday, we headed out. This time instead of going toward Oicha, we headed north toward Mahagi. We spent the night at Rethy, and then went on to the border at Mahagi. They gave us a very hard time there. They went through the car, everything. “Why are you taking this? Why are you taking this?” Most of the things, practically everything we would say, “Well, our daughter has just finished school here at Rethy Academy. Now, you know about Rethy Academy?” “Yes.” they knew that. “And she’s finished that and were taking her down to school in Kenya,” and this gave us a good excuse for moving and taking these things. They confiscated one box of things we had and said, “We are going to keep this cause this is the wealth of Congo.” And it was only personal affects, but they finally let us across and we went on to the first AIM station of Goli, which was fairly close to the border, and we stayed there overnight and listened on the radio what was going on. Because the missionaries at Rethy, they said, “We aren’t going to leave. They aren’t going to be any trouble. Look at what happened in the previous ones. It was perfectly alright.” We said, “Yes, but we think this is different,” and we went. It wasn’t long before they began moving too. So we moved on to the next station to make room for those coming. We went on to Kampala and went on to Nairobi. All the time listening to the mission radio hearing the terrible things that were happening to our friends of the Unevangelized Field Mission and the HAM [Heart of Africa Mission], we called it...no, the Assemblies of God Mission. Yeah, this man, Jay Tucker, who had gone back with us in ‘61, we heard that he had been beaten to death up there. Dr. Sharp’s family had been lined up at the bank of the river, father, mother, children, and shot and thrown in the river. And, oh! Terrible things. Our son, Bill, was still up at Aba, and we were very concerned about that. But he...he was finally able to bribe his way out we say, by offering to build a bridge for these Simbas because the bridge had gone out. He built the bridge and then just kept on coming and he finally got across the border with his family. But things went from bad to worse, and it was...it was just awful. We were down there in Nairobi and the Kenya was putting up a fuss of this influx of American missionaries, and they didn’t want to give us work permits. They wanted us all to get on the plane and keep on going, I guess. Finally, some of the Christian men in government went to bat for us, and they reached a compromise with the mission. They said that any missionary that had been out over two years should go on home. Those who didn’t they negotiated work permits for them, and we were able to stay. So then they gave us assignments in Kenya. We had no native language to work with. They asked if we would take charge of the mission guest house in Nairobi. The lady who had been running it was on furlough.
SHUSTER: This is the Mayfield House?
STOUGH: Yeah, Mayfield Guest House. Would we do it until she came back on furlough, which would be six months from then? And w agreed. We certainly had enough experience in that line with Blukwa and again in Bunia. Turned out, she never did come back, and our six months assignment turned into twelve years.
SHUSTER: What was her name?
STOUGH: Myrtle Zaffke. She was at her retirement place down in Florida. They put Paul immediately into administration in the Kenya field. He helped me with the guest house and did the accounts and a lot of things. But he was in administration. So we ran the guest house, as I said, for twelve years. After about a year-and-a-half, Paul and Norman Weiss decided they would go back to see what was going on in the Congo field. They had to fly from Nairobi all the way to Leopoldville all the way across Congo. Then, fly across back up to Bunia, which would be at least half of the way back to Nairobi, but there was no other way to get there. They got there and heard these pitiful stories from the Africans how they had suffered and many of them had been murdered too. Anybody who was educated, had a job, wore a necktie was eliminated, tortured.
SHUSTER: By the Simbas?
SHUSTER: By the Simbas?
STOUGH: Oh, yes. Yeah.
SHUSTER: So, it wasn’t just against white people.
STOUGH: It turned into just an anti-anybody that wasn’t a Simba.
SHUSTER: Was the Simba a tribe or is that a political party?
STOUGH: No, simba means lion, and that’s just the name they gave themselves of this particular group.
SHUSTER: What were they trying to achieve?
STOUGH: Well, they already had independence. They wanted power, I guess. They wanted to run things. They didn’t know how to run things of course, but they....
SHUSTER: Were other Congolese fighting them? Was there...?
STOUGH: They couldn’t really. They were so unscrupulous, cruel, terrible, terrible people.
SHUSTER: So, there was no fighting between armies or civil war going on?
STOUGH: No, just this uprising of these ruffians. [pauses] The Christians begged Paul and Norm to have the missionaries come back. They said that they were sure we could come back and be safe. The UN [United Nations] had come in. They were there, actually, between the 1960 and ‘61 evacuations. They were in our town. Then, during this Simba Rebellion, the UN stepped in, tried to get control of things. Mike Hoare, a South African who lived.... What do they call those men that fight voluntarily?
STOUGH: Mercenaries. He lived in our house for a time in Bunia. They were trying to get a hold of things. I think did considerable good. So things had quieted down from all that. So Paul and Norm came back and contacted the mission authorities and contacted the American authorities. It was finally agreed that missionaries could go back to any place where they could have radio contact and an airstrip for MAF (Missionary Aviation [Fellowship]), and MAF agreed to put a plane up there. So that’s how things started. Missionaries began to go back, just a trickle at first, but they had our house to use as a base.
SHUSTER: Who did?
STOUGH: These missionaries coming back. This was a place to land because our place had not been disturbed. We had lost one mattress, and I think that was about it. The rest of our furniture, all our things were there. Some of this was because one of the UFM British couples who had been across having vacation in Uganda or Kenya or somewhere had come back as we were leaving. They insisted they were on their way back to Stanleyville. Well, they were finally persuaded by the time they got to Bunia that that would be mad for them to be go back into that. They were British and for some reason, these Simbas did not disturb them. They came (they told us) and demanded something. They gave them this mattress and outside of that they were not bothered.
SHUSTER: What were their names?
STOUGH: Kerrigan, I think. And they finally left, went back to England. But our house was there. So the missionaries, just as a small trickle at first, would come back and stay there at Bunia. And then, the men would get out to a nearby station and try to set up things. Most of those stations were destroyed. Our son Bill’s house was just almost torn to...apart. They took out the doors and the windows and the window frames and everything, just unscrupulous things, crazy things.
SHUSTER: Alright, we’re almost done with this tape. Let me just put another tape on, and we can....
END OF TAPE
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