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This is a complete and accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Stanley Roy Kline (CN 477, T5) 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 Wayne D. Weber and was completed in April 2003.
Collection 477, T5. Interview of Stanley Roy Kline by Paul A. Ericksen, January 19, 1993.
KLINE: [unclear] but we felt that something would happen, and it did. And of course, they were caught. You knew that story, of course, about how they...there were three men, you know, and they were all up to be shot. One of them was Chuck Davis of our mission. One was the director of a UFM [Unevangelized Fields Mission]...what's his name...I have his name somewhere. And Dr. [Paul] Carlson from the...from the Swedish mission, MEU [Mission Evangelique de L'Ubanqui] Mission. Larson, from UFM. These were the three men. And they were only saved by the...when they were ready to be shot is when troops, the American troops came in to Stanleyville. And they had to run because they were going to kill them and they climbed over a wall. And that's when they had to help each other. They all said, "Who would run first, second, and third?" And Dr. Carlson was the last. And he was shot in the back. He died. But Larson and Davis got over the wall. And then they ran to a house and the Africans after them, as far as I remember, and they found a closet under a stairway. And it was one of those half doors with glass up here and down here. They already found eight people hidden in that...and they had...they were...[laughs] they tried to get in and they did and the soldiers...the people went...the soldiers went right by them. And they stayed there the whole...they were crushed in that closet until they really knew the American troops or whoever came in. They heard their voices and then they came out. So those two were saved through that.
ERICKSON: Now when you said....when you fled to Uganda, when you said you really had to flee, what kind of a time window did you have for getting out?
KLINE: We...as most cars came in to Uganda, I mean into Rethy, we all had to realize what we could take with us and what we couldn't. Because we had to take people with us. And we had to realize the Africans were going through this just as much as we were. But the Africans pled with us to go. Now when we worked at Rethy, it was when Dr. and Mrs. [Harry] Wilcke were at the hospital. And Carolyn Saltenberger was a nurse there. And most everybody had cars. And it was also at that time when we had to...we told the parents to come get their children way ahead of time. Because we didn't want the families to be divided no matter which way the things would happened. Which we were very glad that we did it that way. And so we had the opportunity of going quickly in cars, but we had to go through seven barriers to get out. And we had to be sure we could tell every barrier what we were doing.
ERICKSON: Now was this like a check-point barrier?
KLINE: Check-point barriers. Because they knew what trouble was coming, too, with their own people. And then we had to go through the Congo customs, Congo border and into Uganda. And so we had to be prepared for all of that. So we spaced ourselves of how many could go at a time. It was not an easy time for anybody. At that time I had a Combi, Volkswagon Combi bus, sort of. I did a lot of safari work, and I had taken out my second seat in the Combi. I had two boxes that I used to keep covered and so that I could have a mattress across the top when we went on a Safari. So my wife and I, we went around the house and picked up two of everything. Two pillows, four sheets, and two dishes, two cups, two pans, two something, two something. Our Bibles, our dictionary, one concordance, and then, you know, things like that. We threw everything in these boxes and we left. Because we were told to go light because the people at the customs could steal everything and say you can't take it with you, anyhow. And so I had my things like that in the car, and other people took what they could take and we started down to go to the border. And before that, when Pete Brashler, then, was our field director in Bunia, Pete Brashler and myself, we got...I went to Bunia and we got permits for everybody to leave the country. And everybody was rushing to the bure...office to get them. They used up all the forms. There was no forms to get a...a pass to get out of the country. So then Pete Brashler and myself volunteered to go back to our office and make more forms for them, which we did. So we got forms and had...had papers for everybody. And our mission got them out to most people that were at Rethy then, so that they'd have a signed. We had to go to three offices. We had to go to the...the mayor, we had to go to the...the commissar of police, we had to go to the...the...the army office. And we had to have three of four signatures before we could get out. Well, all those papers...so we did all that work the day before we left. Then we gradually crossed the border. And it wasn't easy crossing because some of them wanted to take our things, some of them wanted to send us back, and when we got to....I have an article here, I can give it to you. I had it in Inland Africa. When we got to the border, everybody got across the border but the doctor. They wouldn't let the doctor go because the doctor...they felt they would need the doctor. So Doctor Wilcke wife and children went, and my wife went, and we had at that time...we had a...we had a visitor from the University in Stanleyville, and they had a Combi for the University. And they were up in our area for a vacation. When they heard that trouble was coming to Stanleyville, they left...they left their bus there and they flew back to Stanleyville so they could get...take care of all their things down there. And they didn't want the car...they gave permission for us to have their car. So we tore off the sign of the University and we took a lid of a big...a pan and made a circle and we put a big red cross thing on it. And so we felt we...that we could use that. And we did. That was one of the cars that we really were able to save at that time. And so we had some of our other girls, who didn't have a car but could drive, take care of that. And we filled all our cars, and we all went down...at least two or three at a time...to get through in those next few days. And so then when we got over to Uganda, we have a AIM station in Uganda that's only about...not even...not even a mile from the border. And so we all went to that station and then some moved up further and to another station that we had about twelve miles away and they moved up there. And we all found places. And of course we slept in our car and things like that. And then our field director and other people that got out (pardon me) they made arrangements for us to move down to Kampala. We had an office in Kampala, we had a couple in Kampala. And so they made reservations of all the different missionary guest houses and everything for people. And we moved down to Kampala. And then later, people that were going to be going further, were moved down to Kenya to work. Others went home. And in Tebbe [Entebbe], that's the airport near Kampala, to fly home from there. Some people were out on vacation, never got back to save a thing. And so everything that we know, when we were in Goli (that's the station that's the station that's right across the border from Mahagi we had) we saw a lot of our Africans coming over. They were coming over by hundreds from Zaire, all kinds of people were coming over. Some were already wounded, some of them were already beaten. And all types of people coming in. And so we moved on like that, all the way down. And because our furlough was not due, we were...we were moved to a place called Eldoret, in Kenya. And in Eldoret, we stayed there for a while, we lived there. And I had the joy of opening the first Christian bookstore in Eldoret. That they bought a...an Asian store that was near the post office. It had to be all cleaned up. I think this nurse that's here now with us is almost (she's ninety-something) I think she's one that helped scrub the floors. I remember a few of us did a lot of things like that. We also found that in Eldoret area, there was a school called the Highland School where the British sent all their children. And when the trouble came in Kenya, before the trouble in Zaire, all the English took all their children and went back to England. So this big school was there, and they had a lot of empty buildings, dorms and everything. So our school moved right in there. The Conservative Baptists had a...all their people moved right in there. So we had a place that took care of us for a while, a place called Eldoret. And then after about two months there, we were moved to fill in at a place called Kisumu, which is on Lake Victoria. A couple were going home. And my wife knew Alur and there were among...work among the Lual [?] people. And so they needed somebody and in that house because it was in the town of Kisumu, and so we went there and filled in for...between Eldoret and Kisumu, we were there almost a year, from August until July of the next year. And we carried on the work there in the town of Kisumu. But it was not easy. When we arrived...we all kind of...I know I broke out with great big rashes on my arm...nervous condition, you know, all this kind of...
ERICKSON: Had you ever had anything like that before?
ERICKSON: Had you ever had anything like that before?
KLINE: It was a terrible, terrible experience, you know. And...but you get over it soon. I mean, [laughs] it's that pushing all the time. And when I arrived in Kisumu I found...we'd found in Uganda and in Kenya, as well, that a lot of Africans stood with what was going on in the Zaire. So that if you were an American...you kind of...if you came out of Zaire, and they knew it, it was like you were the person that was wrong. And I know that the first thing I had to do when I arrived in Kenya was that I had to quick get rid of my Zaire tags on my car, on my Combi, because people...I could see people would point at my car. Even though I belonged to it, but I could see that. And so I finally got...registered my car with Kenya and then...until I went home.
ERICKSON: Did...can you expand on that a little bit about how the Kenyans felt about the Americans?
KLINE: Well, I don't know if it would have been just about Americans. I think if they knew you came from that area...
ERICKSON: From Zaire.
KLINE: ...that they felt that maybe we...we did something to cause trouble like that. But we didn't really have anything to do with the trouble. I mean, but they..of course, they would hear their side of the story probably from other people. And of course we believed in the Congo it was Communism. It was under Peking. And no doubt all this came through, because Uganda went through the same thing, themselves, later. And Kenya, of course, had gone through in before. And Kenya was not too happy about having trouble-makers in their country. And I guess they thought maybe we were maybe trouble makers. But [Jomo] Kenyatta was very, very open. And he said, "I'll take any missionaries from any place to fill in places of mission because I think they'll do a valuable work in our...my country." I think Kenyatta was a good president. I think he learned his lesson when he was in prison, and when he came out, I always admired that he set aside all bitterness and he was the only one that wanted to see his country. That's why he had that word "horomba" [?], "Let's work together, go ahead." And I feel that that's why their country, in the midst of all these countries that went through troubles after us but Sudan had their trouble and their still having it, Tanzania had their trouble, Rwanda, Burundi, all these countries that were nearby had troubles. And so I think Kenya stood up to a lot of that and they realized what they were going through with the Mau Mau trouble. And Kenyatta really didn't want things to happen in his country. But I found that our ministry in Kenya was very good ministry. We enjoyed what we did there. We weren't ever afraid of people or anything like that. It was just that feeling there was some underground. Of course in Kisumu, you were in the territory of Oginga Odinga, who was always a enemy of Kenyatta. Although he claimed to be a friend, he was...he was always trying to push the Lual [?], and of course we were in Kisumu when he accepted that great sum of money for that hospital the Russians built . We were also there when Russian troops and people came in through Tanzania to Kenya, that Kenyatta didn't know, crossed the border, they got captured. Odinga was at the bottom of that. So there was that feeling in Kasumu, more than there was in Eldoret.
ERICKSON: Now you set up the bookshop in Eldoret, how large...
KLINE: That's right, yes.
ERICKSON: ...how large an operation was that?
KLINE: It wasn't a large...it was...it was a regular store front shop. There was a man named Brian Andrew, a British fellow, who came along and opened the whole thing. I mean, he...we were just cleaning it up, getting it ready for the bookshop.
ERICKSON: I see.
KLINE: And we met the first African that was going to work there. We met Brian Andrew, and that was our part of our work to do that. There was also a church in Kisumu and in Eldoret where we always had fellowship. In Kisumu we had them...we had a further ministry because in Kisumu they had a place like a YMCA. It was never called YMCA, but it was called a place that people could stay. There was a restaurant, sleeping quarters, a meeting hall, and so when we arrived, we asked if we could take care of that. And I remember the superintendent, the African in charge said, "Who's going to take care of it? You or your wife?" And I said, "I am." And he said, "Well, I'm glad to hear that because we had a lady take care of it before, and we don't like a lady to take care of it, we want a man." And I said, "Well, you don't have to worry about that because I'm going to do that." And Oginga Odinga sister also lived in Kisumu, and she was not...nothing like her brother and she had charge of the hospital, and the hospital was always open to the gospel and they had this system in the hospital where if you spoke or had music, it would go into all the wards and things like that. And she used to say, "that when the missionaries come to speak on Sunday or do anything, you're to cut off all that music and just listen to what God says to you through these missionaries." And she was very open that way. They had a good women's domestic science school. My wife help...helped in that in Kisumu. And we had a lot of ministries that way in...in Kisumu. And Eldoret, we, of course, we were only kind of moving on. We weren't settled in any way. So we were there, and then we finished up there. And then we went home from there.
ERICKSON: You went home...
KLINE: We went to Nairobi after that.
KLINE: That would have been [pauses] that would have been [pauses] that time...
ERICKSON: '66? '65?
KLINE: No, '76. We were there 'til '70...no, that was '60...we're only up to '60, aren't we?
KLINE: Oh! Let's see here...
ERICKSON: You were hoping time was going faster.
KLINE: We left for USA in [pauses] the rebellion...that's fourth term...this term...that would have been '64. We went home in '66.
KLINE: No, no wait. Yeah, '66.
ERICKSON: So you were in Kenya from '66...
KLINE: We went back after the rebellion. We went back to Rethy.
KLINE: We went home in '65. In 1965 we went home from Kisumu.
ERICKSON: To the US [United States]?
KLINE: To the US.
KLINE: On July 1966 we came back. And we were the fourth missionaries that came back after the...the evacuation, the rebellion...to reestablish and open up all our stations again. We arrived back at Rethy, and the place was a...a mess. In our buildings alone, we put in over 800 panes of glass...in our buildings, because that's where we had our hospital, we had our academy, and homes, and schools, and everything there. We went back there in 1966, and we were there to 1971.
ERICKSON: And then...
KLINE: They had killed all our cattle. They brought all the cattle...cow manure over everything. Clean-up...the plumbing was all a mess....everything. There were no doors, no windows there. If you had a bureau, anything that had drawers, you had the...the form, but not the drawers because they used the drawers to carry out all the stuff they stole. So, everything was like that. Our only piece of furniture that we found at our place when we went back was the second seat of the Volkswagen [Erickson laughs] and only the metal. There was...the springs...nothing else. And I remember our nurse, when she heard we were coming back...
ERICKSON: Your nurse? You were saying your...
KLINE: When the nurse heard we were coming back she took this old metal form of the second seat of the Volkswagen, she put a mat over it, and she put a sign against...on the wall that said, "Welcome back." [laughs] And that's how we got our welcome back. We stayed there, then, till 1971.
KLINE: After 1971, there was a thinking of opening a new work on the Seychelles Islands, which is off the east coast of Africa about 1,200 miles. And so we were asked...I mean they wanted us to do something....Dr. [Richard] Anderson visited the islands...several other people visited the islands. They wanted somebody to come do some projects for young people. And so they had an opportunity for people to enter the Seychelles Islands. And he said, "We'll accept on ceramics, pottery." And they...he didn't know where he was going to find a potter, but he met Jack Wilson who had his masters degree in art and ceramics, so Jack Wilson and his wife and children volunteered to go. Then they had another fellow whose parents were missionaries in Lebanon, and his wife was a missionary girl from Kenya, and they volunteered to go. But then they wanted an older couple who could take care of the money matters, government matters, all the business of it. So then my wife and I volunteered for that. So then we visited in 1971, and then in 1972 we went to the Seychelles Islands. And we were there...we visited...we came home for a short furlough. In '76 we went back. In 1977 and after we had our visit there, we felt that that was where the Lord wanted us to go. So we came to the USA in '77 for a short furlough. And we went back again, and then we started there and we worked there 'til 1980.
ERICKSON: So you...
KLINE: We were in the Seychelles Islands 'til 1980.
ERICKSON: So how many years were you there? About four?
KLINE: From 1977...
KLINE: 19...1977 to January 1980.
ERICKSON: Okay, so it sounds like you were in Rethy until '75?
KLINE: Yeah. 1972...7...part of...almost part of '76.
KLINE: Yeah. And so we were there and we...we visited...they asked us to visit the Seychelles first, and we did.
ERICKSON: And now when...
KLINE: Then we came home.
ERICKSON: When did you do the visiting? What year was that? '70...?
KLINE: We took...we visiting...we had a seven-day visit in the Seychelles around February 1977.
KLINE: And we came back to the field...I mean we came back to go to the Seychelles and we were on the Seychelles by Christmas.
ERICKSON: I see.
KLINE: We arrived on the Seychelles around the 20th of December 1977.
KLINE: Then we found an old fish market they turned over to us. And we had a lot of....we didn't know where we were going to live because the Seychelles Islands...the main island (they had ninety-two islands) the main island is only seventeen miles long and three to five miles wide, with a mountain in the middle. The FEBA (Far Eastern Broadcasting Association) was the reason they invited missionaries to come in 'cause they were not allowed to do missionary work, for they did broadcasting. And so they invited the mission to come in, and so that's how we went in. But the Anglican church and the Roman Catholic church, were not interested in missionaries coming into the island. But we went under the ministry of education, with the offer of opening a ceramics training center. And then we had to find property, and we couldn't find. But Jack Wilson was getting this permit to come, when he heard an Englishman say to the minister of education, "I waited a whole year to get my project started, you didn't give me an entrance visa I'm selling my house. I'm leaving the islands. I'm not coming back again." And so Jack grabbed him, found out where his house was, and it was...it wasn't a house, it was two houses. And it had forty palm trees on it. It had everything you could think of that was needed. So he sold the whole thing for $50,000. Furniture, houses, and everything for $50,000. And this man from Tropicana Orange Juice [Company] just heard about our project in the Seychelles and sent us a check right off for $25,000 to put down on it, and the man said, "You can pay the rest whenever you want." Because he wanted to get out. So we got two houses. So we lived in one house, and the Wilsons lived in the other house. Then when the...the other couple from South Africa came (that's the one that I've mentioned) when they came, then we moved downtown in the middle of town. And rented a small house, that we lived in there. And we worked on the islands with them until 1980. And we had wonderful opportunities with the Anglican church, my wife being a Roman Catholic, she could explain a lot of things for work. In fact, we had lots of openings in the Roman Catholic church, as well. The Anglican church...we had Bible studies. In my first Bible study for men, I had a plumber, the only plumber on the island, I had a government official, I had a...a policeman, and I had a government office worker. We were on the first floor, and they wanted Bible at least three hours every night. They were interested in the Bible and one of them had been saved through FEBA Radio, and he was a Roman Catholic, and he was interested in the Bible. So that has grown to the present time when there's a church and everything there. And then we had our...our center was taken care of, and we didn't want to use missionary money. So we went to the British and Canadian [sic] and they gave the money for our building, for our equipment, for everything that we put in the...in the...in the ceramics training center. They trained potters. That whole work is in the hands of local people now. And we have, at the present time, we have three couples on the island, and all of them....one's an American couple, have two British couples, and the work has grown. We have the man who was the plumber on the island, is now a missionary with Arab World Mission in Marseille, France. And others have gone on with the Lord. And we came home, then, in 1980. I had dinghy fever. I had the kind...they call it break-the-bone fever. I had dinghy fever. I had to have surgery, and so we gave up in 1980 to come home, then, and of course we stayed home when we came home.
ERICKSON: Now, the four guys who came to your Bible study, how did they find out about the study?
KLINE: How did they find out about what?
ERICKSON: About your Bible study? You mentioned the plumber, the policeman...
KLINE: They had heard this from FEBA.
ERICKSON: I see.
KLINE: When they heard that we were going to...that somebody was accepted to come. And so they were ready to start something. And the thing is that they...we didn't know where to meet. And it was the...it was what they call the priest of the Anglican church (that's the high Anglican church, almost Roman Catholic) and he said he...I could use his meeting room for a Bible study. Because half of them were Anglican and half were Roman Catholic. But then we had one man that came home from England and was saved, he went there to study pathology for the hospital on the island. And he was saved. Two weeks in a Baptist church in England. He came back and the first thing he went to FEBA and he said, "Where can I study the Bible?" And they sent him to me. And he was on call for all blood work on the whole island. And he couldn't be in the office because we couldn't use a phone. So then we moved it from the...the Anglican church to my house, where we lived, so that if he got a call on the phone he could get to the hospital. And all those fellows are leaders in the work today, and we had work in the hospital, the aged home, the orphanage, the prisons, everything opened up to us on the island.
ERICKSON: Well, I think we'd better stop for tonight, don't you?
KLINE: Yeah, you'd better. Your man's going to come.
ERICKSON: I've got my next interview...
KLINE: I'm losing my voice. [laughs]
ERICKSON: Thanks very much for tonight.
KLINE: Thank you.
END OF TAPE