This is an accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of
Stanley Roy Kline (CN 477, 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. 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.
Some portions of the interview that referring to living persons have been removed from this transcript and from any copies made of the tape of this interview. The removals have been indicated in the text. This restriction will expire on December 31, 2016.
Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
A portion of the interview that involves living persons have been removed from this transcript and from any copies made of the tape of this interview. The removals have been indicated in the text. This restriction will expire on December 31, 2016.
... 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 Jonathan Seefeldt and Wayne D. Weber and was completed in May 2003.
Collection 477, T6. Interview of Stanley Roy Kline by Paul A. Ericksen, January 20, 1993.
ERICKSEN: This is a continuation of the interview with Rev. Stanley Roy Kline by Paul Ericksen for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. This interview session took place at 1:20pm on January 20, 1993 at the Media Retirement Center of the Africa Inland Mission in Clermont, Florida. When we finished our session last night, we had sort of quickly gotten our way through to your time in Seychelles. I'd like to go back and pick up a few things and ask you some questions that sort of stretch over your whole time.
KLINE: And also what I did after I came home, because I still was with the mission.
ERICKSEN: Right, right. Yes. We were just talking a minute ago about your coming in and working at the Y.
KLINE: Kisumu, At Kisumu.
ERICKSEN: And they had asked you...the Africans had asked you who was going to do...
KLINE: ...be in charge...
ERICKSEN: ...do that job and you said that you were. Why was it that they were glad that it...that you were going to do that?
KLINE: Well, I think that...I think the first place is that they didn't want a woman because most of the people that stayed there were men. And the second thing was that, that she was very...she was very demanding and very strong on her points of dealing with what she thought ought to be done. And also, there were among...most of the people that came there were among the Luo people, which she claimed she knew the language as good as they knew the language, which they didn't agree with either. [Ericksen laughs] And so I think there were...there may have been some troubles there. Also, I had heard from several places where some missionaries can adapt to a new situation, in a growing modern situation. And some missionaries cannot forget the past and move on with the Africans. And so they had a special ideas of carrying the way the older missionaries carry. When we moved into the house in Kisumu, that...Margaret Clapper...all of us that came out of Zaire were moved into the area. As you remember, Sudan had troubles and their missionaries had to leave. Zaire had troubles and their missionaries had to leave. So we had a couple by the name of [Rev. & Mrs. William] Beatty who worked in Sudan and they moved to Ogada, which was just up the hill from Kisumu at the station there. And Olive Love, who was in Zaire, who did girls work, went to Ogada. And then Margaret Clapper was there to help in the work. And we were assigned to Kisumu because my wife knew Alur, which was almost like Luo, and also, they felt that that missionary couple was going home, so that we could take over in the work there. And so we found that when Margaret Clapper would come down the hill to visit the...the schools on the plateau of...outside of Kisumu, that she always stopped in. And Kisumu was on Lake Victoria and it was a very hot area. It's a hot place. And Margaret was very friendly and when she came down she would always have a head teacher or somebody with her because of knowing the area, or maybe a pastor. And so we would tell Margaret, "Well, when you're down, stop in and see us." And Margaret, of course, when she stopped in, she always brought the Africans with her and we always accepted Africans in our house. And so the...I remember that one day the head teacher from...that was traveling with her, she...he had said to Margaret Clapper, "You mean we're really allowed in this house?" And she said, "Well, why do you ask that?" And he said, "Well, I was surprised because you and yourselves and the people that have the house there, you welcomed us into your house and we had lemonade and so forth and we chatted and so forth. But the...the workers who were here before, earlier, would not let anybody go past their porch. And if we wanted a drink of water, they would give it to us in a tin can. Where you were open and welcomed us with whatever you had was the same for you, was the same for ourselves." And Margaret said, "Well, we always did that. Even when we were in Zaire, we...we did that." And she said that, "I don't know why people would do that," but she said, "It's probably the old...older people that have not shown that because we...we all grew up in the time when if you ever came to a home, earlier missionaries would say that you shouldn't come to the front door of a house, you should come to the back door.
ERICKSEN: This was to the Africans?
KLINE: Yeah. So we knew that, but that was...that was all finished, as far as we were concerned, [laughs] years ago. And so when people came to the front door, we always had them in. And so that got around and several that I knew in...in Kisumu said the same things, sort of like that. Because we would have them come over, or this or that, you know. And so there was a change like that, I think, probably. But there was also a group of other missionaries in Kisumu representing the...the Church of God and...and other missions, the Anglican church. And they used to have committees there and I remember that they said that they found it difficult sometimes to meet with certain missionaries because they...they wouldn't agree with what they agreed with. And they were glad that we would...that we attended the meetings and also that we wanted...whenever there was a meeting concerning the work, we always wanted our Africans to be part of it. And they were glad for that because the former people felt that they were the only ones that be consulted and not the Africans. So there were changes like that, probably in Kenya and...and I think, from independence in...in the earlier days, in any of these countries, that in Zaire, we kind of saw it coming and we were prepared for change, where in Kenya they were more...maybe more of being forced into something. And because they didn't include the Africans in what they had and then they were...they were made to do it. So it was better to start ahead of time than it was to be made that way.
ERICKSEN: Now what was the date...when you...you were in Kenya...'64...'65...
KLINE: That would have been after...yeah, that would have been after the...the rebellion there. That would have been in 1964. That would have been in '65. In 1965. We...we came out of the evacuation in August of 1964. And then we were in Eldoret and Kisumu until the twelfth of July, 1965. So we had almost a year in Kenya. In Eldoret first and then we were moved to Kisumu.
ERICKSEN: Right. Now you've...you've talked about the transfer of leadership to Africans in Zaire and we're talking now about the way it worked in...in Kenya.
KLINE: Well, Kenya hadn't, even at that time, hadn't even started doing that yet.
ERICKSEN: Yeah. Who had the....of...of the countries that AM...AIM works in, who had the hardest time with that process? Which country?
KLINE: I really...I really don't know, because I was not...I'm not acquainted with Tanzania.
KLINE: But I heard one time, and I know it was true, that it was because of things like that that a lot of missionaries left Tanzania and that may have been the cause of why missionaries left, I don't know. But I think both Tanzania and Kenya, found that more difficulties, were almost forced to do it, instead of starting it.
ERICKSEN: Now how...how did you go about your work in the Seychelles...I mean, the Seychelles didn't have this...this long history of mission work, did it?
KLINE: I would say in Seychelles you had a different kind of people because there were a mixed people. They were not all Africans. They were mix...there was Africans and there were from...from Arab background, from French background, from English background, from Indian background, from Chinese background. You see, being an island, it was a place where all the navies stopped. And the morals of the people...many of them never married, but they all had children and so there were a lot of mixed people and mixed colors of people. And I wouldn't say that it would be something of...of in the church, to say, in having something separate, because I think they always, as far as I know, they always got along well together. And so the main churches in the Seychelles, where the Roman Catholic church, which had 90...at least 93 percent were Roman Catholic and the majority after that were Anglican. They were religious people. And they had their own ideas of carrying on the way they wanted, so that as far as a form goes for mixing together, they all mix together. Everybody mixed together, no matter who they were. And so the government there, too, under the French and then under the British, I have always found that the British always did a good work, even in Kenya, I think they had a lot to do with it in Kenya. And Uganda, you found that the Africans were very...were taught very well in manners. And greetings and things. They were...when you went into public office, they were sort of prepared to take over in banking and take over in...in government. More so than they were in...in the Congo or probably in Tanzania. Although Tanzania was, you see...one coun...one country was a colony and Uganda was what they call a protectorate. And Tanzania was more of a territory under the British, so they all had different forms of government. And...and then for a while they all were...went together when they got their independence. Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania went together. But then later, I guess one was putting more money and more effort in it, and so then...then he split. Individually, when they changed governments and changed who were the heads of government, so they all had different ideas, then, so they became separate identities.
ERICKSEN: Now in the Seychelles, was there the...was there an Africa Inland Church that was started, or did all the converts...
KLINE: There was no...there was no...there was no organized Africa Inland Church because the bishops of the Anglican church and the bishop of the Roman Catholic church made it very clear to the government that they...they were the ones that had charge of the religious work of the islands. But they never really welcomed any other missions to come in. That was one of the main things that they made known to Dr. [Richard] Anderson, when Dr. Anderson visited there. "That we don't want any missionaries here, we don't need them because we are all...100 percent almost Christian." And so then that's when Dr. Anderson applied that..."Would there be some ministry, some work that our people could do?" And so then they would mention different things. They had art, they had ceramics, they had handcrafts and sewing and all kinds of things. And so he chose, out of all those, that if he could find people to do the ceramics work, then he would...he would be glad to cooperate in any program. And the government said, "If you can find somebody, we will cooperate with you if you will send us workers." And so we were allowed to have, when he found out that Jack Wilson then could do ceramics and...and was an artist, then that's when we were allowed at least to have six workers come in to the island. But we associated ourselves in reaching all the people. We didn't...we didn't start a mission. We...we were...we were all under the ministry of education. We were really government employees.
ERICKSEN: Okay, yes.
KLINE: But we had the opportunity to...to fellowship or to do what we wanted. And so we started what we call a...an afternoon fellowship for people so we would not interfere with the Catholic church and the Anglican church always had their mass and their meetings in the morning. So we chose 4 o'clock in the afternoon and we rented, for a very small sum, the auditorium of a teacher's training college on the island. And we held...we held a fellowship. And anybody could come, no matter if they were Roman Catholic, or Anglican, or whatever. And then when we started this ceramics training center, anybody that passed the examination for entrance could enter. And it started as a very small class and then it increased as we went along. And so it's only been...in...in the last...not even a year, yet, that they're organizing a...a real AIM church, although I don't think it'll be an AIM church. But it'll probably be a Bible Fellowship church, or...or a church where most of the people have asked for, that they wanted something. So we had a Rev. Maul [?]. A Rev. and Mrs. Maul [?] are Americans and I just heard from Kenya that they've gone there to be their pastor. And so that...the other two couples were on the island and they both had their own ministries and they were both English couples. And one of them, the couples, is now working for the government on the social service area and the other one is...is doing work among young people and getting Bible work...study books that they have in England printed in the Creole language. So the couple's work is really progressing there. And...and I think that in time, they'll probably have an organized church. I know a lot of them wanted that, but even when we were there, the local people that were really outstanding Christians that came to our fellowship, said that, "We don't feel that we're ready to start. We had a man from another denomination came to the island and wanted to start his church." And they absolutely refused. They said, "We didn't feel that we could have a church started right now." And he...he got upset about it and he left the islands. And so we...we learned by that, that you can't force things upon people when they're not ready for it.
ERICKSEN: Now you talked about the Catholic population of the Seychelles and that made me wonder, how did relationships with Catholics change after Vatican II? Not...not just in the Seychelles, but also, you know, during your work in...and of course you'd of seen the change more in Zaire.
KLINE: Well, I think with the changes...we didn't see so much the change. I think a lot of that probably come after we came home, probably. On the Seychelles islands, they'd...they'd carry the...the form of the old ways of doing everything in the Catholic church. I mean all these parades with [the Virgin] Mary through the streets and all that...the festivals and things. They mostly carried, like they did for...for years and years...I...they...what we would call the later, more freedom in the Catholic church or the charismatic Catholic church, or using instruments or anything that's different in the Catholic church today was not in Seychelles. It may have been improved in...in Kenya, I don't know, or even in Zaire, but not in our days, as I can remember, or anything like that.
ERICKSEN: Okay. Now before we switched on the...the tape, you were talking about a story that we didn't finish at some earlier point in our interviews about when you came to Rethy with Mr. Wilcke?
KLINE: Yeah. That was the time that they had the rebellion and everybody went out of the country. And when we arrived at the border and they said that Dr. Wilcke was not allowed to go. And they intervened with the army and they sent a...a...two or three army men with us to the Uganda border to be sure that Dr. Wilcke did not cross the border into Uganda. And so I had made up my mind that if Dr. Wilcke was going to go back alone, that I would stay with Dr. Wilcke. And so we...we arranged that in between one...between the Congo government and the Uganda border we talked this over because when we got to the border, the Uganda people felt that we were not reasonable and that we should...we were already across and that we were beyond the barrier...we could have stayed. And...but the...we felt it was not a testimony to the...to the Congo government by refusing after they demanded it and they may have used force, anyhow. We couldn't tell what they might do. And so we said...I said, "Well, if you're going back," I said, "I will go back with you." So then I expressed to my wife and then one of our girls drove the car and we had this one vehicle that Dr. Wilcke had that was the University car. And so we brought that one back because originally that did not belong to us, anyhow. And so we came back with that. And when we came back, the people in the Congo couldn't figure why we were coming back through all these barriers again, to get back to Rethy. And so they didn't keep us in Mahagi, we wondered if they would do that. And they said, "No, you can go back to Rethy, where you were a doctor at that hospital." But we didn't stay very long because we were notified by the British, we were notified by the Americans, we were notified by everybody on the radio that, "If anybody's left, you're to get out immediately. You're not to stay." And so they found out that the only people that were in Zaire that they knew of in our area, was Dr. Wilcke, myself, and a doctor's wife at Aba, Mrs...Mrs. [Coralee] Kleinschmidt, she was up there and that there was a few workers in the Plymouth Brethern mission at Nyankunde. And so when we heard this, we only had...we had a couple from what is called WWEC, World Wide Evangelistic Crusade, who had been on vacation and they refused to leave the country. And so, it was only our car left and they didn't want...to go...to Bunia even. And we said, "Well, we think we should obey laws about going, so we're going to go." And they said they wouldn't. But I knew an African friend of mine that worked on...on Rethy station and I asked him to take his car and to take the couple to Bunia. And I told them they had to go because England said they had to go. And so, they finally gave in, but they said if they got to Bunia they wouldn't leave Bunia. And I said, "Well, whatever you decide there is your business.[Ericksen laughs] But here, I feel you should go." So then, we went back to the hospital and Dr. [Harry] Wilcke was called. Already the rebel...rebel forces that were coming in where we left, have already...entered the area. And he had his first operation where an African was shot with an arrow right through the stomach. And he even has that as a souvenir.
ERICKSEN: The arrow?
KLINE: He took it out and...kept it, wrapped it in a...in a cloth and he sewed the man up. But he also had a skull fracture where he'd been hit on the head at the same time and he didn't think he was going to live. And so, he said, "Well, I think that's my last operation." So we just sat down. and we didn't want the people to feel bad about what we were doing 'cause we had hundreds of people who came around our car all the time. And so I said...we were at Dr. Wilcke's house near the hospital, so I said, "Let's put the car in the garage...as if it's closed. We'll go in the house and eat all the food that's around yet, in the house and eat the food. And then when the cow...car...crowd disperses ('cause they know we were in the house) then we'll go out the back and we'll go in and put some things in the car and then we'll just go off." And we had in mind to leave there and to go to a place called Blukwa which is on...one of our stations on the way down to Bunia and pick up a chauffeur if we found him there, an African who we knew was a good driver, so we could leave the...leave the car with him. Because we had already heard that same day that a UN [United Nations] plane was coming in to Bunia to pick up anybody that was left. And if you were in any of these places you were to get there, to meet the plane with a man from the American embassy and a...and a...two pilots from the...the UN, from Kinshasa (that was the new name of Leopoldville, Kinshasa). And so, we thought we should head that way. The trouble in Mahagi had already...was growing. And when we got into the car...we had a note from one of our teachers. When we left Mahagi, when they knew we were coming back, one of the girls who taught at our academy said, "If there's any way you get out...if you have time, go to the school and fill the car with all the study books you can put in the books...in the car, 'cause we'll need them in our school." So we did that. We got the car out, we closed the garage, we went to the school. And we opened it and filled the car with all the books we could put in it. And then we drove down off the station and got down that way. But I think the Lord was with us because we had to go through piles of barriers going to Bunia and people were going to question us too. So, on the way down, we hadn't gone no more than ten miles when we were stopped by a big crowd of Africans. We didn't know what they were going to do. But we found there was a big man there and he was stopping...he had the people lined right across the road, we couldn't get past. And he said he was from Mahagi and that he was an official there and that he had to flee because the rebels were coming and they would have been killed. And they...he wanted to know could we take him to Bunia? And so, we felt because he was a government man that was a help for us to put him in the car. But he wanted us to take about twenty more people besides, which we couldn't do. And so he understood that in time, so we took him. So he got us to...we got to Blukwa. And at Blukwa we picked up the chauffeur that we had...that he had in mind, that could take care of the car after we left. And then, we drove right through. And this man got us through all the barriers, we had no trouble with any barrier all the way to Bunia because he expressed himself to them that he had to get to Bunia. And the main reason to get to Bunia was that they were going to fly out too, 'cause that place was filled with people trying to get out of Bunia. And so, we arrived there. And that couple that we had told to go just before us in the car, they were already in the house of the field...field director's house was empty and they moved in there. And we came there. And then we found that the...the embassy people were staying at the bank man's house. And they came over and they were checking who was going to go on the plane. I think there were three or four missionaries at Nyankunde and they refused to go, they didn't want to go. And so, he asked us if we wanted to go and we said, "Yes, we want to go." But they wanted to take us to Leopoldville, to Kinshasa. But we said, "We don't want to go to Kinshasa because our families are across the border here in Uganda." Well, the pilots, the UN pilots said they didn't know the way and we said, "Don't worry, if you take us, we'll show you the way." So, then he went to the Catholic mission and he found there were two sisters, two Catholic sisters who needed to go. And then they said there was a third one whose already...mind had been affected by this terrible thing that took place. And so, they said they'd like to go. And because they were going to go and us too, they had room for five or six. And so, they went too. And they also said they didn't want to go to Kinshasa, they wanted to go to Uganda as well. And so that made it very...open for all of us to get where we wanted to go. And so the...the...Ambassador man said, "Okay, you're to be at the airfield at five thirty in the morning." This was night then. "Five thirty in the morning we're going to...just the break of dawn we'll be leaving in this plane, because we have it guarded so nobody can...has trouble with the plane. And we'll be able to get you out." And so, we were there...we got on the plane and we drove...went in the plane and we showed them how to get across the border. And we could see where we were going and we knew our station at the...on the West Nile where most of our people were located. And they had an airfield there and...we landed there. And, of course, the police and the army of Uganda...were there immediately to see what this was all about because we had no permission to land on their place. And so, we had to do that. And, of course, none of our people that left knew where we were. Of course they had already heard reports that we were both killed. [unclear] that's...normal with all kind of rumors you get.
KLINE: So, then we arrived there. And then some of our own missionaries from Uganda, they knew that we were going...that this plane...they'd heard about this plane coming in. And they were on the way to pick...pick up the milk supply or...or butter supply near there. And when they past the airfield the...the children said about stopping and...see who was on the plane. And here they found we were there. So that was very good to see us and they went back and told all the missionaries that we had come out and we there. So then we went to...to...to our station, it's called Embara [?] and then later we knew our wives were at Goli and that's about...a little over half-hour to forty-five minutes from there. And so then the same man that came out to pick up that butter, he had a Volkswagen and we...got in the Volkswagen and went down there. And...so everything was taken care of that way.
ERICKSEN: That's quite a trip...that turned out of one....
KLINE: That was...that's in that article I think I gave you.
ERICKSEN: That's quite a trip...that came from your one decision to go back to the hospital with Dr. Wilcke.
KLINE: Yeah. [laughs] Well, you see I could tell, you know, that for one person to do that it wasn't...wasn't right to think that way, you know.
KLINE: And the field director we couldn't ask because they had gone out before. See, we were the one with the last people that got out. And so I can understand why the government would pick up doctors.
KLINE: A nurse almost got caught. She was...she didn't get her car through the barrier in time...out of the country. But we went back and pleaded for her...we got her out of the country [laughs]. But we almost had a nurse with us as well, but...they didn't know she was a nurse, so that was good that way.
ERICKSEN: Now, yesterday we were talking about your work as field treasurer and you were based in Rethy doing that. What other...how much of your time was occupied by doing that work?
KLINE: Well, you see, one thing you have to think of when you're arranging trips like that, you have to arrange with the station where you're going and you'd have to take an area at a time. And you have to let the Africans know ahead of time because...my main purpose was to talk to the leaders or any people that would be able to come. So that I would arrange these way ahead of time, so that we could get the idea where the area would be and how many people could come there and if the leaders could come there. And there had to be a time when there wasn't any school programs. And so, they were generally weekends or when school vacations were on. And so then I had to depend on other missionaries who were at those places to take care of them, 'cause they were far from...I couldn't see what they had or know what they had. And then I'd get them to send me, if they had lists of all their churches and so forth and so on ahead of time, so that I'd get to know what...how many people they had and the area they had and so forth and so on. And then I would go and hold it. Sometimes I had maybe one day, two days, sometimes I was a whole week...in an area, because they'd want me to go to the various districts. Like at Aungba they had seven...they had seven districts there and you couldn't do them all at once. But I covered them because I knew the people and I had already taught some of these things at Aumba, so I...it would be.... But other places were newer and I had to depend upon how I would get there and...and how many people I would take with me and things of that sort. And then I would have all the (your papers are going to fall) I had to do all the forms that I wanted them to have and the lists and...and be sure that they had all their church cards and things all ready. And they were things that I let them know ahead of time when they came. And any records that they kept. One of the big questions they had at all the churches which I felt that I was able to help them without the missionaries saying too much about it, was that who would take care of the money in the church? And that was a big question because in our days, in the young former days, the missionary always kept the money. A lot of times they kept in a box under the bed or some place like that, you know. [laughs] But as the years went by I could feel that there was a feeling that the Africans wanted to know more about what was going on with the money. And so I said to them, "What are you doing now?" And they said, "Well, we trust the missionary more than we trust the African that's keeping the money." And in several places I found there were...the pastor himself that kept the money, or somebody like that was using the money to help buy a cow or do something with it. And so they...they knew something like that, I guess. So, I made it that...that they always had to have at least two or three people together when they counted money. And I showed them how to count. They all had a variety of ways of how they would just keep track and just put a number, but that's all. Or maybe even a date once in a while. So, anything in simple bookkeeping that I could make with just a debit, a credit and a balance was enough for them. And then the church cards and the people and so forth and how they could...then I would type them all up, so that they would know their memberships and their places and do all that for them too. And they...they...they enjoyed, they...they liked it and they knew where they could get supplies for them. I made forms and then later the press made forms and they were always in the bookshop, they could buy the various things that they needed to keep records for their churches. And I think it was a...a good ministry as far as helping them. I think to this day, after we had our troubles in 1964, we realized that's when it would come, 'cause we all had to leave. And they...they were taking over. They...they hadn't done this before, but now their [unclear] was on their own. And I was always free if there was any questions.
[break in recording]
KLINE: I was always free if there was any questions as to what they wanted to know about it. Or I had people that said, "If you keep your records for a year and you want me to audit them or do something like that, I'd be glad to." So then also when I was field treasurer of the mission, I was also...'cause in the early days they took care of all the church monies, I mean that is for any allocation of funds and things. So, I felt that it was a time and I asked the...the mission council when they had already changed things, when they were represented with the church council and the mission council together, that it was time that they had their own treasurer for all the churches. And so they elected a man who would do that. And he...he also, before he became an evangelist in an out-station, when he finished school, he worked for the government. And so he had...he had good handwriting, he had...he had the wisdom to really keep things neat and in order. And he became the treasurer of the central church council then. And then he would ask [for] reports from all the churches and gradually I...I didn't do any of that anymore, he was the one who was in charge of that then. And then he would keep contact with the churches in the districts and the various places of all of our mission in...in Zaire area.
ERICKSEN: What was his name?
KLINE: Wathum, Morris...Maurice, that's M-A-U-R-I-C-E, Wathum W-A-T-H-U-M.
ERICKSEN: What kind of evangelist was he when he....?
KLINE: Well, he...he wasn't...he wasn't...he wasn't...I mean we call him an evangelist, he became a pastor. He also went to the school of theology. He spoke very good French. He also...I think was a...was a more of a teaching type than they would be an evangelist. But we all call everybody an evangelist, sort of. But I would say he was more of a teacher type of person. And he also stayed in Bunia, so it made...that's where the headquarters of...when the church finally opened their office was in Bunia. So he was right there with the president of...of the church.
ERICKSEN: Okay. So, between your...work as field treasurer and your conducting the...the sessions on teaching bookkeeping, did that...did that take up all your time?
KLINE: Well, we...in our area where we lived when we were at Rethy, we would also do preaching and....
ERICKSEN: I see.
KLINE: ...we'd ask to preach in the church there or the outs...in the district, wherever we go. We had work to do like that. I also edited books for other departments like the press of a bookshop or of a hospital or various things like that.
ERICKSEN: Now in this process of the leadership of the church being transferred to the Africans can you think of a point when you were, as a missionary, no longer sort of in the center of the action and you were....? I'm trying to get feel of when...a time period when that happened. When you were more serving as a resource to the church.
KLINE: [pauses] I would say that [pauses] I would say in the early fifties. I think we learned this from the war...after the war was over...the world war was over. So I would say almost in the beginning of say about 1950, I would think, because that's when changes took place. You see the missions ran the school, but then, the government started a program for education. And as I said, when we came out we studied, we studied...were taught in early grades, well then we went all the way up to high school, for they didn't have any higher class. And then also, the missionaries were paying the salaries of the teachers, so then we believed that it was time for the government to take over. And so, schools started then in...in the fifties. And I think that was another spur to get things organized not only in the schools but in the churches. And so most of our women or men that were teachers were in our teachers' training schools and in our upper grades of schools. And then gradually even the schools became all African. We didn't send any teachers hardly to these schools anymore. And it was the same process and always in our medical program all of our doctors always taught their nurses, African nurses, to do everything. And even when they weren't qualified they could help with surgery, they could help with lab work, they could do anything. Then later they also went to our medical center and went to school to be taught. I don't know if you ever heard the name Dr. Helen Roseveare she's well known in England more than the States. But Dr. Roseveare, she was one of the starters of one of the first medical schools in conjunction with the...with the WEC [Worldwide Evangelization for Christ], UFM, the Plymouth Brethren, AIM, and so forth and that was held at Nyankunde mission at that time. And then that also came to the place where they were qualified and passed by the government so they could take care of dispensaries and they could work in hospitals. And I think we have maybe, [pauses] that I know at the present time, we probably have three African doctors now on the field that have been trained that have gone either to...to England, or to Canada, or to Switzerland, or France, or other places like that. So, in all of it, the idea of the mission was to reach the people through preaching, through teaching, through schools, through medical, and I think we've seen the fruit of that ministry as everything that was turned over to them to carry on. And of course, now they're finding it very difficult with their currency, the fees are sky high, people can't pay for what is being done these days, I don't know how that's going to turn out. We saw even in our day, when Uganda got their independence and had their troubles, that the supply places where Dr. Becker got their supplies, they were almost out of business in Uganda. So things are just come and go it seems a lot of these countries today.
ERICKSEN: Now was there a time when you would say your boss was an African? Was that ever the case?
KLINE: Well, I...you know, the question is...I don't know about other countries. I only worked one year in Kenya and I didn't...wasn't in the place where I would be, you know, kind of taking over or doing anything, I was more of a...a servant-line of helping people. But I always found that all the Africans that I ever dealt with, they always wanted you to be part of it.
ERICKSEN: Like a team?
ERICKSEN: Kind of like a team?
KLINE: Like a team...more so. And know that...that you were there for them and to understand the problem. [clears throat] I heard one time a person say, "You know working in Africa, together with Africans is like a piano with the black and white. You have to have one and the other to get the harmony. You just can't have all white and you can't have all black keys. But you could put them together and you get harmony. And I always felt that in the work we did, but we always made it very plain, if there was anything they wanted to do on their own, they were welcome to do it. But...I find that that's the thing that we see the difference with Africans in Africa and...and, what you call Afro-Americans, because the blacks in America are sort of, have that slave complex, I mean they've never forgotten that they were slaves and they were kept down. Which is not true of the Africans. The Africans carried on from the very beginning and they just progressed. And I think that's why a lot of Africans have...have such strong leaders is because of the fact that they've just gone right on.
ERICKSEN: Miss [Laura] Barr was talking, this morning, when I was talking with her about some trouble that they had in Aru. Do you remember anything about that?
KLINE: In Aru or Arua in the Congo part?
ERICKSEN: Yeah. [pauses] A lot of them pulled away from the missionaries.
KLINE: I don't remember that too well. She didn't say about what year?
ERICKSEN: '54, I think it was. I think it was 1954.
KLINE: It could have been about that time. I think it was probably the time of feelings of...of independence. I mean, you see they were...they were being pushed, I mean by government. And I think they put everybody down whether you were a Communism [?], or you had...I mean, you know a Belgian, or you were Greek merchant, or you were missionary, or you were a priest, you were...you were getting something out of it. That's the idea I think most people got. And no doubt in some stations we found that they had more trouble to try convince people that we weren't doing anything like that. And of course, when they started the political parties our mission people approved that we would not buy or participate in...in..in accepting party cards where the Catholic church did. And that could cause trouble too. And so, I think, the one party was called PNP. I forget what the other one was. But, I know that the Catholic church, we'd heard that the Catholic church said that everybody was to buy that party's card, more so than the other, because that was the Catholic party's suggestion. But we would never offer suggestions like that or we...we would not participate in any rallies. We felt that was an African decision to make, whether what...whichever party. And that they'd have to learn if the one was leaning towards Communism or towards anything like that, that they would have to find that out for themselves or what they were doing.
ERICKSEN: Now when you were in the Seychelles didn't you work with William Barnett? [pauses] Was William Barnett there with you?
KLINE: You mean Dr. William Barnett?
KLINE: Not that I know of. Not when I was there.
KLINE: He may visited there, sort of helped and.... We didn't have any hospital work, medical work there.
ERICKSEN: Yeah, okay.
KLINE: Was he there?
ERICKSEN: I think so, but I don't have dates for that so....
KLINE: Dr. William Barnett?
ERICKSEN: Yeah. Obviously, he....
KLINE: I don't remember every hearing him being there.
ERICKSEN: Okay. Did we talk about the different field directors that you worked under?
KLINE: I think we may have mentioned Mr. Van Dusen was the first.
KLINE: After Mr. Van Dusen, I think may have been Paul Stough, I'm not sure...no, John Buyse took.... He was in during furlough time and I think he took over for awhile. And after John Buyse I think Paul Stough may have been the first one. And after Paul Stough was Peter Brashler. And Peter Brashler was the one that was there all the way up to the time of...of our evacuation in 1964.
KLINE: And after that he went back too, I think, as field director.
ERICKSEN: Can you tell me about Paul Stough?
KLINE: Well, [pauses] Paul Stough is a very interesting man. He's a very kind man. I think he's forceful in his...his presentations, but he means well what he says and he does well what he does.
ERICKSEN: The way you say that makes it sound like maybe his forcefulness sometimes was misunderstood?
KLINE: Well, I mean I think he could make a point like that and mean it and you could interpret it different. And what you would think, would might...might be would not be that at all. And if he was if he was...if he was harsh in any of these things he said, he didn't hold it against you, if you know what I mean. He didn't mean it that way. He didn't...I mean if you went back and said something to him and said, "Well, I didn't like what you said." Well, he said, "I didn't mean it that way." [laughs] And so forth. But I found that he was very open in everything he did. And like, I read...I was...read one of your papers where it said he was one of the first to have open house for Africans, I believe that. [pauses] I know when we came out in the '40s we had found it very, you know, this idea of coming to your back door or not have Africans in your home, or...or this or that...or I had a missionary say to me I spent too much time talking to Africans and things of that sort. But, I found my wife was very open as far as when it concerned girls and women. Now, I know there has to be guidelines for any woman because you never know what would take place. And I know there were single ladies would have teach choirs in their home, but if they were...when I was the station superintendent, if I knew people stayed longer than they should, then I would warn the missionary not to keep them there to ten or eleven o'clock at night, for instance, it didn't look well to the....
ERICKSEN: How...how did it look to the community?
KLINE: Well, that was our thinking, I don't think the Africans thought that way at all. [laughs]
ERICKSEN: Well, what...what interpretation were you wanting to avoid?
KLINE: Well, we didn't know if she was getting too personal with some of them that would lag behind that she would talk to. Maybe some would be more friendly, others would hurry home. And so sometime there would be three or four would stay a little later and maybe they were taking maybe a few organ lessons or, you know we had those folding organs, or just visiting. And so we always felt that their wives were home, their families were home and....
ERICKSEN: So these were men?
KLINE: But that was our thinking, maybe the wives never even thought that way.
ERICKSEN: These were men and not....?
KLINE: These were men, all the time.
ERICKSEN: Got it.
KLINE: And yet it's always been a rule in the mission that most people should work: women with women and girls, and men with men and boys and so forth. But there are when you're a teacher you're mixed in with all kinds of people. When you're doing choir you...if the...if the woman is the one [who] knows music, well then you can understand that. And a lot of times you can't do things in the daytime because they're either out in their gardens or they're working or they're doing something and so the evenings are the free time for them to do things. And I've never heard of anything real difficult about it. I've never known any cases where we had trouble with anybody like that. So, I would feel that whenever our ministries were carried on we just had to be very careful.
ERICKSEN: What was Reverend Stough like to work for?
ERICKSEN: What was Reverend Stough like to work for?
KLINE: Well, I never worked with him on the station.
ERICKSEN: I see. Okay.
KLINE: I only knew him most when he was the field director.
KLINE: But, he...as I said before, he did a very extensive work when he came. He was the same type as Mr. Buyse was when Mr. Buyse replaced Mr. Van Dusen when he went on furloughs. And Paul Buyse was the same type of man, he wanted to see the church and he also knew Bangala and Kingwana, 'cause he served in both areas too.
ERICKSEN: You mean John Buyse?
KLINE: No, I mean Paul Stough.
KLINE: Paul Stough knew Bangala and he knew Swahili and he could talk with anybody at any of the places. And he was always very free in wanting to speak with everybody and see everybody and bring them together. And he was a man of prayer. And he was a good...he was a good preacher. He was a good teacher. He was good in everything he did, I thought. And I really enjoyed him very much. And he was in Bunia and you...you were always welcome in your [sic] home. We always had to go to Bunia for one thing or another, especially myself being the treasurer and all. And he also...he and his wife when they went to Kenya he took care of the guesthouse, he and his wife, for a long time. I think that was their last position they had before they came home. I think there were other things he did in Kenya too. But he knew how...how well to take care of guests when they come he and his wife.
ERICKSEN: What about....?
KLINE: I admire him. I...I think he's a great man, myself. He's been here several times. Of course he's with the Lord now.
ERICKSEN: What about Peter Brashler?
KLINE: Peter Brashler came out to the field two months after I did. And Peter Brashler was just married. I think there was...it was one of those rules we had...they almost held him up about getting married because his wife wasn't...they weren't married. So they got married at home then they came out. Peter Brashler came out and he did out school, station work, all kinds of things. He and Edith were very wonderful people, I thought, too. They did a excellent work, different type than Paul Stough [laughs]. But, Pete Brashler was a good man, he was...he had a heart for people in everything he did and his wife...his wife was of the leader type. They had no children, they adopted a son a few years after they came out to the field. And they worked in Bangala area and they worked in Swahili area, too [laughs]. And then when he became field director he was there till the rest of his time, as far as I remember.
ERICKSEN: What kind of field director was he?
KLINE: He was a good field director. And...and also in the home a lot of times, I think...I think Pete...Peter Brashler [pauses] was very careful how many people came into their house all the time. I don't think he was as open as Paul Stough, but I don't think it was his fault. I think maybe his wife was kind of wondering just how, you know, you have to be careful because there's so many people. They'll come to see you just about when it's time to eat, if you know what I mean. And then you have to wonder, of course, a lot of that falls on the women. And so they are very careful what they do [laughs]. And...and Africans...I knew an African very well who said, "We always know where we're wanted and where we're not wanted. We always know if we're going to be invited or not be invited." And so they...they...they excuse themselves gracefully, instead of being told later, you know, "You sit on the porch while your Bwana [master, boss] eats here." Things like that. So, I think, Africans know missionaries pretty well just like missionaries know some Africans.
ERICKSEN: Now, I see that Carl Becker was also a field director for a little bit.
KLINE: Yes, yes. He was more, I think he came in the picture when Peter Brashler went and volunteered for the Comoroes. The Brashlers, I think, went to the Comoroes like we went to the Seychelles, they went to the Comoroes. And I think that's when Carl Becker took over. I don't know too much about Carl Becker as field director. He was on our station with us. He was the head of a school program. He was the head of the big teachers at Aungba for years. [pauses] He's the son of Dr. Becker, too, you know, he's the son of Dr. Becker.
KLINE: Same name.
ERICKSEN: Yeah. You mean, Carl?
KLINE: Carl, yeah.
ERICKSEN: Now, what was his dad like?
KLINE: You know his father's name is Carl, too.
ERICKSEN: Yeah. What was his dad like?
ERICKSEN: What was Dr. Becker like?
KLINE: Oh, he was a great man, he was wonderful.
ERICKSEN: What do you...now, what picture comes to mind....?
KLINE: He's a very humble man.
ERICKSEN: And how would that be expressed?
ERICKSEN: How...how did he express his humility? How did that come out?
KLINE: Well, he...he never showed that he was a big man anywhere although he was a big man, I mean, as far as his profession goes. And he would go anywhere, anytime, to do anything. And he knew how to take care of situations very well. He...he was not a man that liked to get in to the middle of a big discussion about things. He was...he would be more on the quiet side, but he said something, he meant it. You know, I mean, if...if you had [unclear] a discussion, he would be...he'd come right to the point and say it. But I...in his medical work he was...he was around the best that I've ever...I worked with him so I was very close to him. I used to take care of his books too, for him and various things. But he...he and Mrs. Becker were, they were tops. You could go in their home anytime and he was always busy, I mean to say that he never had work to do, he always worked, sort of. [laughs]
ERICKSEN: Now was...
KLINE: When he went to bed, he went to bed asleep [laughs]. And he'd...if he had to get up at nighttime he would do it, but he knew when it was time to eat and time to sleep. And he...he lived a very busy life, but yet he was never...you never saw him angry or bored or anything, he was always alert to whatever was before him. And he...he could keep everybody busy. We used to say when he got sick he...he kept everybody busier than when he was...when he was up doing his own work [laughs]. 'Cause he never...in bed he'd be calling for the nurse and he'd be calling for the teacher and he'd be calling for anybody to bring this book, or do that or do something else because he wanted to do something while he was in bed even [laughs]. He wouldn't be quiet even in bed. But [both laugh] he was a....he was a fine man, really.
ERICKSEN: Now, you said his house was open. Was it open to Africans the way....?
KLINE: Oh yeah, very open, very open. Well, well loved by the Africans.
KLINE: All our doctors were. I think when Dr. [Ralph] Kleinschmidt...I knew Dr. Kleinschmidt at Aba and I think...I never saw...at his funeral I would say there were at least three to four thousand people came to his funeral when he died on the field. Our doctors are well thought of because they...they just give of them selves to do everything that they can. I mean, if a lot of us as missionaries and our children, we wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for...for our doctors. [laughs]
ERICKSEN: What about Austin and Mrs. [Elizabeth] Paul?
KLINE: Austin and Mrs. Paul? Well, Betty, she was a gem. Austin, he could get you real upset sometimes. But he was a good evangelist and he could...he was a good musician. He would not be my choice of a person to work with for a long time.
ERICKSEN: Now, you said he could get you upset.
KLINE: Very erratic maybe that's the.... You know, you find people that are in any kind of...you find people that may be associated with different ministries or work. Like you hear about singers or...or politicians or something, you know, that how so and so, so and so. He was more of that type, he was erratic. And when he said something, you know, he wanted it done right now and, "Bring me this!" and "Go there!" and... "Do this" and "Do that."
ERICKSEN: So he was demanding?
KLINE: It may be...I've only heard people say that if people, if the Lord gave out gifts, that Betty should get an extra gift in heaven to live with a man like that, if you know what I mean [both laugh]. I think...I think his children knew what he was pretty well. [Portion of interview omitted] But Miriam was the youngest girl, she's...she was the flower girl in our wedding and...she's married to a doctor with American Baptists and they work out in Kinshasa. [pauses] Jim, is like his mother, he's a gem. He...Jim Paul and his wife are with...they were with Central American Mission, I think, in Honduras for...for years. They're in...they're in Texas, now. He's a...he's a fine person. And then there's another man, another son and I've never seen him since he was a boy, but I heard he became a doctor. And then Frieda she married a doctor and they came out to the field [coughs]. I think that's a person you might have met because I think he went to Wheaton, Herb Atkinson. You've never heard of that name. Maybe he didn't go to Wheaton, but anyhow he's out in the Illinois area somewhere...and Dr. Atkinson. They served for awhile, but Dr. Atkinson found it very difficult, I think, or something so they never came back to the field again. I think that accounts for...for all the family. But it was a nice family and Betty was a gem. He...as I said, Austin was the type that he let you know he was the station superintendent and he expected you to do what he told you to do. And no matter if you were his wife or I or what if he came back he had to have his office and you had to be there and you had to give your report and his wife had to tell what she did and I had to go and see him. So, a lot of missionaries found him a little difficult. And we didn't think he treated his wife well either. And that was one of the things, I mean, a lot of people used to talk that way, but he was a great man. And she said one time, she said, "Well, after all...all great people like [David] Livingstone and all these people they probably all have funny ways," [laughs] she says, "so Austin's a great man." [laughs] She used to laugh it off, sort off. But he was not] the easiest person. And my wife knew about him before I came and she knew I thought he was the most wonderful man walked on earth 'cause he came from Philadelphia [laughs]. We used to hear him, he was a good deputation man. But she would never tell me 'cause she thought that I would say there was something wrong with her, you know. And she said, she thought I better find out for myself [Ericksen laughs]. And I found out pretty quick what it was like. And so, I just watched myself with him. But....
ERICKSEN: Now, you mentioned a couple of folks that you worked with. I think both of them were at Oicha. You mentioned Edna Amstutz....
KLINE: Edna Amstutz.
ERICKSEN: And also Margaret Clapper, who is right here. I talked to her yesterday. What was Miss Amstutz like?
KLINE: Well, Edna Amstutz was an older woman. She was a relation to the Harold and Jane Amstutz, if you've ever heard that name before. Harold...Jane's still living, she's out in California. Harold Amstutz and her husband there was some relation. Also Edna Amstutz is a relation of Vera Thiessen, who was also a nurse at Oicha, who's now married to Don Hillis, who was at Washington Bible College for awhile. I think they live in either North Carolina or some place like that. But Edna Amstutz was one of these steady nurses. She had charge of the big leprosy work with Dr. Becker and she did an excellent job. She was more of a steady, quiet good worker.
ERICKSEN: What about....?
KLINE: She always enjoyed a good joke, a good story. She was pleasant, wonderful. And we had another nurse there, Jewell Olson, who's still living. They ...he had a core of nurses, good core of medical people. And I...all of us liked...we used to call her Aunt Edna, Edna Amstutz, everybody liked her.
ERICKSEN: What about Margaret Clapper?
KLINE: Margaret was always fine. She's a hard worker. Whatever she does, she does perfect, if you know what I mean [laugh]. She's a perfectionist...
ERICKSEN: Does that...does that make it harder to work with her sometimes?
KLINE: No, I don't mean to say that. I would say maybe women would, but not a man. Maybe some woman would find they couldn't do it as good as she could do it, but whatever she did, she did very, very well. My daughter said one time, because we worked with...that she's the kind that's very thoughtful of everything, I mean, no matter...could be some little thing here or little thing there for somebody, our children liked her because she was always good at making things or sharing things....
ERICKSEN: She brought me lunch this morning.
KLINE: ...or having games.
ERICKSEN: She brought me lunch this morning.
KLINE: Did she?
KLINE: Well, she's like this. She's like that here, every place she's been. And our daughter said one time, "If mommy every dies, you should marry Margaret Clapper." [laughs] We all get a big kick out of that. I think too, that from what I know, she's one of those very special people that could have been married, but she put her missionary career first, I think. I think she may have been engaged at one time...
KLINE: ...somebody at home and that was finished. I also knew that she was engaged to somebody this year, I don't know if she told you that, but she was. But we could never see those two, there wasn't a missionary in the field could see those two being husband and wife. And we were glad when it was broken. So....
KLINE: I think the Lord...the Lord knows who does what and goes where. But she was always very, very good and she is...she's not a person to slow down, I'll tell you. She's eighty, I'm eighty-one, my wife's eighty and she can run circles around my wife or a lot of other women around here [laughs]. But she's...she's fallen and broken her hip twice and...but she's not of these that will give up. And, I think, you know, everybody that she tries to get to take the job, they see her it do it so well they're always afraid that if they take it they won't do it as good as she does. I says, "Well, you just have to wait 'til she dies and then you can take it over." [both laugh] Maybe the Lord will come before then or something, but anyhow.
END OF TAPE