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May 2005: Slinging Mud and Laying Bricks

Collection 81, Box 23, Folder 16

All day, we have had the joy of slinging mud and laying bricks (which our Native Christians made and burned). We are building a Chapel 104 feet long by 30 feet wide here at Aungba so as to have some place at least, for part of the crowd we expect next January at Conference. Aungba Station (the Pauls, Miss Anthony and our Native Church) has invited the Field-wide Bangala Conference here at that time, and from all indications, we will probably have 1500 or more guests to entertain.

The above excerpt is taken from the January 31, 1940 prayer letter of Austin and Elizabeth Paul were workers with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) in the Belgian Congo for over forty years (1920s-1960s). The letter is located in Paul's personnel folder in Collection 81, box 23, folder 17. Below is an except from another document in this folder.

Summary Report of the Congo Evangelistic Team for 1943.

  • Services: 307 evangelistic and 149 after services for prayer, etc.
  • Personelle, Austin Paul, Solomono Ewada (cornet), Andrea Angbayo (cornet), Kiliona Angalii (valve trombone)
  • Mileage: in car 3,686 miles, on foot 76.5 miles
  • Results: 436 salvation, 479 restoration, 245 consecration (life for service)

    Photo File: Paul, Austin, Jr. Photo File: Paul, Austin, Jr. Even thought the Archives does not have a collection of the Paul's papers there is still information by and about them in several archival collections. Most of the materials are in their personnel files (Folders 26-16, 17, 18) in the Records of AIM - Collection 81. These folders covering the time period 1921-1953 and contain correspondence of the Pauls and AIM officials, prayer letters, medical reports, etc. To located other collections with information on the Pauls go to the online searchable database at and enter "Paul, Austin" (without the quotation marks). Below are excerpts from three of these collections.

    I don't know if you ever heard of Austin Paul... I knew Austin Paul because he was one of the speakers. Austin Paul, Harry Stam, those people were always outstanding missionaries that I had heard with AIM through my early days. I remember...if you knew Austin Paul, or knew anything about him, he was...he was a great humorous person. From the oral history interview of Stanley Kline in Collection 477 tape T2.

    And the idea of [using] horns [in an African song service] was (using instruments like that)...was something that came from the African Inland Mission. I think you probably studied some of it and how Austin Paul [missionary with Africa Inland Mission] used a lot of horns up to the north [in northeast Belgian Congo at that time]...And then with the horns introduced by Austin Paul and others, they went more and more to the use of horns...Basically, it was a fellow like Austin Paul whose team...with his team of horn players who came down for evangelism. From the interview of Paul F. Hurburt in Collection 438 tape T1.

    Some of the first things that I remember were that my father and mother were very, very concerned for people who had never heard about the Lord. And what this meant to me...when I was about four and a half we lived on a beautiful station called Aru [Belgian Congo]. My dad kept telling about these people that lived down in the forested area and they'd never, every heard the gospel and there had never been any white people among them and it was just really a virgin field. So after praying and...and getting council from those that were in charge he set out to make a home there. Clearing and...this is a three room mud house and with a thatched roof. And there weren't any roads to get there, proper roads that is. So we went by motorcycle....Well, we came to our new home and the mud was scarcely dry and the windows were just dropped [draped] with...there were mud holes that were dropped with these African mats and we slept under mosquito nets that mother had made. From the interview of the Paul's daughter, Frieda Atkinson, in Collection 607 tape V2.

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    Last Revised: 4/28/05
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    Wheaton College 2005