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16 October 2014
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Cookstown to Congo 2004/5

Maud Kells returned from Congo in the spring of 2005 - she talks about the ongoing war and her personal missionary work.

Maud Kells

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This web diary updates with each Visit Maud makes back to Congo. You can navigate to the individual articles below:
2004/5 trip

Rebuilding yet again after rebels destroy centre - October 2004:

There has been ongoing war in Congo since 1998. Maud has grown used to the damage and destruction caused by rebels. When she got back to her mission station in the Autumn of 2004 she found it to be complete devastation. Buildings had been looted and many were burnt to the ground. Maud’s time on this visit was largely spent re-building, re-roofing and re-equipping the station.

The most major piece of work was to get the airstrip useable again as it had become completely overgrown with trees.

The airstrip which Maud had supervised two years ago had become overgrown and looked like the rest of the jungle. Now it has once again been cleared.

Audio Clip 1: Rebuilding from the wreckage 


Maud feels a strong desire to keep going back to Africa to help the people she’s been working with over the past number of years and knows that they depend upon her to keep bringing in the supplies. She feels a great sense of appreciation from those she’s helped and says they are a very loving people. She says that as long as she has the energy to do so, she’ll keep going back.

The people are very loving, which is part of the reason Maud is drawn back every year.

Audio Clip 2: Why Maud keeps going back 



In Congo no-one speaks English. Because Congo was a Belgian colony, French is the national language. The next most used is Swahili – an east African trade language. There are of course many other tribal languages still in current use. Maud speaks both Swahili and French but explains that some of the Congo Swahili contains French words, whereas Swahili from Kenya would contain English words…

Sharing a speech community with everyone... Maud Speaks both French and Swahili.

Audio Clip 3: The language barrier - no problem 



Maud suggests that if it weren’t for the war, Congo could be a tourist destination. It should, she says, have wonderful Safari parks just like Kenya. “It’s all been destroyed by the rebels. Even the animals have been eaten. A lot of the parklands have reverted back to forests.”

Many wonderful tourist locations are now erverting to a state of jungle as a result of the ongoing hostilities by rebel forces

Audio Clip 4: Tourism opportunities ruined by rebel warfare 



Maud is aware that people who donate money to charities may have concerns that not all of their money actually finds its way to those in the most need. For this reason she delivers the aid herself and oversees how all donated money is spent and ensures that things are done efficiently and with minimal waste. Local resources should be used as much as possible. She has, for example, helped to build the hospital in Congo with home-made bricks and has helped the people to cut down trees and do their own building work, thus saving money. She also points to the direct training that she can give to nurses and midwives, all of which represents a very efficient use of resources.

The hospital that Maud and her helpers made with hand-made bricks.

Audio Clip 5: Using your donations efficiently 



AIDS has increased massively in Africa over the past ten years, particularly in the Congo as a result of the rebels with AIDS carrying out rape on a large scale. Maud’s hospital treats many people with AIDS but, since they cannot afford the more expensive drugs, the best they can offer is to treat the symptoms only. Most of those infected die, either in the hospital or at home in their own villages if they prefer. Maud says it’s heartbreaking to go back to Africa each time to find that some of the people she left behind are no longer there. Maud tells here how one of their nurses developed AIDS and in turn his wife and daughter developed it. All three died in Maud’s hospital.

AIDS is a huge problem, made worse by the presence of rebels who spread the disease unchecked.

Audio Clip 6: The tragedy of AIDS in Africa 



Maud hopes to return to Congo in the Autumn (2005). Having repaired the damage caused by the war during her last visit, this time she’s hoping to build a medical paediatric ward. Maud is extremely grateful to the people of Northern Ireland for their generosity in giving financial support to her projects in Congo.

A typical welcome party for Maud's annual return to Congo.

Audio Clip 7: Looking forward to going back... 



Maud hopes to return again to Congo in the Autumn of 2005. We will update this site as her diary of events unfolds.

Do please feel free to respond to this article. Just fill in the form below...


E.J - July '08

I thank you for allowing Jesus Christ to use you in such powerful way. I know in the name of Jesus, God will continue giving you the strength to continue. It is a dream of mine that one day I can become a full time missionary to children in Haiti. I want to open a boarding school. I yearn for my time to come, till then I praise His name for people like you around the world.

Thank you and see you in Heaven

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