Part I

Africa’s Mystic Spell

Africa has always been a land of mystery; its very shape suggests a huge question mark. For centuries it was called “The Dark Continent.” Its geography and the sources of its river systems were matters for speculation. Early maps had a chain of mountains running across its center, named, for want of a better term, “The Mountains of the Moon.” The first Europeans who penetrated some distance into the interior brought back exaggerated and horrendous tales of the land and its barbarous inhabitants. But the country has always had a mysterious drawing power and fascination for those who have spent any time within its borders. There is a nostalgic pull to come back.

Africa is a country of cruelty. Consider the centuries of the slave trade when millions of human beings were sold like cattle or sheep; when little children who could not survive the long journey to the coast were knocked on the head against a tree; when cannibalism was common practice and ritual murder was the order of the day.

It is a country of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of evil spirits, fear of death, fear of wild animals and insects, and above all, fear of ruthless men who have no compassion or conscience.

It is also a country of darkness. At night when the sun goes in, the darkness takes over. Twilight lasts but a few minutes and then night, black and sinister, comes down. The black man barricades himself in his hut and nature, red in tooth and claw, goes on the prowl. No human being travels alone at night if he can help it.

But Africa is not all wild animals and snakes and plagues. It is the most fascinating country in the world. It is a land of sounds: the cricket in the evening; the cry of a baby goat or a baby African, which are almost identical; insects rustling, frogs croaking; monotonous drumming in the night; the crv of the mutambi calling the spirits when someone is near death; the songbirds at dawn; and the wailing madman with wooden shackles on his hands and feet, tethered to a log.

Africa is also a land of smells: burnt grass in the dry sea-son; the warm earth after the first rains; parched corn roasted on the open fire; pungent tobacco smoke in the villages; ripe meat left too long; and unwashed bodies close together in a meeting. But the sounds and smells give one an indescribable homesick longing and remind one of the lines written to “Mother Africa.”

    There are millions who know nothing of your spell,

    And revile you for your cruelty and pain.

    Out in Africa they say, men are lost and thrown away.

    We know better, Mother Africa, your children come to stay.

    And they never climb a city wall again.

Most people who have spent a good part of their life in Africa, and who for some reason have had to leave, have an irresistible longing to go back. 1 know people whose homes were looted, who saw their friends tortured and killed, and who themselves had to flee for their lives, who, when things settled down, were counting the days until they could return.

William Maitland, one of the pioneers of missionary work in Chokweland in Angola, was invalided home to Chicago after spending nearly fifty years in Africa. He was eighty years of age. In his early days in Africa he nearly died of starvation during a famine, on several occasions had been unconscious with malaria with no one to care for him but a native boy, and had been bitten by ticks and bedbugs and tsetse flies. He was living in comparative comfort in America, honored and loved by a wide circle of friends. He pleaded with me, with tears in his eyes, “Please ask these hardhearted people to allow me to go back to Africa.” What makes a man feel that way? It is the mystic spell of the land.

This is the land I have learned to love and which I regard as home. Some of my best friends on earth, both black and white, are there. There are many children in the faith, some of whom have literally risked their lives for us. Even today, exiled by circumstances, there is a heavy pull at the heart-strings to be back among them again. Perhaps some day!

Angola—The Country

Africa in 1966 had thirty-seven independent nations. But Angola in West Africa and Mozambique in East Africa are not among their number. They are still Portuguese possessions, controlled and governed from Lisbon in Portugal. The Portuguese do not call them colonies, but overseas provinces of Portugal. Diogo Cao, a Portuguese mariner, discovered the mouth of the Congo in 1482, placed a stone cross on a headland, thus claiming the country for Portugal.

Being in Angola for four hundred and eighty years, the Portuguese naturally regard it as theirs! They have no plans or intention of handing over control to an African government. On the contrary, the Africans are regarded as Portuguese citizens and, if they fulfill certain standards of civilization, are allowed to vote. For instance, they are expected to wear European clothes, eat their food at a table with their family, pay the Portuguese military tax instead of the native head tax, and especially be able to read and write and speak the Portuguese language. A comparatively small number of Africans, perhaps five per cent, fulfill these conditions.

For this reason the Africans are encouraged to learn and speak the Portuguese language and become integrated into Portuguese society. All educational work is oriented with this object in mind. There has never been a color bar in Angola. Portuguese men frequently live with and sometimes marry Negro women. But there is definitely a social bar. The Portuguese ore very caste conscious but color, per se, does not enter into it.

Economically Portugal cannot afford to lose its African possessions. Angola and Mozambique are immensely rich in natural resources, while Portugal is correspondingly poor. Money and raw materials flow in one direction from Africa to Lisbon. Without this Portugal would go bankrupt. Angolan independence would be disastrous for Portugal.

Angola has a land area of 484,800 square miles, twice the size of Texas and four times the size of the United Kingdom. It is bounded on the north by the Congo River and on the south by the Kunene. It has a coastline between these two rivers of 1,015 miles. Its eastern border is the Congo Republic in the north and Zambia in the south.

Angola is divided by the twelfth parallel into two distinct climatic zones. The northern is hot, tropical, and moist, with a small rainfall on the coast. The interior is high and mountainous with heavy torrential rains during the wet season from October till April. The southern /one is temperate, being influenced by the cold Benguela current, which sweeps in from the Atlantic and washes that part of the coast. From the coast the ground rises sharply, soon attaining an altitude of 5,500 feet, forming the fertile and comparatively healthy Bie plateau.

No part of Central Africa could be accurately described as a health resort and on these highlands malaria is common and blackwater fever is not unknown. But with ordinary precautions, two-thirds of the area of the interior of Angola is suitable for European occupation, especially the districts of Benguela, Bie, Moxico (pronounced Moshiko), and parts of Malange.

There are two seasons in the year, the wet and the dry. As already intimated, the wet season lasts from October till April and the dry season from May till September. During the months of June and July, especially in the highlands, the nights are cold, ice forming occasionally on the river valleys. Towards the end of the dry season, the plains are swept with bush fires which burn up the rank grass, leaving the living trees and bushes. This is the annual spring cleaning, when hordes of vermin are destroyed and the whole country purified.

It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful sight than that after the first rain falls. The whole country parched with the burning sun springs to life, and the plains are carpeted with various colored flowers and undergrowth. Rivers and streams which flow all the year round are found everywhere on the plateau. On the whole, Angola could be considered one of the most pleasant parts of Central Africa.

Luanda, the capital of Angola is one of the oldest occupied cities in West Africa. It has a population of 160,000, of whom about 45,000 are white. It has been largely rebuilt during the past thirty years. Many of the buildings are colored with pastel shades which give it a pleasant and even beautiful appearance from the sea. But many of the old buildings still remain, which provide a link with the bad old days of the slave trade. It is the seat of government and has the residence of the governor general, who is appointed from Lisbon.

The port of Lobito has the best harbor in West Africa. In 1900 this mushroom town consisted of nothing more than a few fishermen’s huts on a spit of sand, on which the sun beat mercilessly. A few miles away along the shore lay the old Portuguese town of Benguela, the terminus in past days of the slave, ivory, and rubber trade from the interior. Slaves were still being taken to the coast for sale as late as 1908 but about 1910 the traffic had come to an end.

The development of Lobito lies to the credit of one far-seeing and hardheaded Scotsman, Robert Williams. Williams as a young man was a close associate and loyal disciple of the late Cecil Rhodes, after whom Rhodesia was named. Williams was Rhodes’ righthand man in the tremendous enterprise of bringing to pass the latter’s dream of building a railway from the Cape to Cairo. While surveying the route, Williams heard about the copper deposits of Katanga. Experience had taught him that the great mineral beds always lay in the watersheds and he deduced that the area between the headwaters of the Congo and the Zambesi would repay exploration.

It must not be forgotten, however, that copper was known to exist in this region and had been worked by the natives from time immemorial. They used copper crosses for currency. The early missionaries too had been in Katanga and knew about the copper deposits, years before Williams got there.

In 1900 Williams organized a company to explore and export the copper. But how was the copper to reach the sea and the markets of Europe and America? An intensive study of the map and the idea of a railway from Katanga to Benguela in Angola was born in Williams’ brain. But Benguela had no harbor. Ships dropped anchor offshore and landed their passengers and cargo in lighters. A harbor must be found. The indomitable Scot found a spot less than 20 miles from Benguela where a spit of sand ran parallel with the shore, enclosing a deep water lagoon and forming a magnificent natural port. The railway line was started in 1903, the frontier of the Congo was reached in 1928, and the final link with Elizabethville in Katanga completed in 1931.

When it is realized that the distance from Katanga to Capetown is 2,470 miles and that the railway to Lobito in Angola shortened the land journey to the sea by 1,200 miles and that Lobito is 1,450 miles nearer Europe, it will be readily seen that the future of the port is assured. It is the natural outlet for the mineral wealth and the produce of Central Africa.

The diamond mines at Dundo, in the far northeastern corner of the country, is another valuable source of revenue to Angola. The inner Casai, a thousand miles north of Kimberley, was once a black man’s kingdom, which for a white man to enter meant a sudden and terrible death. Even the great Livingstone was warned off and kept dear.

Diamonds were first found by men who, to save their camp from flooding in the rainy season, dug a trench to drain off the water, and found diamonds sparkling in the gravel. The black man’s empire was doomed. Portuguese troops very soon put an end to any resistance. A syndicate with wide ramifications was formed. It was named “Diamang” and backed by international financiers. A modern town sprang up in the jungle with electric light concrete houses, and all the gadgets of civilization.

The grand thing about the place is its isolation. Dundo is a strictly private preserve from which the outsider is rigidly excluded and a permit to enter is exceedingly difficult to obtain. Huge trucks with ten-ton loads plow through the wilderness from Luso on the Benguela railway, six hundred twenty-five miles to Dundo with machinery and provisions, and on the return trip bring out diamonds. Inside half-naked Negroes splash about and shovel in the mud for the fabulous wealth. These laborers are recruited by a system of forced contract labor and come from many far distant parts of the country. Each worker must dig out and turn over a certain quota of earth every day. The Portuguese government is given a certain percentage of free shares in the enterprise, as well as receiving revenue from the output. Practically all the technicians of foreign nationality, who worked for the company at its inception, have been eliminated and replaced by Portuguese. Dundo is not clearly marked on many maps, but it is in the Lunda district. The remarkable way in which the door was opened for the spread of the gospel in the diamond fields is a fascinating story in itself and will be told in a later chapter.

Angola—The People

Angola today has a multiracial society, the majority of the population being of Negro Bantu stock, with a minority of white Portuguese and mulattoes of every shade, the result of centuries of the white man intermarrying with the black. Its first inhabitants, as far as we can discover, were bushmen and Pygmies. Small remnants of these primitive people still remain around the Kalahari Desert in the south. They were expert hunters, shooting poisoned arrows, meat being their principal food. When they couldn’t find game, they existed on roots and insects.

Then about A.D. 1000 the Hottentots invaded Central Africa. They brought with them the beginnings of civilization, cultivating the ground and making tools of copper and iron.

But another migration was already going on. Tradition says that about 2,000 years ago, the Bantu (an African word, meaning “people”) started to move from their original home in the far north, where they were in contact with Egyptian and Persian influences.

The Bantus founded colonies all over Central Africa, conquering and practically exterminating the original inhabitants of the country. By the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries they had invaded Angola. Soon the great Bantu race covered all of Central and South Africa.

But then, losing all contact with the outside world, and being cut off from the ancient civilizations in the north, the Bantus settled down to a lazy existence. Life in the tropics was easy; fertile soil, abundant fish in the rivers and lakes, enormous herds of game on the rolling plains, all made for a life of leisure and contributed to their decadence. The Bantu race, which now numbers about fifty million, with perhaps three hundred languages and dialects, became an easy prey for any native adventurer who could gather a following of plunderers and carve out a kingdom for himself. These were the people that the Portuguese found in Angola when their mariners and explorers landed at the end of the fifteenth century.

Today there are three great tribal divisions in Angola, divided into about fifty language groups:

The Ambakista tribes consist of the remnants of the old Congo kingdom, having its headquarters at San Salvador near the mouth of the Congo and stretching as far south as Luanda and Novo Redondo. The interior tribes call them the A-Mbaka (“coast people”).

The fisher tribes’ ancestral home was the upper reaches of the Zambesi, from which they spread along the courses of the great rivers. The Luchazi, Luimbe, and Songos belong to this group. They speak different dialects but are closely interrelated.

The hunting tribes live mostly in the forest, eking out a living by cultivation, barter, or collecting beeswax. The Lunda, Lovale, and Chokwe all come from a common stock and had their origin in the Lu-unda country on the east side of the Lulvva River, in what is now the Republic of Congo. The capital village of Mwa-ta-Yanwo, the paramount chief, is there to the present day. It is interesting to note, in passing, that this is the area from which Moise Tshombe, the first premier of Congo, came.

The Ovimbundu tribe, speaking the Umbundu language, with its headquarters in Bie (Silva Porto) and Bailundu (Vila Teixeira da Silva) in Angola, is widely spread across Central Africa. They are an intelligent, hard-working, and shrewd people. During the old slave raiding days, and when the ivory and rubber trade was at its height, trading caravans of Ovimbundu penetrated as far as Tanganyika, now Tanzania. Interior people call them the Yimbali. Their ancestral chief, Vive, married a Songo maiden named Cahanda and built their capital village near to where the city of Silva Porto now stands. The Portuguese name, Bie, which is given to the whole district, is a corruption of the name of the chief, Viye.

The Chokwes are a proud, independent, outspoken race who despised the Ovimbundu as the slaves of the white man. They were the old highway robbers of Central Africa, plundering the trade caravans as they went to and from the coast. All the young men had the prefix “Mwa” attached to their name. It means a prince of royal blood. But then all Chokwe blood was royal blood! They cut their teeth into a V-shape, carried a knife in their belt, and swaggered as if they were the lords of creation. In the early days they refused to dirty their hands with manual labor. Missionary work among them for many years was difficult, but steady faithful plodding has paid handsome spiritual dividends in indigenous churches, not only in Angola, but much farther afield.

The Portuguese, of course, are the ruling class of the country. Emigration from Portugal is encouraged in every way and, especially in the past thirty years, they have been coming in ever-increasing numbers. The object is to Latinize the country and make it an overseas province of Portugal in reality as well as in name.

To encourage white Portuguese emigration the Angolan government has set up several agricultural experimental areas. The government offers to any Portuguese farmer, who is over 30 years old and married, a twenty-hectare (nearly fifty-acre) plot, with a cow, sheep, a brood sow, six chickens, six ducks, and some rabbits. But these efforts have had only a very limited success.

The black population of Angola is around four million. The white population remained constant or perhaps even declined in the uncertain decade from 1930 to 1940, but in the following ten years the white residents rose from 44,000 to 78,000 and to 110,000 by 1955.

According to recent statistics, in 1962 the over-all population of Angola was 4,855,219, the whites numbering 172,529 and the mulattoes 60,000. Thus it can be seen that black outnumbered white about 20 to 1. The New York Times for January 27, 1967 shows the population figure as 5,154,000.


The names of Dr. David Livingstone and of Frederick Stanley Arnot will always be associated with the opening up of Central Africa. Livingstone was born of humble parents in Blan-tyre, Scotland, in 1813. He studied in Glasgow and received his medical diploma in November 1840. He first had thought of going to China as a medical missionary but his way was blocked by the Opium War which was going on at the time. Dr. Robert Moffat of South Africa was home on furlough in 1840 and, after meeting him in London, England, and as a result of a long earnest conversation, Livingstone decided to go to Africa instead. He landed in South Africa in 1841, settled at a place called Ku-ruman, and married Moffat’s daughter, Mary, in 1844. He had gone to Africa under the auspices of the London Missionary Society, but constantly chafed at their orders that he stay in one place and carry on a settled work.

The interior of Africa at that time was practically unknown to the outside world. Across the maps of Central Africa was written, “The Mountains of the Moon,” and little else. No one knew where the sources of the Nile, the Zambesi, or the Congo were located. Livingstone’s great task was to open up the “Dark Continent” to the rest of the world. He wrote to the directors of the London Missionary Society that he was at their disposal “to go anywhere—provided it be forward.” Later he wrote to his father-in-law, “I shall open up a path into the interior or perish.” Finally he sent his wife and children to England and started into his lifework of exploring the unknown regions of Central Africa. With a few African natives carrying his scanty belongings, he covered thousands of miles on foot. Often seriously ill with malaria, in danger of his life from wild beasts and wilder men, he faithfully pursued his idea, but at the cost of his life. He discovered Lake Ngami (1849), the upper Zambesi (1851), Victoria Falls (1856), Lake Nyassa (1859), Lake Moero (1867), and Lake Bangweolo (1868). On his last journey he was exploring the sources of the Nile when he died alone in a grass hut in what is now known as Zambia. The date was May 1, 1873. The end is described by Blaikie in his book, The Personal Life of David Livingstone:

At last they [his African carriers] got him to Chitambo’s village in Ilala, where they had put him under the eaves of a house during the drizzling rain until the hut they were building should be got ready. Then they laid him on a rough bed in the hut, where he spent the night. Next day he lay undisturbed...Nothing occurred to attract notice during the early part of the night, but at four in the morning, the boy who lay at his door, called in alarm for Susi, fearing that their master was dead. By the candle still burning they saw him, not in bed, but kneeling at the bedside, with his head buried in his hands upon the pillow: he had passed away on the furthest of all his journeys, and without a single attendant. But he had died in the act of prayer…commending Africa—his own dear Africa, with all her woes and sins and wrongs—to the Avenger of the oppressed and the Redeemer of the lost.

Livingstone’s African attendants then made arrangements for drying and embalming the body. They removed and buried the heart and the viscera under a tree. For fourteen days the body was dried in the sun. After being wrapped in calico and the legs bent inwards at the knees, it was enclosed in a large piece of bark in the form of a cylinder. Over this a piece of sailcloth was sewed; and the package was lashed to a pole, so as to be carried by two men. They then set out on the long march to the coast. Their destination was Zanzibar. The remains were there placed on a ship and taken to England. On Saturday, April 18, 1874, the body of the great missionary pioneer was committed to its last resting place near the center of the nave in Westminster Abbey. Among the pall-bearers were H. M. Stanley, who “found” Livingstone in Africa when he had been lost for two years, and one of the faithful African carriers who had taken his body to the coast.

The following lines appeared in Punch, an English magazine, at the time of the funeral:

    Open the Abbey gates and let him in

    To sleep with King and Statesman, Chief and Sage.

    The Missionary came of weaver kin

    Yet great by work that brooks no lower wage.

    He needs no epitaph to guard a name

    That men shall prize while worthy work is done.

    He lived and died for God, be this his fame;

    Let marble crumble, this is Livingstone.

Livingstone was the first evangelical missionary to reach Angola. In his epoch-making journey from Linyanti on the Zambesi to Luanda in 1853 he crossed the country from east to west on foot and then, on his return, from west to east. While his name is linked with geographical exploration, his primary object was to reach the people with the gospel and this he faithfully carried out.

Frederick Stanley Arnot was born September 12, 1858 in Glasgow, Scotland. As a boy he became interested in going to Africa through seeing the relics of the great pioneer, sent home after Livingstone’s death. He was inspired by Living-stone’s example and determined to give his life to carry on the task Livingstone had begun. He was of the same blood, breed, and belief. With the support and prayers of groups of interested Christians in Great Britain, he left for Africa when he was twenty-one years of age. He had no mission board at his back but went out simply trusting God to supply his need. He reached Natal in Southeast Africa in 1881. The same year he pressed on north to Barotseland, now a part of Zambia, where he spent eighteen months,

Arnot was a shy, unassuming, and utterly dedicated man. Sir Ralph Williams, in his book, How I Became Governor, has this to say about Arnot after meeting him at Victoria Falls in 1884:

Mr. Arnot, the missionary, was a remarkable man. I had many talks with him. He was the simplest and most earnest of men. He lived a life of great hardship under the care of the king of the Barotse, and taught his children. I remember his telling me with some pride that his pupils had mastered the alphabet. I have seen many missionaries under varied circumstances, but such an absolutely forlorn man, existing on from day to day, almost hopeless, without any appliances which make life bearable, I have never seen. He was imbued with one desire, and that was to do God service. Whether it could be best done that way I will not here question, but he looked neither to right or left, caring nothing for himself if he could get one to believe; at least so he struck me. And I have honored him ever since as being as near his Master as anyone I ever saw.

In Barotseland Arnot had met Silva Porto, a Portuguese trader, who invited him to accompany him on the long journey west to Portuguese Angola and provided him with a riding ox for the journey. From Porto’s home at Belmonte, on the Bio highlands in Angola, he went on to Catumbela at the coast, thus completing the crossing of Africa from east to west. Much of this journey was done on foot involving incredible hardships. At Catumbela he replenished his food boxes, and purchased a scanty supply of trade goods. Then he retraced his steps to Silva Porto’s home, about 350 miles from the coast.

In all his journeys across Africa, Arnot had heard the name of Mushidi, an African king who ruled over a wide area, in those days called Garenganze, but now called Katanga, the southern province of the Congo. Mushidi had carved out a kingdom for himself by butchery and pillage. His fame spread far and wide. He was known to the Portuguese in the far west, who had provided him with a mulatto wife, but at the same time he was reputed to have more than five hundred concubines. The Arabs from the east were frequent visitors at his capital, engaged in the slave trade. Roving bands of native traders, seeking for barter in ivory, rubber, and slaves, penetrated his country from the west. Constant intertribal warfare had created ideal conditions for the vile traffic in human beings.

Long slave caravans were to be met with on the journey to the coast, dying men and women and little children cast into the bush, their hands hacked off, to facilitate the removal of their shackles, were a common sight. In comparatively recent times it was not unusual to see the whitened bones of dead slaves lying beside the path on the long journey to the coast, and the shackles dangling from the branches of the roadside bushes. The shackle was simply a block of heavy wood with a slot cut in the middle, just large enough for the hands or feet to be slipped through, and a wooden peg driven between them, so that they could not be withdrawn. These were worn at night and carried by the slave during the day on top of his load. It was reckoned that only one out of five slaves, captured in the interior, reached the coast alive. If a woman who had a small child happened to die, the child was killed by dashing its head against a tree.

Arnot decided to visit Mushidi’s country and take the gospel of Christ to this hotbed of sin and bloodshed. He parted with Silva Porto with regret. The Portuguese trader had shown him much kindness and had urged him to remain permanently in Angola and start his mission work there. But Arnot felt he must see Mushidi first, and on October 13,1885 he set out once more for the interior.

It was a long and perilous journey occupying several months, during which he endured much hardship and frustration. The African chiefs were then in complete control. The road into the interior had literally to be bought by presents of cloth to every little petty potentate who blocked the road. Speaking of this journey Arnot wrote: “I had three Garenganze men as my guides. They were sent out from time to time by their chief to look for traders, and seemed to think that they had caught a fish in me, and evidently thought their mission fulfilled. Well, be it so. The Garenganze chief knows of nothing better to search for than traders, but the living God may be pleased to send him His precious Word.”

Arnot finally reached Mushidi’s kingdom earlv in 18H6. His arrival in Katanga brought him face to face with barbaric splendor as seen in Mushidi’s court. “Off with his head” was not fiction, like the words of Lewis Carroll’s queen in Alice in Wonderland, but a daily fact in the African chief’s village. His stockaded kraal was decorated pole by pole with the skulls of his hapless victims. Outside his house were tables piled high with the heads of those whom his executioners had decapitated, just five years after Arnot had landed in Africa, he entered Mushidi’s amazing capital, and there, a few miles along the ridge of one of the hills, he built the first little mission house in that pagan land.

Arnot continued for eighteen months alone at Mushidi’s capital and then to his great joy on December 16, 1887 he was joined by Charles A. Swan of Sunderland, England, and by William Faulkner of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. These two, from different parts of the world, had heard of Arnot’s work, and decided to come to his help. Both were connected with similar New Testament churches as had sent out Arnot.

When Swan arrived at Benguela on the West African coast he was accompanied by Peter Scott from England, who had joined him in Lisbon. Hard walking for fourteen days brought them to Bailundu and then another seven days to Bit*. Here it was evident that Scott’s health could not stand the strain, so he decided to go back to England. Swan accompanied him back to the coast and then returned alone to the interior with the object of reaching Arnot. The weary journey to the point where Scott turned back was nearly accomplished for the third time, when a special runner overtook him, bringing the news that one named Faulkner, a Canadian, had arrived at the coast and wished to accompany him. There was no alternative but to retrace once more his steps to the coast and bring him in. Each of these five journeys was a distance of over 400 miles on foot on a 9-inch path through forests and plains, and sleeping on the ground at night in a tent or beside a fire.

The two men then started from Benguela at the coast late in September 1887 and after incredible difficulties and hard-ships arrived at Mushidi’s capital in Katanga on December lb of the same year. They had walked a distance of approximately 1,200 miles. When Arnot heard they were about to arrive, he put on his best clothes. With a crowd of savages looking on, the three men met under the shadow of the stockade surmounted by human skulls. They joined hands and sang, the words of the hymn beginning:

    Jesus shall reign where’er the sun

    Doth his successive journeys run;

    His kingdom stretch from shore to shore

    Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

At that time there was not a single African Christian in the country. All was pagan darkness. But these pioneers could look ahead in faith and see the mighty harvest that was to be reaped in Central Africa.

Arnot introduced the new arrivals to Mushidi. Swan describes his meeting with the chief as follows:

“On reaching the chief’s enclosure we saw him coming out with a headdress of parrot’s tail feathers, his body and arms covered with cloth of the most gaudy colors, and his face white with clay; and then came Kitompa, his head wife, riding in her litter and dressed in a similar manner to the chief. Then warriors came next walking very slowly and singing their doleful war song, while the skulls of their victims were to be seen, either in their hands or dangling at their waists. One even had a skull hanging from his teeth. They began their dance amidst the firing of guns and kept it up in a monotonous way. Then they retired in an orderly manner, and returned one by one, brandishing their spears, and laid their skulls at the feet of the chief. Then the head-man came forward and gave a long oration, after which he danced, and the women standing around carried him small presents. Kitompa made her speech, danced, received presents, and then retired. The chief then made his speech, and then made a lame attempt to dance. Mushidi’s rule is most severe, yet we do not altogether condemn him in this, for in no other way could order be kept among his people, and it must be clearly understood that he only is chief, his authority is absolute.”

Both Arnot and Swan were on terms of intimacy with Mushidi. Both were there before the Belgians came. While the chief condescendingly called them his slaves, yet it is evident that he both respected and trusted them. Being of British nationality, they could easily have influenced the king to hand over the protectorate of the country to the representatives of the British Queen Victoria. Some later blamed them because they didn’t. Subsequent history could easily have been altered if they had. They little realized the issues that were at stake. But as missionaries and as servants of God, they took a strictly neutral stand and refused to allow their nationality to influence their conduct.

Three months after the arrival of Swan and Faulkner, in March 1888, Arnot left Katanga for the coast and England. Here he was warmly received. The Royal Geographic Society made him a Fellow and highly praised his explorations. His account of an open door and a waiting continent, told in a most unassuming manner, aroused deepest sympathy and widespread interest. When he returned to Africa in 1889 he was accompanied by a large party of recruits for the new mission field. This time his route was by the west coast. But disaster overtook them from the beginning. As the ship was dropping anchor in the harbor at Benguela in Angola, Robert J. Johnstone died of yellow fever. Then two of the party, Morris and Gall, died in one night of malaria at Bailundu, twelve days’ march from the coast. Many weeks elapsed before the survivors reached their first halting place at Kuanjululu, 250 miles from the coast. Here Joseph Lynn was bitten by a mad dog and died from rabies.

From this point, three members of the party, Hugh Thompson from Armagh, Ireland, Fred Lane from London, England, and Dan Crawford from Greenock, Scotland, pressed on into Katanga. These three young missionaries arrived at Mushidi’s capital on November 8, 1890, where they were warrnlv welcomed by Swan and Faulkner.

It was soon after the arrival of these reinforcements that the Belgians entered Katanga and built the first military fort on the Lofoi River fifty miles from Mushidi’s stronghold. On December 19, 1891 the Belgians hoisted the Congo Free State flag, thus signifying that the country had been annexed by a European power.

The following day, after an unsatisfactory and most unfortunate conference between Mushidi and the Belgians, the chief was shot by a Belgian officer, who immediately paid the penalty, a score of flashing assegais thrust through this officer’s quivering body. So ended the reign of the tyrant Mushidi.

After these events Fred Lane and Charles Swan returned to Angola and, along with Arnot, laid the foundations of missionary work in that Portuguese colony.

Arnot was the first white man to see the surpassing wealth of the Katanga mineral belt. He could have made a name and fame for himself as capitalist, financier, and captain of industry. Sir Robert Williams, who was largely responsible for developing the copper mines in Katanga and Zambia, and who worked in close collaboration with the late Cecil Rhodes, visited Angola in 1928. At an after-luncheon speech at Dondi, he stated that he owed his knowledge of the vast mineral resources of Katanga to Arnot, who could have made millions had he chosen to stake out mineral claims in that country. But Arnot deliberately turned his back on the gain of money in order to gain souls and to preach the gospel. Arnot’s stake was a higher one; the riches he sought could not be calculated in dollars, francs, or pounds.

Arnot was also the first man to recognize the strategic importance of this section of Central Africa. The idea was born in his mind of a chain of stations linking the coast with Katanga. All along the way were many tribes speaking many languages, but all virgin soil for the gospel. His far-seeing vision has been realized. A chain of mission centers has been established from Bie in Angola in the west to Elizabethville in the Congo. Both north and south of this line there has been considerable expansion. The area became known as “The Beloved Strip,” owing to the number of devoted men and women who have given their lives in making Arnot’s vision a reality.

Permission granted by Gospel Folio Press and the Family of Mr. T. Ernest Wilson.