Missionary died thinking he was a failure; 84 years later thriving churches found hidden in the jungle

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(Editor’s Note-As I read the following article, tears began to flood my eyes as I remembered our Missionary venture in the UK in order to fulfill reaching the British Isles with the full Apostolic message of the new birth of Repentance, Baptism in JESUS NAME, and being filled  with the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues as the Spirit of GOD gives the utterance which I love so very much. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that he through our United Pentecostal Church Pastor Robert GlassImage may contain: 1 person, smiling and much prayer gave me the illumination of the real Apostolic Trinity of God(ie: Not Three people in a Godhead but One person or body which housed the Holy Spirit of our heavenly Father .)http://APOSTOLIC TRINITY POWER POINT BIBLE STUDY

Even though many that came into the Truth today have left truth or turned away from God to go back into the world, I pray that what little my familyImage may contain: 1 person, text and I did would one day have grown into many that know the full truth and remain free from the tradition of men and the enticement of the world. My desire before I die is to return and be with  those that came to the Lord that so needed us after we left to return to the USA. ) More pictures at the end of the article. 

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Please read this article-

 

In 1912, medical missionary Dr. William Leslie went to live and minister to tribal people in a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 17 years he returned to the U.S. a discouraged man – believing he failed to make an impact for Christ. He died nine years after his return.

But in 2010, a team led by Eric Ramsey with Tom Cox World Ministries made a shocking and sensational discovery. They found a network of reproducing churches hidden like glittering diamonds in the dense jungle across the Kwilu River from Vanga, where Dr. Leslie was stationed.

With the help of a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot, Ramsey and his team flew east from Kinshasa to Vanga, a two and a half hour flight in a Cessna Caravan. After they reached Vanga, they hiked a mile to the Kwilu River and used dugout canoes to cross the half-mile-wide expanse. Then they hiked with backpacks another 10 miles into the jungle before they reached the first village of the Yansi people.

Based on his previous research, Ramsey thought the Yansi in this remote area might have some exposure to the name of Jesus, but no real understanding of who He is. They were unprepared for their remarkable find.

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“When we got in there, we found a network of reproducing churches throughout the jungle,” Ramsey reports. “Each village had its own gospel choir, although they wouldn’t call it that,” he notes. “They wrote their own songs and would have sing-offs from village to village.”

They found a church in each of the eight

The Yansi jungle "cathedral"
The Yansi jungle “cathedral”

villages they visited scattered across 34 miles. Ramsey and his team even found a 1000-seat stone “cathedral” in one of the villages. He learned that this church got so crowded in the 1980s – with many walking miles to attend — that a church planting movement began in the surrounding villages.

“There is no Bible in the Yansi language,” Ramsey says. “They used a French Bible, so those who taught had to be fluent in French.”

Apparently, Dr. Leslie crossed the Kwilu River once a year from Vanga and spent a month traveling through the jungle, carried by servants in a sedan chair.

Yansi men and boys
Yansi men and boys

“He would teach the Bible, taught the tribal children how to read and write, talked about the importance of education, and told Bible stories,” Ramsey notes. Dr. Leslie started the first organized educational system in these villages, Ramsey learned.

It took some digging for Ramsey to uncover Leslie’s identity. “The tribal people only knew him by one name and I didn’t know if that was a first or last name. They knew he was a Baptist and he was based in that one city and they knew the years.”

When Ramsey returned home he did some additional investigation and discovered Dr. Leslie was affiliated with the American Baptist Missionary Union. The American Baptist Missionary Union was founded in 1814 by Adoniram Judson, who led a pioneering work in Burma.

Born in Ontario, Canada, William H. Leslie followed his intended profession as a pharmacist until his conversion

Dr. William H. Leslie, M.D.
Dr. William H. Leslie, M.D.

in 1888. He moved to the Chicago area, where God began to grip his heart with the desire to become a medical missionary.

Dr. Leslie initiated his Congo service in 1893 at Banza-Manteke. Two years later he developed a serious illness. A young missionary named Clara Hill took care of him until he recovered. Their budding friendship ripened into love and a marriage proposal. They were wed in 1896.

In 1905 William and Clara pioneered a work in Cuilo, Anglola, where they overcame a hurricane that struck the night before one of their children was born, and more mundane obstacles like charging buffaloes and armies of ants.

Seven years later they cleared enough of the leopard-infested jungle along the Kwilu River at Vanga for a new

mission station perched on a small plateau. Some of the villages surrounding Vanga were still practicing cannibalism at that time.

They spent 17 years at Vanga, but their service ended on a rocky note. “Dr. Leslie had a relational falling out with some of the tribal leaders and was asked not to come back,” Ramsey says. “They reconciled later; there were apologies and forgiveness, but it didn’t end like he hoped.”

“His goal was to spread Christianity. He felt like he was there for 17 years and he never really made a big impact, but the legacy he left is huge.”

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Land for the Vanga mission was first cleared in 1912

More of our UK Pictures

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Building we purchased in Falkirk Scotland

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Revival in High Oxford England

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Baptising in High Wycombe

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Baptizing in the River in Oxford England

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Sister Kim Allen and her daughter Kim who were pioneers with us in England and Scotland

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High Wycombe Crusade with Harold and Vivian Caffee

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Church group in Falkirk Scotland

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Lydney near Wales

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Our meeting with Sisters Androulla and Sylvannahs Group near Hamilton Scotland

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My family in Scotland  Sisters in the Lord Maroulla (who passed away) Sylvannah and Raymond, along with Androulla at Indian Resturant in Hamilton Scotland