My great great aunt, Eliza Iles, as she left for the Belgian Congo in 1920.
The caravan arrives at the mission house in Congo. Notice the covered hammocks the natives carried the missionary women in.
This picture was taken in Nov. 1920, over three months since Aunt Eliza left New York City by boat.
Eliza Iles and Leroy Harris on their wedding day, Wiembo Namba, Belgian Congo.
Last week, I fulfilled a dream. I set foot in the Congo. As we walked across the “No Man’s Land between the border of Rwanda and Democratic Congo, I thanked God for this privilege.
Clearing the border into Goma, Congo, I knelt and picked up two small red stones.
I brought them back to America.
They’ll go on the graves of Eliza and her husband Leroy, where they’re buried south of Lake Charles.
With my pen (or more exactly my laptop) they’re going to “come back to life.” I’m going to write their story.
It should be fun.
It will be challenging.
I feel compelled to write it.
I believe I’ll call it “Eliza’s Journey.”
A story of a woman’s journey from a piney woods place called Dry Creek to the red dirt of central Africa.
Scroll down to read more about Aunt Eliza and her journey.