Tag Archives: Wheaton College

First with the Word

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nenquechani:   The Kindberg family marches purposefully past a say, welcoming group of Campas, en route to a new house at Nenquechani, built by Will while awaiting his family’s return from a trip to Yarinacocha. The Campas wear the cushma, a course woven sort of Mother-Hubbard of immense practicality in the insect-ridden jungle.

WBtW, Will and Campas, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Campas, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Cushma:   Cushmas are worn by mean, women and children, with vertical necklines for men, horizontal for women. The natural brown cotton cushma may be thrown over one’s shoulder to allow freedom of movement, pulled up to allow crossing of rivers without getting it wet, and camouflages dirt very well.

WBtW, Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Privacy:   Silently, these youthful Campa mothers watch Lee tend her youngest child. The Kindberg house has no walls. They learned very early in their relations with the Campas that privacy was impossible, that sharing the intimate daily routine of their household established a warm and respectful bond with the primitive Indians. “We put a ‘tucuyo’ (unbleached muslin) around our bedroom for some semblance of privacy, only to discover that the Indians loved to pick up the edge and peek underneath,” said Will.

WBtW, Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Shared Calling:   Lee is a registered nurse, shares with Will an equal interest in missionary linguistic work in the foreign field. The couple met at Wheaton College in the U.S.A.; six months after their marriage [they] arrived in Peru to begin their life work.

WBtW, Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

José Flores:   In the Ene river village of Quempiri, Will consults with Campa Indian José Flores concerning text for the next day’s sermon, which José will deliver. Will, using his home, Nenquechani, as a base, visits other outposts in the Ene river area of the Peruvian Amazon. To reach the most remote places, he travels by canoe, raft, on foot, and occasionally uses the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service aircraft. One such outpost is Quempiri, 35 minutes by plane from Nenquechani, but seven difficult days away poling upstream in a canoe.

WBtW, Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

The school at Quempiri was built only last year. Teacher Flores was the first Campa with whom Will had direct contact nine years ago when he first began his language work in Peru. Before he came, many of the inhabitants of Quempiri had never seen a white man. Although Will visits Quempiri regularly, José Flores carries the main responsibility of this missionary effort. Nine years ago José could not read, write or understand Spanish, spoke only his own Campa tongue.

WBtW, Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Teacher José Flores instructs Campa children at Quempiri under supervision of his old friend and mentor Kindberg. José has provided cultural, educational, spiritual, social and economic leadership in the tiny Quempiri community. He is classified by the Peruvian government as a bilingual teacher, receives a yearly salary of 4,500 soles ($174). So eager are the Campa to learn, that official attendance records at his school show 53 persons attending out of a total village population of 100. Among José’s students: his wife, Felícitas.

José, encouraged by Will, learned to read and write, first his own language, then the national language of his own country. Now bilingual, in Campa and Spanish, and trained to teach by the Peruvian government training school for Indians of the jungle conducted at our Yarinacocha base José is an effective direct link between the Campa tribe and Peruvian national life and government.

WBtW, Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

His desire to share his own personal faith in Christ with others, plus his ability to read and teach the Scriptures already available, have made him a spiritual leader among his Campa people too.

José told his students, “I learned to read and write through working with Mr. Kindberg. If this had not happened none of you would be learning. You would not be able to read the Bible and to be Christians.”

Then Will, adding his word of instruction, said: “Jesus is in heaven, and we accept Christ’s resurrection as proof that there is resurrection and He will raise us up.” After Will spoke, the students sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the Campa language.

WBtW, Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nursing:   In the daily routine of life a Nenquechani, Lee Kindberg bandages the punctured foot of a Campa child and introduces a huge forest parrot to young Dougie Kindberg.

WBtW, Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Little Kindbergs:   After dinner at the Kindberg home, the family enjoys “reading time,” first for the girls, who perch on their father’s lap and listen breathlessly to “tonight’s story.” The Kindberg boys await their turn to hear their father read from “Paths and Pathfinders,” a basic reader. Afterwards the family joins hands and prays, Daddy and Mommy get “good-night” kisses. There is no fighting to stay up late, for the children are tired after the day’s occupations.

WBtW, Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Whole New Testament:   “Before we leave the Campa work, I want to see the whole New Testament and portions of the Old Testament translated for them; to see adequate schooling provided, with basic books, such as reading primers, books on arithmetic, history and health, in their own language and in Spanish. We hope to leave an enduring testimony, practiced and led by the indigenous leaders developed during our years here. We hope to stay here until this is assured, however long it might take.”—Will Kindberg

WBtW, Will Kindberg, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Kindberg, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Mission:   A Wycliffe pioneer from New Jersey brings Christ’s Word to the Campa Indians, one of the 32 Peruvian tribes being served by the Wycliffe translators.

Missionary-linguist Willard R. Kindberg, of Orange, N. J., is opening spiritual frontiers along the Apurimac river of eastern Peru, three hours’ flight time—or one month overland—from Yarinacocha, headquarters of the Peru branch of our Summer Institute of Linguistics. Shooting the rapids of remote Apurimac tributaries, it is Kindberg’s special joy to be on a spiritual frontier—a joy shared by his wife Lee, and five “little Kindbergs.” For all the Kindbergs, the privations and dangers of jungle frontier life is a spiritual adventure, rich in Christian service, and in the privilege of being the first to tell the Indians, in their own language, about Christ.

An athletic, determined man, Will wants to see his Indians progress, pragmatically accepts the fact that, although he may imitate Campa dress and ways, he is accepted by them only as a representative of another way of life. He contends that the Indians will appreciate the Bible more if they pay for it in kind-bows and arrows or sugar cane.

transcription of an article in Cornell Capa, “First with the Word” in Who Brought the Word (n.c.: Wycliffe Bible Translators, n.d.), 46–57. found and contributed by Jim Duncan [Wally’s son], March 2015

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What do you remember of the visitor who took these pictures and recorded these vignettes?
  • Doug was a baby in several of the photos, so they were probably 1961. But the original article says “Dougie” is the child looking at the parrot (and Eric and Virginia confirm it was him), which would mean the article and picture were at least 1962. Can you confirm the date of the article?
  • What else do you remember about Nenquechani? About the “old house” and the “new house”? Why did he have to build a new one?
  • Did they finish the New Testament? Any of the Old Testament as Will desired? How many years were they there?
  • Who else has articles about the Duncan Eight stashed somewhere that you might like to contribute to eightduncans.com? Can you scan them? Would you like to drop them in the mail? I can email you my address if you need it. Let me know in the comments box below.
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Park Street and Missions

Taylor Joins PSC, 06.26.1966, courtesy of Gloria Boyer

Taylor Duncan Joins PSC, 06.26.1966, courtesy of Gloria Boyer

So we were up in Boston and one of the first things that we did, that Dad [Taylor] did, was to get us connected to Park Street Church, which was one of the reasons for a lot of us eventually going into missions. But your Mom—Eric, Virginia—Lee, back in Pennsylvania, I can recall her working at a Afro-American kids camp and loving to do that. She was an outreaching young woman at the time.

She had been home and gone back and forth. I don’t know where it was at the time, but she went to West Suburban Hospital, where she graduated in nursing [~1950?]. That was part of Wheaton College connection there.

[T.J.]: That was who?

Virginia Lee Duncan, at that time, Kindberg.

[T.J.]: Your mother?

No, my sister.

[Heidi]: Their mother. [Heidi points out the Kindbergs in the room].

[T.J.]: Their mother.

Their mother. Yeah. Their mother.

So we were up in Boston and Park Street Church became a central part in our lives. Dr. Ockenga, who had come to Park Street Church in the ‘40s, also picked up the vision from Oswald Smith, up in Toronto, of missions. That developed up quite a bit at that church and so that was an early stimulus in my own life to go into missions. Although I had earlier, one of the things that I wanted to do in life, was to be an architect, but also there was the idea of going into medicine, which eventually happened, but only after, of course, university at Gordon College.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]; see also A Practical Vision for World Missions, for a fuller edition of this story

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

    • What year did Lee graduate from nursing school?
    • What was the name of the kids’ camp where Lee worked? Can someone relate that story more fully? What years did she work there? How did she get connected to it?
    • Grandpa’s documents show him joining Park Street in 1966. When did Grandma join Park Street Church?

Why Europe

Betty and Harley, ca. 2013, courtesy of Sandy Moyer[Betty]: He [Taylor] wasn’t around much. Daddy would go to church if he was in town, but he made no effort to engineer getting us to church. He would be in the car beeping the horn on Sunday morning. When we went to Park Street Church, he would drive us and sit in church. I think he went to the drug store to get a Coca Cola while we were in Sunday school.

The idea of missions started with Lee when she felt called of the Lord. When Lee decides something, you don’t get in her way. She was very serious.

I was afraid to ask my father to leave the country, but he was extremely pleased. It was a surprise to me. I thought he was against his girls leaving home.

Education was what was important to Daddy. He had three different master degrees. He thought we should have as much education as possible, the boys and the girls. So I attended Boston University. I paid for it on scholarship, and Wally and Lee helped financially, too.

I studied music, music history and piano, for two years and then transferred to Wheaton for a Christian background. There I had a partial scholarship and I did the work-study program. I washed dishes and worked in the snack-bar.

It was marrying Harley that got me involved in France.

[Harley]: I did a six-month tour with the Royal Aires, a quartet, in Sweden. During the early part of the sixth month, the Lord told me, “You’re going to Finland.”

Fine with me, I thought, but I don’t know anything about it. We were in Helsinki for four nights. The auditorium was packed out. We were in a big downtown church. Over 110 people came to the Lord. After we gave the invitation, I turned around to move chairs in case people came forward. When I turned back, the aisles were full and they were still coming.

During the days, a fleet of taxi cabs took us to meetings at a school, a church, a park, factories, and even with dancers. One of the seven pastors at the cathedral asked us to cancel the rest of our tour in Sweden and stay in Finland. Initially we said yes, but in praying about it, we decided no. We had made commitments.

They booked our return tickets and promised to outfit us with warm clothes. They put a tentative reservation on the Olympic stadium being built for 1952 Olympics. They promised to fill the stadium with 75 thousand.

We returned to the US by ship and slept whole time. We’d had three 1-hr meetings every day plus evening concerts for entire six months.

Two of the fellows went back to school so they wouldn’t be drafted. The group disbanded. I thought the world had come to an end. We’d sung together for five years.

(42 years later, we had a reunion at Canyon Lake. We hadn’t forgotten anything in our repertoire. Our baritone came from Ohio. One was in Buffalo, NY. One was in Rochester, NY. The second tenor and pianist had passed away.)

At the end of our Sweden tour, we’d traveled down through continent to reach our ship. We saw the wartime desolation. As we passed Cologne, Germany, I looked out the window. It was black. There was no building over one story. Rubble everywhere. But the spire and flying buttresses of the cathedral were in perfect condition, which is a tribute to American bombing. The bombers saved that. That is what gave me a vision for missions in Europe.

Anyway, it was raising money to go back to Finland that introduced me to a European missionary to Japan. She stayed at their house. She married a doctor. This is what gave Betty a vision for missions. Then we were introduced to Greater Europe Mission.

story as recalled by Betty and Harley Smith (Betty’s husband) in a conversation with Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), November 13, 2013

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you have a photo of Harley and Betty embarking on their first France trip? Can we see it? How about one of Betty’s graduation from college or Harley with his singing group?
  • Can you add details to the story of the missionary to Japan and her influence on Betty?
  • Can you tell more about the process of finding and joining GEM? What year was that?
  • What years was Betty at BU? At Wheaton?

Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good

June 1965 Family Reunion, courtesy of Colin Duncan

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan of 16 Washburn Ave., Auburndale, with their six children and families, hired a motel near Manchester, N. H. last weekend for their first family reunion in 13 years.

Betty, Taylor, Virginia, Wally, Harley perhaps, 06.12.1965, courtesy of Colin DuncanWeary but happy after the excitement of family baseball games, musical sessions, and en masse church attendance, Grandfather Duncan’s two-word description of the Friday-to-Sunday gathering was “uproariously good.”

The 28-member clan, lacking only one youngster who had the mumps, included Mrs. Willard Kindberg (Virginia Lee Duncan) and Mr. Kindberg, who have returned from the jungles of Peru where, since 1952, they have been working with the Campa Indians, translating and defining the language of the people, preparing young natives to teach it, and establishing schools. Mr. Kindberg is a translator with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a Protestant mission society. Mrs. Kindberg was the first graduate of the nursing school at Wheaton College in Illinois. There are six children in their family.

Mrs. Harley Smith (Betty Duncan) and her husband and two children, [sic] home from Paris, France, where they operate a school for Greater Europe Mission (Protestant). Mr. Smith is business manager for the European Bible Institute in Lamorlaye, France. Mrs. Smith, a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, is a teacher of music.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Wallace Duncan and their four children [sic] from East Haddam, Conn. Mr. Duncan is a quality control engineer with Winchester Electronics Co. in Waterbury. He is a B. A. graduate of Gordon College, Wenham.

The Rev. and Mrs. Robert Duncan and their three children [sic] of Mattapan, where Mr. Duncan is the minister of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church.

St. Louis, Mo., is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor A. Duncan Jr. Taylor, a graduate of Northrop Institute of Technology, Inglewood, Calif., is with McDonald Aircraft Co. in St. Louis.

The youngest son, Bertrand Stevens Duncan, was graduated this June from Boston University with a degree in psychology. “Steve” is working as a laboratory technician at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton. He plans to study medicine.

The senior Duncans, who will have been married 40 years on July 25, have lived in Newton since 1935. They left their first address on Hartford St., Newton Highlands, at the outbreak of World War II when Mr. Duncan reentered the service.

He had been in the Navy during World War I and after that had gone into public accounting, getting his CPA in 1925. He entered teaching when he was called upon to fill a temporary vacancy at Temple University in Philadelphia, continued on a part-time basis, and was later called upon to set up business courses at Girard College.

During World War II Cmdr. Duncan spent three years in Philadelphia where he was in charge of a $115 million airplane contract between the Navy and the Budd Co. Later he was transferred to Portsmouth, N. H., where he served as the yard’s fiscal officer.

Mr. Duncan says he has retired twice. He left the Navy as a captain in 1932. Then he worked for General Electric Co. for more than five years as manager of a special auditing project in which he organized a staff of auditors. He retired in 1957.

For five years before World War II and for five years afterward he taught accounting, economics, and finance at Bentley College. He has also taught in the Boston University School of Business Administration.

June, 17 1965 News-Tribune newspaper article entitled “Newton-Based Duncan Clan Reunion Uproariously Good, courtesy of Polly Duncan (Bob’s wife) via Colin Duncan (Bob’s son)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Colin or Aunt Polly, what’s the name of the newspaper and the date of the edition in which this article appears? Best guess, anybody?
  • Which cousin had the mumps and couldn’t come? Can you tell who stayed home with you? Tell us about having the mumps. How long did it last? Did anyone else in the family get it?
  • Virginia, what year did Aunt Lee graduate from Wheaton as the first graduate of the nursing school? What was it like being the first graduate? What, exactly, does that mean? Was there no one else in her class? How big was her class? Was the program up and running or were there fits and starts? How long did it take her to get through? Why did she choose nursing? Why Wheaton?
  • Uncle Harley, Debby, Sandy, did Aunt Betty teach music in the school in Lamorlaye? Or did she take private students only? Did she teach anything else in the school? What was the school’s name? I presume it’s Aunt Betty playing the piano in the photo above. Am I right? Is Uncle Harley holding the trumpet?
  • Jimmy, Diane how long were you all in East Haddam? Why did you move? Can you describe your house? Remember your address? What ages were all the kids? How long was Uncle Wally with Winchester Electronics? Was he always quality control there or did he move around in jobs, up the ladder or otherwise? How did he get that job? Why did he leave?
  • Aha! The name of Uncle Bob’s church in Mattapan was St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Aunt Polly, what position did he serve there? What were his dates there? Was he still in seminary? Where did the Bob Duncans live at that time? How old were the kids? What happened to St. Paul’s that I can’t find anything about it on the web?
  • Gloria, Trey, how did Uncle Tad end up on the other side of the continent in California? What did he do with McDonald Aircraft? How long was he there? Did he move up in the ranks, move around? Why did he leave? What did he go to? Does your mom remember that time? What does she recall? How did they feel about moving to St. Louis?
  • Dad/Steve, can you tell about getting the lab tech job at St. E’s? How long were you there? I’ve never heard about that lab tech job. Why not? What else was going on at the time? Were you dating that painful pre-mom woman still?
  • Anything else anybody wants to tell us?