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A remarkable woman’s passion to reach lost souls with the Gospel takes her (and her typewriter) across the eastern US singing with a trio, then to sail under war-time black-out conditions in 1941 to a frontier mission station deep in colonial Belgian Congo’s forest.

Ione (Reed) McMillan’s letters home to Hector (her Canadian sweetheart), her mother, sisters and supporters are filled with adventure, love, faith and inspiration. The story coming from the letters is a heartwarming account of triumph over personal and family illness and tragedy. Five years before her death she writes, “I want the dew of heaven to be in my letters as well as my life”.

For a period of one year (with the chronological organizing help of his older brother, Dave), John McMillan compiled then digitized over 1,500 preserved letters and documents, mostly letters from his mother that were written from about 1937 till her death in 1976. With commentary, photos, and some historical background, this resulted in a 1,000+ page document (over 900,000 words). Ione wrote lovely, descriptive letters and her voice tells the story. The document is entitled, Lovingly, Ione, which is how she signed off on most of her letters.

While this may be suitable record of family history, it is far too large and detailed for general readership. So Laureen Hemming and Veronica Windsor (the Walby sisters from the UK who attended Hector and Ione’s Children’s Home near Stanleyville, Belgian Congo) have preparing a shorter version of the document as a biography for public readership. We hope to have this publication ready and available within the next year or so. Meanwhile, further editing is being done to polish up the contents, but you can preview the chapters here .

Please contact John McMillan for more information or to be placed on the mailing list. Please provide your name, physical address with ZIP code, email address and telephone number and I will contact you when the book is available.