by Eleanor Harding
Eleanor Harding takes us on a real-life voyage of discovery in following her daughter's decision to pioneer to Africa. The experiences of the young Susan Harding (now Sheper) in Africa helped her parents in Canada to rediscover their own spiritual longings, their own destiny even as she discovered hers.
This story begins with 25 year-old Susan Harding preparing to go to Africa with the purpose of pioneering for at least two years and perhaps even a lifetime. Her first-hand account of life in the Congo and Zaire is given through her letters, and, together with her mother's reactions to the various news, make an interesting and thought-provoking recounting of lives well-lived. Susan's love of Africa, the African peoples, the Faith are so clear through her letters, and her mother, Eleanor Harding, writes with just as much candor about her reactions to her daughter's letters, adventures, her own spiritual journey and her own experiences travelling to her daughter's chosen part of the world. Susan continues to joyously call Africa home.
"If people will find the stories inspiring, then the book -and all those letters to my parents over the years- will have served a fine purpose. To me, the Power of the Faith to transform lives, and the beauty and capacity of the Africans are the most important parts."
The book continues through the years to almost present-day. African Destiny will touch your heart and open your eyes to an Africa very different to the one seen on the evening news.
ISBN: 1-894747-10-0 | WMPub#1029 | 6 x 9" | 212 page Trade Paperback | 30 photos | $19.95
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7 Part One: Feet On Ground
11 Goodbye photo from mural painted on grain silos after goodbye party at Harbourfront, Toronto. May 1983
34 Pirogue travel. Rohan at left.
41 Barbara, Rohan, Susan shortly after moving into the Bahá'íCentre, Mbandaka
44 Dancing in the street with some of the neighbourhood women Mont Ngafule
47 Children's class inside the Bahá'í Centre, Mbandaka
48 Truck Travel, Mbandaka
49 Susan, Rohan and Barbara in the pailotte outside the Bahá'í Centre, Mbandaka, 1983
60 Elizabeth with members of the children's class 1983-1984
69 Bahá'ís singing at the inauguration of the Bahá'í Centre Mandaka 1984.
70 Inauguration of the Bahá'í Centre Kimpika 1984.
79 Part Two: Head In Clouds
101 Susan making an illuminated prayer as a gift for us. The large letters read:"Make wide for them the needle's eye."
103 Dick and Eleanor Harding outside regional Bahá'í Centre, Mbandaka, January 1985.
106 At Mama Bete's home, January 1985. (Mama Bete beside Susan in photo)
133 Part Three: Reunion
151 Jason Sheper, on his way to visit Susan in Mbandaka, September 1985.
16 0Jason Sheper, jamming with a friend in the paillote outside the Bahá'íCentre in Mbandaka, 1985.
163 Part Four: Good-Bye Zaire, Hello Congo
169 Jason and Miquela delivered this teaching tool to a Bahá'í friend in Kinshasa 2003.
171 Miquela learning how to make fufu.
174 On the left, incoming chief (who is a Bahá'í). On the right, the printer Kayhan Movafaghi. October 1996.
175 Dylan and Susan with printer Kayhan Movafaghi and Bahá'í friends 1996.
176 A professional Congolese dance troupe performing for us and other guests outside the Sheper home Kinshasa 1996.
177 "Granna and Baba"Harding with Dylan and Miquela in Kinshasa 1996. (T-shirts designed by Susan)
178 Dick Harding at the projector showing slides of our pilgrimage at the Kinshasa Bahá'í Centre, 1996.
186 Musicians for the Celebration CD on the grounds for the Institute for the Arts, Kinshasa.
188 Susan in the studio, filming a skit.
189 Susan in the editing room.
191 Susan & Laetitia in front of the Sheper home, 2003.
205 Susan & Mana Ndaya, designer and creator of the costumes used by the Congo Youth Choir in Haifa, visting in the Sheper living room, 2002.
207 Soloist, Congo Youth Choir, Mount Carmel, Haifa 2001.
208 Congo Youth Choir, Mount Carmel, Haifa 2001.
211 Members of the Choir sing at the commemoration of Dick's passing, 2002. Behind the men is Studio Aurore, Kinshasa.