Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Burma to Brazil

My neighbor, Jesse Kidd, 85, originally of Arkansas, tramped through Burma with General Vinegar Stillwell's army during World War II, and missionary to Brazil, is one interesting old-timer to talk to. According to a Baptist Standard article, he is now an accomplished artist. He is a Quachita Baptist Univ. grad and his wife Wilma is Howard Payne Univ. graduate. Wilma was a secretary when I was a teenager at the FBC of Brownwood.

When Pvt. Kidd and the troops finally made it through the Burma jungles and to Kunming, China (a major base for American and Chinese military fighting the Japanese), they were flown to Shanghai. He remembers Christmas there and the Muen Methodist Church in the heart of town. In fact, the church faced the Royal British Race Track then. Now it is a park and site of a very modern museum. The church is still going strong. It was where Chiang Kai-shek wanted to marry Soong Meiling in the early 1930s, but the Bishop said no way, "Gen. Chiang, you have a wife already in the country."

I'm guessing Jesse Kidd loved the jungle so much, he and Wilma took off for Brazil. There was more to it than that. They served and began a lot of out-of-the-way places during their missionary years. (The photo is by George Henson of the Baptist Standard, used without complete approval of the photographer or Editor Marv Knox.)

No comments: