Samoutou Family Blog
Subscribe to feed

About This Blog...

Family of 5 
from Gabon, Hong Kong and the UK   

Living in Impfondo,   
Republic of Congo   
Since April 2012 

Blog by Joyce the mum, 
Homeschooling novice, 
Eye Charity founding doctor / director. 
Reluctant domestic goddess 

Passionate about sashimi, 
helping people see 
physically and spiritually,   
and Jesus   


Please do give comments and feedbacks so that we can improve the way we communicate with you!

P.S. This is the personal blog of the Samoutou family  
(Views our own)  
Please contact us to subscribe to New Sight official newsletters.  

Thank you for your support! 


Recent Posts

Meet the parent: the day a Chinese girl met the family of an African village boy
May 10, 2013


I remember the first time Henri took me to his village to meet his family.  We had met two years earlier.  It was love at first sight.  We only had two weeks together before we parted.  I went back to the UK, and he to the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) to continue pursuing our medical training.   As there was no phone, email or internet, we communicated by post that would take 6 weeks to arrive, sometimes never. I was visiting him in Gabon.  It felt natural for us to visit his family in Idemba Village.

Henri grew up in a village similar to this village 

I remember the commotion caused by our arrival.  Within minutes, the entire village appeared from nowhere!  The women all hugged us, laughed, talked excitedly, argued amongst themselves and asked a lot of questions.  When they realised that I had no idea what they were saying, they laughed and hugged me again!


I remember Henri telling me what the ducks, chickens and goats were saying to each other.  I thought he was joking, but he totally wasn’t!  For example, he would say that the cockerel was calling for his wife to go to the roof, and then within seconds, the hen arrived and they hurried to the roof together!


I remember being surprised and impressed by Henri’s father.  He had devoted his life as a village chief, and had killed a lion and an elephant in defence of their village.  He was extraordinary wise.  He was blind, but he behaved as if he could see.  He ‘saw’ every mischief his grandchildren were up to before anybody else saw.  He saw right through my embarrassing fear of the fighting cockerels, as well as my hidden worries of my most unlikely relationship with Henri.  I remember being blown away by the way he spoke with such a remarkable mixture of gentleness and authority, graciousness and wisdom.

   Children in Village near us  Children in village near us

But the thing I remember most is a conversation I had with Henri.  It is one that I will never forget.  We were watching the children, dressed in filthy rags, snots on their faces, ringworms in their hair, playfully rolling on the ground scattered with animal faeces.  Nobody had any books, pens, writing paper, or toys.  It seemed that all day, the children did nothing but hit each other to amuse themselves.  I said, ‘I am so sorry and so ashamed, but I want to be honest with you.  If we end up getting married and we have children, I will probably struggle to let our kids play with their cousins like this.’  And without a trace of emotion, Henri looked straight ahead, and said in a neutral matter of fact like manner, ‘You know Joyce, I grew up just like them… only worse.’


  Children in Village near us  Children in village near us

Walking to school bare feetHenri’s story is a-maz-zzzzing!  In short, 10 of his 11 older brothers and sisters died.  His mother was so traumatised that she did not give Henri his father's surname 'Mouboumbi'.  Instead, she gave him the surname 'Samoutou'.  In their dialect, the word samoutou means 'no hope'.  By the time Henri was four, his mother also died.  His distraught father sent him to live with his grandmother in the village.  He became in his own words, ‘the angriest little boy you can ever meet’.  He would walk 15km bare feet under the scorching sun to school.  He would sit quietly and work hard in the front row of the classroom.  But he would never play with anyone.  He had no friends, and he did not want any.  When he was 14, he heard about Jesus for the first time.  He said yes to Jesus, and everything changed. 

  A child in the village we went to  Henri sitting next to the kids in the village

Before our senior pastor Dave Gilpin from Hope City Church in England met Henri, he asked me if having suffered such tragedies in the family, Henri had any ‘issues’ that he needed or received counselling for.  The answer was no.  He never had any counselling or therapy.  God changed him - completely.  Anyone who has met Henri will tell you that it is impossible to imagine him ever being an angry troubled person.  Every time I go to a village, I am amazed by what God has done in Henri, and wonder what unbelievable plans God has for these children in rags before me.

 Henri operating Henri preaching


‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord,
‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.’
Jeremiah 29:11


   Village children at our Christmas give-away


To find out more about Henri’s story in his own words, please click


Filed under: Musings, Living in Congo, Developing countries


Post A Comment

Please enter the text you
see in the image above.
(This is just so we know that you're human.)

Can't read this image? Click SUBMIT for a new image.