Pat Nickson Condolences
These are some of the emails that were sent to St.Mary's following Pat's death. There are many other handwritten ones in our condolences book.
From Francesca Elloway and Ezati Ezai
We send our condolences and deep sympathy to the family and friends of Pat in the UK and especially to our colleagues and friends at IPASC here in DR Congo. Several of our staff were either taught by Pat when she was in charge of the nursing school in Boga or more recently studied under her leadership at IPASC. Pat was instrumental in starting the Service Medical in the Aru area as an outshoot from the Service Medical in Boga.
We were all deeply saddened to hear of her death but rejoice also that she is now at peace with the Lord she served. We pray that the Lord will continue to be a comfort, support and hope to us all at this time and in the days and months ahead.
Que le Dieu Puissant vous tous benisse.
Francesca Elloway and Ezati Ezai,
Service Medical, Diocese of Aru, DRC
From Evelyn Rees
I had the pleasure of knowing Pat in her youth she belonged to St John's Church Polegate we had a young people's group after church on Sunday which she attended. On Bank Holiday Mondays the youngsters and older members went on a church ramble and Pat was there.
One Sunday back in the 1970's Pat gave her testimony in St John's Church she was home on furlough, she said that it was me (Evelyn) that brought her to faith in Christ. I knew nothing about this until that day and I thank God for the way he has used her in all the years she has served abroad and at home. She was a remarkable lady and we pray that all the work she started overseas will continue to grow through her expertise.
From David Pitches
I am a British doctor working for the Christian charity Medair in Bunia, north-eastern Congo. I just heard this evening about Pat Nickson's homecoming and felt I should contact you as in some ways I owe my present job to Pat.
I first met her back in 2006 when I was a student on the tropical medicine diploma course at Liverpool. Having started the course with the view that I didn't have a job and was willing to serve God anywhere He would choose to send me, I got second thoughts after hearing Pat's description of north-eastern Congo and her experiences and photos of the civil war. "Please dear Lord, I know we'd said that I'd go wherever you wanted me to go, but can we just make an exception for anywhere in north-eastern Congo" became my prayer.
Six months later I was applying for overseas jobs with limited success - only one organisation had anything suitable for me, and that was Medair, with a medical job going in Bunia. I realised that if God wanted me to go to Bunia he'd make sure that I got there, whether by plane or in the belly of a whale, and as the former was probably much more comfortable, I stopped protesting and within a year of meeting Pat I was in Bunia. It's been a real pleasure and privilege to serve here, and to meet her friends at IPASC.
Dr. David Pitches
Consultant in Public Health, Medair - Bunia - DRC
From Ray Samuels
My introduction to Pat was when she arrived at my office unannounced, one busy morning between 2 other scheduled interviews. She was quite sure that God was calling her to ordained ministry. Normally folk who arrive in such a manner are not the people who go on to get ordained! However a brief chat to Pat quickly revealed that this was different. We arranged to meet again and travelled the discernment journey together. Pat was outstanding in every way. Her training was the most unusual I have dealt with. It ended up with her including a term at a theological college near Nairobi , a retreat with Catholics in Congo...It was vintage Pat. A bespoke course of training for a unique lady.
Diocesan Director Ordinands Chester Diocese
From Eva Ombake
It is with great sadness we heard of the passing away of a great friend and mentor, Pat Nickson. Please accept out sincere sympathies. We thank God for her life and the touch of love she brought to all those she served. EPN will miss this dear friend, colleague, inspirer, mentor and active member. May the Good Lord rest her in peace.
Eva M.A. Ombaka
Technical Adviser, Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network,Nairobi, Kenya.
From Richard Steel
Pat really was one of the 'great names' in contemporary CMS history, although a more self-effacing person would be hard to find. She was so often involved in important work that her name came up regularly in our publications. I benefited greatly from her wisdom personally during our trip to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 when we were both part of the team that went out to assess how CMS might best support the Church of Ceylon in their relief and post-trauma work.
CMS Communication Director 1997 - 2005
From June Richie
“A Christian should always remember that the value of his good works
is not based on their number and excellence, but on the love of God
which prompts him to do these things”. St. John of The Cross
I had the honour and the privilege of knowing Pat for many years through her connections at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and I know she will be fondly remembered by all who knew her. She is now safe in His arms.
In His Love.
June Ritchie, Postgraduate Programmes Support
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
From Diane Montague
I so very, very much enjoyed Pat. I've thought many, many times about the time we 'escaped' to Liverpool one Christmas to attend the 9 Lessons and Carols Service. We were both starved of that unique, somewhat more formal worship. That was the time I bought a cross which, whenever I wear it, I think of Pat.
From Bishop Simon Barrington Ward
This is a brief tribute to a very dear friend, Pat Nickson, whom I have been privileged to see at intervals throughout her time with the Church Mission Society. My wife, Jean, and I had our first meeting with her, when she came as a CMS trainee to the college of which I was Principal. Pat soon showed herself to be a talented and promising member of the community, and she won a special place in our family.
On a visit to Bangladesh, where she had a fairly conventional appointment on the staff of a Christian mission hospital. There she did save me from serious illness by spotting when I showed symptoms, and she recognised that I was really suffering from amoebic dysentery. How glad I was to enjoy her caring presence, as she immediately and firmly administered Flagyl which gradually cured me.
(In Congo) Pat became more and more a community and family healer with a growing sense of the need for physical, personal and social wholeness. I sensed on her visits to us a growing integrity and maturity, and teaching us all more of what it means to communicate the gospel of Christ in the power of the Spirit in personal, corporate and community ways. Thanks be to God for our beloved Pat!
Formerly General Secretary of CMS and then Bishop of Coventry, now Hon Assistant Bishop of Ely
From Jean Preston
I would like to express my sadness on hearing the news that Pat had died- sadness mixed with thanks to God for all that she was and did in His name. I met Pat twice at CMS Mid Africa Region conferences where her contributions were very much valued. At the conference in November last year she spoke about her illness and approaching death with quiet dignity and peaceful acceptance - I am sure she has helped many who are facing similar health problems.
I would like to extend my sympathy to Pat's family, friends and colleagues and assure them of my prayers.
From Elizabeth Bridcut
I just wanted to say that I was especially touched by her wonderful listening skills - not only knowing how to be a good listener when asked but always sensitive to when someone might need to be given the opportunity to be listened to (I'm thinking particularly of her interest in Interactive and her work of listening to those hit by the tsunami in Sri Lanka) - and I was also especially moved when she spoke in church about how her relationship with God was developing and growing in intimacy as she was entering the later stages of her illness. I am so glad that her suffering is at an end - I get the impression that she was experiencing far more pain than might have appeared to be case on the outside. Although she may not have had the opportunity to get all that much of her story written down I know that God has used her to make a difference to a great many lives in Jesus' name and that will never be forgotten.
Elizabeth Bridcut – St.Mary’s Upton
From the Rev’d Peter J. Millam
Pat will be lovingly remembered by the congregation of St. Paul's, Luton where she was our CMS Link Missionary for many years. I "inherited" her when I arrived (1979) & she stayed at our Vicarage on all her visits to Luton until we moved to Chipping Campden, Glos. in 1979. We had a bond as I had been offered a couple of CMS lectureships in education in Nigeria (post Cheltenham curacy 1966) but with 2 young children we prayed hard & felt it not right to go (post Congo,), which proved correct as we would have ended up in the Biafran conflict. Instead we went to the Falkland Is. (1966-70)
Pat was much taken with our four children & they with her. We kept in touch & I wrote to Pat upon her ordination. As so rightly said in your obit, Pat was a spiritual "great" who in her unassuming way put so many of us to shame.
We thank God for her life & witness.
My wife, Jill, joins me in this tribute.
Rev Peter J. Millam
From Judy Rous
I have just spoken to Beyeza Chwa, of the Service Medical in Boga, who asked me to pass on to all of you sincere condolences from the Christians and wider community in Boga. They held a memorial service for Pat earlier today.
From Andy Alo, Translation Studies PHd Student, Africa International University
Appreciation For Dr Patricia Nickson OBE,
In the name of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I would like to fix in memory the wonderful work self-sacrificially achieved by Dr Pat Nickson in eastern Congo. Words are not able to express our gratitude to Dr Nickson and her mission organization.
She came, saw the need for community health, created school and trained Africans for running them. Even the wars were not able to undo what she did.May she rest in peace, after a well lived life that brought hope to many.
For the glory of God,
From Pastor Uchay
Pastor Philemon Jalwiny Wo-Dolo UCHAY is one of the Congolese Pastors from Nyankunde (DRC). I met Dr Pat in Nyankunde where I was for ten years the Vice-President and Deputy Legal Representative (= Vice Bishop) of the Evangelical Brethren in Congo (ECC-CE/39= Communauté Emmanuel). I still keep in mind Dr Pat courage and determination in life. Without that courageous ability to move forward despite any kind of barriers, the IPASC/ISPASC School should have been not established in the North-Eastern Congo with all its complexities.
Today if I am pursuing admission into PhD Programme (in NEGST, Kenya) it is because of the determination I gained from Dr Pat life. I had opportunities to preach in IPASC Nyankunde and my time with Dr Pat was always very meaningful. Two of my close relatives work with her; so as in African setting she became our sangazi (Aunt) who is very much respected title or position as far as African culture is concerned.
We miss Dr Pat; but her Memory will remains forever in North-Eastern Congo. We shall meet under the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ; we serve faithfully, Dr Pat and all of us in Communauté Emmanuel (DRC). (Philippians 1:6)
From Steve Maddox, Chief Executive, Wirral Council
Earlier this week I heard the very sad and tragic news of the death of Pat Nickson.
I have had the pleasure, privilege and honour to have known her for over 10 years, and it is very difficult indeed to find the words which can adequately reflect the enormous impact which she has had on the lives of so many across the enormous range of the work she has undertaken in so many fields.
It can be said of very few people, I think, that their lives are truly and genuinely committed to the service of others. Pat Nickson, however, was one such person. This was manifest in a number of ways, most particularly, I think, by her commitment and dedication to the mission in Congo which she did so much to support, but also in her decision to become ordained. I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and talking with Pat on a number of occasions and her gentleness of spirit and sheer humanity was a source of great comfort and inspiration.
I would like to believe that her commitment and dedication to the service of others, particularly those in most need; her sense of fairness and justice; the warmth of her personality and the generosity of her spirit have helped me try at least to do the work that I do a little better. What I am certain of, however, is that the world will be a much poorer place with her passing, but that in her memory we must never forget all of those qualities which made her so special.
With fondest best wishes,
From Rosemary Finlayson
Gillian has sent me the news of Pat's death and I just want to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, especially this week with the AGM too. Pat was always very supportive of me and even up till a couple of weeks ago was answering my emails with words of encouragement. I know you are all going to miss her tremendously as will too her Congo colleagues, but praise the Lord she is out of suffering and rejoicing in His presence.
From William Challis
On behalf of the Mid-Africa Forum in CMS I want to give thanks to God for Pat herself, her life and her ministry. Her commitment to the people of DR Congo has been an inspiration to us and to many others, and it has been a great encouragement to see how her ministry has grown through the years, embracing not only ordination, but even the cancer which has taken her from us in this world, but out of which she was able to give so richly to others.
Pat was both a risk-taking innovator and a trustworthy presence – that is a rare combination, but it was a combination which brought Christ’s new life to many in this country and in DR Congo. We give thanks for her whole life, and rejoice in God’s gift of eternal life, to which Pat herself pointed so powerfully.
Chair, Mid-Africa Forum CMS
From Rachel Sanderson
I only knew her briefly but she was impressive in her knowledge energy
and continual desire to help others.
From Beate Jakob, DIFAEM
On behalf of DIFAEM I would like to express our sincere condolences on the death of Pat Nickson. Attached you’ll find some words in memory of Pat written by her friend Dr. Rainward Bastian, former DIFAEM director.
We’ll keep you in our prayers.
In Memory of Dr. Patricia Nickson ... dedicating her life to the healing of Africa’s women, men and children.
DIFAEM was privileged to witness Dr. Patricia Nickson's work in Africa since the beginning of the early eighties. Inspired by the Director of the Institute for Child Health, London, Dr. Nickson performed research in Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of Congo) as to show even in remote villages how Community Health can improve drastically if local skills and commitment are responsibly channeled to joint and continued efforts and that local congregations can and must take a lead in this.
Soon she became an outstanding member of the "family" which grew around the CMC, the Christian Medical Commission of the World Council of Churches. "The Church is healing" was one of the convictions of this family; the aim was that in each country of the world this understanding should find its practice in the reality of each church. Dr. Nickson became one of the consultants who brought the learning experiences from one church and one continent to the other and further insights back again to the initial congregations – so developing a truly global network.
And then there were the catastrophes, often manmade, the misery of thousands or even millions, during which Dr. Nickson put all personal precaution aside and did whatever was possible to reduce the suffering. DIFAEM remembers two incidents when Dr. Nickson herself as a result of her dedication was physically at the end of her means.
Dedicated to children, women and men and for the glory of God – we are grateful for Dr. Nickson’s blessed and rich life and she will stay in our minds.
Dr. Rainward Bastian, former DIFAEM director, on behalf of DIFAEM staff members
From Amuda (IPASC)
We would like to thank you for the message and thank God for having accomplished His will for Pat. She was more than a mother to most of us, her loss has really affected us. But, we praise our Lord because we know where she has gone and praying God to help us understand His will for everything He does in our life. Our prayer is that we meet one day in paradise, the place where we will only be praising our Redeemer.
From Bishop Paul S Sarker
Greetings in the Name of our Risen Lord!
We are very shocked to hear the news of Dr. Pat Nickson’s death. I know very little personally about her, but know about her faithful service with the Ballovepur Hospital. Many elderly people still remember her in this area. We thank God for her devoted life in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray to Almighty that He may grant her an eternal peace in His Kingdom.
We send our condolence and express our sympathy for her relatives and friends who are in mourn.
"They will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them." Revelation 14:13b
Bishop Paul S. Sarker
Bishop of Kushtia and Moderator of Church of Bangladesh
From Baliesima Kadukima Albert
I am Baliesima Kadukima Albert, the Coordinater of the Medical Service of the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo. Thank you for you message. We have sadly received the message on the death of our sister Pat Nickson. Pat was the pioneer of the Service Medical of the Anglican Church of Congo. She is the one who initiated the Health work in the Church around 1982 in Boga and Bukavu dioceses. She trained an important health workers through the Nursing School of Boga, who are still working for the Church and the community today. All of them and the Medical Service of the Anglican Church
are so concerned by her death. Pat was taken over by Miss Nyangoma Kabarole who died in 2001 from whom I taken over the work after 3 years of her death.
These are the words from my heart: "Dear Pat, may your death be an encouraging event for me to continue the work you and Nyangoma left to us to serve the people of God".
Baliesima K. Albert
Coordinator of the Medical Service of the
Province of the Anglican Church of Congo
From Sara Bhattacharji and Suranjan Bhattacharji
Your mail about Pat was sent to me by a mutual friend. I got to know Pat through her contact with the World Council Of Churches health work. She was a very unusual and wonderful person. It was a great joy for us to have her visit Vellore and to spend some time showing her the work we do here and listen to her stories of her time in the Congo. As you say, she has begun a new life with Jesus whom she loved and served and is whole and healed and we rejoice for her.
Sara Bhattacharji and Suranjan Bhattacharji
Christian Medical College Vellore, India
From Dennis Tongoi, Executive director CMS Africa
I have had the privilege of working with Pat when I begun promoting the HIV/AIDS work in Africa. Her commitment to the Lord and her solid hope in him in this life and for eternity will remain a challenge to me. Even at the worst of moments when her work had been destroyed by rebels in DR Congo and several of her key workers killed she kept steadfast in her commitment to serve. I spoke with her 5 months ago at the Mid- Africa Forum, We had breakfast together, she was in severe pain and on strongest of medication but was as interested in others and as committed to mission as she had ever been. She had not only a solid faith but steadfast hope in the resurrection. I am glad to hear- that she continued to reach out even to her last days. Africa will be eternally grateful for the investment of the life of this true servant of God
From Ken Mwangi
Warm greetings from CMS-Africa.
It’s with shock we have learnt the death of Pat. We send our condolence to everyone affected by this. May the good Lord rest her soul in peace(Fair thee well Soldier)
From Sabuni (IPASC)
I am sure you do not know me, but I was or I am a member of you parish, through the wonderful work of Dr Pat. Sally Shand is actually my English adoptive mother, again through link with Dr Pat, who were wonderful close friends.
At IPASC - Bunia we have heard with sadness the death of our director, Dr Pat. It is very hard to us, especially me who has benefited a lot from Pat and her work in Congo and all over Africa. We are praying that God may give us all (here and elsewhere) courage to pull through this difficult time.
Ever your parish member. Sabuni.
Louis Paluku Sabuni, BSc, MPH, PhD, Postdoc.
From Banage Lussi and Bertin Buli
Cher Papa Graeme et nos amis de UK,
Pat reste inoubliable à travers ses actions concrètes dasn la communauté pauvre en relevant le niveau d la santé par la justice aux marginalisés, la misericorde et en marchant humblement avec son Dieu.
Banage Lussi et Bertin Buli
I am so sad .. there is a Pat shaped hole in my heart…. I am also sad at the fact that I was not in contact during some time and could therefore not be of any support to her neither say goodbye.. but I know she has many other friends and I can understand exactly what you mean about her having an impact on any one she met … I will try to write a few lines for the condolence book.. it will also help me meditate on her life and friendship...I visited her in Zaire in the early days of IPASC and see from her wish for donations that this was an integral part of all her life. .
From Grace Sheppard
I only knew Pat properly for a couple of years. She asked me to 'walk with' her when she received her diagnosis for cancer. We met fairly regularly during those years when I had the privilege of witnessing
her great courage, faith, and drive to keep ministering, knowing that her time was limited. She carried her distinguished career with a lightness of touch which made her so easy to be with. She left me with a wonderful phrase after one of her stories from Africa when bullets had rained on the roof of her hut. Her neighbour lived quite a way down the track, but he came to her door through the danger to see how she was. They just sat quietly together. She said, 'There was peace in the presence'. I believe she knew that when she lay in the Hospice and until she met her Lord. I feel sad to have lost her, but sure that her spiritual legacy has already begun in all those of us privileged to know her.
From Dr. Elisabeth Fries
Thank you very much indeed for informing everybody about Pat's last days. I am grieving with you and all her friends at this time. And with you I trust that she is now in the best of hands - with Jesus.
As a colleague and a friend of Pat's of many years in Africa, I was aware of her illness and do agree with you that her faith and courage have been a shining example to every Christian. I am very grateful to have known her and worked with her in the area of community health in the Dem. Republic of Congo. I am very sorry, but I will likely not be able to attend the funeral on May 5th. I do hope that IPASC will be represented.
Pat conceived the work of IPASC, and although many have contributed to it since, IPASC would hardly have survived through the war in DRC without her constant support. I was especially moved at the news of her passing away at this particular time. Because this last weekend - at the very time she died - I attended a meeting at the Mission Academy in Hamburg, Germany, where I presented a paper about a visit to IPASC Aru in 2002 (see attachment). That visit was upon Pat's and the team's request, in order to give care and counselling to the team three months after the massacre at Nyankunde. During the visit I stayed at Pat's house in Aru. When it ended she fell ill with a very serious bout of malaria. In early 2003 she spent a month of much needed rest and relaxation at the German Institute for Medical Mission in Tuebingen, and we used to meet for talks and prayers.
I wrote this paper for the journal "Intervention" (International Journal for Mental Health, Psychosocial Care and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict). It allows a glimpse into a situation of severe hardships to everybody at IPASC on Christmas 2002. Please use it at your discretion.
Yours in Christ's care,
Dr. Elisabeth Fries
Pediatrician, DTM&H Liverpool
From Janet Bissex
I have just heard of the sad death of Pat Nickson and am writing to say, as no doubt many others, that she was a great inspiration both as a CMS partner and as a priest. She came to speak a couple of times at the CMS meetings in Liverpool. I especially remember praying with her and hearing the terrible news about the massacre in Congo which happened while she was in England. I also remember an occasion when she got involved with a pastoral situation in the parsih and forgot to come to a meeting to speak! We were all happy to forgive her - someone else was able to stand-in. On a personal note, I know how much my mum (Margaret Green) and her friends appreciated Pat's ministry.
I have just fished out of my files an article about her - a double page spread in the Liverpool Daily Post in 2005. She also spoke several times about her work on Radio Merseyside.
Janet Bissex (Vicar in Bootle)
From Rt. Reverend Njojo Byankya
We thank God for his plan to her servant Revd Pat. I knew her as a missionary in the diocese of Boga where I was working as Bishop. When she was at IPASC, she asked me to work as the chair person of the administration body, which work I am doing until now. She was courageous, committed in work. We recognise the great work she did in Congo, especially for the Anglican church of Congo (diocese of Boga). Particularly, she was my close friend in service and a best adviser. She built her work on a good foundation. She will remain unforgettable in our memory. She will remain alive in our church through her works.
We were very shocked to hear about her death. May her soul be in peace.
Please do pray for the continuation of her work in Congo.
The Rt Revd Njojo Byankya
farmer Archbishob of the Anglican Church of Congo and retired bishop of Boga
and president of IPASC Board
From Tim and Judy Rous
We send you all our heartfelt condolences following Pat’s death. We, and many people far and wide especially in Congo, are saddened by her death, but rejoice that she is with the Lord Jesus whom she loved and served so faithfully, and that her pain and suffering, which she bore with such courage and fortitude, are over. She impacted so many people’s lives in all kinds of ways especially in Congo, and her friendship and love will be greatly missed. She gave an amazing and very moving testimony at the Mid Africa Conference last November of her journey with the Lord since her diagnosis with cancer: she radiated the hope of heaven and her deep joy and fellowship with Christ on her journey there.
There are too many memories to know where to begin to start to put any down on paper!! With warm greetings and our prayers for you all at this time.
Tim & Judy Rous
From Diana Bingham
I was sorry to hear that Pat Nickson has died after her long illness. I always knew her as a very active, dynamic person, full of ideas and energy. She was very welcoming and happy to share what she had.
When I was considering mission partner service with CMS, she came to visit me and helped me make the big decision to go to the DRC. I was a Primary Health Care teacher in Boga, DRC, when she was setting IPASC in Nyankunde. She had done most of the ground work in Community based health care and I continued on from her. Many people held her in high affection in the area.
From Alfred Kabagambe
Really it is difficult to say one word at this sad moment when all of us are mourning here after Dr Pat’s departure. We are glad because she is has found Eternal peace and has no more pain. For me particularly, I saw her for the first time during her last visit to Congo together with Mrs Graeme. I can conclude that the only lesson I learnt from Late Revd Dr Pat’s visit her humility despite her academic qualifications and her position at IPASC. May all of us copy this example. Amen!
Secretary to the Executive Director IPASC Aru
From Unega Djapiem, treasurer, IPASC, Aru
Patricia J. Nickson était une artisante pratique de la valeur Chrétienne de l’IPASC qui se trouve dans Michée 6 : 8
Papa Unega Djapiem
From Peter and Ruth Batchelor
Please add our names to the book of condolences. Pat and I first met when we were both patients in the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases, I believe in January 1975. I think I visited her work in Eastern Congo some little time after that. We have kept in touch and I have followed her work with great interest ever since.
Peter G. Batchelor
From Rene Gayana (IPASC)
Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouragements. We know that you are with us despite the long distance which separate us each other. For my family and all IPASC team, it impossible to forget Pat because her life is a model to imitate. May God help us to be able to do that in our life? We are convinced that she is now closed to our Lord in the Heavens...
We are also so glad to receive the nice photograph of Upton. I will do my best to get it printed in colour. Many greetings from Aru.
From Barbara Williams
On behalf of the Merseyside Mid-Africa Region Committee:
Rev Dr Pat Nickson has been an inspiration to many on Merseyside – she has given of herself unstintingly in the service of the Lord. We have benefited from hearing her speak at our gatherings about the Lord’s people in The Democratic Republic of Congo that she cared for so much.
We pray that this special service to mark her passing will be one of great rejoicing and blessing to all.
Barbara Williams (Chair)
From Bread for the World (One of IPASC’s main funders)
Dear Elias, members of IPASC, Jessie Hume, friends of IPASC and friends of Pat Nickson,
It’s with the deepest regret and sorrow that we received the news that our friend, Pat Nickson, had passed away on Sunday April 26th.
Our deepest sympathy goes to the whole IPASC family at this difficult time.
Bread for the World has been involved with IPASC in DR Congo since 1995 and for a considerable time with Pat Nickson, its director. We have been witness to her huge level of commitment and her wide ranging skills which have helped to make IPASC what it is today.
Although she had been in many parts of the world, IPASC in the DRC was her life’s work, and her unstinting dedication was to the benefit and well-being of the Congolese people in these difficult times in Eastern DRC.
Pat has been inextricably bound to IPASC’s story: from the founding and building of IPASC’s first base at Nyankunde, through the dreadful dark days in September 2002 when she did everything she possibly could, to the fleeing from the horrors in Nyankunde which was repeated again in Bunia, and finally in the resettlement on the current site in Aru, we would like to pay tribute to Pat for the incredible work she has done for the people of the DR Congo, and we will always remember her fondly.
May she rest in peace.
JoachimJung, Brigitte Bohlinger, Kai Henning
From Louise Wright
This memory of Pat comes with my deepest sympathy. Pat has been popping up unexpectedly so often in the past year that it is hard to believe she has gone. I pray the funeral will be a great comfort to you all.
I'll never forget my first encounter with Pat. It was in 1986 when I was in training as a CMS mission partner at Crowther Hall. I was preparing to go to Sudan but I was living in the same block as the Congolese (then Zairean) bishops. I heard them shouting with delight and hurried to see what had excited them. There was a little white woman hugging large African men and jabbering away to them in an unknown tongue. It was a real inspiration to me as at that stage. I never imagined I would be able to do the same. Thank you, Pat.
Yours, Louise Wright (CMS mission partner retired from Congo.)
From Lily Nyamungu Lithiw’u (IPASC)
Pat est un modèle de détermination et du courage extrême.
Malgré la destruction massive et méchante de l’IPASC Nyankunde en 2002, Pat avait décidé de quitter l’Angleterre immédiatement pour rejoindre l’équipe du personnel en fuite afin de prendre des décisions pour que les activités continuent normalement. Ainsi, Aru était choisi pour cette fin. Dr Pat était un leader qui ne reculait jamais devant les obstacles. Elle était toujours prompte, courageuse, travailleuse, prête à écouter les autres…
Lily. Administrative Assistant IPASC University College Bunia Campus
From Carole Boardman
Through Pat, a strong link was formed between our church, St. Peter’s, Macclesfield and the work of IPASC, which enriched the life of our church and deepened our understanding of and concern for the world-wide church. One of our church families visited, friendships were formed and an interchange of ideas and resources developed. We appreciated especially her thorough understanding of mission and primary health care which can change the life of communities, the honesty with which she spoke of her own faith, and her wonderful fund of stories. We will miss her.
Carole Boardman, on behalf of the congregation of St. Peter’s church, Macclesfield
From Mrs Clene Nyiramahoro
Dear Church and friends,
It was with a great sorrow that we received the news about Can. Pat's death. I worked with Liz at Pan Africa Christian College, and had shared with her what Pat did for us when we met her.
I am from Rwanda and my family and I have very good memories of how she became our good Samaritan in Congo. She acted as a true representative of Christ at those particular moments. We were hungry she fed us, we were thirsty and she gave us water to drink, we were desperate and she gave a message of hope. The baby whose life she saved is now 15 years and she is constant reminder of what God did trhough many people, Pat being one of them. We sympathise with you as a Church and may the Lord raise more workers for his Kingdom.
I am writing a book about my experience with God from 1994 and Pat was one of the people I have mentioned. I am just sad that she was taken before she sees it. I am sure we will meet in Heaven.
May the Lord be with you and bravely take you this time of grief.
From Pat Goodchild
Pat and I got to know each other in her early days as a CMS mission partner, I was also a cms 'mish', but we never worked in the same countries; but our respective family homes were in the same village, Lower Willingdon, the next parish to Polegate. Our leaves often seemed to coincide, so we'd visit each other when we were free of deputation, and it was the beginning of a long friendship.
I visited the Wirral for the first time in March this year, and was privileged to be able to have coffee with Pat on the 13th, she said her life would be changing direction from now on, it was the first time she had ever had to cancel a day's work at such short notice, because of ill health, and she would have to retire from her work at St Mary's Upton, She was so thankful to God for assurances of help, prayer and practical support in what she recognised was the last part of her life on earth, and also for having been enabled to do so much knowing she had cancer, and hoped it would help others with God's help to face up to cancer in a positive spirit.
One of Pat's Sussex friends in Christ,
From Way Elege
On behalf of Shalom University of Bunia in the north eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I would like to express my heartfelt condelences to the Sussex Church, the family members of Late Reverend Dr Pat Nickson and the entire Britain for this loss, but gain in Jesus Christ.
I my self, Way Alege, is one of numerous academic fruits that Rev Pat has produced. Since she went to our eternal home, the words which kept on ringing in my mind are "Some one suffered for me, I have to suffer for others". Rev Pat spoke these words when a prominent person discouraged her when she was planning to fund my studies at DayStar University, Nairobi, in 1995 in Community Development. I was puzzled when this person told Dr Pat that she is grabbing any body for training without knowing whose child is he or she. I am what I am because Dr Pat decided to act as Jesus without discrimination instead of following what others say. Many people would say the same thing: "They are what they are" because Dr Pat decided to act generously
Head of Development Studies Faculty, Shalom University of Bunia
From Carolyn and Anthony Hart
We got to know Pat through Anthony’s three-month placement at St Mary’s Centre, Saughall Massie, as part of his Reader training. Pat was lovely to us both; she was very supportive of Anthony and allowed him to be part of many areas of the life of St Mary’s. Anthony greatly appreciated her wise advice at the time, but is only now, two years later, coming to recognise the true value, and perceptiveness of that advice. She also included Carolyn in all that Anthony was doing, which she valued immensely. We grew to love Pat and became close to her, even though we had only known her for a short time.
Pat was one of the Godliest people that we have had the joy and privilege to meet. Carolyn recalls her advice, when she was interviewed about living out her faith, quoting Micah 6:8 “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” – in our eyes she truly did that. Though we will miss her, she is one of the people we look forward to meeting again in heaven.
Carolyn and Anthony Hart
From Bill and Beryl Norman
I stayed with Pat at her home at Nyankunde just for one night, and was astonished at the range of her activities and achievements, and the way she coped with it all so calmly, but with such enthusiasm and so much love.Last year I co-operated with her over the visit to Chester Diocese of four Congolese bishops. Despite her illness, she was so very helpful and as ever totally efficient.