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Dr. Connie A Hall's Biography and known as Nyakone

Connie was born June 10, 1948 in Waynesburg, Pa., the daughter of the late Thomas Lloyd and Inez M. (Kiger) Hall, she died on Friday, December 14, 2018 at the Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, West. Virginia.

Connie was a 1966 graduate of Jefferson Morgan High School and received her registered nursing certificate from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. She earned her bachelors and doctorate degrees from West Virginia University and taught nursing at Waynesburg College, West Virginia University, Penn State Fayette campus and California University Southpointe campus.

Connie was a member of the Greene Valley Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Carmichaels and the Women in the Church. She served as a missionary to Ethiopia under the former United Presbyterian Church and was also later supported by the Presbyterian Church in America and the Greene Valley

Presbyterian Church. Connie developed a close relationship with the Nuer Christians in Ethiopia and was one of only seven people outside the Nuer society that could speak their language.

Surviving are a brother, Larry Allen Hall of Beckley, W. Va.; three nephews, Christopher Allen Hall, Brent Lloyd Hall and his wife, Bethany, and Adam Thomas Hall and two great nephews, Payton Hall and Andrew Hall.

The role of her works in South-West corner of Ethiopia and Sudan, the bit that pokes like an elbow into the ribs of Sudan, past Gambella on the Baro (Sobat) River. As a nurse working for the Presbyterian Church, she had restarted a medical work among the Nuer tribe in both countries, whose average height is about seven feet tall. The history of mission work in that area was well known to everyone at that time. clinic had been established in Nasir on Sudan side by first missionaries, but during the years of war between South and North Sudanese, the tension with neighboring Sudan, the clinic had been bombed and the walls had collapsed. Connie had managed to get a mobile clinic going in Adura/Thiajak in Ethiopia. She could carry about 100 Kg of supplies in a canoe from Gambela to Adura, a seven day return trip through crocodile infested swamps with a couple of Nuer tribesman. They could only carry enough fuel for the little outboard motor for two days of the return upstream journey; otherwise it was hard paddling. Seven exhausting days 100 Kg of supplies.

Connie was in hard time when she was trying to fly to Adura, the villagers in Adura were keen to rebuild the airstrip, and she wanted to know what the specifications were. Adura wasn't on any of the maps we had, and none of our current pilots had ever been to that area. But another missionary had kept the airstrip charts which had been made during the early years, and just by coincidence David Staveley, a former pilot and programme manager in Ethiopia during the 1970's, happened to be coming in a few weeks to help out with some of the flying.

When David arrived, I told him of this mythical land of Adura. He beamed and told me he felt pretty confident that he could find Adura, so one morning he took off in the little Cessna 185 to retrace a trip he must have made dozens of times, more than a dozen years before. This time, it was different, because GPS technology had been introduced. When he did fly over the airstrip work in progress, he simply punched a button on the GPs receiver and recorded the position of Adura, making it possible for all our pilots to fly directly to it. This fly-over encouraged the villagers so much that it wasn't long before the airstrip was ready for a closer inspection, which might include a landing.

This was clearly a job for the mighty Turbo-Beaver, which was designed for the rugged conditions of the Canadian north, and modified with a turbo-prop engine so that it could take off and land in very short distances. Normally, we would not take a load or any passengers on a first landing on a new airstrip, but I was easily convinced that a little ballast would help the Turbo Beaver and on our first flight, a mere 30 minutes from Gambela, we delivered half a tonne of medical supplies and food.

Connie was keen that the airstrip be re-built for another reason. Some retired Presbyterian Church members were planning to come and rebuild the clinic and other buildings. The team was headed up by an 85 year old builder named Ted Pollock, inventor of the geodesic dome missionary house, which was designed to fit, piece by piece, into a Cessna 185 and a retired pilot who would have flown many of those structures into remote areas. The builders in Adura would now need cement, wheel barrows, re-bar, wood, tools and food if they were going to rebuild the clinic and houses using the pieces of wall that were still intact.

Thanks to the self-less sacrifice and determination of Connie Hall, the clinic and mission station in Adura were rebuilt and the Nuer people of that area experienced the love and care of a true servant of Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Keith Ketchum - Vancouver, BC

Dec 29, 2018