Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Helen Agnes Mitchell Weeks
Helen Agnes Mitchell Weeks
September 14, 1918 – September 6, 2015
Helen Agnes Mitchell Weeks, known as “Mama Ncimbo” to Congolese family and friends, travelled safely into the arms of Jesus early Sunday morning, September 6, 2015, at the heart-still-strong-age of 96. Born September 14, 1918 on a farm near Winamac, Indiana, Helen received a teaching certificate from Ball State Teachers’ College and went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University. Together she and her husband, Claylon, served as missionaries with Disciples of Christ Congo Mission in Congo from 1945-1984. Their early years were spent in Wema, where Helen directed women’s and girls’ education and served as station treasurer. After Congo’s independence in 1960, they relocated to Mondombe. From 1964-1968, the Weeks’ directed the hostel in Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, for the children of missionaries. Later, they were assigned to Bolenge and finally Mbandaka, in the evangelism department and in training for pastors and leaders. Helen also managed and distributed educational materials for youth and adults in the area. This included writing a series of books about Botute in Lonkundo for elementary children to use as primers.
During this time, Helen raised four children and taught them, along with area missionary and village children, in a one-room, multi-grade school. She was a faithful wife, a loving and hard-working mother, and an abundantly competent team member. She kept her mind sharp by doing crossword puzzles as long as her eyes could see, and could whip anybody in Balderdash well into her 90s. Her home was open to all: family, co-workers, and passers-by of many kinds. She mothered more than just four biological children into the family of Christ.
She is survived by her husband of almost 71 years, Claylon Weeks, and one brother, Dale Mitchell. Survivors include her four children, Linda Coppinger of Jeffersonville, IN; Ronald Weeks of Mbandaka, DRC; Thomas Weeks, of Savannah, GA; and Steven Weeks, of Tallahassee, FL. She had 12 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Grace and Charles Mitchell; her sister, Hilda (Mitchell) Heimansohn; and her first child, buried at Bolenge.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Weeks’ Scholarship Fund, NALB-UPC, 2216 Elgin Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 (this scholarship fund in their name benefits young people from the Tchuapa Region of DRC).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 19, at 2:00 pm at Penney Memorial Church 4465 Poling Boulevard, Penney Farms, FL 32079.
Condolences may be sent to the family through Claylon Weeks, Post Office Box 1025, Penney Farms, FL 32079-1025.