Nederlandstalige versie
Jacqueline & Janneke are walking the Nijmeegse vierdaagse collecting money for
the Abba Toon Leus school in Dharrito (see:

Abba Toon (father Ton)

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
and all good things, they say, never last
(uit: "Sometimes it snows in April", Prince)
Abba Toon
April, 29th, 2007. Most of the people in the Netherlands are under the spell of the final matches in the Dutch football competition. The worst thing that can happen that day, for me, is Ajax or AZ winning the Dutch football-competition. Just before the climax of the matches, my sister calls me on the phone. She tells me that our uncle Ton in Ethiopia died. He was 67 years old.
The most important thing of that day (who's winning the football-competition?) was reduced to the most trivial thing in life. A good man, a good priest, but most of all, a dear, nice and wise uncle died.
He dedicated the biggest part of his life to helping the Borana-people and the study, describing and recording of their culture. May 1st, 2007 he was buried in Dadim, among the people he loved so much.
This site is an ode to his life. I created it, together with my parents and sister, as a result of our visit to Ethiopia.
Vincent, November 2007

His life

Father Ton Leus is born February 29th, 1940 in Woensdrecht, the Netherlands. He was the oldest of four boys in a family of eight children.
At a very young age, he decided to devote his life to God. When he was 12 years old, he went to Gemert for mission-seminar (mission-education). September 12th, 1965 he was ordained as a priest.
He decided he didnīt want to be a priest in the Netherlands, but to do missionary work. He belonged to the "Congregatie van de Heilige Geest", the Holy Ghost Fathers.
In 1966 he went to Tanzania. After 12 years living in Tanzania, he decided it was time for a change. He went to Ethiopia.
A very good choice, seeing that he felt at home with the Borana people and his missionary partners.
He worked together intensively with father Vince from America, father Iede from the Netherlands, sister Collette from Ireland , sister Jo-Anne from America and sister Lydia from Tanzania. In recent years he has worked and lived together with father Iede, sister Collette, sister Jo-Anne and sister Lydia in and round the missionary post in Dadim. Three years ago, father Boniface from Kenya joined them. As we got to know them, all of them are people that give a lot of good things and love to the Borana people.
The sisters are educating the people in the field of medical health, especially the mothers and children. But, as a matter of course, they're also helping the man and boys.
The main goal of the fathers is education the young people. Together they've been building a lot of schools in, among others, Doquolle, Dadim and Dharittoo. The school in Dharittoo was the last school father Ton was working on. Last Easter, the building of the school was completed with the 8th grade. As a mark of honour, this school is called after father Ton: "Abba Toon Leyusi".
All together, the sisters and fathers are taking care of improving the drinking water supplies in the villages. It goes without saying that the fathers and sisters are also preaching the Gospel.
Click on the link 'The school' on top of the page to read more about the school in Dharittoo.

The Netherlands

Every two or three years, father Ton visited the Netherlands. He stayed here for a few months. He was often busy arranging things for the book he was writing. But most important to him was visiting his brothers(-in-law), sisters(-in-law), cousins, great-nephews and great-nieces. He was always interested in our lives.
He always enjoyed good food and a drink. He didn't need to give that much thought when he was invited for a visit. When he paid a visit, the house was always filled with humour and joy. But he also enjoyed a serious conversation.
In 2005, we celebrated his 40th anniversary as a priest and his 65th birthday very well. Father Ton, like everybody else at this party, enjoyed this day very much. It was an unforgettable day for everybody.

His book

Father Ton has lived and worked for more than 25 years in Ethiopia. He learned the language and the culture of the Borana people very well. This has resulted in a dictionary of the Borana culture. His life's work.
Click on the link 'The book' on top of the page to read more about the dictionary.

Our visit

On October 20th, 2007
Joop (brother) and Ria,
Ben (brother) and Carla,
Lia (sister), Jack, Jacqueline and Vincent,
and Ben (brother-in-law)
went to Ethiopia to deal with the death of father Ton and to close this emotional event for the Borana people, as well as his friends and colleagues as well as for his family. It was a beautiful, emotional, but most of all very impressive journey.
Click on the link 'Our visit' at the top of the page to read about our journey.

If you want to leave us a message. Click on the link 'Guestbook' at the top of the page. This site is created by Jack, Lia, Jacqueline & Vincent