Challenged but not disabled

by on Thursday, 30 December 2010 Comments

I met Fr. Bob Ronald when I started to work at eRenlai in 2007. I was then the network animator of the website and he was our English editor. Although we shared the same office and we were seeing each other everyday, I realised only after his passing that I had just begun to know him.
We would communicate briefly by emails as I would send him articles to edit or give him some feedback about his writings. I think I was quite impressed by him, first of all because he was such a robust person and also, I have to say, because of his "apparatus", his wheelchair, and his condition. It was also the first time I had worked with a physically handicapped person and I was maybe tempted to act differently at first. But Bob's even temper and good-nature from the outset made our relations and work very easy, despite then fact that I was sometimes afraid to disturb him and never felt the right moment to have a real conversation with him. But maybe he never needed to talk to me. In fact, as and when he sent me his essays, stories and fables, I would progressively know a bit more about him and of the challenges he went through. I appreciated his humor and his inventiveness and most of all his wisdom.

Bob was a prolific writer, yet he passed away before we had time to publish a large part of his writings. Thus, in this Focus aims to right that wrong so having dug out a series of his writings entitled: “My first 75 years” in which he draws the story of his life, from the roots of his family to the challenges he overcame and the retrospective meaning he could give to his life.

During the preparation of the Focus, my young colleague Nick Coulson also got transported and inspired by Bob Ronald’s life and thus he instigated the making of a documentary that we humbly offer for your viewing pleasure here on eRenlai. In this short tribute film, No Hang-ups, we searched through Bob's past abodes and the vivid memories of all those he touched in his life as a missionary, a writer and a Witness of the Cross.

We hope that you’ll be as interested and thrilled as ourselves by Bob’s adventures, stories and lessons…

Photo by R. Ribeiro

Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Former Managing Editor of


Tweets @cerisefive

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