Hello from the Congo!! Life is wonderful. We all feel so blessed to be here serving these people!! Our spiritual moments are many and they come often.
This is a family coming to church on a moto in Likasi.
He is a member of the Stake Presidency.
His wife is coming on a different moto with the rest of their children.
I thought this was the best.
As we arrived at church the choir was already singing the prelude music.
The fellow accompanying them played the electronic piano and the keyboard.
See the keyboard sitting on its side where you would place the music.
His hymnbook is sitting on top of the piano.
He played the keyboard with the right hand and the piano with the left.
His melody was on the keyboard which was programmed with a soft mellow sound and the piano played the bass with octaves only, very loudly and with a beat to it.
It was very interesting for a church meeting.
This kind of thing would not be done at home but here it still can feel reverent, the Spirit is there and it is very acceptable. The choir was very good.
This is in the evening after dark where one of our sister missionaries is making dinner
This shows how they live on the ground a lot of the time.
She is cooking her fish on a little stove like a BBQ.
Thankfully we have real stoves to cook on and a sink to wash dishes in with running water!!
These are the luxuries of life here.
She is mashing something in this little can to eat with their meal.
This is all done outside in the dark with little lights that are NOT bright.
We have street cleaners here too.
They clean the streets quite a few times a year.
It is back breaking work but they do it and feel lucky to have a job.
She has swept the dirt into a pile and now is using cardboard to pick it up and take it away.
Her broom is lying in the grass. She'll put the dirt into the bag on the grass.
We pass this toy store each day when we go out.
I wish I could have taken a picture last Christmas when they had lots of dolls for sale with the hair all matted because the toys are all second hand. You can only imagine.
She sets them all out on the step each morning and then takes them all in again in the evening.
If you wanted to buy bowling pins here you would only get 3.
I took a picture of this building previously when it was just red brick.
They have finished it with a nice coating and the doors look like they are brass.
It sure is a skinny little building though. Not sure what all three floors are used for.
We have many tiny buildings here.
If they saw our houses in Canada they would wonder how many families would live in one home. We have so much and they have so little, but they are such a happy people.
I think we have too much!!
This is our little poubelle man. (garbage man)
He comes to the compound to take our garbage away.
He is very hard-working and his loads can be so heavy!
Here he is taking away the branches cut off while pruning a palm tree.
This is the street that we live on.
It is grass cutting time in this field.
These men all have their hand scythes and it takes a long time but they will cut large fields like this.
I tried to do this in our compound one day and if it was up to me
it would have taken forever to finish the job.
Our gardener, Ilonga, is a very hard worker!! He never stops. We love him.
This is a Sunday so I caught a picture of these happy girls on their way to church.
You can see that when the traffic gets heavy and the number of lanes increases you have to be careful to not get pushed into the ditches.
We did have one missionary who got his back wheel in one of these ditches
People just came running to help and lifted the truck out of the ditch and set the tire back on the road.
Everyone here is so willing to help --- for a price.
More people on a Sunday going to church.
Many times they have to carry their own chairs if they want to sit down.
These blue plastic chairs are everywhere.
Whoever owns this business has it made in the shade.
We use these chairs in some of the chapels in our buildings too
but we don't have to take them each week. They are already there.
Some of the chapels here are close to what our buildings are like but many are not.
It's a different look to go into a chapel filled with blue plastic chairs.
A rare photo - a policeman!! They do not want their pictures to be taken.
They can and do stop you all the time if they can. It usually is for nothing so they will let you go.
No one carries weapons except the military that I can see.
We are in the middle of winter here now. It is chilly in the morning and the evenings but still hot during the days. I am wearing a sweater during the colder times and I found a space heater to have in our bedroom and in my office, which is the coldest spot in the compound. They don't give off much heat but I keep it under my desk close to my legs and that is great!!! I still haven't had to wear my jacket. You gotta love this climate. How will we ever go home to Canada?
This is a different mission than our Florida mission was. Working in the office is not the same as teaching all the time. Our biggest job is to keep as much work as we can from the President so he can spend all his time doing things only he can do. We love our assignments here. I only wish I was better acquainted with a computer.
Sister Cook has been teaching English to the stakes here in Lubumbashi three times a week (once for each stake). At her last lesson before the break she got the names of the non-members and their phone numbers so the missionaries can contact them. They were all happy to give this information. She was so totally surprised by how many non-members come. She had between 29 - 39% students that weren't members. At the end of one class when they were talking about tithing one man raised his hand and asked if he could pay tithing. He was not a member. So many great experiences happening all the time. We love serving the Lord and love to gather saints in this part of the world. We love these people!!