Small town branches in the Congo

One of the amazing things about the Church in the Congo is the humble conditions the Saints live and worship in here. I’m sure this was similar to what the early saints went through, both in Christ’s time, and in the early days of the Latter-day Saints in the time of Joseph Smith. They worshipped when and where they could, until the Lord blessed them with better times and circumstances.

I want to once again point out how clean the homes and yards are in these villages! Dirt floors, mud homes, dirt yards… yet they are swept and kept clean. Terri and I lived in a tent with our family for several months… and have a small idea of the work involved in keeping their homes and property clean. I am impressed!
Tshitenge (8) Typical Congo home, away from the city

As shown in other posts, the typical Congolese home away from any large city is a mud and grass hut, usually grouped in small villages.

Tshitenge (6) The current Tshitenge Chapel

This is the home of the Branch President of the Tshitenge village branch of the LDS Church. Since it is the ONLY ‘brick’ (adobe) building in the village, it is also used as the chapel on Sunday.

Tshitenge (7) The branch Pres. and his son behind the sacrament table– specially  built by Emanuel.

Each Sunday the local congregation meets in this one-room ‘chapel’ to partake of the sacrament and have their other meetings. As there are no other building in the village, this will have to do until they can receive help to build something better.

The struggle, of course, is building something better! Having traveled the northern part of the mission in our first week here, and being in construction, I understand the problems associated with ANY kind of building in these remote locations: where to you get the material? How do you get it there? If you get the materials there, how do you build it– there are few here who know how to build modern buildings. And, if by some miracle you have the material, and find the workers, there are no tools! Working with Emanuel in Lubumbashi has been very revealing: even in this large city, it is almost impossible to find many tools that would be standard in any hardware store in the US. For example, we often have plugged toilets here. All we need is a plumber’s snake (like Roto-Rooter)… good luck!

Tshitenge (9) The Tshitenge Branch

We are excited about being here in Africa, and the chance to aid the Church and the members here in the Congo. Time will tell how much effect the two of us can/will have on those we serve, but thus far it has been a wonderful experience! And we only see better things ahead for both of us as we learn our duties here.

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