Today I went with Emanuel to Kipushi, a city just outside of Lubumbashi, to delivery some items to the two Elder that serve there, and to repair some problems they are having in the home.
This is a typical home/apartment the mission tries to find for the elders to live. There is always an outside wall and gate for protection, and the house usually can hold anywhere from 4-6 missionaries comfortably.
Most have a separate dining area with a large table so the elders can eat together.
They will all be provided with a fridge… although, as the power is very inconsistent here, they often use it like the ‘ice box’ back in the day– for keeping food longer, but not really freezing food, etc.
Although, as we have seen, not all the homes have water that works… so there is always an outside water source– a more reliable source– in case there are problems. Today we worked on clearing the sinks and bathtub so they ran better.
Most have tubs, with a shower/hose attachment (I don’t think I took a shower once on my mission back east…).
Each companionship gets a separate room, and each elder/sister gets a bed, a table and chair for personal study, and a wardrobe to keep their clothes and personal items. Most have separate keys to their room so they can lock the door when they leave (if there are more than two elders in the home).
Perhaps the worst condition I have found is the water problem– just a lack of water IN the home itself– there are always water sources outside the home. I don’t know why, but many homes that look just perfect have issues getting water into the home itself. whether it is a lack of water pressure, or broken pipes, etc., I’m not sure. But in those cases, the elders/sisters use the yellow ‘bidons’ to fill and carry water into the house to wash, cook, etc. We are fortunate in Lubumbashi, as our water and power is a little more consistent than in other areas of the mission.
About one block from where the elders live is the Kipushi Chapel, where the local branch meets for services.
It is a small building, but they keep it up very well– it was very clean and neat, and at the time a member was working on the grounds.