Our trip to Kananga: Part III: Stake Conference

Another reason for coming to Kanaga at this time was that there was a Stake Conference that would be attended by Elder Cook of the Seventy. He is a member of the Area Presidency based in Jo-burg (Johannesburg for the uninitiated). He has traveled here before (not too long before we came to the mission) and so knew the place and people.

Kananga stake center (4) The Kananga Stake Center

Kananga stake center (3)

This is a VERY large stake, and will soon be divided. The stake president is inspired, and leads his people here with a strong and steady hand. The first meeting to be held was a Priesthood/Relief Society meeting at the stake center. Prior to these meetings the entire building was cleaned and prepped.

Kananga stake center (5) The main meeting area of the Stake Center

The stake center, which is a large building for Kanaga, only has a few rooms. Besides the main meeting area, there are TWO classrooms, and then a couple of more rooms used as Stake and Bishop offices.

Kananga stake center (8) One of two rooms in the Stake Center. Terri is here getting ready to see missionary patients while Pres. McMullin uses one of the offices for interviews.

Kananga stake center (9) This is a ‘classroom’ and auxiliary seating area just outside the main meeting hall. There is another ‘classroom’ on the other side of the meeting hall as well. Even during normal ward meetings, these areas have to be used to sit people who cannot fit in the main hall.

Kananga stake center (14) The generator used at the Stake Center

Like most places in the Congo, water and power is difficult to come by, so they have to use alternative sources to aid them in just their normal activities. During most meetings held in the Stake Center, the generator must be turned on to run the lights, fans, and any audio/visual being used.

Kananga stake center (11) Here is one of two cisterns that capture rain water for use in and around the building.

Kananga stake center (17) This red cistern on a small tower is fed from the roof, and the water is used to power the toilets in the building.

The Priesthood held their meeting inside the main hall–filling the hall and spilling out onto the two outside seating areas. The Relief Society held their meeting outside ON THE LAWN! Benches from the outside seating areas were moved onto the lawn, near a tree where they could get some shade. Fortunately it was a nice day (it rained hard that night during the adult session).

About an hour after these meetings ended, they went right into the adult session of stake conference. The place was completely full, including both seating areas outside. Elder Cook of the Seventy spoke at the Priesthood session, and he and his wife spoke at the adult session.

stake conf adult session (3) right to left: Sister McMullin (who translated for Sister Cook next to her), then Elder Cook and Pres. McMullin (who translated for Elder Cook), the stake president and his counselor.

stake conf adult session (13) Stake Priesthood session ending

stake conf adult session (8) Elder Bonnet (left) translating for Elder Cook as he spoke to the Priesthood session of Kananga Stake Conf.

stake conf adult (12) Sister Cook speaking at the adult session, with Elder Bonnet interpreting. (Terri and I were outside on one of the side porches, looking in through the window! Actually not too bad–much cooler out there!)




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