This week Emanuel and I drove to Likasi and Kakonda. We brought an entire truck full of stuff up to the missionaries in Likasi (there had been some thieves that stole items outside their homes), and we needed to go check on the Kakonda elders and take them some more things (it was a new apartment, new area, etc.).
It is always an interesting ride to Likasi/Kakonda. Notice that it does not matter how high they stack their trucks, there is always room for paying customers to ride on top!
However, it is inevitable that these overloaded trucks break down… and since there are no tow trucks or traveling mechanics, they take out their tools and start hammering away!
There is a small rickety bridge that crosses a small river–the only way in or out of Kakonda, small mining town. Every time I drive over it I am sure we will be falling through to the river below! But then I remember…they have semi-trucks driving back and forth over this bridge every day!
The beautiful Kadonda church
The annex behind the church we have fixed-up for the Elders to live in while they work in this city. There are seven rooms in the building: the four in front are a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and toilet.
The three rooms in back are two bedrooms (one small one large) and another room that has an additional shower and sink in it.
The view from the back of the Annex: the large mine that is the basis for this little town. Owned by ‘Boss Mining’ almost everyone in town works for the mine.
The small kitchen in the annex. Like most missionaries here they cook on a hot plate, or outside with charcoal. They have a sink and use bidons (the yellow containers) to store water. The silver thing on the sink is the LDS filter system that every missionary has in their apartment. The white pump next to the sink is used to pump water from the yellow bidons, through the 3-stage filter, and into the sink. They use this to filter the water for drinking and cooking. It filters out EVERYTHING.
To give you an idea of how good it is: everyone has experienced ‘stale’ water–water that has sat around for a while, and when you drink it, it tastes off, or stale. After filtering, you can leave this water for months, and when you drink it, it will not taste stale–it is pure water, with nothing in it that can turn or change taste.
A blurry picture of the salon where they eat and/or study.
One of the bedrooms. Each set of missionaries sleep in one room, two beds, a small study table and two chairs, mosquito nets (a must in the Congo), and two portable closets for their clothes (we are still waiting for the carpenter to finish their closets and a couple of tables). The other bedroom is set-up in the same way (we are preparing for four missionaries to live here eventually).
The main bathroom with shower, sink, and toilet. The other bathroom just has a shower and sink. The large third bedroom is being used for storage and laundry: we have hung a clothesline in the room to hang their clothes after washing (this way their clothes will not be stolen if they leave the house for the day to proselyte).
This is where the missionaries will baptize the new members they bring into the church.
The river has been dammed and is used for washing clothes, swimming, etc.
The small Kakonda branch has waited many years to have missionaries come here on a full time basis (they used to travel from Likasi to visit). The members are very excited and have welcomed the missionaries with open arms and hearts.
I expect great things to come from our efforts here!