Last Sunday the office couple (Brother Greg and Sister Kathy Wilson) invited us to attend church in Likasi, about 1 1/2 hour northwest of Lubumbashi. They took along the "soutien", the monthly payments to the missionaries. Since the Congo doesn't have ATM's, each missionary receives his living expenses in cash: American dollars and Congolese francs. The average monthly payment is about $125 per missionary. The apartments are paid for from Kinshasa. Since the missionaries have no mission vehicles, a stipend is given for public transportation.
On the road we passed many bicycles carrying bags of charcoal. 90% of the people in the Congo cook on hibachis using charcoal. People in the countryside make charcoal from tree branches. It sells for $15 about $15 a bag with the bicyclist receiving $5.
Here are bags of charcoal ready for transportation
People along the road had produce for sale in front of their homes. Here are watermelon and squash. It was Sunday and we were really tempted to stop at the tomato stands.
This is a home made of bricks made with dirt from termite mounds. I don't know what makes the termite mounds good brick-making material, but to endure the rainy seasons, the bricks must be plastered.
This road was pretty good. It was a toll road, one-way fare being 4000 francs ($4.50) for our Toyota pickup. Sunday was a good day to go since there were fewer police to arras us. Speed limits would drop to 50 kph through the small villages, providing perfect speed traps to those who didn't see the sometimes non-existent speed-limit signs. The Wilsons were caught at 15 kph over on the speed gun on one trip to Likasi. The police demanded $215 dollars. After an hour of arguing, (the Wilsons speak minimal French), the price fell to the customary $10 plus two boxes of malaria pills worth a couple of bucks. What the police would do with doxycyline I don't know. Maybe get a stomach ulcer? We take out doxy with a full class of water before bed. Some of the African missionaries are having stomach problems.
A typical house.
We passed this group of men and women jogging and chanting in rhythm. We assume it was a political rally.
This is a church building along the highway
This is a church building within the city of Likasi
On the way home we saw this bicycle transport.
Sister Wilson's bridge of 40 years came loose a couple of months ago. Fearing the local dentists, she decided to look for superglue and do the patch job herself. The paper-goods store didn't carry superglue, had never had any. Then Sister Wilson saw a small package that had slid down the display case: superglue. Purchased and applied, her infectious smile is as good as new. Try to imagine the chain of events the Lord orchestrated to provide superglue for a desperate missionary. Just circumstantial?
In the next blog I'll include photos of church in Lakasi and women's conference in Lubumbashi Stake Center.
Elder William and Sister Ann Moore