Friday, June 17, 2011

Coming Home from Church

There are 4 big branches in Mbuji-Mayi with the imminent possibility of new branches being formed.  Last Sunday in the branch of Muya 1, some children sat on the concrete floor due to a dearth of chairs.  I counted about 10 remaining sacrament cups as 4 deacons finished passing the water.  (Do the math: 36X4 = 144)  Eight full time missionaries have been here for about 2 months and the work is progressing at a heightened pace.
(A note: Last Sunday Elder Affi from Ivory Coast had his appendix removed in a small hospital (clinic) here.  The doctor was very competent and the facilities simple and clean.  The total cost: $487.  Elder Affi will probably leave the hospital tomorrow, Saturday.  The other 7 elders have taken turns being his companion so that the missionary work in the various sectors of the city hasn’t been noticeably affected.)
On the way home after the meetings, Sister Ann snapped a few photos. 

This is a typical, leased building for church meetings.  Mbuji-Mayi plans to buy a piece of property soon for a future stake center.

Across the street from the Muya 1/Muya2 building is construction for a water runoff ditch.  This major street, named after a martyr, is scheduled for paving. "Wait and see" is the finish date.
Street scenes heading home.

A house with a neat yard

The main street leading to the center of town 
The side street leading to the 8 missionaries' house 
 Typical street scene: a bicycle laden with charcoal, an old battered car passing, and missing in this photo are the myriads of motorbikes used as taxis beeping their horns
The backyard evangelical church meeting next door.  Group prayers begin about 5 a.m. in the dark, everyone praying outloud at the same time (in Tsiluba, not French).  Later there are preachers, often young men gesticulating with their arms and speaking loudly.  The worshippers give frequent oral responses. 
Sister Ann found this Brigham Young quote in “The 3 Pillars of Zion” by Larry Barkdull.  It fits the situation here in Mbuji-Mayi.  The 2½ million people here are without work and hungry, yet they won’t exert themselves to farm this rich soil, preferring to extend their hands for money or to scratch the earth for diamonds. 
     Concerning Zion, Brigham Young said: “We will not wait for angels or Enoch and his company to come and build Zion, but we are going to built it.  We will raise our wheat, build our houses, fence our farms, plant our vineyards and orchards and produce everything that will make our bodies comfortable and happy and in this way we intend to buildup Zion on the earth and purify it and cleanse it from all pollutions.
     If we cease to hold fellowship with that which is corrupt and establish the Zion of God in our hearts and in our houses, in our cities and throughout our country, we shall ultimately overcome the earth, for we are the Lords of the earth and instead of thorns and thistles, every useful plant that is good for the food of man and to beautify and adorn, will spring from its bosom.
[We more fully appreciate what the Saints have accomplished after living in the Congo for 3 months.]
Sister Ann also likened the city of Mbuji-Mayi to The Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14: 16-24)
16 The said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
17 And sent his servant at super time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. [Restoration?]
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. [Serve mammon rather than God]
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. [Reminds one of time before the Flood]
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. [Hedges = GR hedged pathways] [Compel = GR urge]
24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. [Taste Eternal Life]
The Gospel is being preached to the very by-ways of the Earth, and with great success.  Surely this is a sign that the 2nd Coming is close.  Last month a stake of Zion was organized in the neighboring city of Kananga.  (a distance of 15 minutes by air, 2 days by road from Mbuji-Mayi – check out a map)  Next week the city of Laputa (no electricity and poor roads) be become a stake of Zion.  Mbuji-Mayi is projected to become a stake of Zion in a year.  The 2 Congos will have 10 stakes.  Russia has one.  Belgium has one.  The days of the Gentiles are waning. 
Elder William and Sister Ann Moore

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