Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mbuji-Mayi -- Week Two

June 7, 2011
     We haven’t blogged for a while because Vodocom has stalled on the installation.  We’re now using a 3G modem we plug into the computer that costs $60 per month.  Maybe this afternoon we’ll get a higher speed (we hope) connection.  I won’t try pictures today.
     Last Friday I took a bottle of water to the two policemen and one policewoman down the street.  Every day when we drive by they make slashing gestures across their throats asking for something to drink.  Being simple we assumed they were thirsty but couldn’t understand why they didn’t bring bottled water with them.  They didn’t really want water, they wanted money to buy water or something else.  The policeman at the airport who chased the beggar boys away asked for “sucre” (sugar).  I gave him 300 francs (0.30 cents) and he was happy.
     While walking back up the street and saying “bonjour” to some of the passersby, a tall, older man paused and asked who I was.  Missionary.  Which church?  L’Eglise de Jesus Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours.  What does your church believe? Well, I explained a little and invited him to hear the missionaries.  Today at 11:10 he came (a little late) and the two Elders taught the “Nature of God”.  The Gospel rings true in French too.  Though the man apparently didn’t own his own Bible, he knew the Bible and understood the concepts.  He’s coming back next Tuesday. His name is Cuinza (family name) Dieu Donne (God Given), a good Christian name.  If I hadn’t called the “thirsty” policeman’s bluff with a bottle of water, I wouldn’t have met the man.  Is our God a manipulator of time and place?  I’m the pawn; the missionaries the rook and castle.  God the chess master. 
   In the middle of the discussion water began to flow.  We fill all our yellow 50 liter jugs and all the water containers in the house before the water stops flowing.  We use water from the buckets to wash the dishes, flush the toilets and to take sponge baths.  We have a 3000 liter, above-ground, water cistern but there is never pressure enough to push the water up to fill it. 
     We were without power Sunday.  We had used up all our credit cooking for the two missionaries returning home in Laputa after their mission in Kinshasa.  I released them (being the 3rd counselor in the Mission Presidency).  Monday we worked on getting electricity.  The power company saw my white face and car and quoted us $500 a month.  We opted to continue buying $10 cards of power (like long distance calling cards) and inputting the 11 digit house code, the 16 digit card code followed by an asterisk and sending it by message to the company computer (if it is working) and receiving the 20 digit code which we input into our “counter”.  I have Yves, an elder awaiting his call to input $50 dollars (5 cards) for me worth 214 kwh.  Yesterday we used 6 kwh.
     I read with interest that Russia has its first stake.  The Congo has 5 in Kinshasa, two in Lubumbashi, a new one in Kananga, and watch the Church News for more very soon.  The times of the Gentiles is past.  Now the Gospel is going to the highways and byways.  Mbuji-Mayi is certainly off the beaten path.
Elder William and Sister Moore

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