Saturday, June 23, 2012

Humanitarian Project at Gandajika, Congo

Several weeks ago we visited a humanitairian project in Gandajika, Congo, about 80 kilometers and 3 hours south of our Mbuji-Mayi home. 

At the beginning the road was wide and we made good time.

Several times we saw road markers like this roundabout.

The road became progressively narrower and with the rain travel became much slower.  There was no dearth of fellow travelers.  Most carried baskets on their heads or pushed heavily laden bicycles.

The Bridge.  It was built in the 1960's (if I remember right) and was in good repair.  We got out to stretch our legs and take pictures.  This bridge spans the same river we cross on the way to Luputa but here carries a local name. 

The house is smoking.  The fire inside serves to discourge any insects making their nests in the thatched roof.  Neatly kept yard.

We detoured off the main road and snaked through the grass savanna and this little village.  Without our experienced driver Omere, we would never have known where to go.  The village was a sad testimony to the results of anger.  Apparently two small villages share a pond and both harvest fish.  There was a dispute and brothers fought brothers with machetes.  People were killed and houses burned.

Turning south from the burned-out village, we were fortunate to see these oxen plowing a new field.

To avoid a big puddle in the middle of the road, we turned off and happened upon this school during recess.  Boy were the kids excited to see our grey truck approaching and with foreigners inside.  Our driver quickly reversed directions and braved to puddle rather than the hordes.

Sister Moore and Sister Bingham sandwich the Ganjadika Branch President's wife. 

The Ganjadika Branch building, perhaps the best kept in town.  After 3+ bouncy hours, we were desperate for a rest stop.  Impractical to stop and squat along the busy road, we luckily made it to the branch building. 

This chalkboard is a testimony of the worldwide nature of the Church. 
Same Book of Mormon lesson given here as in the DayBreak 8th Ward.

Future Missionaries.  About 20 people were in a classroom studying "Preach My Gospel" with just one set of scriptures.  All were preparing to go on a mission.  The Gandajika Branch has about 300 members, no full-time missionaries, and is attached to the Luputa Stake about 40 kilometers further south. 

This isolated village has good farm land.  We saw vast fields of corn.  Elder Bingham inspects the corn in the project that had been sponsored by the Humanitarian Department.  It has been reported that thieves stripped this field, and harvested then burned the neighboring manioc field. 

The government building.

Little boys race our truck out of town.

The only wild animals we ever see. 

Elder and Sister Bingham, hamanitarian missionaries based in Kinshasa.  They are from Northern California on their second mission.

A miracle.  This tub of flour fell from the shelf and landed like this.  We are indeed watched over by angels.  You are too.

See you in South Jordan in August.