Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marching to a new Drum in Burundi: General Conference is Here!

We are excited to have General Conference in Burundi. The DVD's came in time for the All Africa showing that happens here the last Sunday in Oct, so we sent out an email announcement and got responses even from the past Branch President. He wondered how we found his email... Janet sleuthing with her ever faithful Internet search engine. After a long day getting things ready, on our way home we heard some drums as we turned the corner. A quick U-turn and a peak over the fence revealed:
To watch conference we held our breath and prayed that the power would be on and stay on, then we taped up black plastic so the room could be darkened. We received the projector that we ordered in our first week in Lubumbashi so I took the projector, computer, etc and set up the room for front wall projection. We set up the smaller room with Swahili by putting Elder J's large screen computer on a chair on a table. We had about 12 people watching in there the first session and 8 the second. In the large room we had 45 the first session and 23 the second. So this weeks attendance was 57 with eight people that the missionaries didn't know.  The usual investigators were present but with some new family members. Pastor Johnson brought his wife and 16 year old son. He stayed for both sessions but she had to get back to a child with malaria. Annie was ever present and pleased that we had the session in Swahili.
Simon, the former branch clerk came in late but then his oldest daughter (who we found out had been baptized) and her two children came in later. He was an instant glowing grandfather. They love their grandpa. Afterward he expressed his amazement. "What kind of building do they hold that in... it must be huge... is that even possible... where is it!!??" We are so excited that the searchers found his records so we don't have to tell him that we would have to re-baptise him.

We started the meeting with a song and prayer and then they experienced for the first time, the sustainings of new members and sustaining of two young men to the Aaronic priesthood; a deacon-Alain Malabi, and a priest-Fleure... I helped him sustain himself: all new to them. Then we confirmed the three of them with Frere Malabi as voice (with some still small whispering in the ear to get it all right). The spirit was strong and the receptivity of these friends of the church is so good. I will be anxious for our missionary correlation meeting to see how close to baptism they are. Next Sunday after fast and testimony meeting we will hold our second baptisms... at least that is the schedule....stay tuned!! Oh, yeah, the power went out as we were packing up and saying good-bye to everyone. We love being part of a work that is not ours.

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