Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'Ye shall prepare for yourselves a place...and consecrate it unto my name."

In August of last year, President Packer, our mission president, Elder Jameson and Elder Frogley flew to Burundi from Lubumbashi to explore the possibilities of re-establishing the church, beginning in the city of  Bujumbura. President Packer had great vision when he chose this building.  Some alterations and beautification measures have already been taken but now we just needed a little more room. In October, two rooms were made into one larger, and this week another room was opened because there was only standing room at the previous sacrament meeting.

In the four and one-half months that the church as been re-established in Bujumbura, we have 60 new members and many other friends of the church that have begun attending. It is a wonderful blessing but also a problem.  So adding on one more room to the chapel area only made sense!

This past Sunday, we sat near the back of the new additional room. In this photo, you can see the two beautifully arched walls that have allowed more seating.

For all of the baptisms the members and friends love to attend ( which we are so thankful that they love and support one another), we have all had to travel to a not-so-nearby hotel and use the pool each time.  We have been most grateful for their graciousness in hosting all of us.  However, we realized that we just needed a baptismal font in our little building.

So the font was started this week!  It has been very interesting to see the method of construction used.  It is not finished yet BUT...............

....it is getting alot closer!!!

Another problem we all began to experience at our sacrament meeting was that we could not hear the speakers.  So Elder Frogley decided that there would not be another week pass where we could not hear!  Elder and Sister Frogley had already trapsed around our "favorite streets" in Bujumbura checking out sound systems, their sizes, their features, their prices.  So after procurring the proper authorization and buying tools, he and I began a crazy process of putting the amplifier near the pulpit (drilling wire holes) and then getting him up in the attic. The ceiling here are really high!  This flimsy little ladder was so expensive! I had to hold it to keep my husband safe until the Elders showed up.   Craig crawled around for an hour and one half in filthy, disgusting, dangerous attic circumstances, taking 70 meters of wiring and tools up with him.  He would call down to me(which I could barely hear) and then knock to try and know the best place to drill the several holes in the ceiling to feed the wires down to attach the speakers. As he came down out of the attic, with sweat dripping from his face and his long sleeved shirt soaking wet all over. He was very blessed because a rogue large pane of glass broke over his face and he thankfully was able to duck his face before it hit his eye.  He was only cut on the right temple.  Prayers are answered! 

It took from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. but it was worth it to "prepare and consecrate a place" for Father's children! We sat in the back of the chapel on Sunday, and we could hear every word perfectly!!

My dear husband is still trying to recover.  He breathed some pretty nasty stuff and suffered some real contamination problems.  He said, "We could have waited a month for other workers and paid three times as much and have it still not properly installed, OR I could just do it!"  Another blessing this week was getting five fire extinguishers mounted in the building.  Sounds easy?  Not it Africa! It was such a process but everything is.  It took 5 visits (on 3 different days) to the store that sells them, two visits on two different days from the guy that decides where they go and two guys on one day to mount them. 

Baptisms are always a blessing. Rose, the mother of the Minos Family, who was baptized two weeks ago, approached Craig through Sister Malabi.  She asked if Elder and Sister Frogley could come and teach her husband.  Following an impression that it would be a wonderful experience for the Jamesons to teach Frere Minos and possible baptize him, Craig said, "Let's ask if the Jamesons would be interested." Sister Malabi said, "No, they only have two weeks left before they go home from their mission and that is not enough time."  Since Elder Jameson had already built a relationship with Frere Minos, through previous interviews, and the impression was strong, Craig pressed the issue and told Sister Malabi to speak with Elder Jameson.  Elder Jameson not only was able to teach but through a series of miracles, he had the priviledge of baptizing Frere Minos and two of his sons, Francy and  Juma. They followed the mother and 3 sisters and a brother who were all baptised in the previous month.  One of the miracles was that it happened in that timing before the Jamesons left the mission.  There were special circumstances that needed to be addressed and permission given that usually takes a month.  It happened in two days thanks to President Packer and the Lord.  Another was that Frere Minos had a dream and in the dream, Elder Jameson was baptizing him, so he felt most strongly that it would happen......and it miraculously did!

Elder Jameson also had the priviledge of rebaptizing Jean Claude!  This was a great lesson on record keeping.  Jean Claude's records got sent but..... no clerk in the past ward could remember where they were sent.  Four months later after searching mission offices and record keepers in Kinshasa, ...............he just was happily rebaptized and can now serve in the church!

Frere Thomas, on the right, a new convert of two months ago, baptized his son, Alexis, on the left and two others that were eager to be "washed clean in the water's of Shiloh." (1 Nephi ).  When "Juvenile"(which is one of their names) bore his testimony at the baptism, we were all thrilled.  He gave it in Kirundi, while it was translated into French!

A Dream Come True?  Yes, but.....

.......especially for his beautiful, amazing family, the Jamesons and the missionaries who taught most of them!

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