Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two successful branch activities and the Peacekeepers

Click on a photo to enlarge it!
The Bujumbura 1st Branche is inside the Galerie Alexender pictured here. You go into through the gate, walk about 30 steps, turn right and walk through a long hallway and then go up two flights of stairs and "Voila!" you are at the great little chapel that they meet in.
This past week there was a Primary Activity Day. These three lovely young women were there early to clean up and mop floors before the activity.
These are the lovely ladies that helped to also cook food over the charbon clay grills for the children. They made deep fried potatoes shown here and small sausages. Sister Evanson cooked banana pancakes and I made ALOT of popcorn!!!
The lady on the right is Anne-Marie, the Primary President. She had planned for a long time for this day. She wanted it to be a DAY LONG activity. It began about 10:30 am and ended about 4 pm. Here they are playing an African version of musical chairs.
Here is the whole group that came. They had a total of 31 children. Many were friends of the church without member parents. It was a great missionary effort.
They had many activities that were very active and fun. I wish you could have heard some of the African songs the children all knew and sang with enthusiasm! The theme was "Keep The Commandments"! They also had spiritual messages throughout the day, including watching the video that Elder Frogley brought and set up of the First Vision. ( as they ate popcorn).
Here the children were playing a concentration game with 20 paper plates with matching pictures of children keeping the commandments.
In this photos, Anne-Marie was telling stories of children who had to make choices and how keeping the commandments brought great joy. The Primary Activity Day was a great hit! In closing, she showed this picture that I shared with her and told the children, there are many people in the world who do not obey the commandments and they are sad. But those very few who remember to keep the commandments and follow Jesus Christ stick out and are bright with joy and happiness! They are like " a light unto the world". She encouraged them to remember to be a light to their families and to their friends and neighbors. She then gave each of them a tennis ball with a smiley face on it to take home!!! The children were thrilled and did NOT want to go home!!
The second activity was in Bujumbura 2nd Branche. This is a photo near the end when the food had been cooked and shared with anyone and everyone that was at the building at the time. Elder Frogley and Frere Thomas were two of the beneficiaries of the R.S. activity!!
I was wondering why the sisters made so many of the flat breads and crepes. It was because they must feed everyone something. As you can see, everyone enjoyed them. The first had onions chopped into them and were delicious.
They cooked while I watched little Sonya. Isn't she cute??
These are what they cooked on. The reddish grills are made with clay and they use charbon which is like charcoal only alot messier. They cooked right on the tile flooring. Note: It cleaned up nicely.
You can see how we all gathered around and watched them mix and cook. They talked alot one to another in Kirundi and Swahili. At one point Sister Verdiane, the R.S. President asked about my family. I told them my youngest was 20 and they gasped and said most people do not live long enough to see their youngest reach the age of 20. They said that they kept their families small because they could not afford to feed them. They asked my age and could not believe I was alive! The average life expectancy there is 37-40 years of age. They told me that the physical challenges and poverty play a huge part it those statistics. Yet, they were really enjoying themselves and loving to one another. Father in Heaven's children are amazing, no matter where they are and under what circumstances they live. They are thrilled to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.
I wish you could have seen the sisters mix their doughs in the large blue dishpan. They did it all by hand.....meaning their hands were the mixers. They kneeded for a very long time. It was basically and flour and water and egg mixture fried in oil. The R.S. President told me that these were being served in restaurants and since none of them could afford to go to a restaurant, they would teach them how to make them for their families.
Another highlight of our stay in Burundi is seeing the Peacekeepers. We had dinner with four of them the other evening.
Earlier, on Pioneer Day, Sister Evanson organized a wonderful meal and we really enjoyed having the Peacekeepers, Brother Deitzman and Brother Tree, come to our apartments. They have been in and out of our lives many times while we have been here in Bujumbura because they are members of the church. They attend the Bujumbura 1 Branche when they come and it is a joy to feel of their spirits..
I would like to say hello to Brother Deitzman's wife, Janeen, and his two daughters................... And, thank you to Brother Tree's sweet wife, Salli! Thank you fo sharing your fine men with us here!! They express how much they love and cherish each of you!!!
This may be the last time we have the opportunity to rub shoulders with Bro. Deitzman. He is receiving a new assignment.
The Evansons were very surprised to see one of their past missionaries serving here ten years after his mission. Ten years ago, President and Sister Evanson served as mission president and wife in the Ivory Coast Mission. It was a very nice catching up time for each of them.
In keeping with the Primary concluding thought, it is good for us to remember.....................
"Ye are the light of the world! Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14,16)

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