“Marriage and households are the muse of society. If we have now robust households, we have now a robust nation,” mentioned Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout a go to to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
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Elder Christofferson, his spouse, Kathleen, and different senior Church leaders traveled to Kinshasa within the Democratic Republic of the Congo in November to satisfy with interfaith leaders, go to humanitarian websites and minister to native members.
Latter-day Saints on this rising Central African nation have been ready for a number of years for an Apostle to go to the capital of Kinshasa.
The Apostle mentioned he got here to Kinshasa to study. “I used to be anxious to see extra of what the Church is on this space and to edify and strengthen the Saints to no matter extent was potential.”
Elder Christofferson was joined by Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric and his spouse, Valérie; Elder S. Mark Palmer, a Common Authority Seventy, and his spouse, Jacqueline; and Elder Thierry K. Mutombo of the Africa Central Space Presidency and his spouse, Nathalie, who’re each natives of Kinshasa.
Elder Christofferson met with members of the Nationwide Council of Religions for Peace in Kinshasa on Friday, November 11, 2022.
“We’re anxious to collaborate with you and in ensuring that the authorized framework helps marriage,” the senior chief advised the gathering of religion leaders within the DRC.
“There may be, even within the legislation, the custom of bride value or dowry, the place households can set a value for any younger man who desires to marry their daughter. And generally it’s simply completely prohibitive,” Elder Christofferson defined.
“We’re so grateful to satisfy with leaders of the Church at this time,” mentioned Sheikh Abdallah Mangala, a authorized consultant for the Islamic group within the Congo. “We acknowledge and applaud your nice efforts to work in collaboration with the interfaith group.”
Sheikh Abdallah continued, “We congratulate you in your work to strengthen marriage and household within the DRC and to assist probably the most susceptible. We stay up for working collectively on these noble initiatives.”
On Friday, Elder Christofferson and Bishop Caussé visited Saint Joseph Hospital in Kinshasa. The Church of Jesus Christ has assisted the Catholic group with constructing the hospital and has additionally labored with Saint Joseph on some prior initiatives for imaginative and prescient, neonatal resuscitation coaching and clear water. Medical tools was additionally offered. As well as, the Church has collaborated with the hospital to drill a effectively and reservoir and supply an electrical pump, tower tank and distribution.
Later within the day, Bishop Caussé traveled to Lycée Matonge secondary college in Kinshasa, broken by flooding just a few months in the past. The Church has assisted in rebuilding the college, which trains lots of of ladies yearly.
“We put a retention wall, and we constructed new school rooms, and we additionally delivered tools for the college,” the presiding bishop reported. “We’ve got desks for the scholars. We additionally offered stitching machines. And it was so great to be right here and to see the scholars and the way very dedicated they had been to their research and the way this new infrastructure of this new facility is blessing their lives.”
Ministering within the Congo
Elder Christofferson presided at a coaching assembly for native management on Saturday in a meetinghouse close to the Kinshasa temple. Within the afternoon, the senior leaders gathered with missionaries who’re all from the Congo and are serving within the Kinshasa West mission.
“They’ve near 160 missionaries at this level, and so they’ll quickly be effectively over 200 with those coming in as a result of they’re serving on this nation, popping out of the Congo in rising numbers,” Elder Christofferson mentioned. “They’re alive and vibrant, and so they would be the energy of the Church in years to return. “
Particular Church conferences had been held on Sunday morning. The Apostle additionally addressed Latter-day Saint youth and younger adults in Kinshasa.
“It’s laborious to search out the phrases to explain it so vibrant, so vigorous, so thrilling simply to see them and to really feel the vitality that they carry,” Elder Christofferson remarked.
There are about 90,000 Latter-day Saints in additional than 250 congregations within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Throughout the Congo River, a temple has additionally been introduced in Brazzaville within the neighboring nation of the Republic of the Congo.
Kinshasa is dwelling to the Congo’s first temple, which was devoted in 2019. Floor was damaged for an additional temple in Lubumbashi in August.
The Christoffersons have been to Lubumbashi, however this was their first go to to Kinshasa.
“We see a vibrant church, a quickly rising church; we see a secure church and nice alternatives for the long run,” Elder Christofferson concluded. “Members are making particular person contributions, however as a church, we’re starting to be an actual power for good on this space.”
Elder Christofferson continues his ministry in Africa in Kenya and Ethiopia. He had hoped to journey to Uganda, however conferences with Church leaders and missionaries can be held just about on account of an Ebola outbreak. His travels may even take him to India this month.