Thursday, September 4, 2014

     Saturday morning we had a baptism for 9 people.  It was a fantastic meeting, the congregational singing was beautiful, the spirit , strong.  The carpenter, Claude, his wife, Agrippine, and 2 of their children were baptized, plus another couple and 3 singles.  That totaled 6 men and three women.  We had reminded the young man conducting that everyone who was baptized should be given the opportunity to bear their testimony.  After the baptisms were complete the young man conducting started asking for testimonies, but he started with the men, went to the boys and then stopped.  The 3 women were sitting there, having been totally ignored.  I asked one of our missionaries why the women had not stood to bear testimony, and he told me the person conducting had not asked them.  African chauvinism had reared its ugly head.  I told Gary, and he went into action.  Four gold stars for him!
From the back row, he made his way to the front, stopped the meeting and asked he 3 women if they wanted to bear their testimonies.  And they did.  Following that, and as the meeting was about to end, Gary again went to the front and started to give an impromptu short talk on how women were loved and valued by our Heavenly Father and how we (men) should all respect, love, and value women as well.  That the Church of Jesus Christ was for all people, not just men.   I was so proud of him, of how he handled the situation!

     Next day, Sunday, were the confirmations.  Once again the male domination was in full display.  The new converts were called up, one by one, to be confirmed.  First, Claude, then, Claude's son, then every other male of the species.  Finally, Claude's daughter and then, last AND least, Claude's wife.  We'll have to have a talk with the missionaries and/or branch president and suggest that couples and /or families could be done consecutively.

     Sunday afternoon we were invited to a celebration of their baptisms at Claude's house.  We were sitting there waiting for things to get under way when the phone rang.  It was a panicked President Dieudonné  telling us that the 2 orphan girls he was caring for AND his 3 year old son were missing!
We left the celebration and went to pick up Dieudonné.  All the children had been at Primary together, but when Dieudonné finished with his priesthood meeting and came looking for the kids, they were nowhere to be found.  They had been missing for 1 1/2 hour----2 girls brand new to Bujumbura and a 3 yr old boy.  Remy (young man who lives behind us) and the girls' brother were out looking for them, as was Dieudonné's wife.  As we were headed toward the neighborhood where Dieudonné's house is located, the phone ran.  It was Remy telling us he had found the children.  That was 1 hour and 40 minutes too many of missing kids!  Turns out, Primary let out about 5 minutes before priesthood, and the children didn't see Dieudonné and assumed he had already left.  The 3 yr. old told them his family always took a bike to get home, so the 3 of them got on the back of a transport bike, told the driver the name of the area where they lived, and headed "home."  Unfortunately, nobody knew the address of their house.  When Remy found them, they were still with the bike and the driver, with no money to pay for their ride.  But everyone is safe and sound,  and we adults are breathing again!

                                                                      Gone fishin'
                                                 These birds sing like robins on steroids!

               Tried to capture the bats flying in front of this moon but was unsuccessful

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