THE REST OF THE STORY:
Remember the candidate missionary who was in jail? When the branch president went to bail him out, he discovered the young man had been transferred to another prison facility and was no longer there. He also found out that he boy had lied ----he was not innocent as he had first claimed. He really did steal the pipe from the business where he was working as a guard. I don't know what his future holds now, but it is safe to say he will not be going on a mission any time soon.
Gilbert, our 17 yr. old orphan friend who had become quite ill, was released from the hospital. No one gave him a diagnosis or told him why his liver had been having problems, so we decided to take him, his records and president Jean Rene and go back to the hospital looking for answers. As we approached the hospital, we noticed the parking lot was totally full and cars were double parked on the street in front of the hospital. Jean Rene explained that someone had died in the hospital and friends and family had come to the hospital to accompany his/her body to the burial/funeral.
All we found out at the hospital was that no one knows to this day why he was ill. He was released without final tests being run, tests that had been prescribed. We hope to take him to a different hospital and see what they can find out.
The 2 people with serious issues (admitted murderer, admitted homosexual) who wanted to be baptized spoke directly with the mission president on the telephone, and he authorized their baptisms.
TRIP TO UVIRA
We went to Uvira this week to finalize a rental agreement for a new apartment for the 4 missionaries. While there, we also looked at new locations for both of the branches in Uvira. It would be so great if both branches could be moved to these new sites! Both branches are currently sharing a pitiful little place where the chapel is a tent that gets destroyed in every rain or wind storm. We just replaced the linoleum pieces that they lay on the dirt floor, as they had been literally ripped to pieces in a recent storm.
This facility is AWFUL. Not only do they try to meet in a tent for sacrament meeting, but for all the people in 2 branches, toilet facilities consist of one squat toilet outside in an outhouse.
President Mabishwa, branch president of the Kilundu branch in Uvira, asked us to come and visit his house while we were in town. He is just the best, sweetest man. He has been key in the growth and support of the Uvira branches, spending his own money for supplies and whatever until the Church finally got an official branch organized and an official branch account established.
To get to President Mabishwa's house we had to put the truck in four wheel drive and go straight up the mountain on a road(?) that does not see many vehicles. In fact, just at the sight of a truck, kids came running and yelling and waving----and that was before they knew that the weirdo "muzungus" were driving it!
President Mabishwa in front of his house with his kitty
He showed us his home and then asked that we allow him to serve us a drink. We agreed, knowing it means a lot to have people come and visit your home. He brought a bag into the living room which held 3 warm bottles of Sprite and apologized for not having a refrigerator to chill the drinks. Jean Paul was with us, so we 3 guests received a warm Sprite, and Pres. Mabishwa went without.
Here we are seated in his living room:
Notice the furniture lacks any cushions. It was very humbling to be in his home as a guest. He is such a good man, such a faithful man. He has been so strong and devoted to the Church. And he has so little in the way of physical possessions.