Sunday, March 8, 2015

     Last week, we had 8 baptisms here.   One lady is crippled, heavy and moves with great effort.  When it was her turn to be baptized, she removed her leg brace, put down her one crutch and slowly, but with much determination, inched her way to the baptismal font.  She worked her way up the set of stairs to the top of the font and then was helped into the water.  I just kept thinking how difficult that whole process was for her,  but I thought about how much she wanted to be baptized.  A lesson in overcoming obstacles, in having faith, a testimony and determination to join our Savior's Church.  Nothing was going to stop her!

     Two hours south of Uvira, there is a town named Baraka.  Here there are about 37 members of the Church, but another 160 people who want to be baptized!  They are waiting and praying for the time when the Church will allow missionaries to come to Baraka to teach and baptize, when they will have a branch, a building to meet in, and teaching supplies to use.  They keep in communication with us, asking when the mission president will visit them, asking when their people can be baptized.  Last e-mail they gave us a list of all their members, photos of where they get together for meetings, and 2 photos showing the entire group in Baraka.

     These are the people who wait for further blessings from the Lord.

Last Sunday in Branch 1,  we had some exciting firsts!  It was the first time they ever had a branch choir sing for their meetings.  I love their enthusiasm when they sing!  Their voices fill the room.  If you sing along with them, you must sing at the top of your lungs to hear yourself sing.  And sometimes even then you can't hear yourself sing!

Another important first was that the Primary staffed and provided a nursery for the first time. We bought a big floor mat and a basket of toys for the nursery.  Things went well !  Here's some of our cute little rug rats in the nursery!

During Sunday School and Relief Society, in the background you can now often hear the Primary singing "I Am A Child of God,"  "If You Chance To Meet A Frown," and Frère Jacques."  In French, of course.   It always makes me smile.

On Sunday, John Paul blessed his baby girl, Priska.  Actually, he was planning on blessing her, but when he went to the front of the chapel, the branch president took the baby and blessed her himself.   Oops!  More training on the way!

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