Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LDS around the world

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormons) had a brief, government-authorized presence in Burundi before civil strife broke out in 1992. Last August the first officially recognized church unit in Burundi held meetings again. The article tells the story of the Malabi family, their sacrifices, and the regrowth of the Church in Burundi. It mentions how a group of hundreds of people who wanted to join the Church had formed an informal church group and when they found Bro. Malabi asked him to visit them and teach them more.
Brother Malabi made the long trip to Uvira to teach them two or three times a month. This continued for five years. He traveled at his own expense, usually alone but sometimes accompanied by his wife or one of his children. When asked how much he paid for each trip, he responded, "$10". That travel expense of $30 per month was 5 percent of his total monthly income of $600.
I thought I had blogged about this earlier, but I can't find it now:  LDS Apostles Holland and Christofferson visited a number of African countries last month, pronouncing blessings on Burundi and Angola."Elder Holland expressed his feeling that Africa had been held in reserve by the Lord in the spirit of "the last shall be first" and that Africa would someday be seen as a bright land full of gospel hope and happiness." Both blessed "government leaders as they seek to serve the people and prayed that persons of ability and integrity would be drawn to public service." Picture shows members in Zimbabwe.

Proselyting missionaries save up to help pay for their endeavors. A recent article showcased what a young man in the Democratic Republic of Congo does to save for his mission:
Each day, Sedrick pushes his bicycle, laden with 200 pounds of bananas, for two hours to get to the market. He sells the bananas for the best price he can, then rides back for another load. He does this several times a week. Sedrick has been doing this backbreaking work for four years.
Sedrick told me that he makes about $3 a trip. From that he must buy his food, repair his bicycle and save for his mission. His savings will only pay for the high cost of getting a passport in the DR Congo. Member contributions to the General Missionary Fund will pay the rest.

Putnam and Campbell's study of religion in America shows that "Religious Americans are more likely than others to act in a variety of ways that benefit society, and they tend to be more actively engaged in the surrounding social sphere as well."

The Kosovo ambassador to the US was a refugee ten years ago during the ethnic cleansing. This week during a trip to speak at Utah Valley University he visited Church headquarters and LDS Humanitarian Services to thank the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their humanitarian involvement during that time.

Church service missionaries (different from proselytizing missionaries) rebuilt schools in Peru following the 2007 8.0 earthquake.
The Church provided the rebuilding resources then contracted with local construction companies to build the classrooms. Church engineers, added Brother Ramirez, oversaw every aspect of the school building, from the foundation to the roof and right down "to the amount of mixture in the cement." ...

Gil Villa is the mother of a child attending the Chincha school. She has noticed a difference in the students and her fellow parents since the rebuilt classrooms were opened last year. The children, she said, take ownership of their school. They are quick to report vandalism and other abuses. And the parents are doing their part to help.
"Every week parents come to clean the school," said Mrs. Villa. "We come every Friday to polish and wax the floors. We clean everything so on Monday, when the children return, they find a clean school."
 And a brief mention of last week's flooding in Venezuela and LDS relief efforts there, and cholera relief efforts in Papua New Guinea and Haiti. The Church also established its first stake [multiple congregation unit] in Guam for the 2,000 LDS living there.

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