Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Week in Kinshasa

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Above you see the beautiful Thanksgiving table just before it was loaded down with delicious dishes contributed by all the senior couples. This is the Mission Home of President and Sister Jameson. We had a very nice meal -- too much good food. So now you know that we really aren't living in a little grass hut in the middle of nowhere with no luxuries around us. We are quite comfortable, especially being surrounded by the great people we serve with.
Here are the hors-d'oeuvres that Elder and Sister Stagg provided. Crabmeat on crackers and little homemade quiches. Very nice, and hard not to fill up on before the main meal.
This picture is out of order, but since you know how inept I am with trying to move the pictures around, you get it this way.
Above is Elder B and one of our partners showing how the water which is collected off the roof during a rainstorm is stored in these tanks and used for handwashing and latrine flushing in our new school latrine (the pink and blue ones you saw in an older blog).
Back to the Thanksgiving meal, here are the pies we provided for the meal. We transported them in this nifty huge basket that was in our apartment when we moved here. Finally found a use for it, aside from looking really cool in our living room. The pies - the first ones I've made here - actually came out great. We bought two huge squashes (like the one that the jack-o-lantern was carved out of in an older blog), cooked them up and made the pies. The middle one is an apple pie. Unfortunately, we had to forego our traditional chocolate silk pies this year -- not safe to eat raw eggs here.
Our apartment complex is getting a paint job. This was taken out our front window on the second floor. The picture below was supposed to be first, but oh well. We wanted to show you an up close photo of the man putting up the scaffolding, then show you (above) exactly where he was. No safety precautions here. Just very good balancers!
Back at the new latrine, this young artist is sculpting the name of the church (in French) onto the front of the latrine -- freehand. It will say, "Gift from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
At a different site, these happy women and Gaston, a partner, are showing us how thrilled they are to have a well close to their homes so they don't have to go so far to get dirty water to drink. Gaston did a great job on this project, and we plan to do another with him next year. For those of you who remember Betty Williamson, mom of Vivian Moses, take a close look at the woman in the middle front. Doesn't she look like Betty?
Below is another of the many beautiful sites as we walk along the Congo River. We have heard this called by several names -- poncianna, flaming tree -- but whatever it is, it is vibrant. We also saw this in Jamaica. The Congo has so many of the same flowers and trees and fruits we knew in Jamaica.
This is how we spend Family Home Evening. Eating. That's Elder Hatch and President Jameson snacking. We had planned to play games this particular evening, but we never got to the games. Just sat around eating and talking. Our favorite way to unwind from the challenges of hot, bumpy roads with crazy drivers and hungry policemen.
At the present time we are enjoying 3 days of 'lockdown' in our apartments because of the presidential elections going on tomorrow. There may be some incidents, and the US Embassy has advised us to all stay home for a few days. We feel perfectly safe where we live, but we all want to be obedient, so we stocked up on books and a few DVDs to occupy our many hours at home. We may have to leave the country for a week or so after the 4th when the results of the voting are posted. There may be some unhappy people around. So if there is no blog next week, you will know why. We will be flying to Johannesburg, So. Africa. Another adventure!
Please don't worry about us. The news reports make it sound worse than it really is. We are loving this place and the work and of course, the people. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for visiting the blog.
Elder and Sister Bingham

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Election week, no ceremonies week

Happy Birthday, Jennifer Kelly, beautiful daughter of ours!
This week held some disappointments, namely that our closing ceremonies had to be postponed due to the political unrest. Postponed, but not cancelled, so you will be seeing those ceremonies on the blog in the near future.
We begin this blog with a few random, but unique photos. Below, you see another example of the resourcefulness of these wonderful Congolese people. Elections are coming up. There are hundreds and hundreds of individuals running for office. When you are running for office, you have banners made. Lots of banners. Hundreds and hundreds of plastic banners. Then you hang them everywhere. This huge electrical transmission tower serves very well to display some of those banners. We feel that if you want a going business during election time, you should start a banner-printing business. We thought our son-in-law Brad Huskey would enjoy this....he works for PG&E and has climbed such towers....but not with banners, we'll wager.

This little guy below is just an average-size grasshopper we found on the ground of one of our project sites. Unfortunately, he lost his back hopper legs as the man holding him tried to situate him for the photo. Poor little hopper-less hopper.
Today was Stake Conference in the Kinshasa Stake. Afterwards, we had the privilege of meeting little Gabrielle, the daughter of one of our service missionaries who also works at the Temporal Affairs building with us. She just was not sure of that whitey holding her, and we never were able to coax a smile out of her.
We were very impressed with out new camera's ability to take long shots. We were on the other side of the valley when our engineer pointed this out to us. We could barely see it with our eyes, but look at the detail! These are the hollow cylinders that are formed with concrete that are gradually dropped on top of each other as the well is dug. One meter wide, one meter across. Most of our wells are about 20 meters deep, so that means at least 20 of these are sitting on top of each other from the bottom of the well to the top. And one guy gets to be at the bottom digging with a short shovel and filling a small bucket on a rope that is lifted out, emptied, and sent back down empty. We think these people are amazing for their hard work and creativity.
We know we have posted other pictures of our wells being pumped, but this is our favorite. And in case it looks like Sis. B is struggling to pump, SHE IS! It is hard work to prime the pump, and I almost didn't make it without help. This is why the Congolese people have such muscles! They snicker over our weak ones. This well has just been completed and we asked that the contractor allow the villagers to go ahead and begin using it instead of expecting them to wait until the closing ceremony. They need the clean water NOW.
Last week we told you of the colorful latrines, but neglected to take a picture of the blue (boys) one. Here it is! That's Brother Kadi Kadi in the great hat, and President Kiembwe, President of the organization we are partnering with to do the work. He is also a counselor in his Stake Presidency. They are wonderful men and we love working with them.
The rainy season is upon us, and the roads are atrocious. Every rain storm destroys the roads more and more. The potholes are bigger and deeper. Elder B loves the driving and dodging!
We did have one exciting police experience. For background, the couples get hassled a lot by the police here, because they want us to give them money in order for them to let us proceed. So much hassle that President Jameson, our Mission President, had been stopped one too many times, so he called the Police department and made an appointment with the top guy. The interview went very well, the General was very kind and interested in our plight, was very impressed with the work we do here as volunteers, and he offered to give each of us his personal card to use with his phone number if we had trouble with any of his men. Elder B has really been looking forward to using that card....As we were driving down the main street in town one day this week, the policeman up ahead looked down the line of cars and saw us, the whiteys, coming toward him. So he stepped out in front of our car and demanded us to pull over. We do not pull over. That's asking for trouble. We stay in the lane blocking traffic so the other motorists get mad at the policeman for holding up traffic. With doors locked and windows up, he tried to tell us that we had done something wrong. Of course, Elder B tried to tell him that we don't speak French. Using sign language, the policeman demanded to see our driver's license. Did that, through the window. He still wasn't satisfied. Finally we had to pull out our trump card -- the business card of General Olako. Then Elder B casually swerved around the policeman, squealed his tires, and took off. However, this policeman didn't like that, so he had his partner on a motorcycle chase us down. We were at a stop light, so he came up beside us and demanded us to pull over. No go. I was a little panicky by then, but once again the General Olako card was displayed, Elder B asked, "Do you want me to call him?" and the motorcycle cop just sort of faded away. We love this place!!
That's all for this week. Have an outstanding week -- we know we will!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween and a Pink Latrine!

Happy Sabbath to all of you!
This week has been a very busy one -- not enough time to do everything we needed to do, but still enough time to take a few pics to share with you.
We begin, and end, with our projects. Below is Aime (pronounced Emmeh), who is an employee of the Mission, and an excellent driver if you need someone to find absolutely any place in Kinshasa in a hurry. He is also a great one to take the sisters shopping when the husbands refuse! His connection to one of our projects is his shirt. His wife has been going to the Stake Sewing Project classes, and learned how to sew, and here is her first completed item -- worn very proudly by her husband. We are thrilled at her progress, she is thrilled with her accomplishment, and Aime is thrilled with a new shirt! This sewing project has been an amazing success!! This picture was taken on Oct. 31, which leads us to the next picture....

Our own President Jameson being a grandpa to the prematurely - born Ariel, son of another of the Mission employees, Thierry (pronounced Teery). Ariel is three months old, and a whopping 8 pounds almost. Look at those fat cheeks! President J is loving his 'grandpa duty' while parents are busy elsewhere, which leads us to picture #3........

Halloween is not celebrated here in the Congo. But some individuals, who will remain unnamed, wanted to know more about our strange customs on Oct. 31. So the Hatches and Jamesons hatched up a plan....have a Halloween dinner/party for the couples and mission employees AND their children (whoops, not the couples' children -- sorry), and introduce them to Halloween!
Binghams were given the assignment to find a pumpkin. But there really are no orange pumpkins in Kinshasa. We looked high and low for a large round squash. We finally found this interesting squash and hoped it would suffice. The Jamesons were thrilled, and as you can see, Mr. Green Squash made a delightful jack-o-lantern, cut by President Jameson himself. The children were amazed what that squash turned into, and then when Sis. Jameson inserted the candle and turned out the lights, their amazement turned to astonishment. The next activity was to go Trick or Treating down the Mission Home hallway, stopping at each doorway and yelling "Trick or Treat!!" First these little Congolese children were taught by Sis. J to say "Trick or Treat!" in English. They learned VERY fast. Then they were off down the hall with their parents in tow. Guess who had the most fun??? (Elder B and I gave the parents a little secret lesson on how to "taste-test" their children's Halloween candy after the kids went to bed...a tradition in our home. Is it in yours, too?) Finally, a loud game of "Don't eat Pete!" with peanuts. We learned the next day that one of the children used her candy-filled bag as a pillow that night, and another said, "Can we go trick or treating tonight?" AND a dad did a great job snooping in his sleeping son's candy bag.

Now on to the latrine (toilet). As you know, most of our projects are hand-dug wells, and we combine those with a school latrine and rainwater catchment project. As the latrines are constructed, we check on their progress. Below are two of the latrine stalls. Yes, those are merely holes in the floor. Your feet straddle the hole and .....well, you get the picture. That's what is used here. But take a look at the tile on the walls!! This is a palace-
On this particular latrine project, I jokingly said, "and the girls' latrine you'll paint pink, the boys' you'll paint blue, right???" JOKINGLY. Color is not gender-based here. Boys wear pink and flowered clothes. Baby boys are dressed in pink as often as any other color. Pink shoes, too. So the color thing was an unknown to them. However, this sweet engineer made sure my wishes were carried out. When we arrived at the project yesterday, the engineer and workmen were dancing they were so excited to show us the painted latrines. The boys' was the brightest blue you can imagine, too. (sorry, Elder B forgot to take a picture in all the screaming (mine). Do you see why we love this mission? It is a blast!

This picture just had to be taken. She was sitting on her mom's lap, and her grandma was nearby. Grandma asked if we could please take this picture. (She doesn't have an extra ear, that's her brother right behind her.)
Below is what became of our beautiful Waters of Mormon spring. It's moving along, almost finished. Just wanted to give you a different view since last week. Notice the little girl hauling her water away. She'll still have to do that, but the water will be clean and unpolluted when the spring is completed and running normally again. The open box is where the water will be collected from the hillside. It will be covered. The two pipes at the bottom of the picture will be the pipes from which the clean water will flow. The runoff will be diverted to form another Waters of Mormon pool below the spring so the children will still have a place to play, swim, and bathe.
Next Saturday will be our first official Bingham project closing turning-over ceremony for one of the projects. The following Tuesday will be two more. We are on a roll! Hopefully a video will be taken with our amazing new camera and we can attach it to this blog. Until then, have a wonderful week. Here's a great thought to think about:
"Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine." Elder Robert D. Hales, Oct. 2011 Gen. Conference

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We're Back and Better than Ever!

Hello all!
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have been away from our blog for nearly two months, and if there is anyone out there actually reading it, we do apologize. But we are back and running, and running with a new camera, at that! Hopefully you will see some benefits.
We begin with a photo of a rather unique part of Africa -- this is a picture of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, across the mighty Congo River from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the only place in the world where two country capitals are separated only by a river. We have not yet been to Brazzaville, but we have a stake there and have a project that includes the Brazzaville Stake, so we probably will be going there in the next few months. To do that, you must, of course, travel by boat. We understand that it is a very interesting, sometimes scary, but almost always inconvenient experience that takes most of the day. The boats have been known to get hung up on a sand bar while crossing, then the passengers are transferred to another boat to complete the trip. And these boats aren't just for passengers. Oh no. These boats are the #1 way to move ANYTHING from one country to the other. So you have bags of vegetables, flour, and live animals traveling beside you.
But we wanted to show you how beautiful Brazzaville looks from our side of the river. We love walking along the river in the evenings. Today when this picture was taken, it was sunny and clear, the birds were singing, and the trees were in bloom. Just a beautiful day and we wanted to share it with you.

Moving on to our work, the picture below is a latrine (bathroom) nearing completion at a local school. There are no sit-down toilets in most latrines, only holes in the ground. And a bucket to flush with. But since there is no water at this school, we are funding a rainwater catchment system to provide hand-washing and flushing water for the students. When it rains, which it does nearly every day during this, the summer season, the water that runs down the corrugated tin roofs of the school building is collected in gutters that drain into large tanks. The tanks have a spigot where the buckets are filled and transported to the latrine. There are 600 + students at this school, and they have been using a single-hole latrine up until now. Count your blessings!
Another project of ours that is well underway is a spring catchment. It's a little hard to tell from this photo that this is a spring, but under all the concrete and rock there is quite a nice spring. It used to come out of the side of this hill and created a beautiful little pool that we named "The Waters of Mormon". However, we had to sacrifice the pool in order to capture the spring to keep it from being polluted by rainwater drainage, animals, and nearby latrines. Unfortunately, this simple project has turned into a huge project as it became necessary to expand the work to stabilize the hill and channel the rainwater runoff to protect the spring. But it is nearly finished, and then there will be two pipes with beautiful clean water running out above a concrete platform where the empty biddons can be placed to fill. The community is very happy to have this work done as it will improve their health by having clean water to drink.
Here is our Mission President's wife, Sister Jameson, holding a little girl at Church today. The hairdo just had to be photographed. Most of the hair is fake, extensions that are braided onto the ends of her own hair (takes hours to do, but is very common in both the young and old). Hair is a very big thing here, and we think that sometimes it is more important than even eating!! We love seeing all the varieties of braiding and extensions. Lots of beads, barrettes, clips, etc. And the wigs!!! We often struggle to recognize the women because each time you see them they have a different wig/hairdo!
Look at this precious little boy! His name is Russel, and he is the son of one of the bishops we work with at Temporal Affairs. His mom was attending the sewing class (background) which is another of our projects. Russel didn't even flinch when this whitey lady picked him up. Often just seeing us sends children running and crying to safety away from those Moondellies!
We wanted to show you two things in this picture below. This sewing project provided each of the 5 Kinshasa stakes with 20 sewing machines. The goal is to help women learn a marketable skill in order to improve their family income, thus becoming self-reliant. It has been a huge success! The machines we provided are Super Singer hand-crank or pedal machines (no electricity here). Imagine sewing with only one hand because the other is cranking the wheel. Very awkward, but they do it just fine!
If you will notice, two of these women are wearing glasses. The day we visited this project we brought along some reading classes, many of which were collected back in the US by two of our perfectly adorable granddaughters. They received permission to ask for donations of used glasses at their school and also at church. Then a couple who were coming here from the US brought them to us. Thank you so much, Holly and Kadee. We love you!! And these sisters can now see to thread those needles.
This picture is out of order and should have been up with the first spring picture, but the blog didn't put the photos in the order I attached them. Oh well. Just a small frustration. Anyway, this picture is of the same spring, but taken from across the valley as we were walking down to it. We thought the surroundings were so pretty and typical of the areas we work in that we had to share it. We love the zoom on our new camera!
If you could only hear what we were hearing! This is a group of workers who are hand-digging a well, one of 10 in this project. They are singing as they pump water out of a nearly finished well. They are a wonderful bunch of men, and they entertain us every time we visit.
Here's another one out of order, but oh well. Below is our own Brother Bekele, who spied Elder B's camo hat and just had to have it. Elder B said no, you can't have my hat. I need it. Brother Bekele said, you need to give this hat to me. I like it. I need it. Brother B said no, I need it. Brother Bekele finally settled for a picture in the hat, but Elder B had to promise him that when we leave the Congo, the hat is his. We love Brother Bekele. We are funding a big well project with his company. His sweet little wife comes out to the project every day to stay with her husband while the children are in school.
Now back to the last well. This woman lives near this well and has been looking forward to the day that she will be able to get her water from this well rather than walking so far down to a polluted river and carrying back a heavy biddon on her head. This particular day Masha, our engineer, called her over and said, "Mama, you be the first to pump water from this well!" And so she did. That's Masha pumping along with her, teaching her how.
We are having such a blessed time here. Words just can't describe the feelings we have. We are so thankful that, in spite of not speaking French, we were sent to this incredible place. We are well and happy. We have amazing friends, supportive family, and truly are surrounded by angels.
A la prochaine (until next time),
Elder and Sister Bingham

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fences, Feet, Freddie and Fun!

Here is Freddie, the baby boy of Fils, one of our interpreters, and his mom and dad. We went to their church meetings today to see Freddie blessed. Aren't they a cute family?

Above is a little guy at our club foot clinic having his cast removed by our own Dede and Elder B's leatherman tool. Worked great, and much faster than their serrated-edged knife or soaking the babies' legs in a bucket of water to soften the plaster. Dede would make an outstanding doctor -- he is very gentle and patient and loves children.

This may be a little hard to see, but here is Kisungu, our 3-week old baby who first came to the clinic 3 weeks ago with two club feet. After 3 castings, she has straight feet and no longer needs the casts! Her mom had her feet wrapped in the white tape so Dede removed it for the picture. Mom is very pleased with the results, and so are we. Our project at this clinic has been approved and we (LDS Humanitarian Services) will provide $15,000 worth of plaster bands and cotton for casting so many more babies such as Kisungu will have straight feet.

The Hatches and Binghams took a trip out to our little orphanage to build a fence. Here is little Nathan, the baby from an earlier blog. Such a cutie, but pretty solemn that day.

This young man at the orphanage had broken his femur (pretty serious break). The woman who runs the orphanage is a nurse, and she casted his leg and torso herself. Do you see that rod under his heel? That is a piece of tree branch she wrapped into the cast to stabilize his foot from turning while it heals. (So resourceful!) He will have the cast on for 3 months.

Here are some folding chairs (obviously). Now in the U.S., when we put away folding chairs, we first fold them up, then lean them in stacks upright against a wall, right? Or fold them up and stack them in a chair rack. But the Congolese are used to those plastic chairs that stack on top of each other. Hence, the folding chairs are stacked the same way!! Who cares if they fold up?

Back to the orphanage, we couples pitched in and bought the materials to have this fence built, and Elder B and Elder Hatch took us out there and set it up with rebar and wire. Now the kids can play ball without the ball rolling down the steep hillside into a very busy road!

The finished product with the children posing for us. We also took some cookies for them which were generously donated by our two guys who run our little store downstairs. Ali and Prem are the best!

Sister Hatch showing the children that she, too, can jump rope! Dig that totally African dress -- she had it made here.

Well, that's all for this week from the DR Congo!

We love you and hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Babies in Buckets

Here we are at the Club Foot Clinic again, one of our favorite places to visit. This little guy has been casted multiple times, and each time he returns to the clinic, his mom sticks him in the bucket of cold water to soften the cast so it can be removed. No cast saws here!! After the cast is soft enough, the mom takes a huge serrated-edged knife and cuts off the cast. This process takes 30-60 minutes. IF there was electricity and IF there was an electric cast saw, all this would be done in minutes. But the moms expect to do this, and they patiently work with those casts with a smile on their faces. Such dedicated moms!

A beautiful little princess and her beautiful mama, waiting for her turn at the clinic. This was her first visit.

This little cutie is lying on is stomach on his mom's lap while she is hard at work doing the bucket thing. He was having a ball just talking and laughing, while all the time .......

exposing his little hiney to the whole world!!

This is the clinic cook making foo-foo. This is the most popular food in the Congo- the staple - It is made from the roots of the cassava plant. The roots are peeled, chopped up, soaked, pressed,
spread out in the hot sun and dried, then ground into flour. The flour is what foo-foo is made of. They boil the flour with some corn flour in water, then stir stir stir. The consistency is of very thick cream of wheat. It is eaten with some sort of gravy and fish. Eating utensils are not usually used, so the foo-foo is rolled into a ball with the fingers and dipped into the gravy. We plan on trying some real soon. It doesn't have much nutrition, but it fills the belly.

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to the second Youth conference, this time a two-stake affair with only 600 YM & YW attending. We all learned a lot from our previous one, so this one went much more smoothly. We were dreading it because it was held in a much smaller building and we heard there would be 1000 attending. Thank goodness it wasn't quite so big. Elder B spent much of his time in the kitchen with the ladies yukking it up and making sandwiches. They sang Church hymns to him in French while working. When it was time to clean up, he tried to do some cleaning, but they wouldn't let him. At the end of the conference, there was to be a little dance (sort of talent show), but it got a little rude (again, like last week.) During one of the numbers (terrible rap song) the electricity suddenly went out. So the kids went home. It turned out that the electricity didn't really go out....Elder B just decided it was over and went out and pulled the power switch. Perfect way to end the day! He felt a little guilty about it later, but everyone else thanked him over and over.

We will end this with a bit of good news from Lafayette Super Market. Not only are Ali and Prem promising chocolate chips, they are saying that they will begin ordering PEPPER JACK cheese!!! I will give them a few weeks before requesting corn tortillas and green chili enchilada sauce.

Life is good.
From these Mundelis we bid you Botakala malambu! (Lingala for good bye)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Youth Conference in the DRC!!

For the first time in the history of the church in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a youth conference was held. It was a tri-stake event. It was the idea of Elder and Sister Hatch, our awesome office couple, who have been involved in the youth forever, first at home (New Mexico) and now here in Kinshasa. They knew that if they did all the planning and all the work, it wouldn't teach the local members anything at all, so the whole event was delegated to the local Stake and Ward leaders. And it worked!! There were close to 800 youth in attendance!! (The picture above is only about 80% present.) We were hoping for 300. Yikes!!! And they kept coming and coming, up until lunch-time. Finally those at the registration tables said, "Just go find a class and enjoy! Don't worry about registering!" The classes taught were on Temple Marriage (taught by a darling couple just returned from the temple), Missionary Preparation taught by our own interpreter Fils, Singing taught by Joseph, an outstanding musical guy and return missionary, Duty to God for the YM, Personal Progress for the YW, and Outdoor Games taught by two US guys who are temporarily working here in Kinshasa. Classes rotated every 45 minutes.
In spite of some logistical problems, it was a huge success and we hope it gets in the Church News. But even if it doesn't, the purpose was accomplished: To get the youth together to have a spiritually uplifting day, and to have lots of fun at the same time. For the adults, a sampling of what they themselves can do for their youth.

For closing exercises we tried to get everyone inside, but didn't quite make it. This is the chapel and cultural hall. You may notice that not only are there YM and YW-aged attenders, but also Primary age (their older siblings couldn't come unless they brought the younger ones) and some young single adults who just couldn't stay away. We think we also attracted the neighborhood youth, but figured why not? What better place for them to be on a Saturday?

Three young men who were begging to have their picture taken. We had just broken for mid-morning snack -- peanuts and a 'biscuit'.

The whole event was just what President Gingery used to say about his missionaries in Jamaica: herding cats! Imagine herding 800 youth at one small building.

So much was learned! (by the leaders even more than the youth). For example, what a 'dance' means to Congolese youth. Not where everyone gets on the dance floor and dances. Oh no...It was more like a talent show. Small groups got on stage and put on a dance exhibition. Unfortunately, they are in love with rap, and the exhibitions (very suggestive) had to be ended almost before they began. Now we know what a 'dance' is. Another 2-stake conference is being held next Saturday, and there will be a few changes - especially in the dance category. That is how we learn!

Above is one of our club foot babies who will begin treatment to straighten her feet.

We revisited the Club Foot clinic this week to follow our little baby girl. Last week you saw her before she began treatment. Here she is in all her glory -- and all her casts. After we left, her casts came off, she was assessed, and re-casted to turn her feet gradually. You will begin to see a difference this next week when we return for our 3rd visit.

That's all for this week. We may be taking our third trip to Luputa next week to check out the water system there and offer support to the water committee. Our recently written projects are getting approved and we will start signing contracts now and get busy with the work. It has been a great (complicated, frustrating, scary, worrisome) experience, and we look forward to the future in serving the Lord this way in the Decmocratic Republic of Congo.

Our love to you all.