Sunday, October 9, 2011
Posted by Kriss Gates
There are no pictures of the temple design as of yet. Therefore, we shall post a photo of our joy at being missionaries, together, in the Congo.
We are getting a temple in Kinshasa! We are thrilled, humbled, excited and overwhelmed. Whoever would have guessed that in this remote place in the world, where the church is still in pioneer stages... we would get a temple! It will be in Kinshasa, where our mission home is.
PReviously, our members have had to fly to South Africa to go to be sealed in the temple. It costs over $2000 per person to get there. Almost everyone is subsidized 95% by wealthy donators. The members now have to pay for the passports ($90 per person) and then make a "sacrifice" of some amount of payment. They usually pay about $50.00 per person, or less. These amounts are huge for most of the people here, and they have to save and scrimp to save anything over the basics of staying alive. They only have the opportunity to attend a temple once in their lives, to get their own endowments and be sealed as man and wife, for time and all eternity.
When our temple is built in Kinshasa, it will be about a 7 hour bus ride from Pointe Noire. It used to be an impossibility to cross through the thick rain forest jungle mountains. However, the Chinese are almost finished with a wonderful new highway that will go from Pointe Noire (where we live) to the capital of The Republic of Congo, Brazzaville. Then the members will take a boat ride across the Congo river, which is very, very wide at this point... and they will be in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (DRC) Attending the temple annually or quarterly will be a possibility for them!
Last Saturday we returned home from being missionaries about 10:45. We were able to stream in the last 15 minutes of the audio of conference on KSL.com. It doesn't usually work, but on that day it did. After it was over, I dozed off to sleep. Ed started reading the highlights of conference on KSL.com. He read aloud, "President Monson announced 5 new temples are to be built." I perked up and listened to him read that one would be in Provo, one in France, one in Wyoming and 2 in Africa. We couldn't believe 2 in Africa! (Remember, Africa is HUGE!) Then I really woke up. "One will be in Durbin South Africa" and the other"... I sat up, as Ed read... "Oh, Kriss, It will be in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." Thinking he was teasing me, I leaned over to read his computer screen. And there it was!!! "Kinshasa"!
We were so excited we just hugged each other and tearfully kept saying "I can't believe it!" We both jumped onto our emails and saw that most of our children had been writing or calling, ever since it was announced live in Salt Lake about 5 hours earlier. Words cannot express how special our prayers of Thanksgiving were that night!