One of our friends recently gave us these pictures of the very early days of the Church in the DR Congo. Tommy Muhendy joined the Church when he was 14 years old. His was one of the first families baptized into the Church in the DR Congo. He is the young man third from the left. Like others of his time, he was active in the Young Men's program, served a mission, and worked hard to put himself through college (a very rare occurance). He graduated with a degree in accounting, and became CFO of a large non-profit organization here. Then, the Church approached him to become Finance Manager for the Church (Temporal Affairs) in the DR Congo and other countries that comprise our mission. He is a great young man, he serves as first counsellor in the Stake Presidency of the Kinshasa Stake.
Tommy today.He is just one of a great generation who, individually or together with their families, joined the Church in the mid 1980's. Standing with Tommy are two individuals who joined about the same time. They are faithful fathers, husbands, and Church leaders.
I will insert the rest of the pictures at the end of this blog article. In these pictures you will see early members. The whites are either missionary couples, mission presidents, and the family was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa. Also, you will see David M. Kennedy, then Ambassador at Large for the Church. We had previously been Chairman of the World Bank, and I think Sec. of Treasury. Also, is Marvin J. Ashton.
Bishop Edgely, of the Presiding Bishopric, Visited the DR Congo and the Republic of Congo this week. Today, we had a meeting with all of the Church employees and the missionary couples. The Church employees include Institute and Seminary, Temporal Affairs - finance, building construction, building maintainance, distribution, transportation, legal, real estate, etc. In his address to us, he told the group that if they lived to see their great grandchildren, they would see a miracle of growth as great as it would be if the six original members of the Church in 1830, could see today's growth.
Of course, much of the focus of his visit was the new Kinshasa Temple. No site has been announced yet. But, much work is going on to find a site and start the approval process.