Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It has been a while since our last blog. We are currently in Johannesburg, South Africa. If you are following the news, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the midst of its second only democratic election for president. The winner will be announced on Wed.Dec. 8, sometime. FOR MORE ON The events running up to the election and the post election issues. Google DR Congo Current Events to learn more detail. The situation was becoming very tense. Both candidates for president announced that they had won the election and were therefore the president.
The incumbent claims victory and assures the world that he will remain in power. The opposition claims he won the election and will take over the country. There are 4 missionary couples - counting the mission president - and we have watched the situation closely. When it was getting very dangerous (it is always dangerous in the DRC, this was really dangerous), the mission president in consultation with area authorities and Salt Lake City, decided we should leave the country temporarily. The attached photo is of the plaza in front of our apartment the day before we left. We decided to fly out to South Africa. We think we probably got on the last plane to leave the country before they closed the airport. The blue vehicle in the plaza is an armored personnel carrier with riot police PICTURE OF US GETTING OUT OF DODGE.
We left our apartment around 6:30 AM,while it was still somewhat dark outside to get to the airport while everyone was still asleep. Our flight was at 1:30pm, but it takes like two hours to get through all the red tape at the airport, and the road to the airport is one of the most dangerous hot spots in the city with the election issues, so we sort of sneaked out of town. We are sad to leave our great friends and associates, but it is best. As of yesterday, the government shut down all text messaging in the county, army and police roadblocks are everywhere. All embassies except the US have pulled their people. US embassy personnel are confined to quarters, and the city is a powder keg waiting to off. Whichever candidate is elected, the other will be pretty unhappy, and will cause trouble. The opposition party does not have an army or weaponry, so it will be street rioting etc. So, we are safe and sound in South Africa. The Church's South East Africa Regional Offices are here. We are being hosted by the missionary couples and the Area Presidency. We are referred to as the "refugees." We are staying in apartments that are owned by the Church and happen to be available. Yesterday we went to the Temple. We fasted for the people of the DRC and ended at the Temple. It was a great day. We keep in touch with people in DRC and they say it is calm but very tense. Our apartment in Kinshasa is a US Embassy building housing the offices of USAID, and housing for US Citizens. We understand that it is cordoned off and heavily guarded right now. HERE ARE PICTURES OF BEAUTIFUL JOHANNESBURG.
Tomorrow we are going to a game preserve. (I think it is the big cat preserve of which Johnny Huntsman sent picture) Then to a bird reserve. That will be cool, and we will do a game reserve blog. We are also doing some shopping - and eating. I actually had a Red Robin type hamburger and fries for lunch. We even had strawberries last night for dinner. We can even drink the water. We have been able to go to stores. We don't have to by bread and bananas from the people with baskets on their head in the street. However, we look forward to quickly returning to the DR Congo. We love the people, the country, and we have a lot of work left to do. Please pray for the DRC and the great people of that country.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Uncle Dick! I am so glad to hear that you are safe. I have been following your blog and enjoy hearing about your mission. I am sure that you and Aunt Susie are doing amazing work. I love you both so much and I am sure the people there do too. I was wondering if there is a place for me to send you our Christmas card this year. I can't promise it will get there in time for Christmas, but I thought you might enjoy it. If you want, you can email me your address. Love you both and hope you have a very Merry Christmas.