Success Stories – We have been working with the branches to teach leadership and how to plan activities, etc. Thursday we met in Kyambeke for a 3-branch relief society planning meeting. They are planning a joint RS birthday party in March. We did a little training from the new Church Handbook about the purposes of the meeting and what it could include and turned the planning over to the sisters with one president in charge. It was wonderful to see how they caught the vision and enjoyed planning together. I had taken copies of a RS history reader's theater to see if the wanted to use it. They did and divided out the parts and all the assignments for the rest of the activity between the three branches. We wrote on the board and they all made notes of their assignments and set a date to meet one more time to finalize. Yes! It's working and wonderful to see the leadership getting a vision of working together in presidencies and with other branches.
Elder Blake works with leaders each week, endeavoring to deepen and strengthen branch Melchizedek, Aaronic and Sunday School Presidencies, to prepare them for present and new leadership callings as the branches grow and divide. Sunday it was with combined Priesthood and R.S. members, trying to help people look for solutions rather than just so many life problems. Presentation title was “That Which We Focus Upon Increases.” By seating English speakers with non-English speakers and with lots of time for partners to talk, many timely examples were shared, and personal goals written.
In December we wrote about having McBrides from Mombasa area and Bergners from Tanzania visit the Ilima Branch with us and teach the sisters how to make African paper beads. It is quite a process and we had a fun time but left thinking with just one lesson there's no way they will be able to make a finished product. What a wonderful surprise when Sister Elizabeth (RS Pres. from Ilima) and Sister Lucy (YW Pres. from Ilima) showed up early to the planning meeting, each with a paper bag full a beautiful necklaces they had made, and shared with us plans for helping the sisters in their branch and teaching sisters in the other branches how to make them. They are looking forward to marketing them as a means to help the sisters earn money working toward self reliance. The necklaces were just as beautiful as those they had seen as samples at the workshop! They are catching the vision.
We can't take credit for these success stories – only that we have been praying daily for couple missionaries to be prepared and accept calls to Africa. Elder Blake's brother, Karl, and his wife have been called to Johannesburg, South Africa on a mission! We're excited and happy for them and know how needed they are. With their strong faith and all their talents and abilities they will be a wonderful asset to that mission, and we know from experience how many blessings they will receive for their service.
Have a good week and know we are thinking of you.