Saturday, March 17, 2012

Still More Tender Goodbyes and "Last Encounters"

In the final full week in January the Branch Presidency was changed in Kilili. It was an emotional time for all involved. We loved working with President Makiti and fully support and love the new Branch President: Joseph Musembi. As we visited the Branch for the last time on the 29th not only was the Branch Presidency changed but there was a baptism and the members surprised us with a going away party or as they call it a "bye bye party". That made for a very long but wonderful day. Because of the change in the Branch Presidency. President and Sister Broadbent accompanied us. It is difficult to describe the feelings that we had as we drove that 158 Km to church for the very last time, especially the last 31 Km of dirt road with all of the beautiful people who we passed along the way each week for the past 20 months. It is not just the dear friends in Kilili that we will miss but the many wonderful people who greeted us with friendly smiles and especially the small children who waved enthusiastically to us as we drove by each Sunday. We will also remember and be humbled by the sights of people digging holes in the dry river bed to find enough water to last another day, then watching mostly women and children carrying their heavy loads of water and firewood on their backs or on their heads for miles, the people cultivating their fields usually by hand or if they are lucky with a oxen-pulled plow. But in spite of it all they are such happy people. It reminds me that what we see as "needs" are mostly just "wants" and we too often are not content with what we have. It is in fact true that the poorest members of our society have more than most Africans.

As can be seen several holes have been dug in this section of the river bed under the metal bridge that we crossed each week. These young men have the benefit of having a trailer to carry the water.

We say goodbye to the Elders that currently serve in the Kilili Branch: Elder Jackson & Elder Tuckett.

It was difficult to say goodbye to our dear friend President Davis Makiti and his family. He had just been released on this day. His daughter currently serves on her mission in Mesa, Arizona and his son just received his call to serve in the California Anaheim Mission.

Penninah and her husband Lawrence say goodbye by presenting a gift to us. With the instructions that it is to be given to our first-born because she is the first-born of her family (oops don't tell Lisa she is getting an African made bag).

No comments: