We had an interesting and busy day today. We started out by meeting with Bishop Chris from the rural areas. He is the one who asks us continually for things that he can take back to his people and we have been warning him that we cannot keep giving as our focus is changing. We find him very manipulative. What it really came down to is that he will lose ‘face’ with his community if we don’t give him something to take back. We told him that we have to tell him ‘no’ and he will have to tell the people ‘no’. We discussed with him for well over an hour and he finally left with nothing. He has been receiving handouts from LDS Charities for a long time.
We talked to him about how people have to learn to take care of themselves and become self reliant. It was hard for him. Next, Pastor Mataya came to see us. He hasn’t received anything from the container yet so we arranged with him to take some clothes and blankets out to the rural area that he works in – also explaining that we can’t give him any more after this.
NOW – for the highlight of our day! Pastor Mike and Pastor Seka came to see us but they never asked for anything!! They are from Muzarabani – about 300 km. north. Last time we saw them Elder Bullock gave Pastor Seka a Book of Mormon and he has been reading it. They wanted to talk about it and learn more. They both have congregations and want to teach them from the Book of Mormon and want to make sure they understand. They are willing to come and ‘squat’ for a few days in Harare so they can be taught. Elder Bullock (Jim) taught them about where the B of M comes from and about the atonement and several other things. We invited the AP’s to come in and they talked to them for a little while. The pastors just ate it all up – they have also learned some things from humanitarian couples that they have dealt with previously. I wish I had a recording of our visit with them. They want it so badly. I ask what their superiors would think if they knew they were teaching from the B of M and they looked a little sheepish and said they would likely be run off – but they don’t care. I told them that our bishops and leaders do not get paid (it is all – if they join the church that would be the end of their income as pastors. That was okay too. Anyhow, due to the fact that they are so far from our ‘center of strength’ they cannot be taught. We have no missionaries up there because we don’t have enough to cover the area. They could come here and be taught but could not be baptized as there is no branch where they are.
Anyway – the mission president said we could give them each the missionary pamphlets, a conference edition of the Ensign magazine and a couple other things so that they have some correct things to teach. They were so happy to have the Book of Mormon and are so determined to teach their people. It was really an amazing experience – just like ones we hear about now and then. I don’t know what will happen but eventually the church will get to them – we just need more couples and missionaries to cover places like this so they can have the gospel.
This afternoon we met with some people from our church who wanted to show us a garden project they want to do and a need for some boreholes in the area. We have been praying that if we are suppose to do water projects that the Lord will guide us to the place that we could do this. This just might be an answer to prayer – it has some really good possibilities that we will pursue and is in an area that would help a large amount of people who now walk a long distance to get clean water.