"The 4th largest city in Sierra Leone is Makeni. It is about 2.5 hours from Freetown and is fairly well developed, for the 10th worst developed country in the world. There have been some members meeting there in a vocation school as an authorized group. We visited there with John when he came and visited us. There were 70 people there, including 50 or so members.
"They have been meeting since 2006, with the group leader - a very tenacious man, as their leader. He has been constantly pushing to create a branch. He is a returned missionary, as are a couple of other members. His name is Prince Kailie. He is a wonderful pioneer.
"We will organize this group into a branch shortly, have rented a house, which is being renovated into a chapel with 5 classrooms. We also will have full time missionaries there at the next transfer with an apartment that is being refurbished (a water tank, locks on the doors, etc).
"We sent the assistants to Makeni for a couple of days to meet with the investigators that have been attending. They identified 11 that were immediately ready for baptism and did their interviews.
"This last Saturday, they held their first baptism, with all 11 people baptized.
"They had a hard time finding a place to do the baptism, but had organized with a local village (6 mud huts with thatched roofs), to use their swamp, which had a deep place to do the baptisms. We planned for them to do it on their own, but then realized on Friday that they didn't have any baptismal clothing, so Rachelle and I drove it out on our way to Bo. (envision driving to Moab on your way to St George, via Provo both times).
"We did a short baptismal service at the as of yet unrefurbished church and then loaded up a taxi van (puda puda) with most of them, and our car, and one other and drove 30 minutes into the bush - I mean bush - to the village.
"Then we had a sweet baptism and a return to Makeni - then 4 hours later we arrived in Bo."
|Here are the baptismal candidates.|
|The baptismal font|
|Into the bush after the paved road|
|Just 2 more miles ...|
|... and some more|
|Preparing dinner --- rice (removing the husk)|