A Long Walk to Church

A Long Walk to Church
One of my favourite activities I try to do each week is visit the Patron Housing for the Johannesburg temple and welcome the patrons who come from all over our Area to the temple.
Elder Carl B. Cook.jpg

Today I would like to tell you about a sweet 84 year old lady from Zambia who visited the temple last year. Her name is Christine Namwinga.

Christine was baptized on 6 April 2014 and duly confirmed a member of the Church. She lost her husband in 1992. She also suffered through the death of all ten of her children. Five of them died when they were young, at the same time, being swept away in a flash flood as they took cover under a bridge in a heavy African downpour. One son died on his wedding day of a heart attack, another daughter died giving birth to her first child and the others died of malaria.

In January 2014 Christine became destitute and came in from her village to ask the priest for help, only to be turned away and told he couldn’t help her. She wandered through town and noticed a white signboard: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was Saturday, so she spent the night waiting outside the building until she could attend church. She recognized a strong spirit drawing her there. And so began her conversion. The elders began to teach her.  On Sunday she would get up at 3:00 a.m. and walk the nine hours it took to get to church.

A year later Sister Namwinga was ready to visit the Johannesburg South Africa Temple to receive the saving ordinances for herself and her family. It was her first ever trip out of town, her first ever trip on a big bus (the bus ride with border crossing was 38 hours), and her first ever trip out of the country. She was so excited, and so nervous.

She spent two days at the temple with her group and then back on the bus again for another 38 hours. There were 19 adults who came at the same time which included the parents of three families with a total of 10 children under 11 on the bus.

Sister Christine had a marvelous experience at the Temple. She loved every minute of it. She was sealed to all ten of her children, her husband and her parents. Following this trip, she spent time writing her thoughts and feelings about the experience (see below). She is a beautiful lady who has a strong testimony of the Gospel and love for her Savior.

My name is Christine Namwinga

My name is Christine Namwinga
I know that my Heavenly Father loves me very much, in that He has made it possible for me to reach this age and special time to allow me visit the temple.

I thank very much the missionaries who taught me the restored gospel, and also many thanks go to Sister Lowe and Sister Query for their tireless help in my life. They have made me become more dedicated and strong in the things of the Lord as well as temporal.

I know that if I continue following the commandments I will truly be saved and live a better life here on earth.

I am happy that I was sealed to my husband, children and my parents, because this assures me that one day we will see each other and be together forever in the life to come.

I will always remember your help, my sisters, and I will be crying anytime you come to my memories.

I know that this Church is true and it is led by a prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet from God.

I promise that I will share what I know to be true in this Church to other people so that they can come to the knowledge of the restored gospel as well.