These three men live in a village in the bush North of Kolwezi called Kinkondja. Having seen how it is in the villages, we would never have guessed that they lived there. Somehow, we're not sure exactly how, they learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and were baptized. There are now 15 members, 6 priests, and 20 investigators, all of whom usually attend Church on Sunday. There are, however, 30 tithe payers. These men bring the tithing from the village every 6 months when they come to District Conference. This helps us better understand the sacred nature of tithing.
These people do not have the full programs of the Church. They hold Sunday School and study only from the scriptures. They have not been given permission to administer the sacrament, but they are faithful Saints.
For District Conference some of them come to Kolwezi twice a year. This time it was only these three. It's the rainy season and it rains almost every day, making travel hard. In the dry season 10-20 people will come. Sometimes they come for a week or so in order to go to a regular church meeting to take the sacrament. It is such a show of strength and faith that they continue to meet and, even more so, that they come to District Conference. We have known too many in our life who think that Stake Conference is a vacation weekend in the church.
After the meeting Elder Jameson met with them for a few minutes. They asked if we were going to come to see their group. It almost broke our hearts. I'm not sure that a car could even get to their village and even in a car, traveling for another 300 miles down those dirt roads seems beyond our ability. But I will never forget those three great men, very small and humble in the eyes of the world, but amazing giants among men to me. I hope their demonstration of faith and devotion will be heard by many and inspire us to be more committed and willing to sacrifice.
Read about the Cameroon saints' trial-filled journey to the temple.