The Jane Goodall Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in Pointe NoireLast Monday we were invited by the Gakoussa family to come to Family Home Evening with them. After we had been there for about an hour, Lodee said we were going to the "Lake" because she had promised her children that this would be the activity part of FHE. When we arrived at the Lake we couldn't believe how beautiful it was. Lodee had told us on the other side of the lake is where the Chimpanzee's live. So when I went to do some research on the Lake, I found out that indeed Chimpanzee's do live there and that it was the largest Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Africa.
Max, Elder Johnston,Prince, Mama, Divine, Lodee with baby Estras, Sister Bailey, Patrick (Lodee's brother) , Nuanti, Uncle, and Elder Wright.
Here is part of an article I read about the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabiltation Center:
"Every year poachers in the Congo Basin kill thousands of chimpanzees as part of the illegal bushmeat trade. The hunters spare the lives of the smallest, confiscating them and selling them as pets, despite laws forbidding such trade. The Jane Goodall Institute works to end the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. To help the youngest victims, the orphaned babies, the Jane Goodall Institude operates the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, which is a safe haven in Pointe Noire, Congo, where orphans who government officials have confiscated from the black market can get needed care and attention."
There are currently over 160 chimpanzees being cared for. I couldn't believe it. . . . ! Jane Goodall was one of my idols! I have watched every documentary she has ever made on chimps. And here I was, right by her sanctuary! I felt like I was part of National Geographic . Had I known how special it was I would have taken many more pictures, but I am sure we will go there again. And next time I will be prepared.
Elder Bailey in front of Tchimpounga Lake
Tchimpounga Lake at sunset....Patrick was telling us that no one, other than a native Congolese, could be on this Lake. That if they got in the water, they would die. He told us there are "sirens" that live in the Lake. I kept looking at him waiting for him to laugh or say "just kidding". But he was very serious about warning us and truly believed what he was telling us!
Prince wanted his picture taken. Cassava bushes are in the background.
Wall Of Fame
On Saturday, May 3, David was baptized. Elder Ndayiezye and Elder VanAusdal have been teaching him.
Parfait was also baptized. Elder Etherington and Elder Garland have been teaching him. I asked Elder Garland why he didn't turn down his collar, and he told me he was going for the Joseph Smith look?!?
A few months back Parfait came to church all by himself. Elder Bailey noticed him and went to talk to him. He found out that Parfait had heard about our church and wanted to come to see what it was about. We found out he was at the wrong Branche, turned him over to the right set of missionaries, and he has been "golden" ever since. He is so excited to have found truth. He was baptized on Saturday, and yesterday in Sacrament Meeting he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood to the office of a Priest.
Perpetia, Perley, Leondra, and Gilbeau
Also, a few months back we mentioned how Leondra had told Elder Bailey that he would need his "hands" to help him bless his baby. Yesterday in church, Gilbert Leondra Malonga was given a name and blessing by his father.
It was a wonderful week, filled with many missionary opportunities, and blessings from a loving Father in Heaven, whose work this is.
Until next week......