Sunday, July 8, 2012

Graduation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dear Family and Friends,

We have finished the first phase of training (12 weeks) for our first group of students. Last night was a graduation ceremony where certificates were awarded. Along with our students there were two other groups who received completion certificates. One group had just completed electrical training at a local vocational school and the other group received training similar to ours at a construction site.  There were a total of forty recipients. One of the attached photos shows all forty students seated in the choir seats in the local chapel where the ceremony was held. In addition to being recognized as graduates they were the choir for the ceremony. True to the nature of the Congolese people they sang with loud volume and enthusiasm.  One would have to be here and experience it to fully appreciate the musical gusto that these people possess...

Graduation talks were graduation talks. Much was said but few of the words will be remembered. What will be remembered is that there were sincere expressions of appreciation by each of the student speakers and it was clear that they were speaking for their entire constituency. Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City helped JoAnn to produce some beautiful completion certificates. The certificates were written in English on one side and re-written in French on the reverse side. It was a delight to witness facial expressions as each student received his certificate. An added bonus was that students were congratulated by Brother Georges Bonnet as timing was such that he was in town for the ceremony.  The Office of Temporal Affairs put icing on the cake when they surprisingly presented each student with sets of tools for them to use in performing their freshly acquired skills. . .

The support that couples have for other couples is awesome. The support we have from Salt Lake is also awesome. We recognize that we are all in this together. We share this with all of you because, when we say that we are all in it together, you are included. What we have said here in words doesn't compare with what you can see in the pictures if you look closely.  With love,

Elder and Sister Billings      

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