Jeffrey and Kathleen Bradshaw interview upon return from two year senior mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to The Democratic Republic of Congo, June 25, 2018.
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Couple Returns from Mission to Democratic Republic of Congo
Former Pace, FL residents, Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and his wife, Kathleen, have spent the last two years serving in the Mission office for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. They lived in an apartment within walking distance of the mission office, paid all their living expenses and had a full-time work schedule.
Senior Mission Assignments
Elder Bradshaw worked as the financial secretary handling the day to day expenses of the mission. Sister Bradshaw worked with the young full-time missionaries, women and men, serving in the Kinshasa region. Her tasks involved arranging travel, Visas and monthly supplies for them. When on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, missionaries have the Sabbath day for attending church services and a personal day each week.
Working closely with the younger missionaries, the Bradshaws spent many of their personal days visiting the young missionaries. They made sure the young sisters and elders had plenty of charcoal for outdoor cooking, and Books of Mormon, among other things. The young missionaries come from Europe and other countries within the African continent. Making arrangements can become very complicated when they are coming to DR Congo or returning home. Sometimes there may be political unrest in an area between where they were serving and where their home is. The Church takes great care to keep all their missionaries safe.
In addition to their office assignments in the mission, they also had the opportunity to gather information for oral history of church members and family history of some of the village chiefs in the area. On one such trip, the village chief could only remember back to his grand parents. He needed to rely on other village elders for help.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in DR Congo since 1986, There are over 60,000 members. About half of these members are men who are long term, active members. Missionaries are baptizing between one hundred sixty-five and one hundred eighty-five members per month. Churches are growing rapidly there and the need for missionaries is great in this region of Africa.
The city of Kinshasa has about 15 million inhabitants. They have life styles from living in a tin-roofed shack with no electricity or running water to apartments and homes with modern conveniences. There is enough enthusiasm about The Church that a temple is being built in the city. Since the time of Solomon, temples have had the same purposes, including bringing people closer to God.
Holy temples are as necessary today as they were anciently when they served as sacred locations to make covenants, perform holy ordinances, and to be taught by God. Today in over 140 temples worldwide, Mormons do those same things. In these temples, faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find opportunities for peaceful reflection and for learning more about God’s plan of happiness for His children.
Every person who has lived on the earth is entitled to the opportunity to receive the blessings of eternal life and eternal family relations. Through the power of the priesthood, members are married for time and eternity. They perform proxy baptisms for their ancestors who died without enjoying the blessings of this saving ordinance.
“Our apartment was right across the street from where the new temple is being built,” said Elder Bradshaw. “We got to see daily progress.”
“The people there are very friendly. We felt very safe while we were on our senior mission,” said Sister Bradshaw. “And there were children, lots of children. They are darling. Most families have very little. Families are precious to them.”