5 baptisms tomorrow, Sunday!
We are blessed to have Elder and Sister Brown (from Phoenix AZ) staying with us (residing in Jinga) this weekend conduct Perpetual Education Fund Training - - a program for those worthy adult members in poverty who may benefit from low-interest education loans after they have been taught principles of self-reliance. The PEF was implemented a number of years ago by the former President of The Church, Gordon B Hinckley. Students begin immediately making small monthy payments each month (equal to about $4 U.S.), but they start paying back in earnest 6 months after completing their schooling/training; they have 6-8 years to pay back their loan. The funds are then used for others with similar needs, hense a perpetual education fund. It is totally funded by members from other parts of the world and other philanthropic individuals who donate specifically to the fund. Currently there are about 60,000 individuals participating in PEF. Many more have benefited from the workshops on self-reliance.
Three key principles taught in today's training:
1. No one will ever walk out of poverty who expects something for nothing. Success and prosperity have always been based on hard work.
2. To walk out of poverty members must: a. pay an honest tithing; b. learn principles of self-reliance; c. pay a generous fast offering ( helping the poor); and d. Serve one another. Many examples were shared testifying of these principles.
3. Effectual praying is work! See Work in the bible dictionary. When we have followed correct principles for prosperity and then diligently petition the Lord for His help, He is bound to uphold his eternal laws and promises. No question about it!
We, as well as the Gulu members, learned a lot from this wonderful training.
We love being here, but at times we feel overwhelmed, trying to keep pace with all there is to do or we would like to do for these good people. This week we came across a quote from Anne Morrow Lindberg that used to hang on the wall of Neil A Maxwell's office, (deceased member of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), "My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds." Elder Maxwell commenting on her quote..."That's good counsel for us all not as an excuse to forego duty, but as a sage point about pace and the need for quality in relationsips."
Another inspiring quote from Elder Maxwell regarding the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. (from General Conference address, "Willing to Submit")
03187_000Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, “astonished”! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (See Luke 22:43.)
The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future—pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement. (See Alma 7:11–12; Isa. 53:3–5; Matt. 8:17.) The anguished Jesus not only pled with the Father that the hour and cup might pass from Him, but with this relevant citation. “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me.” (Mark 14:35–36.)
Had not Jesus, as Jehovah, said to Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14.) Had not His angel told a perplexed Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible”? (Luke 1:37; see also Matt. 19:28; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27.)
Jesus’ request was not theater!
In this extremity, did He, perchance, hope for a rescuing ram in the thicket? I do not know. His suffering—as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity—evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness. (See Matt. 27:46.)
Even so, Jesus maintained this sublime submissiveness, as He had in Gethsemane: “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39.)
Pam: On Thursday Elder Moore had a last minute conflict regarding our truck so I "taught" Institute, only about 15 minutes preparation time. I normally don't attend because we have a dinner at our home immediately afterwards for some of the prospective missionaries and also teach at that time the Temple Preparation course. But being involved was a wonderful experience, implementing the teaching principles emphasized in CES. There were 17 students. The spirit was strongly in attendance as I tried to help them with some things they didn't understand, but more significant was their own small group study and teachings to one another on the The Creation, the Fall and Christ's Atonement and how they are all in sync with each other. They effectively used the scriptures and shared great insights into these important doctrines. It was a such a high seeing them declaring important truths about the Great Plan of Happiness. Wow! There's no doubt many of them will be great leaders in Africa some day. It's truly amazing how fast they learn.