From around the world

Africa Area

First meetinghouse started

ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST - The symbolic "first stone," a ceremonial start of construction, was held Feb. 6, for the first Church meetinghouse in Ivory Coast. More than 60 members and their friends gathered at the ceremony to commemorate the start of the Yopougon meetinghouse, which will house two branches and the offices of the Abidjan District presidency.

Pres. J. Thomas Kallunki of the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission said this was "a day long dreamed of," and that the building was expected to be completed this August. His first counselor, Philipe Assard, said that since the first branch in Ivory Coast was organized on April 12, 1986, the Church has grown to some 2,500 members in 14 branches and two districts.

Abidjan District Pres. Guillaume Alle told those in attendance that the building will be a house of joy, growth and faith because many had worked and prayed to make it a reality.

Philippines/Micronesia Area

Avalanche victims helped

PARANQUE, PHILIPPINES - Food, clothing and other relief goods donated by members and friends of the Paranaque Philippines Stake were given to victims of the recent Mount Pinatubo slides and avalanches. The active volcano proved destructive once again in the last months of 1995 when monsoon rains triggered slides of hot volcanic debris down the scalding mountain. Several villages were buried and a number of people killed by the slides.

The goods were transported by volunteers of the Philippines national crime laboratory and delivered by members of the Angeles Philippines Stake. The effort was spearheaded by the Relief Society of the Paranaque stake as part of its compassionate and community service program.

South America South Area

Observing 40th year

SANTIAGO, CHILE - Members of the Church in this country are observing the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Church in Chile. On Feb. 8, 1956, President David O. McKay visited Santiago and in May of that year the first missionaries arrived. The first branch was organized July 5, 1956, said Rodolfo Acevedo A., Chile public affairs director. (Two missionaries, Elders Parley P. Pratt and Rufus Allen, visited Chile in 1851 but were unable to establish the Church at that time.)

"The rock cut from the mountains without hands is rolling forth to fill Chile, `the land of the eternal hills,' " said Brother Acevedo. "Each day the Church grows stronger."

Chile now has more than 400,000 members in 89 stakes and 14 districts, and seven missions. In 1995, 114 Chilean missionaries served in North and South America.

North America West Area

Auto workshop taught

LAIE, HAWAII - Six Church Educational System employees from the South Pacific gathered at the BYU-Hawaii campus recently for a three-week automotive workshop.

The workshop was designed to educate instructors from the Pacific islands in the automotive trade, said Sione Niu, workshop director and first counselor in the BYU-Hawaii 1st Stake presidency.

"Between 80 and 90 percent of the students in the South Pacific who graduate from high school do not pursue higher education," Pres. Niu said.

The workshop featured seminars by experienced automotive technicians. Participants also received hands-on experience.

"The workshop was an eye opener," said Semisi Malungahu, a CES instructor at Liahona High School in Tonga. "I had the opportunity to learn and see many of the latest technological equipment and devices used in the automotive industry. By visiting different automotive training centers, high schools and auto shops, I was able to collect and enrich my training skills."

North America Southeast Area

Food donated for children

WINDERMERE, FLA.- A donation of food from the Windermere Ward, Orlando Florida South Stake, was recently given to the B.A.S.E. Camp Children's Cancer Foundation.

The foundation is located in Windermere, the same city where the Orlando Florida Temple is located, and provides year-round support for children and families with blood-related illnesses. The suggestion for the donation was made by ward member Katherine Watford, whose son Michael was involved with the foundation until his death in December 1994. B.A.S.E. is an acronym for believe, achieve, support and educate.

North America Northeast Area

Students learn to stitch

STATE COLLEGE, PA. - Some 30 students at the Pennsylvania State College LDS Institute recently made 10 baby quilts urgently needed by the local homeless shelter. The LDSSA leaders spoke with the homeless shelter staff and learned of the need, so they purchased supplies to make the quilts.

Most of the students, including the men, had never worked on quilts before. But in the project, a dozen young men learned to stitch and tie quilts.

After working four hours, the students completed the project and presented the quilts to the homeless shelter.

"By participating in selfless service to the community, the students have been warmed as well as the children," said James P. Mitchell, institute directer and area CES coordinator.

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