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Church members welcome the public to open house events in Africa


Church members welcome the public to open house events in Africa

In an effort to help others know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its doctrines and purpose, Church leaders, members and missionaries held open house events in three African countries recently.  The public, community leaders and the media were invited to tour Church buildings and ask questions in Ethiopia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

Ethiopia

On May 28, members and missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited the public to an open house at a chapel in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

The Debre Zeit Branch was the third branch of the Church in the country and is part of the Addis Ababa Ethiopia District. When the chapel was finished in 2013, it “quickly became the center of much attention among the citizens of the town,” said Elder Joseph Nelson, a missionary serving in the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission.

“The local Church leaders, with support from area government authorities, opened the gates this Saturday to all interested people with the intent of allowing everyone to learn more,” said Elder Nelson.

The youth of the branch worked alongside missionaries in the street, inviting people passing by to come inside, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom

Misak Mohammed of the Debre Zeit Branch Presidency speaks to a small group of visiting people. Elder Kejela (to his left) translates from Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, to Oromoo, the native language of the visitors on May 28, 2022.

Misak Mohammed of the Debre Zeit Branch Presidency speaks to a small group of visiting people. Elder Kejela (to his left) translates from Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, to Oromoo, the native language of the visitors on May 28, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church members led people throughout the building and explained different doctrines of the Church at stations along the tour.

Yetimwork Getachew Asfew, a long-time member of the Church who participated in the event, said, “The open house went very well. There were many people who came. It was great to be able to teach them the gospel, and it was a miracle that people were learning about the gospel through us.”

Aynad Burhanu, who joined the Church less than a month ago, said that he hoped this would lead to more understanding about the Church and its doctrines. 

“Before joining the Church, I had heard many rumors about what people claimed the Church to be,” said Burhanu. “However, after meeting with the missionaries and joining the Church, I learned these rumors weren’t true. Through this open house I hope people were able to understand the true doctrine that this Church teaches.”

President Robert Dudfield, who oversees the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission, said that a “miracle moment followed as the community members and missionaries came together to invite the community to the chapel. The missionaries spent the entire following day teaching people who had attended the open house.”

Ghana

The Africa West Area presidency held an open house on May 5 in Accra, Ghana, inviting members of the local media to see what the Church is about.

Elder Larry S. Kacher, a General Authority Seventy and first counselor in the Africa West Area presidency, led the program with help from many Area Seventies, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

Members of the media visit the Family History Center in Accra, Ghana, May 5, 2022.

Members of the media visit the Family History Center in Accra, Ghana, May 5, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The tour began on the grounds of the Accra Ghana Temple. The temple has been closed for maintenance, but the journalists were able to ask questions about the purpose of temples and requirements to enter. 

Elder Kacher and others answered questions and held an open discussion. They also led a tour of the Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake Center and nearby Accra Missionary Training Center.

Sierra Leone

Members of the public were invited to tour the newly built Looking Town Chapel in Sierra Leone in February. Public officials from within and outside the community were invited to see the building and learn more about the Church.

The Kissy Sierra Leone Stake presidency and Looking Town Ward bishopric welcomed the community leaders, religious representatives and politicians and took them around to see the classrooms, baptismal font and other facilities, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

Members of the ward gave talks and served dinner where they answered questions from the group of VIPs. 

One of those visitors, the wife of the former attorney general, commended the Church for having such “a remarkable learning place” in the meeting house.

Visitors attend an open house at the Looking Town Ward building in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb. 19, 2022.

Visitors attend an open house at the Looking Town Ward building in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb. 19, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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