Two New Branches Created in Luiza, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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In May 2023, the Mbuji-Mayi Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized two new branches in the territory of Luiza, Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 220 km from the nearest large city of Kananga in south-central DR Congo.

Members of the Church in Luiza have been waiting for this moment for more than 15 years. Brother Willy Kamuanza, who lives about 70 km from Luiza, walked more than 200 km to Kananga in 2010 to be baptized and receive the priesthood, along with his son Innocent Kamuanza, who later served as a full-time missionary in Kinshasa. With the organization of two new branches of the Church, Brother Kamuanza expressed his joy for this blessing.

The creation of the new Luiza branches took place on Sunday, May 14, 2023, in the presence of more than 250 people, including members of the Church and local authorities. These included Mr. Itshieyi Kkola, Deputy Administrator of the Territory of Luiza, Guillaume Shidimilambu, Mayor of the Community of Luiza, and other local leaders.

Denis Kapinga Muangala was called and set apart as President of the Luiza Branch and Meschack Mukendi as President of the Plain Branch.

Brother Meschack Mukendi said he moved to Luiza more than 10 years ago following his job transfer there as a police officer. There was no place to worship, so he started holding Sunday School in his home.

Meschack Mukendi recounted that he declined offers at work to drink coffee. This attracted the attention of Denis Kapinga, who asked him why he did not drink it. This gave Brother Mukendi the opportunity to share that he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that coffee was contrary to his faith. He invited Brother Kapinga to attend small gatherings of members in his home and he eventually joined the Church.  

Another local Church pioneer in Luiza was David Muanda. He offered his house for Church meetings, which started with just six people. This small group was visited by a succession of mission presidents over the years, culminating with the formal creation of a branch of the Church by President Gamfina on May 14, 2023.

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