News Release

Brazzaville: ‘Our faith has not been perfect, but the Lord remembered us’

Saints in the Republic of the Congo react to the joyful news that there will be a temple built in their country.

Women walking happily at the Ghana, Accra temple grounds.
Women walking happily at the Ghana, Accra temple grounds.
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On April 3, 2022, faithful saints all over the world gathered in their homes to watch General Conference. In the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville Stake, President Belle-Vie Gayouele and his family were among millions of saints ‘pitching their tent towards the Conference Centre’ as they reverently followed the proceedings via live broadcast, when President Russell M. Nelson announced that a temple will be built in Brazzaville! 

Of this sacred experience, President Belle-vie Gayouele says, “We didn't really expect the temple to be announced at this recent conference. Nevertheless, saints all over Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire (two cities within the country) followed the Prophet’s concluding remarks with a ray of hope. When the prophet unexpectedly announced the construction of the temple in Brazzaville, it had an incredible effect. My wife, for example, cried with joy, there were great celebrations everywhere, endless video and phone calls, and that night we couldn't sleep! My family and I knelt in humility and offered a prayer of gratitude.”

Sister Estelle Vianney, a member of Massa Ward in the Brazzaville Stake, says that she is full of gratitude. “Today I’m so grateful that our Heavenly Father announced through the living Prophet the marvelous news that his house will be built in my country,” she says. “I have felt that indeed the Lord knows and remembers us, the Saints of Brazzaville. My heart is full of joy.” The same sentiments are shared by both Sister Bibicha Kitombo of Mpaka 1st ward, Pontre-Noitre Stake, and Brother Van Sambala of Aeroport Ward in Aeroport Stake affirming that the Saint’s hearts are knit together in unity and in love.

“Today in Brazzaville, there is a kind of happiness on the faces of the members, a satisfaction. You can truly feel, a deep peace, and a greater commitment to the ordinances of the temple, some people still cannot believe it, the joy is great and the gratitude for the goodness of the Lord is deep,” says President Belle-Vie Gayouele.

The closest temple for the saints in Brazzaville is currently in Kinshasa, the DRC. Getting there has not always been easy.

“We organized massive trips to the temple in Kinshasa, which meant we had to brave the challenge of crossing the turbulent river with our families,” says President Belle-Vie Gayouele. “It was also during a time when our country was going through a severe recession. Families were destitute, but for these trips, members made enormous sacrifices, to pay for the tickets for crossing the river, meals, and accommodation. There were so many of us leaving for the temple that very often there was no more room for us in the Kinshasa temple. Some brothers and sisters had to stay outside the temple and wait for their turn. These trips were times of trial of faith and determination for temple ordinances. Eventually, these trips have enabled us to bring the Spirit of the temple into the hearts of Church members,” he says.

Sister Bibicha Kitombo adds, “The leaders have been a great source of support and encouragement, especially to the youths and the young single adults by encouraging them to focus on the temple. Van Sambala shares that this has enabled them to often pray, fast, and be steadfast in keeping the commandments.

Sister Estelle Vianney reminds the saints that each saint must prepare now to receive temple blessings. She shares a quote from President Richard G. Scott that says, “Personal worthiness is an essential condition to gain temple blessings”. Her testimony is simple: the temple is the House of God, it is key to strengthening faith and spiritual resilience.

President Belle-Vie Gayouele counsels: “Today we know that our faith has not been perfect, our efforts and sacrifices not so great, but we are grateful that the Lord remembered us.

“The temple will bless this country and the people, both members and non-members. This temple will be a blessing to us and to our children. The Church will be brought out of obscurity, and it will bring the Spirit of God widely to our country.”

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