News Release

President Cordon Shares Joy in Africa

Young Women leader visits maternity hospital in Kinshasa

The General President of the Young Women organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concluding a nine-day ministry of Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.

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Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon has been meeting with government leaders and Latter-day Saints in the capital cities of the two countries. The French-speaking cities of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo are located across the Congo River from each other. President Cordon and her husband, Derek, crossed the river by boat.

“We’ve talked to the leaders of the governments that have had a desire to help families, and we have been so impressed with the leaders who want to follow Jesus Christ,” said President Cordon. “As faith-based leaders, we share a common goal to help build families, so it has been remarkable.”

Outreach Visits

The global leader of the Church’s young women toured Kintambo Maternity Hospital in Kinshasa on Friday, March 3, 2023. The Church’s Humanitarian Service has donated much-needed medical equipment to the hospital, including five state-of-the-art incubators and four ultrasound machines and other materials.

“As we walked into the room, we saw new incubators. We saw new equipment that will help save little lives. We saw rooms with freshly painted walls and newly installed floors and showers,” described President Cordon.

The mothers stay in the community hospital together with their babies until they can pay their bills and go home. During President Cordon’s visit, the maternity ward erupted with the sound of joy when the provincial minister paid the bills for the immediate discharge of 30 women who were stuck in the hospital due to lack of payment.

Also on Friday, President Cordon discussed the Church’s programs for the youth and families with Gisèle Ndaya Luseba, the minister of gender, family and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ministering in Africa

President Cordon gathered with Latter-day Saint youth and their families and missionaries in Brazzaville on Thursday, March 2.

“We’ve all prayed about her, about her coming here in Congo, and then it’s just such a great blessing for us to hear what she wanted to share with us,” said Schekina Boumba, a youth leader in Brazzaville.

“She talked to us about some points like living the gospel of Jesus Christ, caring further for the ones in need, sharing the gospel and uniting families for eternity,” added Camille Ondzea, 16, who aspires to be a neurologist, wife and mother.

“I’m amazed at the growth. These young people are inviting friends. And when they talk about love, share an invite, they do this always,” remarked President Cordon.

Latter-day Saint youth joined President Cordon in the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple on a Saturday morning to perform baptisms for their ancestors. For members of the Church, the temple is where the most sacred ordinances are performed to unite families.

“I came to do some baptism for my ancestors,” said Abel Eloges Mukubu, 17, the son of the temple president. “I love my family because we’re trying to live the principles and we’re trying to get closer to our Savior all the time.”

The Kinshasa temple is the only operating temple in the Africa Central Area, but four other temples have been announced or are under construction.

About 2,000 youth gathered in a meetinghouse near the Kinshasa temple in the afternoon to hear President Cordon and other Church leaders speak. A leadership meeting was held in the evening.

“The message has been powerful, and it’s of joy. They have joy regardless of their circumstance. They are finding joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” President Cordon concluded.

President Cordon traveled to four countries in nine days during her visit to eastern and central Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. She began her ministry in Nairobi with Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson, who traveled to northeastern Uganda with UNICEF and met with Latter-day Saints in Lubumbashi, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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