Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bishop Kuteka, A Spiritual Giant

Our Bishop, A Spiritual Giant

Bishop Kuteka is bishop of the Malueka Ward here in Kinshasa. This ward covers a population that is quite poor and has many needs.

Bishop Kuteka is a man who lives by the spirit. In 1994, President Howard W. Hunter advised all worthy Latter-day Saints to get a temple recommend, even if they lived far from a temple. Bishop Kuteka, living far from any temple was touched by these words and he asked his branch president for an interview so he could have a temple recommend. He says he did not realize then that Father in Heaven had a great blessing in store for him. It wasn’t long before he felt the Lord’s hand touching his life. Through his work he was given an opportunity to go to Korea for some meetings. He arranged to lay over in Switzerland on the way home and was able to attend the temple and receive his endowment. You can read his full account of this experience in the Liahona, Aug 1997 “From Zaire to the Lord’s House.”

Last week we witnessed a wonderful example of shepherding the flock when Bishop Kuteka again followed the Spirit.

We had been given a bag of clothing by the out going missionary office couple, the Thomas. We wanted to take it out to our ward to help the members but were unsure how it would be received. We took the clothing out and gave it to the bishop to use at his discretion.

He later told us of his experience. He took the clothing to welfare meeting as promted by the spirit in directed his welfare committee in how to use the clothing. He knew he had many members of the committee who needed the clothing for them selves and their own families but he asked them to think about the ward members and as a committee they should decide who was in most need. As he held up each article of clothing he asked the committee to think about the ward members and who that article of clothing could benefit. The committee assigned each piece to a member and then the bishop assigned two members of the committee to deliver the clothing. He said he witnessed the confirming of the spirit as the committee chose the same people he had in mind and who he knew were in great need. The bishop could have made the decision on his own or given the clothing to the Relief Society Pres. to disperse but instead he took the opportunity to teach his counsel in the welfare plan.

Here in the middle of Africa we have a wonderful bishop, living by the Spirit, shepherding his flock, teaching the principles of the gospel and training his ward officers in the true principles of welfare.

The Thomas will never know how many people benefited from their bag of clothing nor does it matter. The blessing of this clothing is the lessons learned from a bishop who listens to the spirit and then acts upon the spirit.

1 comment:

Kevin B. Sanders said...

What a great story! Here's a man who has had the doctrine of the priesthood distil upon his soul as the dews from heaven.

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Keep up the good work!