Sister Joyce and Elder DeMoine Findlay
Last fall we met the Findlays when they were evacuated from Ivory Coast. It is more accurate to say they coordinated the evacuation of white missionaries from Abidjan, working with President Norby who was touring other French speaking countries in the mission when hostilities broke out and closed the borders. They had served in Madagascar a few years earlier and acquired some valuable evacuation experince then. They were in Ivory Coast to coordinate the Church Humanitarian Service involvement in a massive measles vaccination project. The Church donates money for the vaccine and then works with government and aid agencies to maximize the benefit to the children of Africa. The Findlays were on a short-term mission to do this, but just before the actual campaign, the program was shut down due to civil disturbances. They spent the last portion of that mission in Ghana doing other humanitarian work.
Things have improved some in Abidjan, and with General Authority permission, the Findlays were asked to return this summer to complete the program. They were glad to serve. They have completed missions in Fiji (CES), Ivory Coast (proselyting), Madagascar (office couple) plus these two shorter tenure humanitarian missions. They are French speaking, mission experienced and Africa knowledgable. This page is about their excellent service for the measles initiative.
Preparation and Publicity
Some things were in place or planned from last fall. A modest budget from the Church was used to purchase batteries and megaphones to be used for street announcements. The Ministry of Social Welfare and the Red Cross were major partners. The Red Cross requested vests for their workers. Arrangements were made to have these manufactured locally. Brother Gnoleba (see below) got the ball rolling before the Findlays returned.
|There were media spots and...
|...posters for local notice boards.
A primary girl drew this picture
that was used in all the publicity.
1000 posters, 100,000 fliers and 60,000
stickers were printed and distributed.
Roseline the Artist
The Joy of Volunteer Service
Many Church members were volunteers.
Brother Gnoleba shown here with his
family was a leader and great
support for the Findlays.
Volunteers were proud to serve in such
a worthwhile program. The only material
reward the volunteers received was a
name tag which they wore proudly.
|Young and old alike...
|...caught the spirit of service.
Volunteers had to attend
Churches and schools were used for this,
as well as becoming vaccination clinics.
|The volunteer name tags became...
|...coveted badges of honor.
The project was an excellent PA event
for the Church and a source of joy
for the volunteers.
The Vaccination Clinics
|Besides schools and churches, open huts...
|...and even trees were used for 'clinics.'
|Parents brought children and...
|...older children brought younger siblings.
Many children had heard the megaphone
announcements and came on their own.
|Volunteers helped everyone register.
|Initially there were lines at most sites.
When the lines stopped the clinicians
went door-to-door to find children.
The Immunizations and Certificates
Vaccinations were done
by trained medical personnel.
Volunteers helped the children
to be brave.
This young man came totally on his own.
He will never have measles.
|In the end there were smiles.
|Some very happy smiles.
The children were proud of their certificates.
Most can't read them, but they know their lives
are now protected from a dreaded deadly disease.
|The Findlays mentioned a few favorite memories from the measles campaign. Given their rich experience as missionaries in Africa, it is meaningful to learn what touches their hearts. (1) A little girl named Joyce who was vaccinated. (2) Children carrying younger siblings long distances to the vaccination clinics. (3) The powerful spirit of giving that was experinced by the very poor Saints who served as unpaid volunteers for the measles vaccination campaign.
Pennies for Africa
Their home ward (Kelowna Ward, Vernon British Columbia Stake) presented the Findlays with some money donated by members to be used for 'good causes' during this mission in Ivory Coast. This included a few hundred dollars raised by the children through a Pennies for Africa program. The Findlays purchased white canes for the seeing impaired and replacement tips for crutches which wear out quickly on the rough surfaces in Africa. Matching funds were given to some African members for business start-ups and a few Temple trips were subsidized. The Findlays took pictures home for their ward members in Canada to see how their contributions have blessed lives of people in Africa. A sample of these pictures are included below.
Gifts from Canadian Saints
Retractable White Canes and Crutch Tips
Working with the Stake President
and clerk to identify and meet needs
The Findlays with some members
who received help
Elder Findlay presents white canes
to several seeing impaired people
The camera flash makes the new
white canes look like Star Wars...
...light sabers. The primary
children in Kelowna Ward will like that.
|These gifts bought joy...
|...to the recepients.
There was also sincere gratitude.
Random Acts of Kindness
Victims of polio and other tragedies
need good rubber tips on their crutches
to safely move around.
As they moved about Abidjan, the Findlays
would watch for crippled people...
...in need of new crutch tips,
then stop to install them on the spot.
Real gratitude was expressed
by recipients, and...
...it was very satisfying to see the
fruits of this labor on the streets.
Happy Ward Members
|Many people young and...
|...young at heart made these gifts possible.
Pennies for Africa
Brings Joy in Kelowna Ward
How Great Shall be Your Joy
Elder and Sister Findlay: Happy Missionaries
Shown here with Elder Ramanasarvio who is serving in
Ivory Coast from Madagascar where the Findlays were
instrumental in helping him prepare for his mission.
Thank you, Joyce and DeMoine, for sharing your experiences
and photos, and for being wonderful role models.
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