We were able to watch portions of General Conference in the stake center this past weekend and download and watch other portions on our laptop. The technology which makes it possible to communicate around the world is amazing. One talk in particular that struck a chord with us was President Uchtdorf telling about the fire bombing of Dresden in World War II and how the city was rebuilt from the ashes.
|Area before the fire.|
|After the fire.|
Across the way from the burned neighborhood is a large building that was supposed to be a convention center but was never finished so shelters have been set up on the grounds as housing for over 2000 families. The city plans to eventually rebuild housing in the burned area but it is hard to say how long that may take. In the mean time there are many hundreds living as refugees.
On Wednesday we were able to visit the area and participate with the Mandaue Stake as they served food the members had prepared. Working with government officials the local stakes have an arrangement to go twice a week and serve meals to 400+ people. Because there are other groups also providing help it is important that the relief efforts are coordinated. We noticed, for example, others who were passing out small bags of sanitary items.
The meal was a rice porridge that everyone, children included, seemed to find quite tasty. When I say we participated what I really mean is that we stood around talking and taking pictures. There were so many members helping we didn't have much to do.
We both noticed how friendly, clean and orderly the people were. As you can see from the pictures above the grounds are kept pretty clean considering how many people there are. There are opportunities to count our blessings and learn from others every day. This experience was quite humbling.
|Sister Tanner is talking with the local member who organized|
the church's relief effort (sorry, I didn't get his name).
(The children here just may be the cutest in the world.)