I just came back from a Fireside Meeting at the Ilford chapel of the Latter-Day Saints.
Today, the talk was a running commentary by Patriarch Kemp, who showed us some slides of his visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2000. That country's economy had come to a virtual standstill, and lots of things were needed. The unemployment rate had balooned to bad levels, but the Saints in Utah endeavoured to send whatever they could to make life a little bit comfortable for the people of Georgia.
Mr and Mrs Kemp went to Georgia, after a one-week familiarisation training in Utah.
They did not have to learn the local language, as bilingual locals would help to interpret for them. They just had to meet the top 5 people there in Georgia. One of them was Mrs Shevardnaze.
There were only two missionaries there at that time, but today there are two chapels, such is the joy of those people whose economy the Saints tried and mend.
They got donations of an ambulance from a man in California, who had an ambulance in Utah that was no longer being used. That was flown over.
For the people, air-compressed bags of clothes and blankets were flown in, together with toys and other things. Whatever the generous Saints felt their own children used, they sent for the children of Georgia.
Jobs were created for 15 people in a disused wood factory, which started to make furniture, this in turn created nearly a 100 jobs in distribution and made many families in need happy.
Lot of teachers and doctors worked in Georgia at that time without pay, they were only given a bed and food. Dr Tchenguiz runs a hospital for TB patients. It was taking few months to diagnose patients and isolate the ones with the germs. The Saints found a meter which could help diagnose the illness in a matter of hours; that model was a few years out-of-date in US, but a great help in Georgia. Two of these were flown out by DHL, and the people Dr Tchenguiz helped to save were grateful for such blessings.
Mr and Mrs Kemp did great work on the ground, in challenging conditions but with people who were welcoming and friendly.
Lot of people probably remember what great help the Saints brought to them in their hour of need. All are just happy to hear how God's love touches peoples lives.