Saturday, September 12, 2009

A little about Guadaloupe



* Population is about 406,000
* This island is owned by France and is part of the European Union. It’s currency is the euro
* French is the official language but many of the inhabitants speak Creole
* Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 during his 2nd voyage.
* Tourism is its key industry

There are 6 LDS Church branches in Guadeloupe and about 400 members

* Abymes (church-owned chapel)
* Basse-Terre
* Capesterre
* Gosier
* Lamentin
* Moule

Missionary Work
As of June 2009 there were 14 elders serving in Guadeloupe and one senior couple - Elder and Sister Collings

Among the first converts in Guadeloupe was the Claire Dinane family. Dinane came into contact with the Church because of his duties as a customs officer where he met Latter-day Saints. His family soon moved, but a nucleus of members had joined the Church through contact with Dinane. The Guadeloupe Branch (a small congregation) was organized in June 1982, but was discontinued several months later due to the apostasy of a member of the Church.

In June 1984, West Indies Mission President Kenneth Zabriskie sent French-speaking missionaries to Guadeloupe who had been transferred from French-speaking missions in Europe. Through their efforts the Grande-Terre Branch was organized by Elder Ronald E. Poelman of the Seventy (one of the governing bodies of the Church) in August 1984. The branch was strengthened by Dusan Kolvic, a Yugoslavian refugee who learned of the Church in France, but was not baptized. Kolvic’s work as a policeman for the French government required a transfer to Guadeloupe, and one evening he was dispatched to arrest a drunkard who was attacking two missionaries. Kolvic later joined the Church and served as branch president from 1986 – 1988. Because of Guadeloupe’s connection to France, there have been several members from France who have lived on the island for a few years and brought valuable experience to the Church there.

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