News Story

Mormon Canadian Couple to Serve People of Africa

A Quebec City couple will soon join more than 80,000 missionaries currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, unlike most missionaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are under the age of 25, Pierre-Paul Morin and his wife, Colette, are a retired couple who have raised nine children.

The Morins have been assigned to preside over the Benin Cotonou Mission of the Church and will be responsible for the missionaries in the West African countries of Benin and Togo.

President Morin has been a member of the Church since 1973 and met his wife after serving a mission in Belgium from 1975 to 1977. He pursued a career in financial services and recently retired from his work at a Canadian bank.

“Once we knew we wanted to serve a mission, we immediately felt inclined to serve in Africa,” said President Morin. “We were thrilled when the letter from Church headquarters arrived informing us we would preside over the Benin Cotonou Mission.”

President and Sister Morin’s voluntary three-year assignment will begin with some brief training at the missionary training center in Provo, Utah, before they head to Africa in July.

The Church’s presence in Africa began with missionaries serving in South Africa in the early 1850s, but it was not until the late 1970s that Church membership noticeably increased across the continent. There are currently over 400,000 members and 27 missions in Africa. The Morins will serve the 11 congregations in Benin and 12 congregations in Togo.

Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serve at their own expense and volunteer their time to share the gospel. In addition to sharing messages about Jesus Christ, missionaries volunteer several hours of service weekly to assist local communities.

Ready to serve the local communities of Benin and Togo, the Morins will not be leaving Canada with empty hands. They will take with them hundreds of dresses and bandanas — made by Church members from the Longueuil, Quebec, area — to donate to young African girls.

The Church is involved in various other initiatives in Africa, including providing wheelchairs, measles vaccinations, neonatal resuscitation and clean water programs for those in need.

The Church’s wheelchair initiative, which began in 2003, has resulted in the distribution of nearly 40,000 wheelchairs in Africa. Part of the wheelchair initiative is to train people to construct a wheelchair from basic bicycle parts.

The Church’s clean water projects have blessed the lives of nearly four million Africans since 2003. This infographic gives more information about the Church's clean water projects in Africa.

In 2003, the Church donated US$3 million to support a worldwide initiative with several organizations, including the American Red Cross and the United Nations Foundation, that provide measles vaccinations to children in 40 countries. Over 42 million Africans have benefited from these immunizations.

See the Mormon Newsroom Humanitarian Services page for more information about the Church’s humanitarian work.

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