News Release

"Center in a Suitcase" helps Nairobi East Stake members find ancestors.

Family Search launches a Mobile Family History Center containing six Chrome books that are rotated among the wards in Nairobi East Stake to help members find their ancestors.

On May 5th and 12th, respectively, members of Kayole Second and South B Wards in the Nairobi East Stake welcomed the new Family Search Mobile Family History Center to their Sunday Services. High Councilman, Joseph Onyango, is responsible for training members to search for their family histories on six Chromebooks, which are rotated among wards.

Fingers were flying in Kayole Second Ward as trainers signed to the hearing-impaired members, whose animated hands expressed their joy in finding and submitting names to the temple. Brother Francis Omburo and Trainer, Joseph Onyango used sign language to find names. Whether signing or silent, Joseph Onyango and Veronica Ouma were consumed in the search.


Elder and Sister Dixon, Senior missionaries assigned to Temple and Family History at the Area Office, came from Johannesburg to assist in restoring passwords and obtaining Family Search accounts. Eric Onyango, IT specialist and Area Temple and Family History Consultant was also on hand to teach and train members.

Elder McLaughlin spoke with his hands and Sister Dixon typed as they work with Samson Kibunja. Sister Dixon stated that her favorite part of her assignment was when she sits down with the people and records their stories. “Many of them say their ancestors come to them in their dreams to help with the work.”


Sister Pauline Ndenga makes searching a family a fair. Jenifer Mbithi, was able to submit the name of an uncle to the temple and was happy to have traced her ancestral line to her fifth great grandfather.


To support this Family Search pilot program, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 5,000 agents gathering oral genealogies from contracted government agencies, Catholic and Anglican Churches, and from villages in 15 countries throughout Africa. A copy of the digitalized names is given to the partnering organization and one is kept for the Church records.

On May 12th, South B Ward was visited by Family search staff from South Africa and Salt Lake City, Bruce Miller, Ken Finch, Shadrack Barasa, and Wayne Van As as they came to speak to the members and facilitate the training procedures.


Eric Onyango, Area Temple and Family History Consultant commented, “Heavenly Father is gathering his children on both sides of the veil. We are helping gather them by taking their names to the temple. They are waiting and yearning for us to help them.”

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