News Release

Gerrit W. Gong meets with Vice President of Panama José Gabriel Carrizo

Apostle visits Panama as part of his ministerial tour of Central America

Elder Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, met with Panamanian Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo on Tuesday, November 15, during a recent visit to Panama.

Elder Gong was accompanied by his wife, Susan; Elder José A. Teixeira, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy; and Elder Taylor G. Godoy, a member of the Central America Area Presidency.

During the meeting, Elder Gong and the vice president discussed humanitarian projects and the importance of caring for and strengthening Panamanian youth, helping them in their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. Elder Gong showed Vice President Carrizo the youth pamphlet For the Strength of Youth, which helps youth learn decision-making, and explained how this program empowers youth to be better people and citizens.

Vice President Carrizo thanked Elder Gong for his visit and the valuable humanitarian work of the Church in Panama, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elder Gong presented the vice president with a statuette of Thorvaldsen’s Christus. He also expressed his gratitude for the meeting and for being in a country with kind and wonderful people.

Humanitarian Outreach

On Monday, November 14, 2022, as part of the Central American ministry tour of Elder Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his wife, Susan L. Gong, participated in the delivery of a donation of appliances made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The machines were donated to the Comprehensive Care Center (CAI) of the Secretariat of Social Welfare of Guatemala. This donation will benefit children who are cared for in nurseries that offer free services to those in need.

Sister Gong, accompanied by many local Latter-day Saint women, delivered 10 refrigerators, 25 industrial stainless-steel stoves, 25 industrial mixers, 25 blenders, 15 carts to transport food, 17 food processors, an 8-liter pressure cooker and 200 colored foam mats.

This donation will provide a colorful and healthy environment in which to prepare food for more than a thousand children between the ages of 8 months and 6 years who are cared for in day care centers, as well as children between the ages of 7 and 12 who receive education and food.

“We feel honored and grateful to be with you. You are doing a great and important job blessing so many children, and we know you are doing God’s work,” Sister Gong told the CAI authorities.

The Secretary for Family Preservation, Strengthening and Community Support, Lourdes María Isaacs Caceros, thanked the Church of Jesus Christ for the donation and highlighted the noble work that manifests the love of God and neighbor.

“We have had the opportunity to receive other donations from the Church, and we feel blessed to have these appliances,” she added.

Sister Gong shared that the donation was made possible by donations from members of the Church around the world who contribute to those in need as a sign of love for their neighbor and their effort to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

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