I have just finished my initial formation in the novitiate and I have been sent on mission since October 2020 to Cameroon, the second country comprising the province of Congo Brazzaville-Cameroon, specifically in Kouoptamo. It was in this community that Sister Nilda Munis Da Costa did part of her missionary experience. In fact, her missionary testimony was for me a source of encouragement and enthusiasm to better live my missionary vocation. I take the liberty to share it with you by letting her tell you about it herself.
Sister Nilda is FMM of Brazilian nationality and comes from the Province of Brazil. She was sent to the province of Congo Brazzaville-Cameroon for a three-year missionary experience, and it was on January 26, 2018 that she set foot on Congolese soil for the first time.
Let us listen to Sister Nilda as she shares with us her missionary experience.
“My mission sending in the province of Congo Brazzaville-Cameroon was a great joy and a grace for me. The warm welcome I received facilitated in me a greater sense of belonging to the Institute and made me more and more youthful.
After a few months in Brazzaville in Congo, the provincial sent me to the community of Kouoptamo in Cameroon, where I served in the library and, a little later, in the sacristy.
I was at St. Anne in Brazzaville for the Provincial Assembly that had not taken place because of COVID-19, and for a session I gave in our Blessed Mary of the Passion school complex. Then I had to leave once again for Kouoptamo. But because of the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions, I spent seven months and seven days there.
Personal and community prayer have always been the driving force that nourished my life during my mission. I loved my mission very much and it made me grow especially in the conception of our missionary vocation which must begin in community before going outside. We are called to live together in faith as a community, to develop unity in diversity which is not always easy. I have learned to be patient and simpler.
For me this experience was like a dream with my feet standing on reality. Like Abraham, I left my province and my country for the first time. I loved the people to whom I was sent, a welcoming, dynamic, grateful and joyful people. Unfortunately, the youth are left to themselves. The young people have to take care of themselves through field work and commerce, especially in Kouoptamo. As a result, they do not have enough time for studies. Religious marriages are not frequent. This experience has taught me that the people need our life witness and our presence.
I am happy to have met all the sisters of the province, to have shared unforgettable moments with them. When I return home to Brazil, I become a new person. Many things have changed in me. These foundations discovered during my experience in this province will help me to continue my mission in peace, joy, trust and total surrender to God and His will.
My gratitude to Sister Françoise Massy who allowed me to have this three-year experience in Congo Brazzaville-Cameroon, and a big thank you to Sister Regina who welcomed me, to Sister Julienne who continued to accompany me and to all the Sisters of the province.”
Sister Assise KIBANGOU, FMM