When I was in the initial Formation and even as a young sister, I loved to read stories of great men and women who left their land to proclaim the Good News of the Lord, even giving, with courage, their lives for the cause of their Faith in God. I never imagined that someday, I will leave my homeland, and be among the chosen to be sent across the miles… not really to give my own life as a martyr, but maybe a little martyr in the daily events of life. At first, there was hesitation, doubt and fear of the unknown; I felt my littleness and incapacity to confront such a mission, thinking to be away from home, learning a new culture, and a new language. But remembering the words of Jesus when he said, “Do not be afraid, I am with you always”, opened my mind and heart to respond with courage and faith, and to say “yes” to the call.
I have been here in Cameroon, Africa for more than 6 years; I don’t know even how I survived until now. I am only sure of one thing, that Jesus’ GRACE is sufficient for me. Saint Paul proclaimed it, and his promise to be with me is immensely assuring. Life in the mission is challenging. We live in a village far away from many comforts of the world, there are moments of solitude and no place to go around, we are surrounded by woods, and there is little development. Government authorities are rather indifferent to the needs of the people. We often have no electricity … and it is good that we have made friends with the head of the electric company so we can call him to send us light even though it takes a bit of time but at least not after a week as it used to be.
There is poverty all around here not only materially but at all levels. It is for these reasons that we appeal for a house for the children. There is much suffering, children are abandoned and in dire need of care and love, we heard that some died because they were deserted; many children shared their sad stories where they never knew who their parents were. They grew up with grandparents who were elderly and sickly. I have my apostolate with the adolescents aged 12-19 who are strong in character and intelligent for they were formed by hard work in the camp even to the point of having only one meal a day. Before and after school they are obliged to work with their grandparents in order to eat and have something to use for school. I have noticed that they seem so strong to endure hunger and insect bites – I have never heard them complain. What makes me wonder is their strength to live such a hard life. So then, who am I to complain and lament for the solitude, insect bites and the inconveniences of brown outs and limited access to means of communication? I have to go with candlelights and endure days of heat at 45°C.
In all these, what inspires me are the children who frequent our mission. They have taught me in “their school”, to be simple and accept what is offered with a heart full of gratitude. To live life with joy and abandonment in God’s Providence, have Faith in Him who looks at the needs of those who TRUST in HIM.
Yes, I found JESUS! And in the challenges of my missionary journey, I need only to gaze at HIM who is my REAL TREASURE, my ENOUGH, and to respond with love to his daily call to love and to serve across the miles…
Sr M Corazon Angayon fdz