Leaving for Africa. Crying of joy
By Sr Irene Kuam MSI - Vanimo
On 8 Dec. 2013 the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (MSI – Pime) celebrated 25 years of presence at Watuluma, Milne Bay province and in Papua New Guinea. On 26 Oct. this year the first Grade 12 batch graduated from their Santa Maria Secondary School at Watuluma. In 25 years they have fast spread from Milne Bay to Port Moresby, Vanimo and Fatima in Jiwaka province with some young national sisters already joining the missions in Africa and South America.
Sometime in April 2013 I was attending a Religious Education conference at Don Bosco Institute in Port Moresby when I received a call from Rome. I was in the chapel praying and hesitant to reply to an unknown number. When I did, I was not able to recognize the voice since it was so soft. Then Mother General Rosilla Velamparambil identified herself. I felt bad and apologized for not replying fast. We still had a night session so she promised to call me back later. After the talk I went back to the chapel and began to converse with the Lord, “What are you telling me now”?
After the conference I went back to our convent in Boroko. The call really came. Mother Rosilla was calling me about my mission assignment. “Are you ready?’, she asked me. I immediately recalled the words of our foundress Mother Josephine Dones, “If God wants it will be done”; so I said, “Yes Mother, I am ready”. We then continued to chat and I anxiously waited for her to tell me which country I was assigned to. After a while she said, “You are assigned to South Brazil, are you happy”? I said, “Yes!” But since I was laughing, Mother asked for the reason and I said, “I am laughing because I ahve always dreamt of Africa.” “Do you want to go to Africa?” she asked. “Wherever you send me, I will go”. I felt happy. Within me, however, I had a positive feeling. Mother would still change my destination. I could sense it from the way she spoke.
Back in Vanimo weeks later I got the message that Mother General had in fact changed my mission assignment from South Brazil to Camerun in Africa. At that very moment I was delighted and thanked God for the good news. This joy remained in me till the eve of Pentecost. After the vespers my community superior read the circular letter from the Mother General announcing the names of the sisters assigned to different missions. I cried of joy. The sisters and novices were all happy and congratulated me. As I knelt before the tabernacle my heart was thrilled with gratitude to the Lord for the gift of my missionary vocation and to be sent out to another country.