First experience of Mission

“The first Daughters of the Holy Spirit wanted to live together to serve the poor, the sick and children. They recognised in them the person of Jesus Christ and had great respect for all” Rule of Life, art 1.

On 4 September 2023, I began my very first mission in the community of Koza – in the far north of Cameroon, in the diocese of Maroua-Mokolo- and at Saint Joseph’s Catholic College, where I teach religion and EVA (Education for Life and Love) in all the classes. In addition to these classes, the administration has entrusted me with the supervision of the schoolgirls.
Our community is located in an area that is constantly being attacked by terrorists and receives displaced people who, in one way or another, have been traumatised. So we organise a variety of activities, including educational talks for me at the college.

The first talk took place on 22 November 2023 on the theme of “The psychology of adolescents and good behaviour”. After my talk and that of a colleague, there was time for discussion with the young people. It’s an opportunity for them to ask various questions to free their hearts: how do we deal with someone who has killed a member of our family? How do we know that an ex-terrorist has converted and forgive him for what he has done to us? When will we have peace and security at home?  Is this misfortune a punishment from God?  The talk, scheduled for two hours, lasted more than three! At the start we could see a look of mistrust on people’s faces, but by the end we could see a glimmer of confidence and hope! We gave thanks to God.

Although I was hesitant about my ability to live up to what was being asked of me, I welcomed this mission and this responsibility with joy, because not only do they reflect our charism as “Daughters of the Holy Spirit”, they also help me in my psychological, moral, human and spiritual self-formation. Every day, before going to school, personal and community prayer and the Eucharist help me to realise the extent to which our life is a school that invites us to discover the love of God and our neighbour in simple gestures and encounters that “seem unimportant”. At the college, I experienced the availability, listening and respect for life in teaching and accompanying the young people who came to confide in me their pain and suffering.

At the end of this first term, I am still touched by the openness, the confidence and, despite the insecurity of their environment, by the joy of living reflected in the faces of the young people… The prayer for the return of stability to our locality, our country and the world never ceases to go up to heaven every day. With God’s grace, I try to be more open and devoted to vulnerable people (families, children, widows, the elderly, etc.), to lend them an attentive ear and thus foster pride in their human dignity.

May the Holy Spirit always go before us on this path of humble service in following Christ.

Sister Christine MAÏDOKLE, DHS. Published on 1 January 2024