I guess we all have different life stories, and so when it comes to vocations it can be even worse. I come from an out station where parish terminology is concerned. When I was growing up we had Holy Mass once a month that is every 4th Sunday, if I am not mistaken. This means the rest of the Sundays we had services conducted by Catechists. Those who wanted to attend Holy Mass weekly had to walk miles and miles. When I was smart enough to know what was going on around me, I remember coming home and telling my mother that I was going to be a priest.
You know why? I looked at our priest and I was really sorry for him, for he seemed very old and weak. That was a missionary from Canada, but then my mom said, what are you talking about? You can not be a priest, but you can be a religious sister. I was so confused as I had never seen a sister, but she was kind enough to explain to me the little she knew. Our priests were missionaries from Canada. Believe it or not, I met the sisters for the first time when I went to high school, though by then I had seen quite a few local priests too, but I still thought these people had to be born in different kind of families, to me both sisters and priests were very special people not just like me ordinary girl.
While at school I joined a vocation group during which I learnt a great deal about different vocations, and sr. Charity bless her heart, she was so good. The woman was tough, but it was clear that she was happy and very smart I thought. Somehow, she liked me, and she liked my father who she met when he brought me to school. Sister Charity seemed to be a normal human being, so I started having hopes that may be one day I could be a sister too, but I wasn't too optimistic about it. I came to find out that Lydia, one of my classmates was also interested in religious life, but we were only 14yrs old, and her auntie was a Dominican Nun, so she encouraged me we applied to them, they actually invited us to visit them during the summer break, which never came to be because the civil got so bad and we fled the country.
Now during the same civil war a lot happened which I am not going to go through in details, but just a little bit, Lydia was killed, my close cousin who was aspiring to priesthood was killed together with his father (my only maternal uncle), so many family members, friends, and neighbors that I cannot count. I lived in a refugee camp for a year and half, during which I saw so many people, die from dehydration, cholera and the like. Eventually, my brother took me with him to Zambia, where I learnt English and went back to high school. Those who survived the camp conditions were taken back by force to Rwanda, among who were my dear parents, and siblings.
During the first month in Zambia I was learning English at a refugee center that was run by a Comboni sister, who I confided in with my very limited English that I once desired to be a sister, and that now I thought I really wanted to be one. This sister directed me to Sr. Judith who was residing in the parish where I attend Mass. It took me forever to communicate with sr. Judith, but eventually I did. Now, I want to tell you that the moment I met sr. Judith, there was no doubt that she is happy to be a religious, so was the other sister (Sr. Ernesta) who was with her. These women were simple, but with them you felt so much at home. So, shortly I learned that sr. Judith and her friend were Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family. I must admit that I loved their outfit too, since I did not know that actually the proper names are: Habits, and veils. I was excited to know these sisters, but I was afraid to tell my brother what was on my mind. Remember, he brought me to Zambia so were only two of us, which means I was planning to leave him alone in the middle of nowhere. It did not take long for the sister to invite me to live with them, with their help wile with them; I went to complete my high school, which ended up to be run by nuns again.
By the time I graduated from High School I learning that a lot of my people have been killed, but my parents and siblings, I had no slightest clue as of what was happening to them. Right there, I realized that God must have left me for a reason, so I applied to Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family, but they doubted at first because they thought I did not feel comfortable after their help. Fortunately when they saw my convictions, they decided to admit me in the order, which marked the whole new beginning for me. 1/2000 I was accepted into Postulancy, 1/2001noviciate, the happiest day of my life was 1/2003when I made my first vows, deep within me, I knew that I am making for ever such that when was granted my final vows in 2007, It was just a symbol to me because I meant it when I said I do for the first time in 2003. By the way, my family was not the happiest with my decision, except for my dad, but now they are ok, actually all very happy for me. You want to know something? If I had to do it all over again, I would do the same J. All for the greater Glory!!!