“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8
Like in the above quotation, God can send us wherever He wills. Should we turn His call down because we are fixed and feeling comfortable in our homeland?
In his oral and written messages, our founder Archbishop Joseph Louis Cabana kept on motivating us his daughters to be ‘all around people’ who can read the signs of the times and adapt to the situation, for this would help us serve God’s people everywhere and in all situations. Following his words of counsel and wisdom the IHMR institute accepted to answer the call and invitations from the different countries where they were being requested to serve, by opening up different communities. At the moment we have the following:
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs – Amudat Convent in Moroto Diocese (Uganda)
Our Lady Queen of Apostles – Nuncio’s residence in Algeria
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament – IHMR Florida Convent in America
Our lady Ark of the covenant – IHMR Indianapolis Convent in America
Our lady of Assumption -IHMR Flörsheim convent in Germany
Our lady Queen of Apostles – IHMR Dinslaken convent in Germany
Our lady Queen of Peace – IHMR Geisenheim convent in Germany
Our lady Queen of Wisdom for our students in Italy, America and Kenya
Psalm 96:3 tells us to declare God’s glory among the nations and His marvellous works among all the peoples! This of course comes with both challenges and opportunities but by implementing our Institute’s Motto ‘Your will be done’, we should not fear to face the threats.
Working in a foreign mission can make one vulnerable to many challenges like being resented and humiliated, one’s valued systems and environment change dramatically, one misses one’s family and friends or one might “accidentally” be forgotten by one’s closest friends and family (they don’t mean to forget but they just get busy with their families, jobs, activities and the lines of communication gradually dwindle if not disappear). In other words, one might feel stretched physically, emotionally and spiritually while working in the foreign mission but this should not discourage anyone ready to serve. Mind you, your fellow sisters back home are also not having it as a bed of roses. They too face challenges.
As much as there are challenges faced in foreign missions, one should not forget that like in any other situation there are also opportunities. For individuals who are open-minded and flexible, working in a foreign mission can be the high point of one’s career, vocation, if not one’s life. If one adjusts well to the changes, one can have a very enriching experience like meeting new people with their different mentalities, seeing new things, adapting to the new culture, learning a new language etc. Living and working in a foreign mission opens one to an entirely novel way of living and leads one to learning more about the world and oneself. Charles H. Spurgeon once said “Must is a hard nut to crack but it has a sweet kernel”. Likewise, foreign mission might be full of challenges but it is a very inspiring and enriching experience.
So my dear sisters, if you are sent to work in a foreign mission, try to have realistic expectations and don’t give up because of the challenges! When you accept to go, determine that you’re going to do God’s will and time will come when God through the Superiors will send you to another place. I know it might not always be easy but try your level best and make it work! Don’t expect the alien situation and the different people you find in the new and foreign mission to change and suit your expectations. On the contrary, you should be the one to change as the situation demands. Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” and president Barack Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” You should however not get me wrong. Never compromise your identity in the process of change. Adapt to the situation while at the same time you keep, live and treasure the identity of the IHMR-Ggogonya institute.
In this process of adapting to the new situation, you should surrender all to our God who will help you to touch the lives of the people where you are sent to serve.
“YOUR WILL BE DONE”
From Mother Anne Christine, Head of the IHMR Foreign Missions Zone