My name is Maggie Gamu, I am a second year novice in the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate (PIME). I am 29 years old and from Papua New Guinea.
I still remember the moment in which I had the intense desire to become a Missionary sister of the Immaculate: it was August 5, 2014, in my parish, there was the celebration of the perpetual profession and the missionary mandate of sr. Irene Kuam, destined for the province of Cameroon. Her testimony had impressed me so much that I wanted to be like her, so I decided to join.
In these nine years of formation, I have discovered a lot about the mission through my personal experience and especially the example of other missionaries. I have come to know that, systematically, God is revealing his plan for me. I learned to trust in him to nourish my missionary vocation, to treasure the testimony of so many missionaries who give their lives, leave everything, love the people entrusted to them.
Last year I had some challenging experiences, which at the same time helped me to know my vocation and fuel the desire to follow Jesus in order to imitate him. They made me discover where my treasure is, where the joy is in my heart, they gave me more awareness of the motivations that inhabit me and of myself.
Once a week I accompanied the autistic children in their recreational activities. I played with them, supported them, and accompanied them to matches. I learned a lot, got to know their suffering and realized that I was receiving more than I could give. I had a similar experience this summer when I was in Giulianova, in a shelter for young people and disabled adults. We lived in an apartment that a family had kindly offered us and every day we went to provide our services at the shelter, from 9 to 18. At first, I did not know how to stay close to them, what to say to them, I did not know if we would understand each other. Then I understood that it is enough to stay, to be a presence next to them that makes them feel loved and welcomed. I thought about how Jesus welcomed all kinds of sick people, how he had compassion on them and healed them. This is mission.
Other experiences accompanied me in this time of formation. Catechism with the children of our parish and service at the Caritas canteen. Catechism has been a new horizon for me, which has allowed me to communicate the faith to the little ones so that they grow up in the awareness that God is present in their lives. The service to the diocesan Caritas has put me in contact with people from many countries who live in difficult situations, of marginalization. For me, serving them at table means sharing their own poverty, walking beside them and restoring value to their lives.
During the week we attend the inter-congregational novitiate school (SIC). The initial insertion was challenging, new people who had different habits from mine, another culture, and another language. Then it became a great resource, it gave me a greater intercultural awareness, it became a place for sharing our difficulties and joys. Teachers share with us, not only their knowledge, but also their life experiences. Thus, they teach us concrete reality.
“All we want is to be a small instrument in the hands of God” (M. Igilda Rodolfi). These words of our foundress give me strength, courage and joy. They light up my heart and lead me to trust in the one who takes care of my life every day. This is true joy, let us do our best and God will take care of the rest.
Maggie Gamu, international novitiate of Roma