My name is Chandana and I come from Bangladesh. As a child I had the desire to become a nun, but I did not know in which congregation to join. I met the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate during the summer which I spent with my aunty. I liked them a lot and I started thinking that this was the right congregation for me. This thought became a conviction when the sisters organized a meeting in my parish, where I met sr. Gertrude who told us about the life of the missionaries and shared her experience with us: her joy and sympathy struck me. On that occasion we also saw a film on Fr. Damiano de Veuster, the missionary of Belgian origin who spent his life for the Hansen patients in Molokai, in Hawaii (known as the apostle of Hansen people), who made me clearly understand my desire for the mission and my vocation.
Two years later I entered the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate. My father, who accompanied me, said to the sisters: “From today, my daughter is your daughter, I offer her to the Lord”. That sentence struck me a lot and I still remember it with love. My journey of formation has been very long and not without difficulties. Among my companions I felt that I am less intelligent and less capable and I did not know whether I had the abilities to become a real missionary; all of my companions seemed to me better than me. I often prayed: “Lord God, if you want, let me fulfil your will in my life”. As time went on, however, they all took other ways and only I remained. The Lord was really calling me!
During the novitiate I made the experience of evangelization in the villages. I was moved to see the human and material poverty of people and the more displeasing thing was that none of them knew the Gospel. Then I remembered the words of Jesus: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37).
At the end of the novitiate, in 2007, I became a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate, carrying in my heart these words of thanksgiving and praise: “I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever” (Psalm 145: 1-2).
After my profession my first ‘destination’ was Italy: I was called to study Theology in Rome. Here I felt very strongly the call of Jesus to do his will, to know him more, and now I am very happy to be destined once again, far and far away, in Cameroon… It is here that the Lord asks me to realize our charism: “…the living passion to proclaim the Gospel to all peoples.”. Now, I am in my missionary land with so much enthusiasm and joy to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to be a testimony of Love.
My insertion in the mission was not so easy because I have to learn the new language and culture so different from mine; but I welcomed the difficulties and committed myself with so much joy and happiness. I found great help in the testimony of faithfulness and perseverance of the PIME sisters and fathers who are in Bangladesh and in Cameroon.
I give thanks to the Lord for all that he has given me and I ask him to give me the grace to be a small seed of His Love for his Kingdom sowing His Word among these brothers and sisters whom he has entrusted to me.