Maite Burundi NoelTell us what led you to Africa: I went to Africa, Mali, as a tourist.

I had beern invited by a Spanish White Father I knew. The reality of Mali astonished me with its 1.8% of Christians. I felt the need for missionaries to share the faith, the Good News of the Gospel, so that those who did not yet know Jesus Christ could meet him.I was a teacher in Spain. Seeing illiteracy in Mali, I felt called to collaborate with others, so that children could learn to read and write. School is the base of education. I was very involved in Spain in the youth group ENCUENTROS DE PROMOCION JUVENIL. Christ was the driving force of my life, my treasure.

Why a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa?

The sister who welcomed me in Mali was a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa, a "White Sister." I liked her way of proclaiming Jesus Christ, to be close to people, to learn their language, to dress like them, to eat their food. She worked for women's development. She used natural vegetable dyes to make bogolan.

Tambour BurundiWhich countries have you lived in?
I did my religious formation in Burkina Faso, and then I was sent as a missionary to Burundi.

What is the greatest experience of your missionary life?

The "all in all" of St. Paul (1 Cor 9:22) taken up by our founder, Cardinal Lavigerie: "I have become all things to all because I said to the God of all 'I am all yours.'" "All to all" means to be available to meet with anyone, regardless of nationality, social status. This requires an open heart and mentality. Internationality and interculturality are very important for me, because it means making the human family into a family of God.

voeux définitif MaiteWhy did you decide to commit yourself permanently in the congregation, when you pronounced your final vows August 15, 2010?

The call of Christ in my heart is so strong,"Go, I am with you; I need you, especially in Africa. Share the Good News by contributing to the development of each person." I learned a lot from the beginning of my religious and missionary formation. I made many discoveries about myself, about others. To enter community life just as I am, to share and support one another, to give and receive. That does not mean it is easy. It is a challenge that gives me courage. I am happy to broaden my heart to welcome others just as they are.

Three words that sum up your life?

LOVE that is rooted in CHRIST; The MISSION for AFRICA! That is more than three words!!

Tell us about the day of your final commitment.
I had a dream that everyone would contribute to this feast; and this is what happened! I was touched by the solidarity of people of my village, friends and family members. I received many messages from many countries! It was a day of joy which I experienced in depth. I experienced love from God and from others.

Sr Maïté O.: her blog

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