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You called me: Here I am Lord!

I come to make yours  will''.

Lord, I thank you!  


My name is Sr. Benedine Nwafor. I was born in 1988, and raised in Awgu, a small town in the state of Enugu in Nigeria, with three older brothers and a younger sister. My parents owned a plot of land and grew yam, cassava, corn and okro there, for our family's needs.


It was a blow to us when my father suddenly died of a fever. The heavy responsibility of supporting us small children all fell on my mother's shoulders. Determined to make any sacrifices to guarantee us an education at a Catholic school, she began to work hard. He opened a small restaurant and took more arable land and with the grace of God this effort paid off. My mother's example of faith, her tenacity in facing difficulties and knowing how to find the most appropriate solutions to the problems that arise, were a source of great encouragement for me.


After elementary school, my brothers were initiated  to learn a trade, in order to be independent and have the opportunity to work and earn. My sister and me  instead we started going to secondary school. Our school had nearly 2,000 pupils, so we had a lot of friends. After school, it was time to decide on mine  future. I prayed  Very  to understand God's will for my life. To be honest,  to  at that time I didn't think at all that God could call me to the religious life,  what I wanted was just to continue my studies.


On December 13, 2008,  on my way home from the market, i had a bad car accident. It was an unforgettable day in my life. At the hospital the doctor said my left leg was badly injured. He ordered rest and the use of crutches for several months.  


This experience changed my plans. During this time of pain and loneliness, I began to reflect on my life. “If I were to die now, what would become of me?   What does life consist of? " I started reading the Bible and soon it became my "best friend". I discovered the wonder of silence, which predisposes us to hear the voice of the Lord.


One day, while I was reading the biblical passage describing the vocation of the prophet Jeremiah, I was deeply touched by the words:


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I consecrated you; I have made you a prophet to the nations "(cf. Jer 1: 4-5). I asked myself: is God calling me to offer him my life by becoming a religious? But at that time I didn't even understand what religious life consisted of.  having recovered, I abandoned this idea and got a job in the office of one of the local oil companies; I worked there for about a year and a half. During this time I felt a great emptiness in my life; I was missing something, family, friends, work could not fill this gap.  


In March 2008 I met the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver. They told me about their apostolate and their life as religious. I visited them from time to time and, little by little, I began to understand their apostolate better: teaching catechism to children, helping adults to deepen their faith.   In 2010 I took leave of work to spend some time with the Sisters and experience their way of living more closely.  


I began my religious formation in Awgu, Nigeria and later had a more international experience when I joined other young people like me from Kenya, Cameroon, Vietnam and Brazil in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. I was able to participate in our traditional apostolate of correspondence with lay collaborators, the delivery of the missionary magazine, various prayer meetings, fundraising, etc. Later, as novices we experienced the religious life on a more interior level. On January 6, 2015, with a heart full of gratitude, I took my first religious vows.  


Our charism is precious and important to me, because it stimulates me to commit - through all my work - to proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel to everyone. Our prayer life, the gift of ourselves, our daily work are for the benefit of the missionary Church. In concluding the story of my vocation I would like to quote the words of the Mother Foundress, Blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska: “Life is short, eternity lasts forever. We try to do good while we are on our way to eternity ”.

Sr. Benedine Chinweokwu Nwafor

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