Mission Diary. DR Congo. “I never cease to be amazed by the mystery of my vocation”

“Day after day, through my commitment and all that I am, I try to participate in the building of the Church that I love so much as a religious and as a journalist”, Sister Elisabeth Tikabi, a Cameroonian Comboni Missionary, tells us.

After completing my studies in Social Communications at the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome, more than three years ago, I was sent to Kinshasa (DRC) to work at the Afriquespoir Missionary Animation Center. My integration was rapid, also because I am a French-speaking Cameroonian and the language was not a problem.

The CAE, as we know it here, is a multimedia centre in which three Comboni missionaries and I are directly involved. We publish the quarterly magazine Afriquespoir for all of Francophone Africa and have a publishing house of the same name.

In general, people are very happy with the content of our publication and also with the books we publish, which seek, above all, to educate in the faith and to invite missionary commitment. Our flagship title, far superior to all the others, is Le monde dans ma poche (The world in your pocket), aimed above all at children and teenagers. With data on the geography and history of countries on the five continents, it also offers many other curiosities. Every year we produce an edition with updated data and new content.

At the CAE we have a small recording studio and we produce audios and a missionary program broadcast by Elikya, the television of the archdiocese of Kinshasa. There is a lot of work behind these activities, but we form a good team and carry it out very well. Whatever the difficulties, as religious and convinced witnesses of the Gospel, we are always ready to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through the means of communication. I appreciate the relationships I have built in this period with simplicity, dialogue and openness. This was possible thanks to our collaborators who are essential for the distribution of the magazine in Kinshasa.

The postal service doesn’t work here, and so to ensure that the magazines reach the homes of our readers, a network of people has been built up who come to the centre to collect them or we go to their parishes to deliver them. Outside of Kinshasa, it is the members of the large Comboni family who are responsible for distribution.

Another activity of the CAE is the accompaniment of various missionary groups, such as the Comboni Lay Missionaries, the Missionary Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Lybota ya Comboni, which can be translated as “Family of Comboni”, which is a group made up of relatives of the Congolese Comboni missionaries. These groups, organized in small communities, follow the spirituality of the Cenacles of Missionary Prayer founded by a Portuguese Comboni missionary, Fr. Claudino Ferreira Gomes. With frequent meetings to experience moments of prayer together, they organize missionary animation activities which, for me, are very enriching.

Sunday is a very important day for the missionary animation of the local Church. Thanks to the support of the parish priests, members of the CAE and some collaborators, we alternate around the more than 200 parishes of the archdiocese to offer our books and magazines, which have proven to be good tools for helping Christians to commit themselves to the Gospel.

I feel happy and never cease to be amazed by the mystery of my vocation. Why did the Lord call me, who didn’t know much about Him? I am experiencing the joy of giving and receiving. Day after day, through my commitment and all that I am, I try to participate in the construction of the Church that I love so much as a religious woman and as a journalist.

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