The Society of African Missions (SMA Fathers) was founded in Lyon, France, December 8, 1856 by Bishop Melchior de Marion Brésillac.
Last Sunday we gathered around the Table of the Lord to celebrate the 163rd Anniversary of our Society. Also, with great joy, we celebrated the Commissioning of our two new S.M.A. Lay Associates, Mikki Wente and Jeong Anastasia Nan. This Thursday, December 12th,2019, they are leaving for the missions in Tanzania, where they are going to serve with S.M.A. for two years.
As they are packing their suitcases and preparing to leave, they share their thoughts.
Mikki writes: When the reality of knowing that I may be accepted into the mission field hit me, I realized I had to figure out a way to let go of many things that I had carried around with me with every move I have made (from location to location). I found the things I carried around were more than just material possessions. It was also the emotional baggage I had to be willing to continue to work through and let go of to prepare myself for mission. I still have to ask myself, “What kind of worth do I place on the items I feel compelled to keep?” Be it physical or emotional, it is hard to take that leap of faith—to let go of what I carry around […] I have so much to look forward to as I embark on this next phase of my journey. This period has opened for me the opportunity to look deep within myself. It has opened for me the challenges of living in intentional community, preparing me for the next step . . . God calls each of us by name and guides us on our path. He reveals Himself to us through encounters along the way.
Anastasia writes: “Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17) I think of the above Bible verse as a motto for my life.
I think it is important to fulfill my responsibilities and practice my love toward my neighbors.
After working ten years in my diocese and sixteen years as a Sunday school teacher in my parish, I found myself naturally thinking about missionary work.
After my visit to Tanzania, and spending time with Fr. Daniel Lee, SMA Priest Associate, in his mission, I decided to pursue my missionary vocation with the SMA Fathers.
The Lord’s love is in everything. I hope to be able to help the people with whom I will work, to realize we can find fulfillment only in God’s love.