As a missionary, I had always expressed my willingness for the mission “Ad Extra” (towards the outside). I had almost given up the hope when on my 50th birthday the Lord gifted me the mission of Algeria, the largest Muslim country in North Africa, surrounded by the Mediterranean coast. Our God is a God of surprises and reveals Himself in a thousand ways to those open to His presence and action in the world.
On August 27, 2014, I arrived in Oran, one of the four dioceses in Algeria. Along with Sisters Serena De Stefani and Marta Arosio, we started a community in Mascara, a town some 390 km northwest of the national capital of Alger.
We are part of a centre called “El Amel” (the hope) run by an elderly French priest.
I am a nurse by profession and we have a small dispensary where the elderly and women prefer to frequent. This has helped me to develop relationships that gave me easy access to families.
Sr Lucy D’Mello MSII had the opportunity to assist Miloud, Meriam, Kaddur, Zuleika and many others in their sickness who now have gone to their heavenly abode. But my relationship with the family continues as a member. Many are very happy to invite us to participate in celebrations of marriage, new birth and anniversaries. We also visit them in painful moments of sickness or loss of a dear one in the family.
The people are hospitable, warm-hearted, and generous and the religious culture is very visible. Some of the expressions like ‘Inch-Allah’ (if God wants it), ‘Hamou-Allah’ (praise be to God) are frequently used by the majority of the people. The call for prayer five times a day helps me to raise my heart and mind to God, the Father of us all.