By Rev. Sister Regina Kapinda, LSMI
I am Sister Regina Kampinda, born on 8th of December, 1955. I was accepted as a postulant in the congregation of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate on the feast of the Epiphany which fell on the 6th of January 1977. Later, in the same year on the 11 of December, I was received as a novice and made my first profession on the 19th of December, 1979.
As I progressed in my religious life I was given tasks to perform of which I tried to the best of my ability. At a later stage in the month of August 1988 I was appointed Novice Mistress which was a very big challenge on my part as I had not done any formation course before to acquaint me with the knowledge to help those in formation.
However, it was after working for two years and nine months in the Formation House that I was sent for the Religious Formation and Leadership Course at the Institute of St. Anselm in England which was a program for one year. This took place from September 1990 to October 1991.
Upon successful completion of the course, I was invited to Poland by the late Superior General, Mother Marrietta Kopinska who had plans of sending me on a mission to South Africa to open the Formation House so that the South African girls would have their formation right there and not in Zambia. I was so scared when I heard about this. Immediately, I told the Superior General that I had no vocation for being a missionary and that I was afraid. After leaving the Superior General I felt very uneasy with a bit of guilt feelings. I was too quick to answer; I had not given myself enough time to think about the whole issue. I was troubled to such an extent that I started thinking that maybe I was sent to such a course so that I could serve in South Africa. I became tensed up, confused and had no peace of mind.
Moreover, after two days I went to see the Superior General and shared with her how I felt about the appointment to South Africa. I told the Superior General that I had guilty feelings, had no peace of mind and was ashamed of myself for failing to meet the demands that were expected of me. The difficult and painful thing was that I pronounced to mother that I had no vocation to work as a missionary. I was sorry that I used that term but I could not reverse it but to apologize. To my surprise mother was very understanding and told me that not everyone can be a missionary, “I will not force you to go to S. Africa,” she said. She went on to say, “you will go back to Zambia and serve there”. Upon hearing these words I felt the inner peace and I was relieved of my fears. From that experience I learnt that the late Mother Marietta was very human with a lot of wisdom and understanding.
After I had retired from the civil service, another opportunity came and this was in September 2012 when I was asked by the Provincial Superior, Rev. Sister Mary Ann Katiti to go and work in Malawi as a missionary. I didn’t answer right away because I had learnt a lesson from the previous experience. I asked the Provincial Superior to give me time and think about the issue.
It was during this time that I started to ask myself challenging questions like, “What is making me feel afraid to work as a missionary? What is preventing me from accepting these challenges? What am I holding on to”? I realized that I needed to grow and face challenges in life where as fear can hinder a lot of growth.
After a few days I went back to the Provincial Superior to tell her that I would give it a try. The Provincial Superior was very happy that I accepted because they urgently needed a Catering Manager at Newlands Home.
Generally, I am very happy to work as a missionary in Malawi. There some challenges but there always ways and means of solving and overcoming them.