“I wanted Maryknoll because I saw the love and commitment of a Maryknoll Sister working in the slums of Nairobi. I lived with two Maryknoll Sisters and saw how dedicated and loving they were with the people they served. Maryknoll is a multicultural community. I am from Kenya and hope to go in mission to another culture.”
After earning her BA in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and her MA in Sociology from the University of Nairobi, Sister Susan entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 2004. She celebrated her First Profession of Vows in 2006 and was assigned to China in January, 2007.
Born in Meru, Kenya, Sister Susan returned for a home visit and a wonderful time with her family and friends before leaving for China. She felt herself privileged to travel across Kenya giving Mission Awareness programs and vocation talks. Sister Susan was touched by the enthusiasm, curiosity and energy of the young people she dialogued with in various parts of the country.
When Sister Susan arrived in Hong Kong, all the Maryknoll Sisters were waiting for her in the airport and she thought people must wonder who is this black woman being welcomed with such warmth and joy by so many women!
Sister Susan is now in her second year of Cantonese study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Like all language students she experiences her days of discouragement and wrote, “Sometimes I have spoken to Chinese people in Swahili or Kimeru and in my mind I am convinced I am speaking in Chinese. When I see the confusion in their faces and I repeat what I have said, it dawns on me that I am speaking ‘in tongues’.” Some of her friends in the youth group she attends tease her and “of course teach me some naughty words.”
She was invited to visit a small village in Mainland China with a group of youth and a priest, seminarian and another Maryknoll Sister. They played games and sang with the children, visited a leper colony and celebrated the Eucharist. Sister Susan reflected, “The poverty in that area reminded me of the slums of Mathare, Kibera, etc. in Nairobi, Kenya.”
In July, 2008, Sister Susan attended the World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia accompanying thirty-two Maryknoll Convent School students and three staff members. They were welcomed as pilgrims of peace bringing with them their youth, hope, dreams and lives filled with enthusiasm. For Sister Susan it was a kind of spiritual renewal and she was grateful to God, the Maryknoll Sisters in the China Region, and the Maryknoll Convent School for giving her the opportunity to attend such a memorable event. “I hope to keep accompanying the young people here and anywhere else mission invites me.”