Italy – Listening to the voices of missionaries: Oscar Kimangou, departing with the 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition

23 September 2022

(ANS - Castelnuovo Don Bosco) - From the Congolese land, a land that has welcomed and now returns so many missionaries, also comes the young cleric Oscar Kimangou; 28 years old, belonging to the Africa Congo Vice-Province (ACC), in just two days he will participate in the celebration of the missionary sending off of the 153rd Salesian Missionary Expedition, after which he will be destined for his new adopted homeland, Slovenia. Below is his testimony.

What prompted you to write the letter of availability for missions to the Rector Major?

Already as an aspirant, I learned that our Congregation is missionary by charism, and so my desire to become a missionary goes back to that time when I met a missionary from Cameroon who had come to celebrate Mass in my home parish, where he had done his internship, before going on a mission. Thus, it was from the pre-novitiate that I expressed my missionary desire.

How did people close to you react to your missionary choice?

For my parents, to be accepted as a missionary is a grace, and so if this is God's will, then we all agree to go ahead with this missionary commitment. The whole family supports me to go on a mission for the glory of God and the salvation of people. My confreres have shown me their support and closeness, and my friends have also promised to pray for me.

As a Salesian coadjutor, Blessed and soon-to-be Saint Artemide Zatti had a great missionary spirit in his apostolate - which for him was the hospital. Do you also feel passionate about this aspect?

Yes, very passionate, and he, in fact, is one of the Salesians who inspired me, with his way of doing things, with the total gift of life for others. For me, he is one of those Salesians who really manifested the principle: all through love and nothing through constraint.

Are you happy with where you are going? Do you have any fears or concerns about the new place, the culture, and its people?

Leaving one's comfort zone, habits and environment always bring anxieties and fears. Learning Slovenian will obviously be my first challenge, but I will do my best to overcome it. Other than that, I know that I will be welcomed by my Salesian brethren, and for that, I am confident because when you are with your brethren, you are supported, you are never alone.

Do you have in mind any role models of great missionaries whose lifestyle you want to follow?

My fundamental model is simply Jesus.

What message do you want to send to young people about the missionary vocation?

The missionary vocation is a vocation within a vocation. I ask young people first of all to remain open to God's call in their lives; because today's world offers us so many options, but true happiness, true life, is found in God. Therefore, let yourselves be guided by God's will.

Also, in terms of vocation, certain aspects are necessary such as: simplicity, openness, humility, generosity, and - most necessary - patience.

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