Aime’s Letter

Aime Mbuyi’s story, in his own words
Before I joined the Church, I was in a revolutionary group. We had a camp which was like a boarding school. One of the purposes of this camp was to teach us to abandon the religious system brought by white men, and to return to the religion of our ancestors. At the camp, we lit a bonfire, sang songs, and we prayed to our ancestors. Someone called out to the ancestors and other dead ones and asked them to mingle with us. All of this was initiated by an African Catholic priest who was the leader of the camp. He also changed the way of celebrating Mass. It was no longer a Catholic Mass but a combination of Catholicism and African ancestor worship. We also watched documentaries about Patrice Emery Lumumba, the youth of Soweto and others. This ex-priest was building hate in us.
I had many destructive plans which I developed at the revolutionary camp, but I did not put them into action. The gospel changed my heart before I executed my plans.
My grandparents joined the Church in July 2005 before I came back to live in Kinshasa after spending seven years in Tshikapa, where the revolutionary camp was located. My grandpa told me about the Church just once. He said that it was a good church. It gave the youth opportunities for a good education and helped them become good citizens of the country. He said many things about the Church, but I did not show that I was interested. My mother tried to encourage me to visit the church. The next Sunday, I did. I did not inform anybody at home. I knew where the church was.
I entered. I passed the chapel and found myself in the bishop’s office. I told him that I was new in the church and that I did not know where to go. He showed me a class. Afterwards, I encountered the elders and we made an appointment. I do not remember what was taught that day at church, but I remember my impressions. I was impressed by the attitude of the young men my own age who blessed the sacrament. They were like angels. Most of my friends thought that the Church was not Christian. At first, I did not tell them I had joined it. I was ashamed. My mother encouraged to stop going to the camp meetings. She said, “Aimé, now that you have received the gospel of Jesus-Christ, I think you must stop your meetings and your organization. You have become a disciple of Christ.” Her words touched my heart, and I decided to stop. I found an excuse to escape my friends. This decision helped me be focused in the gospel and ponder in my heart the message I had accepted.
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