General Councillor

Elly_van_Dijk_401Sr. Elly van Dijk, FDNSC, Netherlands

My favourite psalm (40) says: “I waited patiently for the Lord.” This is true, but it has not always been the case in my life.

I grew up in the southern part of the Netherlands, where all the people were Catholics. Our family consisted of my parents, an elder sister, my twin brother and I, and a younger sister. My parents went to church every Sunday and I went with them, but why? What was the meaning of faith for my daily life? I did not know the answers to these questions. The Catholic religion did not say anything to me anymore. It was only when someone tried to challenge my beliefs that I discovered what a precious treasure is our faith which, through my parents, was given to me by God. Apparently our faith was so important to me that I would not let it be taken away by anybody. I felt the need to defend it. As soon as I realised this, a long quest began, a search for God in my life, a quest that could last a lifetime.

From that time on, my life followed roads I had never dreamed of. I joined the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. I became a pastoral worker and my good father, who knew the shyness of his daughter, was astonished. “Do you really dare to preach?” he asked. And who would have thought that the road would lead me to South Africa? Yes, God’s ways are miraculous. They can set one free, free to do good. That’s why I dare to say with the psalmist: It is written about me in the scroll: I desire to do your will, my God.

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