Testimony Sister Sara, msp

I began to think that there were still many villages that didn’t know God and needed missionaries to bring them the His Word.

I am Sister Sara Huillcahua Palomino. I have ten siblings and was born in Ccoya, a little village in the mountains of Abancay, Apurimac. Back then there were only six families in my village living in stone farmhouses. There was no road and we only spoke Quechua. Every day we walked two hours to school. When we returned, we had to go for the animals in the hills above the village, another two hours walk.

My mother used to say, “I am going to pray the rosary and to Holy Mass.” I always wanted to go to find out what the rosary was (I imagined it was many roses) and as we only spoke Quechua, I thought the word “Mass” referred simply to a table. However, my mother didn’t take me to those meetings because of the distance. I always wanted to know about God.

When I finished elementary school I went to live in the city. The day I left my village I had a feeling that I would never return. I didn’t know what would become of me, but God was always with me though I didn’t realize it.

When I arrived in the city I had to work to support myself so I worked during the day and studied at night for three years. It was difficult since I was the youngest in the classroom. I was a twelve-years-old among mostly adults.

The second year of living in this situation my older brother introduced me to the “dining room” for girls directed by the Missionary Servants of the Poor married couples. I attended it for a year and after a year I heard them talking about the Missionary Servants of the Poor Sisters. On the patio I saw some sick children that were being cared for by some teenage girls and I wondered how I could become one of these girls who were happy taking care of children and fervently praying in the chapel. However, I didn’t dare to ask anyone since I was very shy. When I was invited on a retreat, I felt called to enter the community. The Mother Superior accepted me and I entered as an aspirant on January 6, 2002.

I began to think that there were still many villages that didn’t know God and needed missionaries to bring them the His Word.

“Each time I remember my childhood, tears of joy spring to my eyes on seeing the love and goodness of God in giving me the vocation to be a missionary and to serve Him in the poorest.”

I went through the different stages of formation. I often told the Sisters about my village, how beautiful but how far away it was. I had no hope of ever returning but, by the grace of God, one day Mother Superior told us that we would go to visit my village. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know if there was a road yet and didn’t remember the way very well but we set off on the adventure. We arrived in the village at 4:00 pm and found my parents. They couldn’t believe we were there. They were very excited. We only stayed a few minutes since we had to return the same day. But, what to do? There had been many landslides on the road; it had only just been completed. The villagers were surprised to see a car with nuns in these villages and we realized that we were the first to travel this road since we had passed no other car.

We decided to return via Abancay. On the way we prayed every prayer possible because the drop-offs were enormous and made us afraid. Despite this, it was the beginning of a beautiful mission. It gives me great joy to tell you that currently the Sisters go on mission to my village four times a year and for a week they teach catechism and make home visits.

On October 12, 2010 I made my perpetual vows. A year later I was sent to study nursing in Lima and finished my studies in 2017.

Currently I am at the Mother House taking care of the children in the Home. Especially now in this time of Covid-19 we have no other personnel working during the quarantine. We Sisters are all the children have.

“God among the mountains”