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From the October 2008 issue of The Christian Science Journal

AS CHILD GROWING UP in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was raised in the Catholic church. While my interest grew in the life of its saints, God still remained unknown to me. I had a strong desire to become a priest, and curiously, many people said I looked like one. But I knew my desire to become a priest would not be accepted by my parents, as I was the elder male child of the family and expected to carry on the family line.

During the years I studied in Belgium, my friends and I worked on a vast apple orchard during the summer holidays. As we lined up at the end of the day for our first daily pay, a friend came to tell us our employer had two different rates of pay: a "man rate" and a lower "woman rate." Instinctively, my friends turned to me since they knew I was an advocate of gender equality. But I preferred action over words, so, when I entered the plantation office, my protest was to ask for the woman rate.

A healing purpose

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