Roxana Chimbo:  Sr. Clare said to me, "Hopefully someday you will have the courage to choose God over your friends."

Roxana Chimbo is from Chone, Ecuador, and knew Sr. Clare and the five girls who died with her. She tells us a story in which we once again see that Sr. Clare was not afraid to tell young people the truth they need to hear, even if it hurts.

A while ago, when I was around the age of fifteen, several girls from my group of friends celebrated their quinceañera, their fifteenth birthday, and some of them went all out. They always chose me to be a dama ("lady") in their "court of honor." We had to do dances and things like that. At that time, I was just getting to know the Sisters. I once told them that I was a dama for a quinceañera, but they did not think it was right, saying that they were indecent dances and dresses and that the atmosphere was not good and things like that... But for me there was nothing wrong. That is why I didn't understand what they were referring to and ignored them.

One day Sr. Clare was here in Chone and, I don't know why, but I went to ask her what she thought about it. She told me many things to try to explain why it was not right to be a dama. I still did not understand. Then she asked me why I decided to be a dama, and I told her that I did it for my friends, because I loved them. She said to me, "Hopefully someday you will have the courage to choose God over your friends." And she left.

During that time, every time I agreed to be a dama for a quinceañera, I remembered what Sister Clare had told me, but it seemed like an exaggeration to me and that didn't apply in that case, so I silenced it and ignored it. After a while I forgot. I recently remembered it again and it made an impact on me, because it was as if from Heaven she was reminding me and making me see that, by putting my friends before God so many times, I was faulting in that "You will love God over everything." I felt that I did not really love Him and that, somehow, I would put Him aside for things or people that often led me to sin, even if it is a "little" sin.


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