Lydie Zebo Bahie was the only child in her family still living at home when both her parents died. After their deaths, she became too depressed to continue her studies, and she struggled to relate to her friends. “The fact that they still had their mothers … caused me pain,” she recalled. “My mother had been everything to me.” At times, she no longer wished to go on living.
During this difficult period, Lydie’s sister, Alphonsine, invited Lydie to come live with her. Alphonsine’s son, Faet Nadege, introduced her to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “When I went to church for the first time, the sisters of the Relief Society and the Young Women welcomed me so warmly,” Lydie said, “I felt I had almost found my parents again.” Though she had stopped reading during her period of depression, she found herself able to focus once again as she studied the Book of Mormon. She was baptized on November 18, 1995.
Not long after her baptism, she received an opportunity to return the love that had been shown to her by serving in the Relief Society and Young Women. She also served as a branch missionary, inviting others to discover the same fellowship and peace she had recently found. “All of these callings strengthened me and helped me progress, both spiritually and mentally,” Lydie said.
Lydie became one of the first sister missionaries to serve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission. “The experiences I had, both positive and negative, helped me develop a greater Christian capacity for love and service,” Lydie recounted. “My joy felt complete.” Lydie attributed this new joy in her life to the watchful care of her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. “They opened the doors of life and happiness to me when all I could see was sorrow.”