Sister Eva Maria (left) and Brigitte Kloosterman (right). Maria came to Smithers to speak at the Smithers Evangelical Free Church (SEFC) where Kloosterman is a member after the two met near Nuremberg while Kloosterman was volunteering in Europe with the Salvation Army between 2010 and 2017. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Nun who travels all over the world comes to Smithers

Brigitte Kloosterman first met Sister Eva Maria while working with the Salvation Army in Nuremberg

A nun who has spent more than 20 years travelling to every continent except Australia and Antarctica stopped in Smithers earlier this month.

Sister Eva Maria became a nun in 1971 after a tragic accident involving her brother’s family being killed in a carbon monoxide leak.

In the 1990s, she began travelling the world and spreading the word of God across the globe, with the organization she worked for paying for her flights and expenses so she could spread the church’s message.

Smithers resident Brigitte Kloosterman first met Sister Eva Maria when she was volunteering with the Salvation Army near Nuremberg between 2010 and 2017.

She said the two struck up a friendship quite quickly.

“She had come to us a few times so I’d seen her presentations and they’re really very nice, very good and very encouraging,” said Kloosterman.

In 2017, however, Kloosterman left Nuremberg, eventually returning to Smithers in January 2018.

But not before making a commitment to Maria.

“When she heard that I was moving to Canada she said ‘I’d like to come to visit you’ [and] I said ‘well, I’ll see that you can also have a little presentation here’.”

Kloosterman did just that, arranging a date with her pastor at the Smithers Evangelical Free Church (SEFC).

And while it took a while to iron out the details, eventually a plan was made for Maria to come to Smithers in early September 2019.

Maria said the friendship the two struck up was something special.

“We clicked right away when we first met in Germany … with some people you just click right away and become friends and that’s what it was like for me [and Brigitte],” she said, with Kloosterman translating her answer from German to English.

Discussing her life before she was a nun she noted she worked in graphic design and was not overly religious in any way.

However after the tragedy involving her brother’s family, she said there was a moment where she saw a vision of a church she recognized and heard a voice tell her she needed to go to it and become a nun.

She initially ignored the voice, but after a health scare mere weeks later, which she felt could not be coincidence, she joined the church she saw in the vision.

“When I [heard] this voice I thought this is my chance, I have to take this chance,” said Maria.

“We have these opportunities in life and either choose to take them or not. Life is limited, and the opportunity to recognize God is limited.”

She said her favourite part about her work is she gets to travel the world and see so many diverse, unique cultures.

She said it’s also exciting when she meets other believers in other countries and that it’s always an incredible feeling to get through to someone and get them interested in learning more about Christianity, especially if the country is not majority Christian.

Kloosterman said she hopes to be able to go back to Germany one day to spend some more time with Maria, adding there are a number of other families from her time working with the Salvation Army there who she misses.

The event, held at SEFC on Sept. 9 was centred around Sister Maria telling stories about her adventures and sharing some photos she has taken along her journey.

But for Kloosterman, it was also a chance to reconnect with an old friend.

“She’s just a person with lots of love and joy — just a very encouraging person.”

Just Posted

Security guard bitten, punched by patient at Terrace hospital

Violent incident one of many in Northwest B.C., nurses union says

Smithers woman killed in Oct. 16 car crash

A memorial will be held for Rain Reeves on Oct. 29 at Smithers Golf and Country Club

Fire on Main Street guts an apartment

Blaze leaves five homeless but no one was seriously injured

Smithers golfer competes in university golf nationals

Mitchell Turko shot a final round 73 to finish tied for 24th

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

‘Inconsistent’ message on climate change hurt Liberals at the polls: SFU prof

Trudeau government will have to make concessions to hold onto power

VIDEO: Final trailer for ‘Rise of Skywalker’ debuts

Last instalment in Skywalker saga to hit theatres Dec. 20

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Most Read