Guyana: My Personal Experience of Global Mercy
By Sister Laura R.
Until my life-changing experience in Georgetown, Guyana last month, I could not comprehend the beauty of the Guyanese people or the energy and commitment of the sisters and Mercy associates who minister with them. This was my first direct exposure to the work of the Sisters of Mercy in Guyana.
As part of a program designed to prepare younger members for leadership roles in the Sisters of Mercy, 33 Sisters of Mercy traveled from across the United States and Central and South America to this small country that borders the Caribbean Sea along South America’s north coast. We stayed in a neighborhood where we could walk to the ocean and greet the fishermen coming home with their catch in the early morning. We watched young boys herd the cows and goats along the ditches and talked to those we met along the way. During the day we visited the elderly at The Palms, a home for the aged, which tore at our heart strings because we saw the sparse conditions in which they lived. At St. John Bosco Orphanage, the boys sang for us and gave us big hugs and cards of welcome. At a vocational school called Mercy Wings, sisters and staff introduced us to young people who are learning work skills and, at Mercy Hospital, care for the sick goes on even as the administrators and staff are still recovering from the 2010 fire that destroyed a major part of the facility.
This lived experience of Guyana made a deep impact on my sense of myself as a Sister of Mercy in a global community. My time in Guyana is a treasure that I will always carry with me. Each day I am challenged to incorporate the global Mercy reality we witnessed into my own ministry as the treasurer of a religious order, where I now see finances through a different lens.
To view additional photos of the Sisters of Mercy visiting other Sisters of Mercy and Mercy ministries in Guyana, check out our Facebook album.