by Wilfreda Omwalo, AMMM Kenya 21.04.2023
I am very much privileged to be associated with MMM. The Congregation has six core values and compassion is my favorite. It is one of the best because it cuts across all the other core values. One cannot be compassionate towards others if we are not compassionate towards ourselves. I pray that I may be kind and compassionate to myself and show it to others.
I am a staff member at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Eldoret, Kenya, where the activities encourage you to go and bring healing to people you serve both at the site and in the community. The healing charism – the healing love of Christ amongst the community and staff. We bring healing by helping the people in the community to improve their health. It is one of the qualities that indeed we need and will help us in every circumstance. I remember during the time of the late Sr. Patricia Hoey there was post-election violence in the years 2007/8. It was the first time I had heard about IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). This had never been seen before in Eldoret. Everybody was scared and afraid of each other, not knowing whom to trust.
We, the staff of St. Mary’s, had to practice Compassion in that confusion. We visited the affected people at the showground where they had temporary accommodation. The staff had yellow T-shirts with the words ‘LOVE SERVES’. We showed kindness. We listened to their stories carefully, without judging anybody and we offered our time to just be there and to make them feel that, even in that situation, they are loved and are special, important, and that they have a place in our hearts. We took foodstuff to them. Staff gave out their clothes and other items. We grabbed anything that you felt could be of help to them.
These were people from all walks of life – we did not know them. It was offered to all without discrimination. They were neither our relatives nor friends. It taught us to continue to serve in every situation that we are found in and these are the times when one really practices/preaches the Love of Christ.
Being compassionate has made me acknowledge and appreciate others. It surely brought smiles to their faces, they needed to be healed. We shared the healing charism with all that we came in contact with. We serve a God of love who is compassionate. I cannot forget Mary at the Visitation – an act of love, reaching out to people with love. Why did Mary visit or why do we visit friends or relatives? It could be to find out how they are doing, to help them do some work, take food to those who are hungry, and visit if they are sick. Let us all be like a sunflower that follows every moment of the sun. There is a lot I have learned and practiced on compassion. I am forever grateful to be one with MMM.