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Encountering God in Children


Domestic Volunteers Naomi Amsberry and Anna Robinson have spent their Wednesday afternoons at an after-school program for immigrant families.  Today they share how they’ve found God in the midst of D.C.’s lower-income youth.

“For the last several months, I have been volunteering at an after school program with Mary House for children ages pre-K through 6th grade. It has been a joy at times and struggle at other times. More often it is a joy. Mary House aims to create solidarity with the children who come from low-income families, many of whom are new to the United States.

About a week ago, I was outside playing with some of the younger boys. They were not getting along so well because there was only one ball that they were sharing among the three of them. I had the idea to put them on a team against me to get them to work together. Sure enough, they started working as a team, making sure each of them had a chance to kick the ball. It was great to see them take turns and try their best to score against me. It brought smiles to all of our faces.”

– Naomi Amsberry, development associate

“These days my encounters with God come from the presence of the children and the staff at Mary House’s afterschool program. There’s a family bond that the director and the Americorps workers share with the immigrant families. The clients are met as equals. The director is just one of the family and considers each person a relative that she works hard to see live happy and healthy. Mary House is an example of an organization that just wants to help, because the people they know, their friends, could use some help.
It can be a struggle sometimes, the classroom explodes in chaos from having 20+ students of different ages crammed into a little space.  But watching the staff interacting with the families and sharing their daily work puts the chaos into perspective, completing the bigger picture.”

– Anna Robinson, communications associate

To support the work of volunteers like Naomi and Anna, please make a donation to FMS this year.

We prepare and support lay Catholics for two-year international, one-year domestic and 1-2 week short-term mission service opportunities in solidarity with impoverished and marginalized communities across the globe.

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