Not only did the guests of our World Care Benefit and Celebration come away with hearing some amazing and inspirational speeches, but they were also lucky enough to go home with Guatemalan art work.

We were blessed to have received drawings for each of our guests from the students at Valley of the Angels school in Guatemala City in Guatemala where two of our missioners, Maeve Gallagher and Amanda Ceraldi, currently serve, teaching several grades of students.

Operations manager with FMS, Sarah Hoffeditz, brainstormed the idea. ” It was a way to bring the mission sites to the event so people could see tangible results of the work our missioners do,” Sarah said. “We also wanted to give people something that they could take home with them to remind them of the impact their generosity makes.”

On Mondays, Maeve and Amanda lead spiritual formation for the 200 students at Valley of the Angels, and both thought that time would serve as a good opportunity for the students to reflect on the importance of Valley on their lives. The premise was for the students to draw what school meant to them, but the prompt transformed.

“We changed it to ‘What does Valley mean to you?’ since Valley is so much more to these students,” Maeve said. “The children live here for 10 months out of the year and, unfortunately, many come from homes without a lot of love, so for many of them they identify Valley as their home. That’s why so many children drew the church, Fr. Michael, Valley’s director, or Fr. Rocco, Valley’s founder, because it’s not just a school—it’s a family”

“We started with the Our Father together and then gave the children the prompt,” Amanda said. “From there the children were able to take this in whatever direction they wanted.” A little extra guidance was needed for some of the children, and Amanda was quick to help.

“When some of the younger kids didn’t know what to draw,” she said, “I asked them, ‘When you think of Valley of the Angels, what do you think of?’ and that helped them think a little more in depth about the prompt.”

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