Editor’s note: Missioner Erin McHugh shares her gratitude for her host community, the Valley of the Angels School in Guatemala.

I have found myself reflecting on my year and half as an FMS missioner with a song called We Are Each Other’s Angels. I played it for my family and friend before leaving for Jamaica and I gave them each little angels. When I played that song I had no idea that it would become my mission theme song, and that I would find new meaning in the lyrics.

I love the beginning of the song, as it is a beautiful way to say “goodbye” as we go to follow our calling. The first verse of the song hits home with me because I feel like it describes the beginning of my mission journey: “Sometimes you’ll stumble, sometimes you’ll just lie down, sometimes you’ll be lonely with all these people around, You might shiver when the windy blows, you might get blown away, you might lose a little color and you might lose a little faith.” I stumbled and fell at the beginning of my journey; I lost my faith and myself. I didn’t have the strength to get back up again.

“Well, I have reached my final destination, I finally made it home, God sent ten thousand angels to make me one of his own.” When I decided to continue my mission journey in Guatemala, I was anxious, as I felt weak and unable to fly. Upon arriving, I realized I had reached my destination, the place I was always meant to be. “We are each other’s angels and we meet when it is time. We keep each other going, and show each other signs. ” It might have taken me a while to get here, but I was meant to meet the 215 angels here at Valley of the Angels School. I met them when I needed them the most, when I needed to learn to fly again.

The children at Valley are my angels, they keep me going on my harder days, and have shown many signs about life. They challenge me to be an angel for others, to fill someone’s cup and help them up when they stumble and fall.

As it says in the song, “I’ve forgotten how to fly. Oh we are each other’s angels. Won’t you show me how to fly?” The children at Valley have taught me how to fly. They have loved and accepted me for who I am, and in doing so they are allowing me to be the best version of myself. They completely embraced the unique gifts I have to offer and pull them out of me in a way I never could on my own. They have given me newfound confidence and allowed me to love myself again

I am so incredibly blessed that God sent me to Guatemala and allowed me to meet these beautiful angels of Valley of the Angels. I am grateful for their gentle and loving ways. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow from them everyday, but most importantly I am thankful they picked me up and taught me to fly again. I am excited to see how we continued to be each other’s angels, flying to new heights in our relationships, and helping each other when we stumble or forget how to fly.

Reflection question: Was there a time in your life when you stumbled and fell? Who helped you up again? How can you be an angel for someone else?