Photo Paola Pérez posted on Facebook of her daughter praying with teacher on her cell phone during a school day. The post inspired Daniel Gallardo to recreate it as he reflected on the importance of Adventist education. [Photo: Facebook, Courtesy of the Inter-American Division]
Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Daniel Gallardo for Inter-American Division News

O ne afternoon, as I was going back home, I was thinking of the extent to which this pandemic has changed our lives and what a drastic change we have gone through in just a few months. Our lifestyles, worship styles, and even education are going through sweeping changes. It’s in these moments when the world most needs men and women of strength, faith, and courage—people of character and firm values.

With this in mind, I found something that caught my attention on social media. It was a picture in which a mother showed her teacher an image of her little daughter on her cell phone during a moment of virtual prayer. The caption under the image read, “The reason my children attend an Adventist school is because it offers wholistic education, which is very important for a society that is losing its values every day, and because it’s a school committed to God and society, training leaders in ethical and moral values, who cling to the truth with strength, courage, and grace” (Paola Pérez).

As I read that caption and perceived the certainty this mother felt in giving her reasons for sending her daughter to an Adventist school, my heart filled with joy. I reaffirmed what my mother always believed: Adventist education makes a difference.

It is now that I can see more clearly the results of my mother’s ongoing efforts to help me grow spiritually. The Bible itself became her guide as it commanded her, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Inspired and moved by this, I contacted the girl’s parents and asked for her permission to use this image as a model to create a work of art. I began to work on an image that showed how that effort by parents and the dedication of teachers help children enjoy an educational experience based not only on general knowledge but also life experiences. Those life experiences will stay with them forever and make them better people in the future and in service of humanity.

Many moments in my childhood flashed through my mind. I remembered when I was six years old at the Adventist school in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico. Every morning, teachers prayed for us. Their petitions and thanks were part of our morning devotional, which gave us a sense of belonging and trust, knowing that someone was listening and willing to hear our concerns, no matter how small they might seem.

Our school would then become a true family, where our classmates became brothers and sisters for whom we got personally involved and prayed. The same happened with our dear teachers, who would take care of us, reprimand us when we misbehaved, and lovingly helped us to be better. This all left an indelible imprint that I undoubtedly share with many others who experienced how parents and teachers make the decision to trust in Adventist education. It is an education that gives us values for a journey that is undeniably difficult and complex.

The privilege of attending an Adventist school fills me with gratitude, first of all to God and my family, and to the people who, along that arduous journey, offered me their help, words of encouragement, or an arm on which to lean. To each and every one of them, I want to share that image and leave the following thought: When you allow God to lead you along the way and guide your plans and life, you become a powerful instrument in His service.

Daniel Gallardo graduated from Montemorelos University with a degree in Visual Arts with a concentration in Photography. He lives in Mexico and has authored works that zero in on a worldview focused on Jesus. He is owner and director of Gallardo Studio, whose main brand, Daniel Gallardo Photographer®️, has accomplished many projects. Among his customers are the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Adventist schools, Gemma Editores publishing house, Montemorelos University, and Linda Vista University.

This article was originally published on the Inter-America Division’s website 



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