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Kaitlyn Manson, USA: Valeria's testimony is the one that was really enforced and truly inspiring.

kaitlyn manson165 165Kaitlyn is from Florida and attended Assumption Catholic School where Sr. Clare taught. Here she shares her experience in Ecuador this summer.

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Sr. Clare and Kaitlyn at Assumption

I embarked on a mission trip to Ecuador through the Home of the Mother this June. I found out about the mission trip through my years at Assumption Catholic School. The first day wasn't just difficult physically; it was difficult emotionally as well. More than half of the girls in the group (including myself) knew Sister Clare well, and two of the girls had met some of the candidates a few years ago when they had previously gone on the mission trip to Ecuador. Being at the site where the building once stood and standing at the spots where the bodies were found was just such an overwhelming feeling. Throughout the trip we heard several testimonies about Sister Clare and the five girls from the sisters the people of Ecuador.

Valeria's testimony is the one that was really enforced and truly inspiring. When she was younger she witnessed something very tragic, but managed to grow up to be joyful and live a very holy life. During the mission trip, Valeria's grandparents invited us to come over to their home to see Valeria's room. Her grandparents are very poor people. They live in a small house with very few things inside. Her room was very small and simple. Her grandmother began to speak of Valeria and instantly became overwhelmed with emotion. She could barely get her words out, because she was crying so hard. I don't speak fluent Spanish, so I had a hard time understanding her, but just seeing her talk about her and cry for her made me cry along with the other girls in the group.

This trip wasn't as difficult physically as it was emotionally. It had its ups and it had its downs. I thought that I was embarking on this mission trip to help others, but the people I met actually helped me. I got to see life from a different perceptive. A perspective that I wouldn't have ever seen life from if I hadn't attended this trip. This mission trip to Ecuador is an experience that I will never ever forget, and I feel that other people should experience this trip as well.

Kaitlyn Manson


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