The gift of a painting helps our preschoolers appreciate God’s creation
Twenty years ago, Sandy Wood traveled with her church family to a little village named Los Robles in the Dominican Republic.
Their goal was to build a children’s school and playground in one of the poorest regions of the world.
While walking through an open-air marketplace near the village, Sandy saw a booth with bright, beautiful oil paintings. She was drawn to the work of a local Haitian artist who portrayed some of the animals one might see on a safari in Africa. Her dream was to go to Africa some day and see the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
She purchased the fanciful illustration of peaceful creatures and brought it home to California. At first, the painting encouraged her hope that God would open the door to Africa one day. God heard her prayer and said “yes” several years later.
After that adventure, the painting reminded Sandy of the faithfulness of God and the beautiful people she met in vastly different nations of the world.
“The faces of the animals in the oil painting are playful and tender. They don’t appear to be afraid of each other,” Sandy says. “The Bible teaches us that someday, when Jesus returns and reigns on earth, the lion will lay down with the lamb. There will be no more war or violence. Instead, there will be peace among men and women from every tribe and nation and we will live together as one. I want to pass this hope to the next generation.”
Recently, while admiring the painting and remembering her adventures, an inner voice urged Sandy to share the oil painting with children.
She thought about the children and staff at KidWorks and hoped they would have space in their classrooms.
She knew the students who entered the doors of this neighborhood haven, were being taught to love one another, while they were also learning how to read and write.
When Idalia Galdamez, Preschool Director, saw the framed art piece, she knew exactly where it should go: The painting hangs in the office of our state-licensed preschool at our Dan Donahue Center, where it’s seen daily. It’s a perfect fit.
“The painting is absolutely beautiful!” says Idalia. “It feels like it was perfectly created for us. It catches the attention of children and adults.”
Adds Idalia, “For me the painting is a reminder that preschool is the beginning of a path in education. Everyone who comes to preschool is uniquely developing at their own rate with unique talents and strengths. That’s what we see in the variety of animals in the painting.”
We are grateful that the painting Sandy carefully brought home from the Dominican Republic to Orange County is now showing God’s promise of peace and harmony to all who view it.