Tag Archives: God

Mar 25 2009

Relationships are essential for a full life

Lenten reflection: Week 5
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

ìAnd I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.î ñJohn 12:32

Our God, who is relational by nature, chose to become a member of the human family as an expression of intimate love. We, Godís children, are also relational and the yearning of our hearts for closeness to God and to one another is a reflection of our nature and Godís deepest desire.

Because of this, relationships are the very essence of life. Godís two greatest commandments are not about what work we do, or what we eat, or even how we are to worship God. Our two greatest commandments are to love God and each other.

We believe this is the greatest gift that CFCA has to offer to the world. The reason the founders chose the sponsorship model was because it is relational. One does not simply write a check and forget about it. Sponsors are called into personal relationships with someone they didnít even know existed before sponsorship. They are given the opportunity to love God by loving another of Godís children. Sponsor and sponsored friend carry one another in their hearts and allow the other to change them for the better.

CFCAís structure in our projects follows this model as well and feeds the need for relationships among those we serve. For example, mothers in Merida, Mexico, tell us that the CFCA mothers groups are the most important part of the program to them. Most of their families moved from villages to the city, and that move isolated them from the social fabric that had sustained their ancestors for generations. The mothers groups are recreating that sense of community that is so essential to a full life.

Lent gives us a chance to stop and examine our relationships. It is often easier to give up chocolate for Lent than to rebuild and heal relationships.

Author Stephen Levine writes, ìIf you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?î

Reflection questions:
1. How would you define your relationship with God? Is God your teacher? Friend? Distant relative you only see on holidays? Guide? Do you like that relationship or do you want it to change? What needs to happen to bring about that change?
2. Is there a friendship that you have lost and mourn that loss? What might God be calling you to do about that?

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Mar 18 2009

Concern for the whole person

Lenten reflection: Week 4p1000566
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

Lent, as we know, is a time of preparation and self-reflection. It is a time set aside to examine our relationship with God and our need for healing in our own lives. Scripture shows us time and again that God is greatly concerned with our wholeness, in mind, body and spirit. In fact, ìwholenessî and ìholinessî come from the same word that means ìcompleteness.î

In 2 Kings, Chapter 4, we hear a strange and wonderful story of Elisha bringing a family back to wellness and wholeness. Like Sarah before her, God promised a Shunammite woman a son in her old age. God kept that promise but years later the young boy died. However, God would not forget his promise and, through Elisha, brought the boy back to life, restoring the faith of the mother.

CFCAís benefits are structured to follow this guideline of concern for the whole person and the family. We do not simply feed children. Nor do we just educate them or see to their medical concerns. We are concerned for the whole person and we walk with them and bring others along to do the same.

Take, for instance, a widow in Guatemala whose son was sponsored through CFCA. The woman was suffering from depression and because of her†illness she was unable to move forward in her life. She was unable even to address the health concerns of her son. He began to have trouble in school, and it was believed to be because of hearing loss.

CFCA was helping this family financially, but it was not until we brought in another CFCA mother to minister to the little boyís mother that changes started happening. It took more than just the CFCA staff to help this woman back to health in mind, body and spirit. It took God working through someone who was not that different from her, to help heal her.

God, as the ultimate and perfect parent, is deeply concerned for the wholeness of each of his†6-billion-plus children. We need only open ourselves to the Spirit and to our fellow travelers through whom the Spirit works.

Reflection questions:
1. Where do you need healing in your life in mind, body or spirit?
2. Who might God be placing in your path who needs the gifts you have to offer for their healing?

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Oct 15 2008

Blog Action Day: “Our family’s poverty story”


From CFCA sponsor Zena Weist:

John and I began sponsoring a child in 1998. We were pregnant with our first child and felt so blessed. We heard about CFCA through our parish. During Mass while a CFCA representative was talking about the sponsorship opportunities, my husband left our pew. I thought he was going to the restroom.

Angelica is our sponsored child from Guatemala. She was 4 when we began sponsoring her.
Angelica is our sponsored child from Guatemala. She was 4 when we began sponsoring her.

When he came back to our pew, he had our little Angelica Antonia’s profile. He just knew that I wanted to sponsor a child and he did as well.

He said, “Angelica called out to me.”

Her mother and father took turns sending us letters about Angelica, their life and how thankful they were for our support until Angelica was old enough to write. So, through letters and photos we’ve received, we’ve seen Angelica grow up through her parents’ and now her words.

Angelica is in seventh grade. She draws us beautiful flower borders with every note. She’s quite an artist! Angelica is growing up a confident, educated young woman. She walks an hour to/from school every day – amazing! She is so grateful for the opportunity to go to school (which is a great reminder for our kids) and in every letter reminds us how very thankful she is that our support covers her basic needs.

By sponsoring Angelica, we get so much more out of the relationship than we ever dreamed was possible! She is a constant reminder of how blessed we are, that the basic things we take for granted (shelter, food, clothing) are truly gifts from God. Angelica doesn’t know this, but her words and prayers are far more valuable to our family than the monthly donations.

CFCA’s sponsorship program helps our family see that poverty is a worldwide problem that affects each of us in some way and even more so, how each individual can help end it.

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