Tag: Henry Flores

Jun 23 2009

What is the good news?

By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

Time and again in scripture, and in my life, I find that people define God through the lens of their own life. Scripture says Jesus came to bring good news to the poor. On my trip to El Salvador, I asked several people what this good news is.

Their answers told me much about where they are in their lives and their relationship with God.

Liberation and salvation
I first asked this of a charismatic priest who celebrates Mass in the town of Tacuba. He is loved by the community, and sees himself as a servant of the people. What is the good news Jesus brings to the poor? ìLiberaciÛn y salvaciÛn.î

He said that without God we are all poor, and that we are all equal in the eyes of God. As a priest, it is his job to pastor everyone in the church, both wealthy and poor. So, the good news for him is equality.

A real presence
For Henry Flores, the good news was when Jesus said, ìI will always be with you.î Henry is the director of the CFCA Communication Center in El Salvador and has been a project director in El Salvador for years. He said that prayers are answered every day in very tangible ways, be it money, food, or just a helping hand. ìSomeone needs help and help always comes.î

It was Henryís job for many years to make sure that the children receive what they need. It is natural that the good news for Henry is that real presence, the help of Jesus in their daily lives.

A better life waits
Tim Clancy sponsors 10 children through CFCA. He is a deeply generous and caring man. The good news for the poor in Timís eyes is that, while things here on Earth are bad, a better life awaits them with God in heaven. Tim talked a lot about his frustration at not being able to do more, despite his multiple sponsorships. But the good news for Tim is knowing that God will make it better for the poor in the next life.

0109HenryFloresCH587523(6)Everyone is important to God
I asked Rosa, a 34-year-old mother of three boys, two of whom are sponsored. She is the poor for whom the good news was given. Her answer took my breath away. ìIt is that God will never throw me away like an old piece of bread.î

The good news that Jesus brings to Rosa is that, no matter what the world sees when they look at her, she knows that, in Godís eyes, she is important.

I am deeply grateful for those I have met on my journey who have shared their stories with me. It is in these stories that I find the good news.

What do you think is the good news Jesus brings to the poor?

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Jun 17 2009

The courage and love of a father

By Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador

In June, we celebrate Fatherís Day in many countries in Latin America, and it’s in these countries where millions of children don’t have access to proper education, nutrition, health and unfortunately, many of them donít even have a father.

More often than not, the typical Latin American family has only one parent at home ñ the mother. This stark reality is based on many factors, including the oppressive poverty and cultural standards.

The precarious financial situation of many families forces fathers to migrate from the rural areas into the cities or other countries. Others work away from home and return only a couple days per month, and still others simply become part of the statistics of those who donít care for their children.

In spite of this reality, there are fathers who stay to face the challenges and burdens of their life and families. They stay home with their wife and children to be together, to be a family, instilling in them values, creating awareness and helping to build a strong society by offering united families.

At CFCA, we are blessed to witness the courage of many of these men who strive every single day to be good examples of a hard-working spirit, a family leader and loving paternal figure, not only for their own children, but for other children in their communities.

HectorI recently met Hector and his wife, Maria Esperanza. They are raising five children. Hector works in agriculture, and with the help of small loans, he works 2.5 acres of land, planting corn and beans, producing enough to sell part of it to pay his debts and keeping a little of his production for the family consumption. Hector travels by horse for almost two hours to the land he rents to grow his crops. He usually works long days, under very high temperatures and extreme humidity, starting early in the morning and returning home late at night.

Hector has a fierce love for his wife and children. He protects them and ensures that they have what they need. And, education is his first priority. ìSometimes my children help me in my plantation, but school is first, so I work alone most of the time.î
Hector's family
The financial situation of the family is difficult, but the dreams of this father for his children are the motivation he needs to work hard. ìThings can be difficult, I work hard. It is my hope that my children will be educated and have a better life, and I just need to work harder,î Hector said.

We praise our Lord for the gift of fatherhood, for the opportunity to be loved by a father and I thank You, my Lord, for the blessings of being a father.

The third Sunday of June marks Fatherís Day in many countries worldwide, including the United States. Today, June 17, those in El Salvador and Guatemala celebrate their fathers. We, at CFCA, would like to honor all fathers, including Henry Flores and Hector, for the courage and strength they provide to their families.

Read about Danielís father, who strives to see his children graduate.

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Apr 21 2009

CFCA’s community of compassion

By Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communication Center in El Salvador

When Ines, 88, lost her home, Raymunda, 84, invited Ines to stay on her property. The two are good friends now. Ines said of Raymunda’s kindness, “Raymunda offered me not only her land, but she offered me her heart.”

Ines and Raymunda are living examples of CFCA’s community of compassion.

Read about the Benedictine students’ spring break in El Salvador.

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