Tag: technorati

Jan 25 2010

A smile and a hug

Isidor Sittenauer, a CFCA sponsor, shares some of his thoughts about his experience on the recent mission awareness trip to El Salvador.

When we first arrived at the CFCA center, I was rather surprised to be in a dormitory-type of setting and by the shock of cold water showers.

However, after visiting some of the homes of the sponsored children, I realized I was living in luxury by comparison. The people we visited were poor, yet they were always ready with a smile and hug. And, despite their housing situation, they always had on spotless clothing.

Every American citizen should appreciate the luxury we live in.

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Jan 4 2010

Miguel reads a poem

A poem was recited by 8-year-old Miguel, a third grader sponsored through the Chimaltenango region of CFCAís Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala. Miguel read the poem†to CFCA President Bob Hentzen and others on the second evening of Walk2gether.

Artistic talent runs in Miguel¥s family. Many of his relatives are painters, poets and songwriters. His Uncle Fernando, who wrote the poem Miguel recited for the walkers, has been a constant inspiration. Miguel has participated in poetry reading contests and has excelled and won prizes with the help of his Uncle Fernando.

Miguel is named after his father, a 30-year-old construction worker. His mother is Rosa, 27, who works weaving and making traditional Mayan blouses known locally as huipiles (wee-peels). Miguel has two brothers: Kevin, 7, and Luis Fernando, 5.

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Dec 31 2009

Simple training regimen prepares Hentzen for walk

Bob's simple training will prepare him for the 8,000-mile walk from Guatemala to ChileHow does one train to walk 8,000 miles?????

Interval workouts?†Altitude training? Squats, lunges and sprints?????

None of the above for CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who plans to walk 20-25 miles a day for 16 months.

Consistency and perseverance are more important than sudden high-intensity, high-repetition workouts.

“My style and training is to calmly and tranquilly be prepared,” Hentzen said. “It’s kind of like in school. You can’t just cram for a test. You’ve got to be studying all along.”????

For years, Hentzen has risen early every day to jog or walk, do Tai Chi and stretch. His weight training consists of exercising with the same weight he will carry on the road – about 10 to 15 pounds.????

Hentzen is familiar with the physical demands he will face. He walked 4,000 miles from Kansas City to Guatemala in 1996. That was 13 years ago, when he was 60. Though this walk is twice the distance, Hentzen isn’t daunted.????

“I feel very good, very energized by the solidarity of the staff and CFCA families,” he said.?

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Dec 30 2009

10-year-old gives up birthday gifts for sponsorship

CFCA CEO Paco Wertin gives Matthew Garr five for a job well done.For his 10th birthday on Nov. 28, Matthew Garr of Shawnee, Kan., asked his friends to bring unusual presents to his birthday party: money for a 10-year-old girl his family sponsors in Guatemala.

Matthew delivered the money he raisedó$500 in cashóin person to Paco Wertin, CEO of CFCA. Matthew was accompanied by his mother, Debbie, and younger sister, Erin.

The Garr family has sponsored Magdalena for about four years. This is the second year Matthew has raised money for her at his birthday party. Last year he collected $303 and Magdalenaís family used the money to purchase a bed, a kitchen countertop and sink, and household supplies such as soap.

Matthew said helping Magdalena made him feel “great and awesome.”

Watch last year’s video of Matthew’s birthday gift.

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Dec 3 2009

Bob’s travel notes to Costa Rica

Mission awareness trip to Costa Rica
Nov. 7-14, 2009

CFCA has been working to build hope for families in Costa Rica since 1991 and as of November 2009, we have 6,099 children sponsored together with 436 aging. Currently, 716 children and aging are on the waiting list for sponsorship in Costa Rica.

Reality check
According to staff, there is a very high index of domestic violence in Costa Rica, including abuse of women and children. The country has excellent medical care but itís heavily concentrated in the capital. Many rural areas have big challenges with dysentery and typhoid fever. In addition, residents here face a high cost of living and marginalization of immigrants.

Sunday, Nov. 8óAlajuelaóSubproject Sabanilla
On Sunday, we visited Sabanilla. A strong earthquake in January 2009 destroyed crops and forced businesses to close. One year ago, CFCA began to support this community.

The trip through the coffee plantation was very pleasant. However, we ran into a terrific storm that made the path down the mountain very muddy and slippery. It became a great exercise in community, getting everyone down the mountain safely. We all survived, albeit wet and muddy.

Sponsors in the Guatemala rain

Down the road in the community of Los Angeles, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch and show with all the families in this region. The mothers worked all day yesterday and from 3 a.m. to prepare all the food and the hall for this special occasion.

Read more

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Nov 18 2009

What do I say? How to write your sponsored friend

“I feel very good when I get a letter. I feel I am being loved very much. It makes me want to write lots of letters to my sponsor.” – Sesilia, 9, Tanzania

Sesilia expresses what all sponsored friends feel about receiving letters from their sponsors. A letter from you is a symbol of love and represents the human connection in the relationship. Exchanging letters is a way for you build that relationship.

(Update: You now have the option to send an eLetter once you’re logged in to your online sponsorship account!)

If you haven’t written your friend because you don’t know what to say, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Our goal is to help you compose a letter step-by-step using as an example a letter written by a sponsor to her friend in Venezuela.

Step 1: The opening
How do you start? This is usually the toughest part of the letter. Start by greeting your friend and asking about the family. Then, follow up with something your friend mentioned in a previous letter as Sheila has done here. Did he take a test? Is a family member ill? Did she have a birthday? The opening is the place to touch base about important events your friend has talked about.

Step 2: The body
Now that you’ve opened the letter, share what’s going on in your household. Sheila mentions Halloween and the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sponsored friends love hearing about holiday customs. Or, share something about yourself. Describe a pet. Talk about your favorite sport. Tell your friend about your children, their ages and grades in school. The words will flow once you start writing about something important to you.

Step 3: The closing
In your closing paragraph, give your friend encouragement. Sheila simply closed her letter by wishing Edinson and his family a happy New Year. Tell your friend you think about him and pray for him and his family. Then, sign off.

Congratulations! The hard part is done. You can include a photo of yourself and your family with your letter. Sponsored friends love getting pictures.

Mailing your letter
Follow the instructions provided with the pre-printed mailing labels you received from Unbound. Send your letter via international airmail, unless it is sent to a U.S. mailing address. Check postage rates at the U.S. Postal Service Web site, www.usps.com.

We have more suggestions about letter writing here.

Was this helpful? Do you have any questions for us regarding letter writing? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

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Nov 5 2009

Happy birthday, Sarge

Angie aka SargeEvery year CFCA processes an estimated 1.5 million letters from sponsored children and elderly. Each of these letters, with mailing labels, must be put into envelopes before they can be mailed to the sponsors.

You might think we need a small army to get this done. But, we have something better: a group of 35 highly dedicated volunteers.

And today, one of those volunteers, Angie Simms, is celebrating her 95th birthday!

Angie has been helping CFCA for 25 years, making her our longest-serving volunteer. She averages around 570 volunteer hours per year.

The staff and other volunteers know Angie simply and affectionately as “Sarge,” both for her military background (she served in the Womenís Army Corps in World War II) and her no-nonsense manner.

“She’s very spit-fire, and brings humor to the work place,” said Colleen McKeone, CFCA coordinator of child letters who works closely with the volunteers. “She has no qualms about speaking her mind. I enjoy her presence very much.”

AngieFor those who take the time to listen, Angie has a wealth of stories and life lessons. She’ll also trade some one-liners with anyone who’s quick enough to keep up with her.

After thousands of volunteer hours and probably millions of letters, we wonder what makes her so steadfast. Her brisk answer is pretty simple:

“God must have left me here in this world to do something.”

We’re glad He has, Sarge.

Happy birthday!

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