Tag Archives: travel

Mar 17 2009

Bob’s notes – special report

Mission awareness trips and Colombia national encuentro
Nicaragua – Colombia – Dominican Republic
Feb. 21 – March 7, 2009

Sponsors grow in grace
From the moment we landed in Managua on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, we have been a pilgrim community. The sponsors of Nicaraguan children, youth and aging have a culture all their own. Many have been here several times in the past. They have formed strong relationships with their sponsored families and with one another. It is wonderful to see them grow in grace through walking with the poor.

My group had the pleasure of coming to know an admirable young family. The mother, Alba Luz, 27, has taken special courses in the cultivation and use of medicinal plants and natural medicine. She teaches the other mothers in the community, and her husband, Uricer, cultivates corn and beans on property owned by his father. Their 1-year-old Alvaro is awaiting sponsorship. Weíve been over 10 hours in the vehicle this day, much of it over slow-going rocky roads. One flat tire didnít slow us down much.

In the early hours of Feb. 23, we met sponsors Colleen and George MacKenzie, Alhambra, Calif., together with their granddaughter and outgoing 8-year-old sponsor, Danielle Shields. All three are advocates and have found and motivated over 200 new sponsors. George maintains that their relationship with three sponsored children has changed their lives.

National meeting held
In Medellin, Colombia, everyone has worked very hard to make this a dynamic learning experience for all. Each of the six Colombian projects plus our international team (Brenda; Sarah; my wife,†Cristina; and myself) covered a topic of keen interest to all. The topics included formal and informal education of children in Colombia, long-term and annual program planning, sponsored youth and their formation in values, and measuring the impact of our projects. I will add that the cross-project sharing and the CFCA spirit run strong in this group.

colombia-encuentro3

Music plays a big part in this encuentro (meeting) and all encuentros Ö and folkloric presentations by sponsored children and staff form an integral part of the meeting. The conclusions and resolutions of this encuentro are solid, balanced and heartily embraced by all.
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Jan 9 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to Guatemala

Mission awareness trip
Dec. 26, 2008 – Jan. 2, 2009

Trip†participants are special

Our sponsors come in search of many things, many times in search of their place in Godís loving plan for this stage of their lives. The sponsorship relationship between the two families in different parts of the world takes on an immense significance in the lives of both.

As much as we love her, we must realize that Guatemala is plagued with a series of very complicated and challenging problems. In this scene, we live and work Ö and into this scene we dare to invite our sponsors. They travel with confidence, knowing from experience that CFCA lives here. CFCA takes every precaution to watch over our guests. And yes, we pray.

To the highlands

We are gathered in a very pretty place in the highlands near Nahuala called ìCorazon del bosqueî (Heart of the Forest). The CFCA families gathered here today are praying in the Quiche language. It is close to middayóbright blue skies and sunnyóbut still quite cool.

dancers

We now have nine dancers, the girls with beautiful guipiles (traditional Guatemalan blouses), ìcortesî (wrap skirts) and ìtocoyalesî (headdresses), bearing colors and designs with centuries of significance. They carry the recently harvested corn in four different colors. Three dance with incense. The others have baskets of corn. The boys also wear the traditional dress: the ìsherca,î a woolen blanket wrapped around them secured with a leather belt, a typical ìmorral,î a decorated woven bag, and a straw hat.
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