Mission Awareness Trip
April 12-19, 2008
The children, mothers and chompipe (turkey) say, ‘Welcome to Guatemala.”
It’s a real joy to share this mission awareness trip with you. We are a nice big group, with many children, youth and aging to be visited and plenty to learn. This is the season of Pascua (Easter); of life-giving rains; of planting and gratitude and hope.
Mothers and children join walk
More than 400 mothers and children met us up on the Panamerican Highway and walked with us to Zaragoza with an abundance of hymns and firecrackers. Great memories. A good number of these folks walked with us in 1996 and they remember it. Today these campesino (farm worker) families shared the fruits of their labor in the fields. Our pickup is now heavily laden with fresh tomatoes, peaches, apples and beautiful flowers.
On our way to Guatemala City to meet the sponsors, we spent an entire day visiting sponsored families in the area of Zaragoza. We have 1,687 sponsored children in Zaragoza and 60 CFCA scholars. Today we were able to turn over the ownership and keys to five new homes. The team here did a good job in selecting these families; healthy attitudes; real need; a view to the future; a commitment to keep their children in school. Myra is only 29, but she has seen a lot of life: education to the 4th grade, an abusive relationship, abandonment, two daughters ages 10 and 8.
“This nice home of our own will help us to focus on the future,” she said. “I thank God, and the sponsors of my daughter and CFCA.”
In the last two years, just in Project Hermano Pedro we have been able to turn over new homes to more than 480 sponsored families. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for a mission awareness trip than visiting these families.
Facing west during the Mayan prayer service, sponsors and staff reflect on the sunset as a symbol of life after death.
A liver transplant
With two children of her own, Luisa Morales, community worker in Guatemala City, is in her sixth year with CFCA. To share this morning with the sponsors, Luisa brought Ana Beatriz, 14.
Ana Beatriz has been sponsored by Janet for the past nine years.
When she turned 10, Ana Beatriz was diagnosed with severe liver failure. She needed a transplant. Her older sibling, Roland, came forward and offered to become a donor. A foundation in Spain invited them to Madrid for the surgery.
Ana’s mother, Imelda, with a total of seven children, finds herself as the sole support after their father took off. One of her daughters is married. Imelda informed us that both Ana Beatriz and Roland are doing very well now.
Steep paths to families
On our visit to Aldea Pujujil, where 218 children are sponsored, our sponsors braved some steep paths on foot to visit a humble widow and two sponsored children who wanted to express their gratitude for sponsorship and for their new CFCA home. This family visit was followed by a gathering in the lean-to shelter for this CFCA community. I find them beautifully shy, but admirable in their hope. I calculate about 300 children and parents.
Nine new children sponsored
En route to Antigua through the highlands, we visit Chimaltenango with 8,721 sponsored children and teens in this region along with 461 aging and 287 scholars. Nine new children were sponsored during this trip, and the sponsors got to meet their new children and parents.
Thank you for being with us during this mission awareness trip, so rich in experiences and blessings. Godís blessings.