Jan 26 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to India, part 2

Mission awareness trip
Jan. 6-18, 2009

After spending a most enjoyable week with the sponsors in South India, Cristina, Alvaro Aguilar (Guatemala) and I flew to Hyderabad. We were privileged to visit subprojects, families and mothers groups, together with staff members from CFCA-Kansas and CFCA-Bhagalpur.

Words from a sponsored mother
ìNormally every program ends with the vote of thanks Ö but today this word thanks comes right from the bottom of every motherís heart. Itís not only financial and material knowledge that is given Ö but we are taught how to earn our living, how to educate our children, how to build a good and happy family and how to be a good mother.îóAgnes, Rosevilla Mothers Group

Small mothers group (SMG) leaders conference
This has been a day of inspiration and celebration with about 900 mothers group leaders present and a very high level of energy, identity and ìbuy-inî with the CFCA program.

Inspiring to me were the 20 little girls from subproject BLP, former street children. Sister Margaret shared their stories: This one was abandoned in the railway station. This one was found in the city market. These precious children (ages 2 to10) had prepared a few songs and a birthday cake for Mr. Prakash and they literally became part of my song Esmeralda Ö really because they have lived and are living similar realities today.

Community based
The mothers can be seen walking from their home to the meeting place. The transparency of the program, together with the joy and confidence of the mothers, speak clearly that this program is healthy and sustainable. I believe it can be said that they are truly community-based when our own CFCA colleagues living and serving in their own community give the example of walking with poor without religious, caste or any other prejudice.

A success story by sponsored child
ì Ö I am very much sad to say that I lost my beloved Dad when I was in 6th standard (ed. 6th grade). At that time, CFCA took me into their hands and helped me in my studies. At present I am pursuing my post graduation with the help of CFCA. My specialization is organic chemistry. I have no words to express my thanks and gratitude to my sponsors. I am also thankful to CFCA. I always enjoy writing letters to my beloved sponsors. CFCA has given me a wholesome refuge by educating us and guiding us in real life. It has really come out of building relationships and building lives. CFCA has really built my life. I am not the only one benefitted, but also many other people like me.î–Maram

We arrive at Emjala subproject after dark
Our Emjala (EJP) subproject has 164 children and comprises a tiny village with hardly 300 families. As agriculture is their backbone, they earn hardly enough to feed their families. Most of the children were attending government-run schools, but after getting CFCA sponsorship, most now attend English medium schools. Four of our former sponsored children have completed their degree in engineering and are working in well-established companies. Three of our sponsored students have completed their MBA.

How the mothers groups work
In our subproject, 159 mothers are divided into 12 mothers groups. Each group consists of 10 to 15 members, who gather once a month to share their joys and sorrows and, at the same time, collect a small amount of interest. The same is rotated among the members as a loan, which is utilized for many needs. The loans taken by the mothers are a great help to their families. Maria has taken a loan of 80,000 rupees. She paid the fees for her son and now she proudly says that her son is doing his MBA. The other child is doing nursing and the family is doing well. Josephina is a student who lost her mother when she was an infant. She completed her degree in education with the help of SMG loans. Now, she is a teacher in a school.

Dedication of inter-faith prayer room at CFCA
Alvaro breaks the traditional coconut as a part of the inauguration of the prayer room.

We are deeply grateful to our loving God and to each of you for your solidarity and prayers, and express our immense gratitude to the staff and families of CFCA-India. Two days in Kansas City will do us good, then on to Guatemala.

On Jan. 23, sponsored children and staff from Project Hermano Pedro and Project Atitlan will hold a solidarity walk to kick off preparations for Pilgrimage of Faith II. Each of the 12 countries to be traversed will be represented by the children in native dress and music. All of this will culminate in a community celebration of the Eucharist.

Godís blessings,

Bob Hentzen

0 thoughts on “Bob’s notes – Visit to India, part 2”

  1. Chris,

    We’re so glad that you enjoy “traveling” with Bob and the other mission awareness trip participants through the blog.

    Bob will be walking through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, although not in that order. The official Pilgrimage of Faith II route is still being finalized.

    Thank you for your comment and continued support of your sponsored friends.

    Communications department

  2. Thank you, Bob, for sharing your trip with those of us unable to travel to these places. One of our sponsored children is in India and I enjoyed reading about that part of your trip — another is in Guatemala and I look forward to reading your notes from the Hermano Pedro project there. What are the other 12 countries you will be visiting on this Pilgrimage of Faith II? Thanks so much for all you and all the CFCA staff do to help so many people and to give so many people a way of helping :)

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