By Father Pete Kohler, M.S., CFCA preacher
CFCA’s mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world Ö grounded in the Gospel Ö to create a worldwide community of compassion and service.
I have been making CFCA presentations since late 1994, and I have found it a truly fulfilling ministry. But recently I had an experience that reconfirmed the transforming power of this apostolate.
I had the opportunity to go to El Salvador and Honduras for a CFCA mission awareness trip. Naturally, there is much I could recount, but I would like to share just one experience.
We visited a small community in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Ten years ago, you would have seen a group of people living and eking out their subsistence in the city garbage dump. It was a lawless place, with each family guarding their small claim literally with their lives. Picture Danteís Inferno: no clean water, no electricity, no schools, no paved roads, no medical assistance, but most of all, no hope.
Beginning seven years ago, CFCA had the challenge of gaining these peopleís trust. Today, the transformation is remarkable. The people have moved from houses of cardboard and strips of plastic to solid adobe houses, and some now have homes of cinder block with sheet-metal roofing. Clean running water and electricity are available.
Parents and grandparents, who cannot read nor write, are proud of their children who are able to attend school. Many of these children are now able to continue to high school and at least three of the young people are attending the university. But the biggest change is the conversion of hearts. Not only are families talking to one another, but they are working together, forming a truly committed community. You cannot help being struck by the pride and dignity etched in the faces of these people.