Jul 28 2009

Bob’s notes – Visit to Guatemala

Mission awareness trip to Guatemala
July 11-18, 2009

Mission awareness trips are windows of insight into the spirituality of CFCA. The trips also provide insight into our sponsorsí growth in grace by walking with the poor.

Guatemalan children

In mutual respect and search, the spiritual journeys of the sponsors and sponsored become one. They appreciate their need for one another. Members of this mission awareness trip described their spiritual journey in this way.

ëThey are my familyí
Sponsor Andy Carr stood before the gathered CFCA community on July 13 and stated:

ìIíd like you to meet my sponsored children, Sandra, 16, her brother Douglas, 14, and their mother, Caroline. They are my family.î

At age 81, Andy surely was light on his feet when invited to dance with Sandra and Douglas.

Sponsor/advocate Karlyn Distler: ìI know that God has truly blessed me by giving me my precious ìsonî Edwin. I have sponsored Edwin since he was 6. He will graduate as an accountant this year. I am so, so proud of him.î

Finally meeting each other
Sponsor Mary Anne Cullen: ìAfter these years of sponsorship, itís so good to hug and to personally share this day with the children and their families.î (Mary Anne is the mother of nine children. Her family currently sponsors 26 children and elderly.)

Sponsor Debbie Rovito: ìCFCA staff members have a calling, and it shows. They are passionate. They are creative. They care. They have pride and confidence in who they are, and they wish to lift up their communities, their people. To see this is empowering. It uplifts the soul. Itís very spiritual. This mission awareness trip is an opportunity to leave family, country and work behind, and find time to reflect. We long for peace, for a safe environment, for meaningful work. The relationship with our sponsored families is a glimpse of the solidarity that is possible with all the worldís people.î

The potential of the poor
Sponsor Josefa R. de Caraballo-Puerto Rico:

ìThe experiences lived during these past days have helped me to grow spiritually, making me hopefully a better Christian and a better person. I have seen the love and dedication with which the CFCA staff treat the sponsored families and how these families respond with love, respect and gratitude. This week has been for me a lesson in the potential of the poor when they are given a helping hand.î

Our day with the sponsors on Monday was of great significance for everyone. I heard lots of discussion with students about their current studies and future plans. About 30 of our elderly from Quixaya were here, too. During each mission awareness trip, the sponsored elderly really look forward to their day at CFCA.

Widow keeps children in school
We drove awhile and then walked through the corn fields to visit Dona Emilia, her four children and her aging father. She explained in her native Quiche language that four years ago, her husband took ill with a fever and died. CFCA has been able to sponsor two of Emiliaís children and her father. Recently she received a nice, secure home, as a part of the CFCA housing program. Her piece of ground includes about one-half acre of fertile soil, on which she now has a very healthy crop of native corn. By sewing, washing for others and embroidering, Dona Emilia has all four of her children in school.

The members of this mission awareness group have sponsored nine new children and one aging person. In addition, they have asked for 90 folders to inform, to invite and to share the joy of sponsorship. Several have talked about working with their parish or with other groups. Let us keep their efforts in prayer.

Bob and some children from Guatemala

As you read this, Cristina and I will be in Bogota with the mission awareness group. We thank you for your solidarity with us and with all CFCA pilgrims. Godís blessings.

Bob Hentzen

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