Jan 14 2012

Guatemala trip displays ‘harmony amidst challenges’ of poverty

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

What a joy for Cristina and me to share this sacred time with 36 sponsors, their sponsored friends and families, and a great group of CFCA co-workers.

This New Year’s group of sponsors includes a good number of children and young people. They found a Guatemala in great need, but in the happy time of coffee harvest.

Students in Guatemala will be out of school until mid-January; coffee harvest involves the entire family.

[Related link: Read our story about families harvesting coffee in Guatemala.]

A new president, new congressional representatives and new mayors will take office on Jan. 15.

This is also the time of the “safra” ñ the burning, cutting and hauling of sugar cane. The air is filled with the distinct odor and falling ash of the cane. It is impressive to think that every stalk must be hand-cut by campesinos, darkened by the coastal sun and carbon, and cut and stacked. They are paid for by the ton.

I thank our communications team in Guatemala (Ricardo, Luis, Gerver) for their fine pictures and technical help.

Expressions I’ve heard this week:

  • “I found out that there are two special children in Guatemala ñ one named after me, and the other named after my son Kevin.” ~Barbara, CFCA sponsor
  • “Guatemala is a beautiful country, especially in the people.”
  • “The music of the choral group (moms, dads, grandmothers, children, staff) from Patzun brought tears to my eyes. Such harmony amidst all their challenges.”
  • “On this trip, we were able to experience the tierra sagrada (sacred ground) of the Quiche martyrs.”
  • “In each of the CFCA projects we visited, we have been treated to great performances of what I would call true folklore.”
  • Quote from Katie, one of the children on the mission awareness trip: “Mr. Bob is Grandpa to the world and his wife Cristina is Grandma to the world.”
  • “What a way to start the New Year. I have learned so much about my sponsored family and about proyectos productivos [CFCA livelihood programs]. Sponsored [friends and their] families are learning to produce vegetables for their own family and for market sales.”
  • From Alex, a youth on the mission awareness trip: “We hope to continue burning that candle of hope at home, and to continue walking with God’s people.”

Here’s wishing each of you every blessing in the exciting year just beginning.

Cristina and I ask for your prayers as we accompany our dear sponsors to India, Philippines, the Dominican Republic and many other parts of the CFCA world.

Please know of our thanks and love.

Bob H.
Jan. 10, 2012

0 thoughts on “Guatemala trip displays ‘harmony amidst challenges’ of poverty”

  1. I always enjoy reading these Mission Awareness reports! They really help me, as a sponsor, to understand even better why sponsorship is so important!!

  2. I am always in admiration that Bob and Christina greet the sponsors at so many mission awareness trips this is why CFCA continues to be successful!!!!

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