Jul 29 2012

Costa Rica mission awareness trip hits home for travelers

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

It’s a privilege and a joy to share this mission awareness trip with 32 fellow travelers and a dedicated Costa Rican staff. And it’s great to have the youth with us.

“We would like to live this trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of Life for having given life to CFCA,” Villalobos said.

As soon as Cristina and I landed in San Jose, Costa Rica, on the afternoon of July 7, we learned that the evening before, July 6, our two CFCA staff leaders for this trip (Jean Carlo and Elizabeth) were hit by a car while riding a motorcycle.

After making a few final preparations for the trip, they were on their way home in heavy traffic. Both are hospitalized, with leg injuries serious enough to require surgery, but medical reports show that they will recover.

Cristina and I spoke with them by phone, thanking them for their courage and example. They are in our prayers, as we go forward with this trip.

Since its humble beginning in 1991, the CFCA program in Costa Rica has grown to include 6,785 children and youth along with 547 aging friends. At present we have 398 individuals on our waiting list.

Like other countries, those who walk the byways of the marginalized areas of Costa Rica come face to face with very difficult human situations.

The majority of families we visited are single-parent households with the mother as the primary caregiver.

They have few options, and they live in very vulnerable conditions. In the midst of heavy domestic violence, we want them to live in peace and solidarity.

The CFCA spirit of pilgrimage runs high in this group of travelers, as it does in any CFCA trip group.

They are filled with energy, life and creativity. They seem to recognize their own search. They have listened to the call. They can hear the symphony. What a hopeful harmony between sponsors and sponsored friends and their families.

My feeling is that this trip hit home. To date, 11 new children and one aging person have been sponsored by these trip participants.

Everyone seems ready to listen, learn and participate. The newly sponsored friends and their families were here and right up front. To see this resurrection from the doldrums of the streets we walked is very encouraging.

Every sponsored child in a family means contact with a loving and strong CFCA family, beyond the confines of a shanty in a dangerous slum.

Heavy rains during the night, and in the early hours of the morning, turned the roads and byways into very sticky mud.

At Los Chiles

We enjoyed ourselves and had a really good interaction and communication with these young, hard-working families. With only seasonal work, the CFCA livelihood projects take on a special importance.

Sponsors took on three new children from this area today. A mother of a sponsored child, Gabriela, shared some of her inspiring music. And then a three-hour bus trip to Limon.

At Limon

CFCA works in the mountains near Limon. The CabÈcar indigenous group forms the majority of the project here, with 241 sponsored children and 25 aging individuals. Sponsors have noted their quiet strength and deep faith.

In spite of mountain distances, these humble families express a good understanding of CFCA. Much like our trip to Los Chiles, we are returning to our base camp for the night muddy, sweaty and happy. All in all, a good CFCA day.

Thursday was reserved for sponsors and their respective sponsored friends and families, which is always in a community setting with the other sponsored friends and families and sponsors.

‘Rise and Dream’

After the sponsored friends and their families had begun their return trip, we had our own premiere of “Rise and Dream.” The impact I heard was compelling, profound, passionate, hopeful, inclusive and animated.

Several sponsors have already ordered a movie night kit to show at home or in their church.

This group of sponsors is keenly interested in helping to spread the word about the adventure of CFCA. I am very encouraged by their fire.

I hear expressions like, “This week has enriched my life,” and “We can witness; people trust witnesses.”

Now that the Costa Rica trip has ended, it’s nice to have a few days at home in Guatemala before heading over to Nicaragua for another mission awareness trip. I look forward to seeing families, sponsors and colleagues there.

Please know of our love and thanks.

Bob Hentzen
Costa Rica
July 15, 2012

2 thoughts on “Costa Rica mission awareness trip hits home for travelers”

  1. Dear Jean Carlo and Elizabeth,
    I am so sorry to hear of your accident! I hope and pray for your speedy recovery! You are the life blood of this mission, we all need you and keep you in our prayers!

  2. Thank you Robert for sharing the experience of a CFCA mission trip to Costa Rica.
    I pray for a quick recovery for Jean Carlo and Elizabeth. We really need these two dedicated CFCA family members!

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