Mar 20 2013

Trip to the Dominican Republic: ‘This is like coming home’

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

Photo credits for this report go to the CFCA Dominican Republic staff and to Bob Hentzen.

For me it is always a joy to travel with people who deeply believe in CFCA and deeply love their sponsored friends and their friends’ families.

From north to south in the Dominican Republic, CFCA sponsors on this trip were fortunate to visit each of their sponsored friends in their homes. A good number of these sponsors have helped our CFCA preachers at weekend church presentations.

Others have organized CFCA Sponsorship Sundays at their church or have shared the work of CFCA in their own communities.

Trip participants from this group continued this magnificent outreach by requesting more than 60 folders with family profiles and photos of children, youth and aging friends waiting to be sponsored.

They will take the folders home with them in hopes of finding sponsors for the young and old who are on our waiting list.

A bit of background

CFCA has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1982. CFCA currently serves 5,945 sponsored friends and 105 scholarship students, with 1,117 individuals waiting for sponsorship.

Local communities have organized into CFCA mothers groups, with 15 to 25 members in each group.

The Dominican Republic is known patriotically as “Quisqueya,” and the country’s motto is “Dios, Patria, Libertad,” meaning, “God, Fatherland, Liberty.”

The government includes a chamber of deputies and a senate, and the current president of the Dominican Republic is Danilo Medina.

Nelson Figueroa, CFCA-Dominican Republic coordinator, shared that the economy is based on services, tourism and free-trade zones. Historically, sugar has dominated the economy. Now, tourism and the service industry have taken the lead.

The dedicated staff listens and works with families to help them achieve self-sufficiency through regular benefits, workshops and mothers group activities.

The people of the Dominican Republic are known as some of the friendliest people in the world. It has a rich agricultural tradition and was the first area discovered and settled in the New World.

But this vibrant country, home to some of baseball’s greatest players, struggles with widespread poverty. It also faces challenges related to immigration issues.

CFCA sponsors speak emotionally

“I can feel the Lord in this place.”

“I always have you present in prayer.”

“We think of you all the time.”

“I love my new family. This has been a very moving day.”

This area of the Dominican Republic is very fertile and very agricultural. What a blessing it would be if more families could own even a small piece of land.

Final note

The wholesomeness and authenticity of the CFCA mission is widely recognized in many countries. Our partners respond to CFCA with conviction and action. Sponsors respond when they experience excellence in the projects and in our headquarters. This excellence is guided by gentle leaders at all levels.

On the same day this trip wraps up in the Dominican Republic, another large group arrives in Costa Rica.

Cristina and I are deeply grateful to be with them, and we ask your prayers for all of our sponsors. Please know of our love and thanks.

Bob Hentzen
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
March 2013

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