Jul 5 2013

Guatemala awareness trip: ‘Sponsors witness the personification of courage’

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“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 Ricardo Ajpuac and Gerver Churunel, CFCA-Guatemala staffers, and Bob Hentzen.

“This is my 10th trip to Guatemala. I am originally from Malta, now living in California. I love the people of Guatemala, and I love everything about this country.” — Angie Herrera, CFCA sponsor

I come to this trip very energized.

We have just completed our June gathering of the CFCA Governing Board in Kansas City. I want to express my deepest gratitude for quality governance in our organization.

This gathering was immediately followed by our annual preachers conference. One can feel the commitment being lived out.

I find myself looking forward to these June gatherings, as I look forward to other favorite times of year.

Exciting days and years ahead. Thank you.

It’s summer vacation time in the U.S. Traditionally, many young families join CFCA trips during June, July and August. We love these pilgrim families. They really hit it off with our sponsored friends and their families in Guatemala.

Participating in Sunday Mass at the Cathedral (Saint Mary of the Assumption) in Guatemala City is a nice way to begin our awareness trip.

How wonderful it is to see how beautiful people of good will are reaching out in love and friendship to humble sisters and brothers.

On this trip, we welcome sponsors from these states:

New Jersey
North Carolina
Rhode Island

We are also celebrating two birthdays this week, Julie Bevins, CFCA sponsor, and Jorge Armas, Hermano Pedro project coordinator.

While appreciating our peaceful and prayerful home in San Lucas Toliman, this group has been invited to visit projects and families in Mazatenango, Santiago, Las Canoas (in the mountains above Lake Atitlan), Antigua and Guatemala City.

In addition, sponsored children, youth and elderly friends will be joining us from Zaragoza, Santa Cruz del Quiche, El Estor, Guatemala City, Santa Rosa, Comalapa, Solola, Tecpan and San Lucas Toliman.

Our people take the visits of sponsors as a bendición de Dios, [blessing from God.]

We feel that these families of sponsors and those being sponsored are the very incarnation of our blessings.

On these trips, our sponsors witness the personification of courage.

They see humanity. They see much more than poverty. They see potential.

They see firsthand the realities of their sponsored friends and their families, and they learn about the heroic efforts of each family to build a path out of poverty.

On our way from Guatemala City to San Lucas Toliman, we took the Pacific route and stopped to spend a couple of hours with the CFCA sponsored friends and their families in Patulul.

“This is a beautiful way to know that my sponsorship touches not just one child — He has sisters, brothers, parents and pets. They all benefit. How good to see their smiles and meet them face to face.” — Erika McDonnell, CFCA trip coordinator.

Mothers and children had prepared several very nice presentations for us. For me, the highlight of the afternoon was hearing the mothers groups leaders from this area share their stories.

Sylvia, Veronica, Rosaria and Amarilis are the mothers who spoke.

Sylvia spoke of how the mothers watch over the education of the children in the area of Quixaya.

Veronica spoke of monitoring health and cleanliness of the street in San Juan Mirador.

Rosaria shared about the importance and quality of letter writing in the area of Santa

Amarilis from La Bendición, Patulul, emphasized the importance of mothers getting to know families in the CFCA program as well as and the key role of grandparents in the home.

Final note:

Cristina and I will have one week at home in San Lucas before beginning a series of awareness trips to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and again in Guatemala.

Then we’ll have the joy of welcoming Rich Swan, CFCA Governing Board member, and companions from Risen Christ Parish in Denver, Colo., together with Scott Wasserman, CFCA chief governing officer, and Anabella Wasserman, as well as companions from Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kan.

I’ll be in touch from along the way. Please know of our love and prayers.

God’s blessings,
Bob Hentzen
June 2013

4 thoughts on “Guatemala awareness trip: ‘Sponsors witness the personification of courage’”

    1. Gracias Hilario por su pregunta. Sí, tenemos un programa en el departamento de Quiché, Guatemala. Si tiene interés en apadrinar o más información sobre cómo puede ayudar, póngase en contacto al 800.875.6564. ¡Ten un buen día! – Alley Stonestreet

  1. My trip to Guatemala in April was an experience that I will remember always. Of course the highlight of the week was meeting my sponsored friends. What a deeply emotional and joyous day! I learned so much throughout the week about CFCA and the life and culture of the Guatemalan people. The CFCA staff was unbelievably organized, professional, personable and genuine. Having Bob and Cristina with us was a real honor. I encourage anyone who has considered going on a trip to make reservations ASAP. You will be changed forever in how you live your life. I told Bob on our trip across Lake Atitlan, “I now really get CFCA.” Once home I am sharing my experience with family and friends. I can’t stop spreading the word.

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