By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications
One of the great privileges of working for CFCA is getting to know our staff members in the field.
They give so much of their time, effort and heart working with the children, families and elderly CFCA serves.
Our staff members in the Philippines have been on my mind a lot this week as they responded to the flood emergency in Manila and outlying areas.
Monsoon rains and a tropical storm combined to drench the city of 12 million people and nearby areas, and sent thousands to evacuation shelters.
More than 5,200 sponsored friends and their families served by CFCA’s Manila, Antipolo and Quezon projects fled their homes to escape the rising floodwaters.
Though staff members, their families and homes were also affected by the floods, they put their safety and personal needs aside to respond to the disaster.
They gave priority to the needs of the most vulnerable—the sponsored children and elderly.
In my role on the CFCA communications team at our Kansas City headquarters, I had a chance to see photos coming in from the disaster areas.
In some of the photos, I saw our field staff members wading through the floodwaters to get to affected communities and visiting families in their flooded homes.
It struck me at that moment just how heroic their actions were, though they wouldn’t consider themselves heroes at all but merely doing what they are called to do.
And staff members are not the only ones in CFCA responding heroically.
Because CFCA is about empowerment, the staff and parents of sponsored children work collaboratively in all aspects of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
Family members of sponsored children, such as the ERPAT fathers and Pambuhay (parent group) leaders, along with CFCA scholarship students, responded to the disaster as volunteers.
The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons a year, and flooding in Manila is frequent.
Even in normal times, though, it often takes heroic efforts to provide the personal attention sponsorship requires.
Staff members walk long distances, travel dangerous roads and put their safety at risk on a daily basis to go to the urban and remote communities where families live.
Today, let us remember CFCA staff members in the Philippines and around the world as they respond to emergencies and go about their everyday work with a spirit of service and joy.