“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 Bob Hentzen and the CFCA-Honduras staff.
Heartfelt greetings from the native land of Cristina Yanes Hentzen, and the missionary land of our co-founder Jerry Tolle.
This trip actually began in Bolivia. Prior to our arrival in Honduras, we celebrated an encuentro [meeting] in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, for all of our staff members in the beloved Andean country.
How encouraging it was to feel the energy of our Bolivian families and this inspiring group of colleagues.
After exciting days of sharing, the Santa Cruz team delighted us all with regional folk dances from their area.
On to Honduras
After an early departure from Bolivia and a full-day trek, we were able to attend Saturday evening services at the church of Las Mercedes in El Progreso, Honduras.
This is the community where co-founder Jerry Tolle served the people of El Progreso for many years as a missionary priest.
In the very early days of CFCA, it was natural that Jerry wanted to open a program here.
Sponsors were happy to experience a colorful Honduran wedding at this Mass.
The Jesuit celebrant and the groom were high school classmates at Colegio San Jose, El Progreso.
The priest compared this true union of hearts and spirits to an unending pilgrimage toward the fullness of human life.
So encouraging is the fact that this group is requesting 69 child folders to help find sponsors.
Motto: “Libre, soberana e independiente” [Free, sovereign and independent]. They love their country.
Honduras is a beautiful country, with an abundance of rivers and mountains. Some of the mountains reach 9,500 feet in stunning ecological regions.
On the downside, many Hondurans experience widespread violence across the country.
CFCA numbers for Honduras
Since our humble beginning in 1982, we have grown.
Children currently sponsored: 16,446
Elderly sponsored: 1,875
Waiting list: 2,147
We are honored to have sponsors on this trip from Colombia, Guatemala and the United States.
The families regard the visit of sponsors as a gift and a blessing.
These trips are also a great opportunity to work with CFCA staffers from diverse areas of the world.
Sponsors join us on this trip from the following states and countries.
Notes from a CFCA “town meeting” with mothers, scholars, sponsors and staffers:
Question to CFCA sponsored children and youth: “You are the best and brightest, but what difficulties do youth in Honduras experience staying in school?”
— CFCA sponsor Chris Mahre
Answer: The cost of higher education.
Question to the mothers: Do your husbands support you in your group activities?
Answer: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. But we overcome the obstacles.
Question from a CFCA scholar to the sponsors: What motivates you to sponsor a child?
Answer: “Need and love; we have four sponsored children. Everyone should have a chance to attain his or her goal in life.”
— Selia Gomez, CFCA sponsor
Question to CFCA sponsored children and youth: What is the most important part of CFCA for you?
Answer: “Communication with my sponsor. [It is] a great honor to be part of this great family.”
— Joel, a CFCA sponsored friend
What I’m seeing and hearing
“My grandson picked out our child to sponsor.” — Susan Simmon
“My sponsored child left the program at 22. I received a good final letter, which explained this. I am happy for him, but I do miss seeing him.”
— CFCA sponsor Mert Garrison
“I offer the example of Reina Judicsa. Bob and I sponsored her for many years and helped her through several surgeries. She married at a tender age and moved away. Naturally, we miss Reina. We took on little Fredy at the CFCA home for children in Ocotepeque, Honduras.”
— Cristina Hentzen, CFCA sponsor
“I chose a youth [to sponsor] because it’s sometimes challenging to find sponsors for youth. I have learned to have hope and to work for hope in families.”
— Judith Bautista, CFCA Bogota, Colombia, project coordinator
“I have seen a child develop before my eyes.”
— Pat Jacobs, CFCA sponsor
“I am very humbled to learn how gratifying my relationship with my sponsored child is.”
— Marie O’Connell, CFCA sponsor
“I want to help [sponsored] children have opportunities like my own two sons have.”
— Chris Mahre, CFCA sponsor
We are you learning through your sponsorship.
Final note from Bob:
As you can tell from these reports from around the world, sometimes Cristina and I have to ask ourselves, “Where are we?” and “Where do we go from here?”
Well, we are in Honduras and headed for the dedication of the Nadine Pearce Center in Guatemala, which will serve the northeastern region of Guatemala. This will be a great day.
Then we are on to Kansas City for an exciting staff gathering at CFCA headquarters.
The exciting Rise and Dream tour will be Sept. 18-30, with stops in New York and Kansas City. I look forward to seeing many friends on the tour.
Know of our love and thanks.