Judith Bautista is the CFCA project coordinator for Bogota, Colombia, and a CFCA sponsor.
Judith began sponsoring 19-year-old Jorge in 2010 after a trip she took to Honduras to learn more about CFCA mothers groups.
In her reflection, Judith describes the journey of her sponsorship experience and how special it was to meet her sponsored friend.
Receiving my first letter from my sponsored child signified the beginning of sponsorship for me.
I felt very encouraged receiving his letters, but there was one in particular that caught my attention.
In this letter, he said that he had been through a lot, but one of the most important things that could happen would be to meet me in person.
I thought about traveling to Honduras and meeting him on an awareness trip and decided I wanted to go.
On August 3 I arrived at the San Pedro Sula airport in Honduras.
There, I received the joy and care of the local CFCA staffers, led by their coordinator, Manuel, and their translator, Johan.
I found myself feeling very anxious with a mix of emotions because the following day I would meet my sponsored friend.
Words cannot express such a beautiful moment.
I was finally going to meet my sponsored friend face to face — someone I’d written letters to and received photos from but never met.
The next day, we saw each other for the first time and simply stared.
We then smiled at each other and wrapped one another in a hug of solidarity, giving thanks to God for being there.
When you’re with your sponsored friend, time is magic.
We talked and talked and talked about our dreams.
I had the opportunity to tell him one of my dreams: to see him thriving and always very happy.
Jorge told me, “I pray for you every night. I wish to see you very happy, and that you are never sad.”
During our meeting I learned more about his family.
I found out Jorge’s mother suffers from strong epilepsy attacks and that he lives with just her and his grandmother.
He faces many challenges, and he relies on his aunt, Carmen, for support. She was with him during our visit.
Carmen has a beautiful voice and sang for me; it was a moving experience.
I also had the opportunity to meet several mothers who applied the training they learned in their mothers group.
One group has a grocery store, and another group decided to plant and sell bananas.
I observed how all these beautiful, pleasant people get along despite their many challenges.
And I was able, above all, to see their successes.
Hondurans live with a passionate desire to succeed.
I also became more familiar with the joys of Honduran culture through music, dance and song, as well as the delicious food, which was full of love and flavor.
I experienced all of this, in the middle of beautiful, green mountains lit by bright, warm sunshine in this country that stole my heart.
Every second I experienced on the trip was a gift from heaven.
Through sharing your dreams, you will find yourself connected with someone you admire.
You will learn more about your sponsored friend’s life and understand that you make a difference in the world through a movement like the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.
Sponsorship starts with one person and little by little spreads to many people.
So, if you’re reading these words, I invite and encourage you to take what will be one of the best trips of your life.
Get the 2013 and 2014 CFCA awareness trip schedule