Bob Hentzen
Oct 9 2013

CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen passes away at 77

Bob Hentzen

Share your memories of Bob in the comments at the end of this post.

Tuesday evening, the world lost a visionary soul, and heaven gained a bright star. CFCA President and Co-Founder Bob Hentzen, passed away Oct. 8 in Guatemala. He was 77.


Today we mourn the passing, and celebrate the life, of CFCA President and Co-founder, Bob Hentzen.

Bob was legendary in the CFCA family for his love of people, his commitment to the poor and his ability to weave a song into any story.

When Bob co-founded CFCA in 1981, he courageously acted on his unwavering belief in the dignity of the poor.

This belief would form his life’s work.

Bob created a CFCA for every person: young and old, rich and poor, here and there.

He found the inherent good in all people, and unified us for a great cause — that each individual across the globe could live a dignified life.

Bob Hentzen

Bob was passionate about the sponsor and sponsored friend relationship.

He was acutely aware that sponsorship had the potential to be life-changing for all involved.

And if you heard him speak of this, you would quickly agree.

It’s no surprise that Bob co-founded an organization focused on relationships; he was so gifted at creating meaningful relationships with every person he met.

Bob Hentzen

Bob did not see poverty; he saw potential in every human being.

And he spent his days cultivating that potential.

To meet Bob on U.S. soil was to see only a small part of a great man.

Bob was most alive surrounded by sponsored friends, walking dirt roads and playing his guitar.

That is how he spent his life.

Bob didn’t govern CFCA from a fancy corner office.

To do so would have been a departure from his very nature. He moved to Guatemala in 1996 and made a life among the people he dearly loved.

He understood the sponsored friends’ needs and desires because he lived with them every day.

He listened as he worked with them in the garden in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, when he visited families on awareness trips or while sharing coffee and conversation with anyone who came to his door.

Bob spent a few years of his life walking on behalf of the poor.

Bob Hentzen

Reflecting on his most recent trek, an 8,000-mile walk through 12 countries, Bob said, “I walk in gratitude for all the poor have taught me. By walking with those living in poverty, we are saying, ‘You are not alone. We are listening to you and learning from you.'”

Our sponsored friends knew that they were never alone because of Bob.

Their deep and abiding love for him is a reflection of his extravagant love for sponsored friends and their families all around the world.

Bob showed us the limitless power of sponsorship.

When we remember Bob, we will remember the faces of the children, the aging, mothers, fathers and brothers and sisters.

And that’s exactly how he would want it.

Help us celebrate Bob’s life by sharing your fondest memories of Bob in the comments below.

79 thoughts on “CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen passes away at 77”

  1. I met Bob a few months ago when my Granddaughter and I went to Guatemala. He touched our hearts with his words and songs. Then we saw how the people in the villages loved him. He was truly a man that helped many people including myself. He taught me so much the week I was there. The love, the compassion, the hope, and a dream. You will be missed Robert. It was a pleasure and a honor to have met you. Time to rest, but for some reason I don’t think you will. Thank you.

  2. Don Roberto Hentzen llego a Guatemala desde Kansas en 1996 a pie pidiendo por la Paz del mundo, fue un dia de alegria y Fiesta en el Proyecto Jovenes de Maria CFCA en Quetzaltenango, donde inicio el programa de apadrinamiento con 6 niños beneficiados en los diferentes programas de educacion, nutricion, salud, vestuario, etc. Hasta el año 2002 solo en este proyecto teniamos ya mas de 1000 beneficiados entre niños, y jovenes becados. CFCA a sido de gran bendicion para Guatemala a traves de don Roberto Hentzen DIOS LE DE EL DESCANSO ETERNO.

  3. It is rare that any of us get to meet a truly great person; even more rare to have the opportunity to know him personally and learn from him. I miss Bob greatly. His walk continues through the many lives he touched.

  4. Tuve la dicha de conocer a Don Roberto, hoy la tristeza enbarga mi corazon por su partida, pero tengo la certeza que ya esta al lado del Todo Poderoso. Solo le pidio A Dios que les de la Fortaleza y Resignacion a su Esposa he hijos.

  5. Hyderabad was so dear to him…I’m sure that is what each project believes. Bob had the magic to make every single person feel special. Everyone felt that “he loves me so much”. The minute he meets someone…he writes down their name in his little book and remembers them the next time. Oh! how we love you Bob. We are unable to get over your passing. Each morning as we enter the CFCA office…we feel empty, we say to ourselves Bob is not there. It is as if we have lost everything. We will mourn for the rest of our life and to think you would have been here in the next 20 days is devastating. You were the center of our trips, of our program and of our every decision. You shared great thoughts in simple words…we will continue the legend of CFCA. CFCA Hyderabad salutes you!

  6. Words can not express the sadness in my heart over hearing of the passing of Bob. It is through the grace of God I had the opportunity to meet and spent time with him on a recent Mission Awareness trip to the Dominician Republic. I truly felt that I was in the presence of a saint that entire week. My life will never be the same thanks to this good man. Rest in peace Bob. Christina and family will be in my prayers.

  7. My love and prayers go to Dona Cristina, their children and all the team behind CFCA.
    I meet Bob in 2001 in San Lucas Toliman and he inspired me to keep that flame of deep respect for the sponsored families. His work will continue as his spirit lives in so many of us. Peace and Kindness

  8. I pray to God for Bob’s good soul, I met Bob and his wife during the awareness mission trip in Palay. he is lovable, dedicated, I will never forget his kind face. we learned a lot through his service. we lost his love and service. Daily I do special prayer for Bob’s family and continue the service in his way.

    Palay – Team.

  9. My deepest sympothy to bobs wife, children, his siblings and their children, the whole cfca family. Bob was a very special man. I had the honor of meeting him in el salvador. I am especially grateful that I was able to have spent the evening of sept. 26 with him at mercy high school and to have the honor of having him spend the night at our retreat house. Bob I will miss you but I know your spirit will live onn in your cfca family. Thank you for all your great work

  10. “Take the challenge of downward mobility.” That little phrase spoken by Bob has stayed with me all these years since I first heard them some twenty years ago. It was the way to be in solidarity with the poor. CFCA came to Canada with the urging of Jim Hentzen and when I joined the Board of CFCA (Canada) I met Bob, Bud, Jerry Tolle, Nadine and others of CFCA. It was life changing. Due to tax constraints CFCA left Canada and today CHALICE continues and extends that work. As Bob’s legacy continues to impact around the world as it will, I am grateful that I have shared in a small way in his legacy. I thank all the Hentzen family who began and continues the work of CFCA, I wish you my fondest and deep felt prayer. May God’s loving kindness continue to bless Bob now in heaven as it was on earth. In Christ, shalom.

  11. I heard about his Hard work for poor children and aged people Really touched my heart . I came to know CFCA I praised God for Dear Bob who was special man . we would like to pray for continual work of CFCA. and also Remember his loved ones to carry on the work continually by the Grace of God .I cannot forget him. May God Bless him as he is going to be in Heaven with Peace !!!

  12. Thank you Bob for giving us the compassion and love you have for the children and elderly who have a lot less than we do. After spending a few trips in Central America with Bob, it became obvious that where ever we travelled, the people, young and old knew him and what he brings to their lives. I will try to carry on with the Blessing I have been given and keep the great work of CFCA alive forever. I hope someday I will make it to once more shake hands with a true Saint.

  13. I met Sir Bob on my three MAT’s to the Philippines. What an inspiration He was to everyone and will be greatly missed. My prayers to Christina and the CFCA family. Love to all, Therese

  14. “I am offering my forever friendship, and I want it eternally”…the very lasts words I’ve got from Sir Bob as we personally met with Ma’am Cristina during MAT 2012 here in the Philippines. The same words I heard the moment I came to know that he passed away. It was extremely hard for me remembering all the joys, laughter and tears we shared along the roads being with him for the first 6 months of Walktogether from Guatemala to Colombia. Much more than this is the love and care he showed to all of us – the same love, care and inspiration he shared with me in the most trying times of my life at CFCA work and with my family. After all, I learned the real meaning of genuine love, service and commitment as he inspired me in the process. I am aware of the many sacrifices Sir Bob has offered for CFCA and for all those in need that made his life and great deeds worth emulating. As he passes away, his spirit of love and service remains and I am privilege that I learned it from him and inspired by him as I am continuing the mission he started in my own little way for the people he loved most. SIR BOB, KNOWING YOU IS A GIFT,and BEING WITH YOU IS WORTH IT. You will always be remembered in our hearts and prayers and so with Ma’am Cristina and family and the CFCA family whom you selflessly gave your life and your love for more than 32 years since it started.

    Rest in peace with the Lord our dear inspiration Sir Robert “Bob” Hentzen.

    With much love and respect, Veron, Renzo and family

  15. I believe Bob was a man of God who lived with us on this earth. “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

    “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
    Revelation 14:13
    Yo creo que Don Roberto fue un hombre de Dios que vivio con nosotros en esta tierra. Y oí una voz que me decía desde el cielo: «Escribe: “Bienaventurados de aquí en adelante los muertos que mueren en el Señor.” Sí, dice el Espíritu, descansarán de sus trabajos, porque sus obras con ellos siguen.”
    Apocalipsis 14:13

  16. I never met Mr. Bob, but I was one of the sponsored and I am a success person. It was a big help for me to have someone at the time I really needed. I wanted to study, but I could not pay my studies. I new the CFCA in my town PATZICIA, Chimaltenango in Guatemala.
    Now I thank Bob for his love and creation of the CFCA for all. Rest in peace Bob.
    sincerely
    Juan Racanac

  17. Condolences to Bob’s wife, children and all his near and dear ones. May the good Lord comfort them and strengthen them to bear his absence.
    Bob Robert is a saint, who helped many to live their life in full and meaningfully. He shall live in the hearts of many – generations after generation!
    God has opened the gate of heaven for him, wanting him to enjoy the eternal happiness with Him!

  18. God bless Robert Hentzen. I met him on 2 mission awareness trips to Mexico and the Philippines. He was inspiring in the way he ran the CFCA organization and he lived a wonderful life. Condolences to his wife and family.

  19. We had the honor of being with Bob during two different trips with CFCA. What a gift he was for others. What a life, he shared with so many people filling them with hope. What a heart like Christ reaching out to the poor.

  20. BOB HENTZEN DIOS TE BENDIGA Y BENDIGA A TU FAMILIA DESDE EL CIELO, GRACIAS A DIOS YO CONOCÍ A DON ROBERTO HOMBRE LLENO DE AMOR, PAZ , CARIÑO, UN HOMBRE SENCILLO PERO CON MUCHO AMOR TUVE LA OPORTUNIDAD DE ESTAR CON EL Y COMPARTIR, DESEO QUE DIOS TE TENGA EN PAZ BOB Y QUE SIEMPRE NOS RECUERDES DESDE EL CIELO POR QUE QUI TE RECORDAREMOS , EL MAS SINCERO PÉSAME A DOÑA CRISTINA, AMIGOS Y DEMÁS FAMILIAS

    CON AMOR DESDE HONDURAS

  21. Sad to say that we never had the opportunity to meet Bob. He was truly a saint walking on earth with us. God will welcome him into heaven with no reservations. Thank you Bob.

  22. In 2006 my grandson, who has autism, and I flew to Guatemala. For C it was to learn Spanish, for me it was to work for three months at OSHP in Antigua. Due to confusion our travel was longer than expected and we were separated from our luggage. My grandson who sang w/ a beautiful boy-soprano voice calmed himself by singing many of Bob’s songs while we waited for the luggage. Bob was waiting next to us and sang w/ him. Three months later when we attended a Mission Awareness Trip Bob remembered the 12-year-old and invited him to join Bob in singing before the group, joking that C. knew the words of the songs better than Bob did.

  23. Bob Hentzen seems as though he was a wonderful human being with wisdom far beyond most of us who are alive at this time in history.It takes people with spiritual conviction to put together this the type of organization he did. I did not know him or his family, but I think it’s safe to say what a giving wife he certainly must have had and giving children that sacrificed to let him do his thing while he was here. I hope his family is well taken care of and he is always remembered with a smile. God Bless!

  24. 11/18/2013

    I just learned of Mr. Hentzen’s passing today. I am so so sorry. I was blessed in the June, 2008 mission trip to Columbia to meet Mr. Hentzen and his lovely wife, as they accompanied us on the trip. It was exciting and inspiring to follow Mr. Hentzen on his 8,000 mile walk in 2009 and 2010. Rest in peace, Mr. Hentzen, you have been an incredible inspiration and tireless worker for those without a voice giving hope and opportunity to millions.

    Diane Kahl

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