Category Archives: Bob’s compass

Mar 9 2012

Inspiring stories from sponsored children, youth in Kenya

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

What a joy to be back in Africa!

It’s so very encouraging to see the spirit of CFCA growing in this area. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude for the support and solidarity of our African sisters and brothers before, during and after Walk2gether.

(Please note: All photo credits in this report go to Regina Mburu, CFCA’s communications center liaison in Nairobi, Kenya.)

CFCA scholars

CFCA scholars in Kenya are dynamic, generous and very creative.

Listen to this poetic testimony of CFCA scholar Stephanie, this dynamic young woman from “up country.”

Stephanie has finished her secondary studies and is registered to continue her education, studying psychology at the University of Nairobi. Read more

Jan 14 2012

Guatemala trip displays ‘harmony amidst challenges’ of poverty

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

What a joy for Cristina and me to share this sacred time with 36 sponsors, their sponsored friends and families, and a great group of CFCA co-workers.

This New Year’s group of sponsors includes a good number of children and young people. They found a Guatemala in great need, but in the happy time of coffee harvest.

Students in Guatemala will be out of school until mid-January; coffee harvest involves the entire family.

[Related link: Read our story about families harvesting coffee in Guatemala.]

A new president, new congressional representatives and new mayors will take office on Jan. 15.

This is also the time of the “safra” ñ the burning, cutting and hauling of sugar cane. The air is filled with the distinct odor and falling ash of the cane. It is impressive to think that every stalk must be hand-cut by campesinos, darkened by the coastal sun and carbon, and cut and stacked. They are paid for by the ton. Read more

Dec 9 2011

Bob’s notes: ‘Invited into Archana’s family’ in India

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

This account was split into two parts. Read the first part with Annamary’s testimony here.

Inspiring testimonies from sponsored Indian youth:

Minu: “Tears come into my eyes today when I recall how my parents left me with relatives as they searched for work in the northern part of India. It is no less than a divine intervention that sponsorship came. I fear my father may have abandoned us. However, my sponsorship continues, and this has been my greatest consoler and mentor. If I say sponsorship has been my rock, my parent, it won’t be an exaggeration. I am filled with gratitude and awe. I wish to give back to my society as a mark of appreciation for this CFCA program.”

Pinky: “We live in a remote area where there is no good education facility. Before sponsorship, I was like a frog in a well, knowing nothing of the outside world. The CFCA help became a light which removed the darkness of ignorance within me and filled my life with the brightness of knowledge. I have been studying in a well-developed educational institution of the Bhagalpur Diocese for 12 years. On behalf of all sponsored children, I promise you we will fulfill our dreams to be successful and help other children.” Read more

Dec 2 2011

Bob’s notes: How sponsorship gave Annamary an education

“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trips. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

This report from the November 2011 mission awareness trip to India will come in two parts: Annamary’s story and the rest of the trip.

Annamary, CFCA sponsored child in India

Annamary

Bob: Let me start with the inspiring story of Annamary, 11, a sponsored girl from a remote village in CFCA’s project in Bhalgalpur. What a joy for our sponsors to meet this young woman. What follows are Annamary’s own words.

Annamary: In the village where I live, there are about 100 families.

No electricity, no running water, no cooking gas and no toilets.

When the villagers have no work, women go to the forest to collect firewood.

Men get drunk and fight, and the children are always in their natural dress playing in the village lanes. I know this, because I was born in this village.

Like the other villagers, we live in a mud hut. There is my Papa, Sushil. He is always out looking for a job.

Every morning, my Mummy left us in her best dress. I did not know where she went. When I was 4, I had the job of babysitting my younger sister, Dolly, 6 months.

One day, I asked Mummy, “Where do you go every morning?” Read more of Annamary’s story

Oct 20 2011

Bob’s notes: Sponsors ‘living on love’ in Guatemala trip

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

Our entire team in Guatemala is delighted to receive this fine group of sponsors and friends.

During the mission awareness trip, sponsors experienced the buildup to a presidential run-off election, scheduled for Nov. 6.

This promised to be an exciting trip, considering election frenzy, heavy rains, swollen rivers, damaged roads and major landslides. We often adjusted our itinerary according to weather and road conditions.

Naturally, we thanked our CFCA family for prayers along the way.

Due to abundant rains, Guatemala welcomed us with a green countryside and pleasant temperatures.

We took sponsors to the CFCA office that serves more than 6,000 families in Guatemala City.

Children, teens and staff had prepared a nice orientation to the CFCA presence in their areas.

Participating were Miguel Dario Tzarax, project coordinator; Maria del Carmen Santos, social worker; Mario, sponsored for 15 years; two groups of sponsored children and mothers groups (Mezquital and El Gallito); moving testimony of Monica Catalan, mother leader from El Gallito; and me (Bob) with a group of children and mothers.

All this week, we had to adjust our itinerary as the 72 highways of Guatemala were blocked from landslides and flooding.

We did make it out to San Lucas Toliman on Sunday. We felt rewarded by the welcome of our sponsored friends and families. Read more

Sep 17 2011

Bob’s notes: ‘My dad in Heaven sent you to me’ in Bolivia

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

All sponsors arrived well in Bolivia. We are very grateful for this, considering the airline challenges caused by Hurricane Irene.

Lee Ann Schwope from Ohio arrived with her arm in a sling, after suffering a dislocated shoulder the day before she left for Bolivia.

She is doing very well. Never misses a side trip or an invitation to dance. Thank you, Lee Ann, and God bless you.

The beginning of our mission awareness trip in Bolivia has been enjoyable and inspiring. In the morning, sponsors received a general orientation to Bolivia and to the CFCA project in Cochabamba.

Bolivia in general:

  • roughly the size of Texas and California combined
  • 70 percent of residents are indigenous
  • three climates according to altitude
  • altitude in Cochabamba: 8,207 feet (2,558 meters)
  • sponsored children in Cochabamba project: 2953
  • sponsored elderly: 221
  • scholars: 110

Most sponsored children live in their own homes. Some are in orphanages and centers for children of special needs and abilities. Read more

Sep 6 2011

Bob’s notes: ‘We consider Guatemala very sacred ground’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full update on his Facebook page.

It’s great to be in touch from Guatemala, this very special place ó with this very special group of sponsors, families and fellow workers.

Guatemala welcomes our mission awareness trip with a green countryside and spring-like temperatures.

Google tells us the ancient Nahuatl word Quauhtlemallan means “place of many trees.”

Guatemala’s volcanic soil is very fertile. Our projects and families across Guatemala are in the process of planting 1,000,000 trees. We consider this very sacred ground.

The pictures in this report are offered by Ricardo Ajpuac, as always with his big smile. Mil gracias, Ricardo.

At this time, CFCA has the privilege of working with more than 89,000 children, youth, and aging in Guatemala. Read more

Aug 19 2011

Bob’s notes – mission awareness trip to Honduras

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bobís full Aug. 13 update on his Facebook page.

Honduras is a special place for many of us at CFCA.

In her indigenous roots (Maya, Lenca, Tolupane, Pech, Chorti), blending of cultures, and centuries-old struggle for independence and democracy, Honduras continues to call her people to the greatness of hope. Great pride is found in being ìcatracha.î

For us at CFCA, Honduras is honored as the missionary formation land of our co-founder Jerry Tolle. Jerry encouraged opening our CFCA sponsorship program in El Progreso, Yoro, in 1982.

It is also the birthplace of my wife, Cristina, and her wonderful family. Cristina and I are delighted to be in Honduras with 32 CFCA sponsors, all eager to listen and learn. Read more

Aug 5 2011

Bob’s notes – Mission awareness trip to El Salvador

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

The Pullman bus from Guatemala dropped us off at a gas station out on the highway near Santa Ana, El Salvador.

What an experience to travel over the terrain where we had walked in January 2010. Often we struggled up these respectable hills in the tropical heat.

Cristina and I noticed a welcoming group of about 100 sponsored children, elderly and families with homemade banners and songs. Of particular note were two children of special abilities who didnít miss a beat. Read more

Jul 30 2011

Bob’s notes ñ mission awareness trip to Guatemala

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. This trip is his first since completing Walk2gether, a nearly 8,000-mile walk through 12 countries to shed light on poverty and the benefits of child sponsorship. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

To say the welcome offered to Cristina and me in Guatemala after completing Walk2gether was spectacular would be an understatement.

It was truly heartwarming and encouraging. We’re deeply grateful and look forward to moving ahead with confidence on all fronts.

It’s a pleasure to be in touch with you on this July 2011 mission awareness trip to Guatemala.

The children and families from the neighborhood of La Selva in the neighborhood of Peronia offered a spontaneous and well-prepared show for the sponsors. They won the hearts of all. Their spontaneity and childlike joy represented a great start for this trip.

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