Tag: Chile

Jun 7 2011

Check back for more coverage of Walk2gether

Sheila Myers, a member of the CFCA communications department, sent us this report of Walk2gether’s finale.

She was at yesterday’s celebrations in Chile marking the end of Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile CFCA solidarity walk through 12 countries.

Please check back in the following weeks and months for more about Walk2gether, including a video of the end of the walk!

Note: CFCA President Bob Hentzen will also be featured on a Twitter chat starting at noon CST on June 20. Anyone interested in hearing from him may tweet their questions to @CFCA using the #cfcachat hashtag.

May 31 2011

Walk2gether passes from desert to fertile valleys

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Sixty-nine days in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile have been very inspiring.

Some describe the desert as Tierra de Nada ni Nadie (Land of Nothing and Nobody). On Walk2gether, we have had a much different experience.

In the silence of the long treks, I find myself comparing the survival struggle of the young desert plants to the daily struggle of our sponsored members and their families, as well as those waiting for sponsorship.

These humble families honor us with their invitation to walk with them from the desert of their isolation to the fertile valleys of their hope.

As I write this, we are walking in a zone of olive trees, vegetable gardens, cypress trees and vineyards. I see signs of wildlife along the road, as well as domestic livestock sporting woolly winter coats.

Knowing full well that itís winter ahead, we stride directly into the cold winds, moving south into the lives of Godís humble people. We are usually able to take our first steps of the morning around 3 a.m.

The Camanchaca fog is cold and mysterious, yet through it all, we know that the Southern Cross is ever present to guide us, as is Godís love and your love. I walk in awe of natureís colors and harmonies as she responds to centuries-old Pacific currents and Antarctic airs.

All of this causes me to reflect and pray in gratitude for this experience. Iím grateful for the opportunity for growth through relationships with my co-workers and the dear families who live here in Chile and in the other countries where CFCA serves. Exciting days are with us as we approach the finale.

Loved ones from our natural family and our CFCA family are beginning to gather in Chile as we near Valparaiso. Believe me, you are helping us all to rise and begin anew each day of our journey. Please know of our love and thanks.

Bob
May 29, 2011

May 13 2011

Zamboanga families walk in solidarity with those in Chile

Walk2gether is in its final country, Chile, but that hasn’t stopped people in the Philippines from joining it in spirit!

Zamboanga solidarity walk with Walk2gether

The CFCA community in Zamboanga joins with Walk2gether on a weekend solidarity walk.

Over the weekend, two CFCA communities in Zamboanga conducted an early-morning solidarity walk of about 9 miles (15 kilometers).

More than 1,000 sponsored friends and their families participated.

“In this experience, we are just having a taste of how Bob and the walkers do it every day,” said Alan Partosa, project staff member. “This walk is also giving thanks for the CFCA community and Bob’s walk for journeying with us in the daily battle of life.”

After the walk, CFCA staff members in Zamboanga showed a video of Walk2gether, and mothers and children reflected on the morning’s experience.

“A sponsored youth, Joseph Arthur, shared in the group, ‘CFCA is love. We can give without loving, but we can never love without giving,'” Partosa said. “I have heard this already, but for a 15-year-old boy to speak it from his heart is a different thing for me.”

Chris Palmer, project specialist for the Philippines, said he was excited to hear news of the solidarity walk.

“We really see the families walking in solidarity with the greater CFCA community,” he said, “even though they’re spanning such great distances.”

May 12 2011

Walk2gether finishes trek in the Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

It is a pleasure to share with you these scenes from our walk through the beautiful and formidable Atacama Desert of Chile.

On March 22, 2011, we entered Chile from Bolivia at Chungara (more than 14,000 feet in altitude) in the awesome snow-capped Altiplano Chileno.

Iím happy to tell you that with Godís loving care and your belief in us, we have walked the entire length of the Atacama Desert in an unbroken line.

For us, it has become a place to pray, learn and appreciate.

We are right on schedule for the finale of Walk2gether in Valparaiso. We are preparing to walk and celebrate with our 6,000 sponsored members and their families during the first week of June.

We eagerly await those of you who will be traveling to Chile in person and in spirit during the next few weeks. Our youngest son, Robert Jacob, arrived on May 6. Naturally, Cristina and I say that Jake is a great walker and a great help.

Know of our thanks and love.

Bob
May 9, 2011

May 2 2011

Walk2gether embraces desert vulnerability

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Fortified by the conviction that God lives, we walk deeper and deeper into the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on Planet Earth, and we stay there day and night.

We have found that in a 24-hour period, the temperature can change by 50, even 60 degrees.

Cars, trucks and buses speed through this desert like itís something to be feared and avoided. In high winds, their wake can literally blow us off the road.

We embrace our vulnerability.

Our small steps in the immensity of the Atacama may not seem like much. Yet down deep, in the very fiber of our being, we know that we are advancing toward something of incalculable worth: the 6,000 struggling CFCA families in the area of Valparaiso, Chile, and the community of compassion among ourselves that it will take to get us there.

Let me assure you that you are very much a part of all of this. Know of our love.

Bob
April 29, 2011


In other news, the Christian Science Monitor recently reported on Bob and Walk2gether. Check it out!

Apr 19 2011

Walk2gether continues in the wilderness, trusts in Godís loving care

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Heartfelt greetings from the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

In most of the countries on Walk2gether, we have been able to find a ìsafe havenî for the nightóor better said, for a few hours of the night, before beginning anew at 2-3 a.m.

Looking back over the last year and three months on the road, I can say that the wilderness would have been more restful than many of the places we have stayed.

Itís true that cities generally have what we need in terms of supplies, water, fuel, access to telephone and Internet. Yet, on the down side, many times their noise level and feel are like something out of Mad Max.

If by the grace of God we could well channel the nightly partying energy of the youth of Latin America, we would have an enormous force for good in our world.

Much like they were in the deserts of Peru, impressive are the distances in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. At times, the road is so narrow and the tandem semis so wide and fast that we have to go “all terrain.”

Whenever we can, we opt to pitch our tents where the coastal road has led us. Last evening, after we had our camp organized within meters of the ocean and supper underway, walkers began a search among huge boulders for scraps of firewood.

We discovered that we were camping near an open burial ground. Carabineros (Chilean police) say that there are many osamentos (bones) along these Pacific coasts – most probably remains of people fallen in battles between Chile, Bolivia and Peru-Guerra del Pacifico (1879-1884). May they rest in peace.

We are delighted to have Paul Pearce with us. Paul is CFCAís director of global strategy. He is a great walker, and he also gives Israel a break in driving the camper.

In the grupo corazon (core group), on this two-week rotation in the desert, we have the loving care and company of two Chileans, Irma and Georgia.

As we enter La Semana Santa (Holy Week), we pray in gratitude for each of you.

Bob (April 14, 2011)

Apr 15 2011

At lunch, Walk2gether makes new friends in Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Even in the apparent harshness of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, we find tenderness and signs of hope.

After trekking 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) today, April 11, we stopped for lunch at a fruit stand along the highway. This humble little business turned out to be an oasis in the desert, which welcomed us weary pilgrims with delicious melons, real human connections and the surprise of a snow-white baby llama.

The owners are hard-working campesinos who grow their own fruit and then market it to passing motorists and passengers on tour buses. They kindly offered us a rough-hewn table in the shade, space shared with a baby snow-white llama named Sogui.

When the young woman attending clients, Wara, saw our Walk2gether logo, she excitedly told us that her two younger brothers (Guaman, 9, and Raymi, 16) are sponsored through CFCA in Oruro, Bolivia, and that they had walked with me not too long ago in their own country.

We felt an immediate bond with this young indigenous woman and invited Wara to have lunch with us. She explained that she had come to Chile to find work in order to help her family.

There are six children. The father died four years ago. The mother is quite young, but has serious health issues.

And I think, ìHow wonderful our calling: to strive for a more human and compassionate world.î

In all of this, we carry you in our hearts. You are here, and we thank you.

Bob

Apr 8 2011

Walk2gether finds refreshment in the Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

It is a joy to be in touch with you and to share with you the stark beauty of this unique part of Godís creation.

With your solidarity, prayers and love, we are making good steady progress through the Atacama Desert, driest place on our planet Earth.

We do what I call 4/40 rotations. This means that we do four consecutive days of 40 kilometers (about 25 miles), followed by a very welcome off-the-road day.

On a non-walking day, we do a variety of tasks: wash clothes, give presentations about CFCA and Walk2gether to groups who invite us, check, repair, clean support vehicles, stock up on supplies and water, catch up on emails and blogs, take a nap and meet the local press.

These days pass oh too quickly, and are sometimes full of activities.

On April 2, I was invited to speak to students and teachers at Instituto Politecnico de Arica, a state-run secondary technical school with eight specialties.

The teachers and students have completely redone our mobile bathroom ñ from the axle and wheel-span up. We paid only for materials.

It is now bigger, with solar biodigestor for solids, urinal for men, wash basin with running water…all designed for a very eco-friendly trip into the desert.

The best part for me is to see a whole class of teenagers ñ so far totally unrelated to CFCA except in heart ñ dig into this practical symbol of our care of walkers and the earth.

Thank you for walking with us. We carry you in our hearts.

Bob from the Atacama Desert, Chile

Apr 1 2011

Walk2gether enjoys natural beauty in Chileís extreme north

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

A heartfelt greeting and abrazos from the extreme north of Chile.

It is extremely beautiful as we walk the foothills of snow-packed volcanoes and listen to the call of gentle ducks on clear Andean lakes.

It is also extremely challenging as we do our daily marathon at 14,990 feet, all so very natural under Chakana (Aymara for Southern Cross), as we greet the wild vicuna and a pair of swift desert foxes at first light.

With all the affection and tears of our CFCA Bolivian families and coworkers, it was hard to say farewell.

They slept little in order to accompany us to the Chilean border at Tambo Quemado/Chungara.

But what a CFCA team awaited us in Chile. They are prepared, generous and flat-out fun. To serve the CFCA families in Valparaiso and surrounding areas, our Chilean admin team rotates a few staff members into the walk every 15 days.

In addition to the Chilenos, we have our Grupo Corazon (Core Group) of Israel, Ricardo, Cristina and me.

We look forward to the proximate arrival of Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy.

A special welcome to each of you walking with us in fact and spirit. Know that we carry you in our hearts.

I am deeply grateful for the thoughtful and encouraging messages received on the occasion of my birthday.

Bob

Mar 23 2011

Update from Bob about Walk2gether in Brazil

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Bob has crossed into Chile, the 12th and final country that Walk2gether will visit. Here’s a reflection from his Facebook page after visiting CFCA’s sponsored members and their families in Brazil.

It is an honor to share the ideals and excitement of Walk2gether with the sponsored members and their families in Brazil.

Itís the rainy season, and we splashed our way through many a knee-deep puddle on the country roads.

The heat and mosquitoes are challenging too, but again our families give us excellent insights into acclimatization and ecology.

It takes a while to get out to this rural area in Cipauba, Piaui (a state in Brazil), but I find very little trash along the roads.

These are a deeply religious people, who hold frequent Bible services on their own and look forward to the monthly visit of a priest.

Within the loving confines of a small rural school, I discover confident and brilliant students, who have obviously received a lot of personal attention since their very first day in preschool.

In Mineiros, the children and families have been preparing for a good long time Ö and it shows. Festival dances are lively and very well done. Some of the regional dances resemble traditional U.S. square dances.

Typical foods prepared by the mothers are really delicious. I find it very inspiring to spend time with these families, sometimes in their own simple homes.

Enthusiastic and creative mothers are showing the world how to live with dynamism and hope in the midst of great challenges. In true CFCA spirit, there is an openness and tenderness between staff and children.

We really enjoyed an hourís interview in Portuguese and Spanish on Radio El Dorado in Mineiros.

It was facilitated by Dom Elias, host, with translation help from young Benedictine priest Dom Rodrigo (a fine linguist and friend of CFCA); Eutimia, Mineiros project coordinator; Cristina; and myself.

I ask for your prayers as we begin Walk2gether in the north of Chile. Please know of our love.

Bob