This is the first in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Marcelo’s story
Gabriela is the quintessential leader.
She excels in her studies. She coordinates a church group. And she’s a service scholar and mentor for other sponsored friends in Unbound.
But Gabriela hasn’t always been an all-around leader. She’s come a long way since she was first sponsored at 4 years old.
Best friends Briana Murphy and Megan McLaughlin wanted a way to stay connected when they graduated from high school and went away to different colleges.
They also felt motivated by their faith to contribute for the good of others, so they decided to sponsor a child through Unbound as a way to do both.
Most of the major religious traditions of the world have an appreciation for fasting. While they vary in specific practices, the religions share a recognition of fasting as a sacred discipline that teaches self-control and respect for the gift of sustenance.
Muslims are about to enter into Ramadan (June 17-July 17), the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which they fast daily from dawn to sunset. Ramadan commemorates the presentation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad and is considered one of the most important observances of Islam.
Fatuma is a single mother of nine children, two of whom are sponsored through Unbound. She and her family live in Kenya and are devout Muslims. Recently Fatuma shared with us what Ramadan means to them.
By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Jim and Ginger, a lovely couple who have been a part of the Quaker tradition for more than 40 years. As it so often happens, it was nothing like I thought it’d be.
In the Latin American projects we serve, Holy Week is a time for family, reflection, cultural traditions and ceremonies remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luis Cocon, CFCA communications liaison for Guatemala, sends us pictures and an account of Holy Week as it’s happening right now in Guatemala.
Please note: Our Kansas City office will be closed March 28 and 29 for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
A mystical feeling is in the air as Holy Week processions begin in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, set against a backdrop of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and volcanoes.
Decorations and elaborate handicrafts adorn wooden platforms on which religious images are carried.
Janelle Stamm, accounting specialist for our office in Kansas City, was able to attend the installation Mass for Pope Francis with her daughter, Megan, as part of Megan’s high school senior class pilgrimage to Italy. Here are her thoughts on this historic occasion.
It’s been more than 40 hours since Papa Francesco was installed, and I’m just thrilled.
It. Was. Amazing.
Seeing the Pope up front, receiving communion blessed by him and sharing the entire experience with Megan is priceless.
After the Mass was over, the more than 40 participants on our pilgrimage swapped stories and pictures. Here is one of those stories along with the picture.
While waiting for the Pope to arrive, two of our high school senior girls, Kelsey and Virginia, met a couple who traveled from Argentina to Rome for the sole purpose to have their baby blessed. Kelsey and Virginia helped by handing the baby, named Joseph, to Papa Francesco.
The faith of this couple in Papa Francesco demonstrated by their sacrifice of time and money to travel all that way combined with the faith in others as they handed their baby over is humbling.
It has left a profound impact on all of us who have heard the story thus far and also contributes to my excitement about our new Pope.
Furthermore, it feels like Papa Francesco’s commitment to the poor aligns perfectly with CFCA’s mission. This alignment confirms my belief that the blessings I prayed for CFCA, our sponsors and our sponsored friends and families will be answered.
By Annie Vangsnes, CFCA correspondent
Kumbh Mela in India is the largest spiritual gathering on Earth.
The celebration comes to Allahabad, home to 617 children and families in the CFCA program, every 12 years.
It is a time for Hindu pilgrims across the country and world to gather to take a dip where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet. Bathing in the waters during the festival is believed to bring Hindus holiness and salvation.
An estimated 100 million people are expected to bathe in the waters during this Kumbh Mela.
For sponsored children and their families taking part, the celebration takes much planning and preparation.
Although the festival lasts almost two months, Suman, the mother of sponsored youth Vibhor, said she prepares to have guests for the six main auspicious days. Read more