Tag: faith

Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).
Jun 8 2016

Marcelo’s story: Giving through loss

Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).

Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).

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, a sponsored youth and scholarship holder from Honduras.
Feb 26 2016

Learning to lead

Gabriela, a sponsored youth and scholarship holder from Honduras.

Gabriela, a sponsored youth and scholarship holder from Honduras.

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.

Keep reading

Briana-And-Meganfeaturedimage
Jan 1 2016

Childhood friends stay close by sponsoring a child

Briana, left, and Megan, right, hold photos of Ana, the child they’ve sponsored together for more than four years.

Briana, left, and Megan, right, hold photos of Ana, the child they’ve sponsored together for more than four years.

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.

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Sep 25 2015

Mom overcomes hardship, tragedy to stay focused on kids

Ivannia (center) holds Maria and her grandson Aaron, with Jose and Kimberly at her side.

Ivannia (center) holds Maria and her grandson, with Jose and Kimberly at her side.

As a mother raising her children on her own, Ivannia knows she has a long road ahead. She’s already overcome a lot in her life. With support from her parents, her children’s sponsors and a group of mothers from her community in Costa Rica, Ivannia keeps her family moving forward.


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Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.
Jun 17 2015

Fasting for Ramadan

Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.

Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.


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.

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nonprofit work
Jun 11 2014

Experiencing the sacred through silence

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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.


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Apr 19 2013

Resolving to be people of peace in today’s world

Larry Livingston

Sometimes we can’t avoid being confronted with the fragility of human life. How should we respond to acts of horror such as the recent attack at the Boston Marathon? Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director, reflects on this and other events to conclude that even in our frailty and vulnerability, the best of humanity can shine forth.


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Mar 27 2013

Colorful celebrations mark Holy Week in Guatemala

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.

Holy Week parades in Antigua, Guatemala

Decorations and elaborate handicrafts adorn wooden platforms on which religious images are carried.

Holy Week procession symbols in Guatemala
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Mar 22 2013

CFCA staffer reflects on Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass

Pope Francis

A picture Janelle Stamm took of Pope Francis at his inaugural Mass.

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.

Feb 28 2013

Pilgrims celebrate Kumbh Mela festival in India

By Annie Vangsnes, CFCA correspondent

Pilgrims on the Sangam

Hindu pilgrims gather for this year’s Kumbh Mela festival.

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