Tag: Honduras

Nov 1 2010

Roundtable sparks discussion among sponsors, sponsored members

By Manuel Pineda, project coordinator, Santa Barbara, Honduras

Jeanne Quackenbush

Jeanne Quackenbush, a sponsor on the CFCA mission awareness trip, hugs one of the sponsored youth at the roundtable discussion.

Forming community in a world where individualism dominates family, social and business relationships stands as one of the greatest challenges we face at CFCA.

Our goal of building communities of compassion is ongoing and systematic as we need to promote a culture of life and values for families, society and the world.

During the June 2010 mission awareness trip, the CFCA project in Santa Barbara organized a roundtable discussion as part of the process of understanding the broader CFCA world.

This developed out of the necessity to place sponsored members, mothers, project teams and sponsors face to face to share, ask questions and learn from different perspectives the rights and responsibilities that each has in this family.

Youth asked sponsors about issues that helped them get a better idea of sponsorsí expectations of their sponsored friends.

Why did they make a commitment to a person that they had never met? What news that you receive from your sponsored friends makes you most happy or sad?

Reyna, who will graduate with a degree in education this year, shared about a change in her worldview: ìMy sponsor has helped me a lot. He has accompanied me in my life and has filled the role of a father that I never had. This has made me understand that now I have to be committed to others.

Lidia, a former scholar and now a member of the Santa Barbara staff, shared: ìIn the most difficult times of my life, when I felt that even my goals had died, CFCA was at my side. … Now I am committed on this team to give my best and serve so that others can achieve their goals and succeed in life.

Sponsors reflect that this learning opportunity was both a favorite and humbling moment.

Rebecca shared that she was impressed with the confidence and leadership the youth demonstrated in organizing the event and was impacted by the articulate way they expressed their hopes and dreams in sophisticated goals.

Roundtable in Honduras

A roundtable discussion takes place between sponsors and sponsored members at a June 2010 CFCA mission awareness trip to Honduras.

Jeanne writes of her surprise to learn that the mothers we met in the roundtable discussion had the same concerns and worries that mothers in the United States have about raising teenagers in these times. They want what I and most of my friends want: to raise happy, well-adjusted, Christian adults.

Mothers, project team members, sponsors and sponsored participants left assured that in this journey, there is always someone by their side encouraging and supporting them.

They understand the generosity they have received in life should be shared with others in this world.

Oct 11 2010

Sponsorship legacy passes from mother to daughter

We enjoy hearing from sponsors about their mission awareness trips, and this story especially moved us. Mari Wrightís mother started sponsoring Andrea in Honduras when Andrea was only 2 years old. She never visited Andrea, but wrote to her regularly. Mari decided to continue the sponsorship after her mother died in 2003. This year, Mari visited Andrea for the first time and discovered a precious letter that her mother had written back in 1999. Mari recounts her experiences in the following post.

This summer I was so fortunate to be able to go on a mission awareness trip to Honduras, my first time to visit any CFCA project. I went to meet Andrea, the child I have been sponsoring since 2003.

Andrea and Mari

Andrea, second from left, and Mari, second from right, celebrate at a CFCA birthday party for sponsored friends.

The way I became a sponsor is a story worth telling. In 1998 a devastating hurricane killed many people and did horrendous damage to the small country of Honduras.

My mother, a devout Roman Catholic and resident of Kansas, heard about CFCAís work to help the people there. She wanted to contribute and decided to sponsor a child.

Andrea was then 2 years old. Every year when a photograph came, Mom would show it to me, along with letters written by Andreaís mother.

When my mother died in 2003, I decided to continue the sponsorship.

Before long Andrea learned to write letters, herself. She often would ask me if I could ever come to meet her. Finally this past summer I was able to do so.

From the moment my plane landed in Honduras I felt my motherís blessings close around me. The CFCA project leader, who met me at the airport, exclaimed, ìYou are going to be able to see your child three times, the most of anyone on this trip!î

Our first meeting was at the whole-day celebration held for visiting sponsors, the children and parents ó held at a water park not far from the airport and our hotel.

We spent a wonderful, relaxed day playing and getting to know one another.

When our group went to Andreaís home a few days later, she showed me a letter she had received in 1999 from my mother in Momís own beautiful handwriting.

They had kept the letter and treasured it all the years.

I think all of us had tears in our eyes as I read aloud the sweet message.

Stacy, a representative from the CFCA office in Kansas City, was with us that afternoon and urged me to write this story.

The next day I was in a group of sponsors attending a typical CFCA birthday party for all the children whose birthdays were in that three-month period.

Since Andreaís brother was one of them, she was invited to come too. We sat together and talked in a more easygoing manner as our friendship grew.

Then when it was time for the children to go, there wasnít room on the bus for all of them, so Andrea and her brother were allowed to stay.

One of the CFCA staff drove them home later after finishing the cleanup. That meant I got to spend even more time with her. I was so lucky! I felt I really got to know her and her family.

Andrea and her mother

Andrea and her mother meet Mari.

All the activities planned for us during the trip made plain how much our small monthly contributions are valued by the recipient families.

The very hard-working staff of the CFCA project ó all residents of the area and citizens of Honduras ó are a true inspiration. They create the incredible effectiveness of the program.

Andreaís project leader, has known her family over the many years that he has worked with CFCA.

Even though he is responsible for hundreds of children and their families, he remembers the histories and details of each one. He treated her and her brother with such care. And he welcomed me warmly into their community.

I have been tremendously enriched by this experience. I truly feel that I have a goddaughter now in Honduras.

Thanks, Mom!

Jun 1 2010

Please pray for families affected by storm

As many of you may know already, Tropical Storm Agatha hit Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador this weekend with devastating results.

Today, we received word that five sponsored children from CFCA’s Atitlan project in Guatemala are confirmed dead from mudslides, with four sponsored children still missing. This is updated from our news story posted yesterday. Our policy is not to release names of the deceased until we are able to contact their sponsors. Projects in Honduras and El Salvador have not reported any deaths.

Staff members in all three countries are still assessing damages. We will update you as we receive more information from the field.

Please pray with us for the precious children who lost their lives and for the healing and comfort of their families, communities and sponsors. We also pray that the four missing children will be found, and for the recovery of all those affected by the storms.

For more details, please see the news story on our website.

Sponsors and others wishing to help may donate to CFCAís Disaster Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations to this fund are sent to CFCA projects to help individuals and families affected by disasters. Funds donated are used where they are most needed, and CFCA retains discretion as to the use of the funds. In addition to emergency relief, contributions may be used for long-term assistance.

Feb 18 2010

Olga’s walk

By Dani Pollock, who is currently volunteering with CFCA in Honduras.

I arrived back in Honduras on Jan. 16, 2010, just in time to join up with the Santa Rosa project’s portion of Walk2gether. After volunteering with the Santa Rosa project for 10 months, I was reassigned to Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala in June for six months because of the political crisis that had erupted in Honduras. Thankfully, everything went smoothly with the elections, and I was able to return to Honduras.

OlgaI was greeted by the familiar faces of the Santa Rosa staff, members of the Guatemalan staff and many sponsored individuals and their families. One woman in particular stuck out to me, Olga. I have known Olga since I began volunteering in September 2008. Olga has been a part of the CFCA family for seven years and has three children who are sponsored. I came to know Olga because she was always in the office sweeping, washing dishes, making coffee: she wanted to do whatever she could to show her gratitude to CFCA.

I talked to Olga while we were walking, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to spend time chatting with her after my long absence. The participating walkers from the CFCA communities were walking a maximum of 10 kilometers, so I was surprised when Olga continued walking after the others had stopped. Yet, the next day, and the next, and everyday throughout the week, Olga was walking with us.

OlgaAs the days passed, it became very clear how important this walk was to Olga. She began suffering greatly from the varicose veins in her legs. The veins became very swollen, and there was concern of them rupturing. However, Olga kept walking, limping along and overcoming her pain. Even when we were finally able to convince her to ride in the support vehicle for a bit, she would not stay in the car for more than 10 or 15 minutes. When I had the opportunity to ask her why she didnít want ride, she shared with me that this walk was something she was doing as an offering for her children’s sponsors, whom she has never met.

The walk was something she wanted to do to thank the sponsors who have helped change her family’s life. Olga said that without CFCA and the sponsors, her children would be unable to go to school. She and her husband simply do not make enough money to pay for their children’s educational expenses. Olga herself did not have the chance to attend school because of similar circumstances. For this reason, Olga realizes the great opportunity her children have been given through CFCA to help them move forward in life.

Olga says, ìWalk2gether is a walk of love.î It is not only a walk showing the love Bob Hentzen and CFCA have for the people being served in these countries Ö it is also a walk that sends its love all the way to the sponsors, wherever they may be.

The sponsored members and their families are walking to support Bob and to show their thanks and love to CFCA and their sponsors. Those who participate in the walk are saying CFCA has made a difference in their lives, and they will walk in the hot or cold, up mountains, with blisters and even painful varicose veins as their way of saying, “Thanks for your help” and, “I love you.” Just as Olga has shown us.

Feb 10 2010

A call from the Philippines

VeronWhenever Veron Telar, Manila project coordinator in the Philippines, can access the Internet, she tries to send email updates about Walk2gether to Trisha Pitts, the regional director for the Philippines. Veron is walking through Central America with Bob and the Walk team.

Feb. 6, 2010

Dear Ma’am Trisha,

Thank you for the very inspiring message and for sharing my journey with the CFCA. Thank you also for the appreciation, prayers and support of everyone in Kansas and in the projects.

We are now here in Nicaragua and have finished our first 40 kilometers here yesterday. So far, we have walked 1,051 kilometers after crossing the mountainous 575 kilometers of Honduras. It was a great time walking with the Honduran CFCA sponsored families and staff in the projects. I am privileged to meet my co-coordinators and the rest of each project team.

I deeply appreciate your support to the Manila project team as you are constantly communicating with my team.

We received a call from the Philippines last week during the mission awareness trip to Antipolo. It was really a great joy for me to talk with Ma’am Malou (Antipolo project coordinator) and share with them some of my journey and experiences on the Walk. Sir Bob also gave his message to the Philippines team. I believe they are having a wonderful mission awareness trip.

My prayer is that this year’s trip brings hope, joy and life-giving experiences to the sponsors, CFCA families and to all my co-workers in the Philippines. I am very proud to represent them in Walk2gether, and also all of our co-workers in Kansas and in projects around the world. It is very inspiring to walk, as every co-worker of each project that we have visited has requested me to continue walking for them. I am very thankful and will always be appreciative for this great opportunity provided by my CFCA family.

This is all for now. I will be in touch again in the next few days. I hope my emails do not take most of your time. I just want to tell my experiences in this beautiful journey. I would like to add that the Walk, to me, is a healing process of the many challenges in my personal and work experiences, and I am very hopeful that this will surely be a great success for me and for every CFCA community, co-worker and sponsors, as well.

Thank you very much. My best regards to everyone.

Sincerely,

Veron

Jan 27 2010

Greetings from the roads of Honduras

Dear friends, greetings from the roads of Honduras in Central America.

The Honduran mountains make for a difficult trek.Walk2gether continues and, step by step, we are overcoming the mountains of Santa Barbara and La Esperanza, walking at an altitude of approximately 9,000 feet above sea level.

Some of the walkers have begun to experience the wear and tear from their efforts, such as blisters and chapped lips; however, their spirit continues, strong and unbreakable.

On Jan. 24, we arrived at the area of La Paz. Because the difficulty of the altitude, mountainous terrain and roads limited our progress, we were unable to cover the full 40 kilometers planned per day. So during our rest day, on Jan. 25, we had to go back and cover the 16 unwalked kilometers accumulated from the prior days.

That very same day we decided to suspend Walk2gether for two days, returning to the road on Jan. 28. The reason for this is that the new president of Honduras will be inaugurated on Jan. 27, and many demonstrations are planned for that day. This is a risky situation for us, as any type of demonstration is viewed as political. The local authorities are mobilizing military troops and police to the same roads where we are walking to prevent protesters from entering Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

One little story during our walk: a few days ago, Bob fell while walking on a dirt road. I can report that he suffered no injuries whatsoever. On the contrary, he proved to be in great physical condition, and, at the same time, we discovered that Walk2gether will continue either walking, jogging, running or rolling down the road.

My best to all,

Manuel Pineda
CFCA Santa Barbara Project Coordinator

Dec 23 2009

Walk2gether begins in one week

The walking begins in one week!

On Dec. 29, CFCA President Bob Hentzen will embark on Walk2gether, an 8,000-mile, 16-month journey through 12 countries in Latin America.

CFCA staff and BobExcitement and anticipation are building as families and CFCA staff in Guatemala prepare to bid Bob and his fellow travelers “Buen Viaje.” More than 65 sponsors participating in the mission awareness trip will also be on hand for the launch.

Meanwhile, CFCA staff in Kansas gave Bob an official send-off when he visited the headquarters in late November. Read more here.

Check out the new Walk2gether website, where you can follow Bob on an interactive map, and explore links to his electronic journals and to videos, slideshows and stories about the realities, people and activities in the countries he visits. You can also send messages of support and encouragement that Bob will share with the families of sponsored members and the CFCA staff in the communities he visits.

Walk2gether is a way to help counterbalance the isolation of people living in poverty, and show them that someone cares. The walk will help build community and strengthen the bonds of unity between CFCA’s sponsored members, sponsors and staff. It will also symbolize and promote the unity of countries, races, languages, genders and creeds. Visit Walk2gether.org to learn more.

Aug 24 2009

A thankful trip

By Kathy Cvetko, CFCA sponsor

Imagine walking a gauntlet of men, women and children who are thanking you for the help you have given them. At the beginning of these lines, children are waving American and Honduran flags. At the end, they are escorting you to front-row seats at a Honduran cultural extravaganza rivaling any off-Broadway performance you’ve ever seen.

That is only one of the many extraordinary occurrences that my family and I had on our June 2009 mission awareness trip to Project Ocotopeque, Honduras. However, it serves as a relevant starting point for the story of our visit.

The theme of giving thanks was revisited again and again. At times, it left us sponsors feeling both confused and amazed at such appreciation. Most of us were just as much, if not more, thankful to our sponsored friends for allowing us to experience the full beauty of giving. And yet, looking into the eyes of the people of Project Ocotopeque, we sensed only their deepest sincerity at finally being able to meet us and tell us with a look and a smile that, “It means so much to me that I matter to you!

YessikaOur story of connection with Project Ocotopeque began in 1998, when we first laid eyes on a picture of Yessika del Carmen. We had just finished listening to Jim and JoAnne Rogers speak about a sponsor trip they had completed, and they were inviting those in the audience to sponsor a child or elderly person.

Three things struck my husband and me as reasons to say ìyesî: 1. We could afford the amount each month; 2. CFCA did not advertise, so more of the contributions would go to the sponsored friend; and 3. The organization helped both children and the aging in poor countries across the globe.

We asked our daughter and son, then ages 12 and 7, to help us pick out a child or elderly person who needed a sponsor. They took this decision very seriously as they carefully reviewed each folder. They finally agreed upon a 10-month-old, beautiful baby girl named Yessika.

So, began a lifelong association with a little girl more than 3,000 miles away from our home in Portland, Ore. It was delightful to receive pictures of her every year and to read letters about her and from her as she learned to write. Admittedly, we wrote much less frequently and didnít send pictures. Still, she was always in the back of our minds, and weíd pray that she was thriving and getting the care and love she needed and deserved.

In 2003, my mother, Helen Wyninegar, passed away at the age of 86. She left us a small sum of money, and she was such a giving person that it seemed a fitting memorial for us to use that money to take a sponsor trip to Honduras to meet Yessika.
Read more

Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

Aug 3 2009

Honduras update

Late last week we received an update about the political crisis in Honduras from three of our five Honduran projects. All three reported they are continuing to operate and provide benefits.

Please continue to keep your sponsored friends, CFCA staff and all people of Honduras in your thoughts and prayers through this turmoil.

To read the entire news story, please refer to this link.