Tag: mission awareness trip

Jul 2 2012

Want to visit your sponsored child or aging friend in Chile?

Do you sponsor a child or aging friend in Chile? Or are you just interested in going to Chile with CFCA? If so, we’d love for you to consider coming on our Sep. 28-Oct. 7 mission awareness trip!

We need a minimum number of travelers to go on this trip in order for it to be cost-effective. If we do not meet this minimum requirement, we unfortunately have to cancel the trip.

(Quick note: A CFCA trip is not a traditional mission trip. You will not be building houses or working in CFCA projects. A mission awareness trip is an in-depth immersion experience that will bring you face to face with the realities of CFCA families. If you also sponsor there, you’ll have an opportunity to meet your sponsored friend.)

So far our trip this year is just one person away from our minimum requirement. A few sponsors who originally signed up have had to cancel because of other time and scheduling conflicts.

The trip cost is $475 per person. Food, lodging and most in-country transportation are included. Airfare is not included.

If you’re interested in going, you can always download a registration packet from our website. Complete one application form per participant, read and sign the code of conduct, and return them along with a non-refundable $100 deposit per person to: CFCA, 1 Elmwood Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66103, Attn: Trip Coordinator.

Other ways to sign up are to call our trip coordinators at 800-875-6564 or email trips@cfcausa.org.

We’d love to know before July 23 whether anyone else is interested in coming. Feel free to share this information with anyone else you know who may be interested.

Thanks so much!

Jun 9 2012

Trip to Colombia: ‘An honor to be a sponsor for your children’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

From my recent report from Medellin and Cartagena, please allow me to offer a little general information about CFCA in Colombia:

From the northern border with Venezuela to the southern border with Ecuador, we’ve walked every kilometer of Colombia, this wonderful country.

(Editor’s note: This is a reference to Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile solidarity walk that Bob and CFCA staffers undertook through 12 Latin American countries. The walk lasted from December 2009 to June 2011.)

I remain deeply grateful for all the blessings, prayers and solidarity.

Colombia is a big piece of the Lord’s creation. In size it is number 4 in Latin America after Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

Colombia is special to me and to my family. I first landed here in 1960 as a Christian Brother missionary teacher.

I was assigned to Colegio La Salle, Cartagena. I have many wonderful memories of my students and fellow teachers at La Salle.

Since Cristina and I sponsored the first CFCA child, Florelia Delgado (Bogota project), CFCA-Colombia has grown to include 19,349 children and 2,179 elderly friends.

In addition, we currently have over 1,000 Colombian children on our waiting list for sponsorship. Project Bogota serves some 6,500 families in both urban and rural areas.

Before the sponsors arrived

Cristina and I enjoyed an inspiring day at the CFCA Center in Bogota on the Friday before the sponsors’ arrival. Read more

May 25 2012

Colombian mother to sponsors: ‘You represent hope for our families’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

From the northern border with Venezuela to the southern border with Ecuador, we’ve walked every kilometer of Colombia, this wonderful country.

(Editor’s note: This is a reference to Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile solidarity walk that Bob and CFCA staffers undertook through 12 Latin American countries. The walk lasted from December 2009 to June 2011.)

I remain deeply grateful for all the blessings, prayers and solidarity.

CFCA in Colombia

Colombia is special to me and to my family. I first landed here in 1960 as a Christian Brother missionary teacher.

I was assigned to Colegio La Salle, Cartagena. I have many wonderful memories of my students and fellow teachers at La Salle.

Since Cristina and I sponsored the first CFCA child, Florelia Delgado (in the CFCA project in Bogota), CFCA in Colombia has grown to include 19,349 children and 2,179 elderly friends.

In addition, we currently have 1,552 Colombian children on our waiting list for sponsorship.

Our CFCA family in Colombia includes five major projects (Antioquia, Bogota, Cartagena, Cali and Quibdo).

All staff members at our Antioquia project (together with a few spouses and babies) were on hand to welcome the sponsors at the CFCA central office in Medellin. Read more

May 14 2012

Enveloped in the love of Guatemalan sponsored children, families

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

The sinsonte birds are singing their hearts out, welcoming the early rains. They also welcome 35 CFCA sponsors, their hearts ready to learn and to share.

Excited children, elderly and families lift their hearts in prayers of gratitude for their sponsors.

In nine different regions across Guatemala, a dedicated CFCA staff serves an estimated 89,000 children and elderly. More than 500 families wait in hope to belong to CFCA.

God knows this is sacred ground, made so by the sacrifice of countless martyrs and the daily sacrifices of humble, hard-working people.

We are here to listen. May we see much more than poverty. May we see firsthand the realities of our families.

May we remain open to learn about their heroic efforts to walk that path out of poverty, hand in hand with our sponsors.

Remembering the martyrs

We remember in a special way the testimony and martyrdom of Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi 14 years ago: April 26, 1998.

Our attendance at Holy Mass at the Cathedral de la Asuncion Guatemala City draws our attention immediately to the thousands of names, mostly indigenous, etched for years into the massive pillars surrounding this historical structure, etched for life into our hearts. Read more

Apr 12 2012

Costa Rica trip shows sponsored child’s renewed hope

CFCA sponsors visit sponsored child in Costa Rica

Susan, Alan and Chuck on a mission awareness trip in Costa Rica.

Charles and Susan Proesel are longtime CFCA sponsors and volunteers. They have six sponsored friends and travel on mission awareness trips to visit them.

Here’s a wonderful testimony from Susan that illustrates the beauty of the friendships that have formed between the Proesels and one of their sponsored children, Alan, in Costa Rica.

In March, we were finally on our way to our long-awaited CFCA mission awareness trip to Costa Rica, “the land of eternal spring.”

This trip would be to meet our sponsored child Alan and his family. We were looking forward to a breath of spring after our long Midwest winter, but what we found was certainly not what we expected.

Costa Rica is a land of many climates, and the western part of the country that we traveled to was parched and hot as a result of the usual dry season. Read more

Apr 7 2012

Growing in grace and peace on trip to Costa Rica

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

Heartfelt greetings from this beautiful country.

We are excited to share these days with sponsored friends, their families, sponsors and staff ó inspiring people on a very real journey.

The CFCA community in Costa Rica has made us feel very much at home. “We would like to live this mission awareness trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of life.”

Note: Photo credits go to CFCA staff members in our project in San Jose.

In Costa Rica, we are honored to be able to work with over 7,000 families. Another 500 families have applied to belong to CFCA.

Costa Rica is considered a paradise for ecotourism. We are fortunate to experience many beautiful parts, but we also experience dramatic contrasts.

This trip is a real experience of pilgrimage, which implies joy, sadness, tiredness, pain and hope. Read more

Apr 6 2012

‘Blessing wrapped in a challenge’: Sponsor visits the Philippines

By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor

In 2007 my wife, Jayne, and I began sponsoring Khain, then age 10. We enjoy a wonderful relationship through the letters we exchange on a regular basis.

Steve Taylor with Khain and Anjo in the Philippines

Khain, Steve Taylor and Anjo on the CFCA mission awareness trip to the Philippines in January 2012.

Jayne and I look forward to receiving the letters Ö even the one where Khain, age 14, gently questioned why I have not written for roughly 7 months, but she also offered an excuse for me, “You are probably very busy with work.”

I can honestly say I’ve never been so pleased about a reprimand. We loved that she looked forward to the letters, even enough to ask for them.

This gentle reprimand strengthened our relationship and made us think about Khain’s maturity and our interest in her future. We wanted to focus on her long-term future.

To match Khain’s maturity, Jayne and I transitioned our letters from general news to asking more about her goals and ambitions.

In addition to encouraging her to do well in school, we also determined we could help her with college or technical training costs after high school.

We decided the best way to communicate our offer was face to face during the 2012 CFCA mission awareness trip to the Philippines.

Now here’s the challenge. The day prior to visiting Khain and her family at their home, I was informed Khain had left home and dropped out of school for a month while only 14.

Fortunately, she returned home and is back in school. Now the long-term vision for college changes to ensuring she finishes high school. Read more

Apr 5 2012

Couple visit sponsored friend in Kenya, connect across cultures

Fred and Scheryn Pratt have sponsored nine children over the years with CFCA. One of them, Newton, is pursuing an education in art with the help of CFCA and the Pratts, who contribute to his art school fees in addition to sponsorship.

Here is an excerpt of a conversation our correspondent Natasha Sims recently had with Scheryn about their sponsorship experience.

CFCA mission awareness trip - Newton and Scheryn Pratt

Newton and Scheryn Pratt on a 2010 mission awareness trip to Kenya. The Pratts have sponsored Newton for six years

I heard you got to visit Newton’s home and school. What was that like?

It was very eye opening. He goes to the Buru Buru Art Institute, and it’s a college.

It’s very nice with a lawn and grounds and nice buildings, and we toured the school. And that was just like a typical college, but small ñ not big like in the U.S.

Well, his home is in a very poor slum. It is one small room for three people: his older brother, his mother and himself.

It’s crowded in the sense that there’s so little space and there’s very little furniture.

When I say one room, I mean 12×12 or 8×8, so it’s small. It’s on the third floor of an apartment building.

There was one light bulb hanging from the ceiling, but the power had been turned off so they had no electricity. The neighborhood is full of trash ñ you know, nothing growing, just mud and dirt. Read more of Scheryn’s interview

Apr 2 2012

Longtime CFCA sponsors: ‘Our family’ in Nicaragua, part 2

From left are Harvey Correia; his son, Michael; Claudia, the Correias' sponsored child; Linda, Harvey's wife; and Timoteo, Claudia's father. This picture was taken at Claudia's quinceañera.

Last week Harvey Correia wrote a beautiful blog post about his family’s first mission awareness trip to Nicaragua, where they met their sponsored child, Claudia, and also sponsored two more children: Juan Francisco and Neyling. Here he recounts the story of how Claudia and her “family” from the U.S. got to celebrate her quinceaÒera,the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and transition into adulthood.

We enjoyed visiting Claudia so much in 2009 that we returned on a mission awareness trip the following August so we could visit all three of our sponsored children.

We visited Claudiaís home on this trip and met her mother, a sister and a brother. Unfortunately, we learned that her father was quite ill and had been unable to work for nearly a year because of his ailments.

This obviously brought sad feelings, but we also had some new joys by seeing our children bond together while we traveled with CFCA for the next few days.

We treasure a photo of Claudia walking with her arm around Neylingís mother.

During this trip we met a fellow sponsor, and through him we met more sponsors through Facebook contacts.

One of these contacts had photos of a quinceaÒera celebration for their sponsored girl from Nicaragua, and we decided to pursue helping our girl Claudia celebrate her quinceaÒera.

We just returned from our most recent visit to Nicaragua and had a wonderful time. We visited all of our children and had a wonderful time at the quinceaÒera Mass. Read more

Mar 26 2012

Longtime CFCA sponsors: ‘Our family’ in Nicaragua, part 1

By Harvey Correia, CFCA sponsor

Correia family in Nicaragua with CFCA

Claudia, second from right, is sponsored by Harvey and Linda Correia, also pictured. This picture was taken in 2009 when the Correias and their son, Michael, left, visited Claudia in Nicaragua on a CFCA mission awareness trip.

My wife, Linda, and I began our family relatively late so when there was a CFCA presentation in our parish while Linda was pregnant with our only child, Michael, we liked the idea of expanding our family through sponsoring a young child.

We sponsored Claudia, a 17-month-old from Nicaragua, in August 1998 when our son was 6 months old.

Although we were not especially active sponsors in writing to our sponsored friend, we treasured the letters received, first written by an older sister and, as Claudia grew older, from Claudia.

We did pray for Claudia and her family in our daily prayers, and this helped strengthen our bond with Claudia as well as help teach Michael our beliefs in social justice.

The annual photos have been a great treasure and formed a great album showing Claudia’s progress.

We read CFCA articles about mission awareness trips and thought one day it would be nice to meet Claudia. Read more