Tag: Philippines

May 23 2012

Sponsored child overcomes challenges of poverty, now graduating college

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.

Here’s one from Jenelyn, who was sponsored as a child and will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in information technology. She’s the oldest in a family of six children.

When I started going to school, I was given a new hope for a better life for my family.

I knew with enough education I could have the right opportunity to reach my dreams for my family, but it wasn’t easy at all.

Jenelyn, sponsored as a child through CFCA in the PhilippinesI have experienced things that almost stole away my dreams and make me realize how hard it is for people like us to achieve our goals. We almost thought it was impossible to get away from this situation.

I experienced having only a single pad of paper for the whole school year, and I had to ask for pieces of paper from my classmates. Same with pencils and crayons, which I always had to borrow.

I also wasn’t able to participate in some of our activities because I had nothing to use or contribute.

My classmates often teased me about the clothes and the slippers I wore because they all looked old and used.

All I did that time was cry because it would be wrong if I fought back. It would only cause more trouble. I never wanted to give my parents additional problems with my situation in school.

Despite all those things, I never stopped believing in the grace of our Father Almighty. I would be just a sore loser if I let those things hinder me in what I wanted to achieve. Read more

May 9 2012

Sponsored friend extends ‘unending thanks’ to sponsors, CFCA

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Raquel, a sponsored child who will soon graduate with a bachelor’s degree in office administration.

My graduation is fast approaching and whether I like it or not, I will soon be leaving CFCA.

Raquel, CFCA sponsored child in the PhilippinesI will be graduating college and will step into a real world. Yes! It is a dream come true!

Nevertheless, I will never forget all the people who have helped me and supported me. People who sat beside me, walked with me, and praised me for every accomplishment I achieved.

Without them, I would never be what I am right now.

December 2003 is the time when I became sponsored through CFCA. I had mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness and happiness.

I even asked myself, what life awaits me in this sponsorship program? What changes will it bring to me?

I took my high school education in a public school. I had to walk about a third of a mile (500 meters) from our house to the main road to catch a jeep going to my school.

My money was always insufficient. My father is a farmer while my mother is a housewife. My mother always borrowed money from our neighbor when I did not have money for my fare.

It was hard ñ but my family never surrendered. Read more

Apr 25 2012

Youth to sponsor: ‘You truly made a difference in my life’

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from John Paul, a former sponsored child who graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education.

I am John Paul, 20 years of age. I have two sisters and a happy family.

I was born with nothing. My parents are farm laborers who found it really hard to send us to school.

John Paul, former CFCA sponsored child in the Philippines During my childhood, I used to cry before I left for school because I had incomplete school supplies and not a penny to buy snacks. Every day the scenario remained the same.

One day while I was playing under the rain, somebody came to our house and said they were there to help my family.

They were recruiting young children in need like me for sponsorship, and I was one of the chosen ones.

When they saw me, my clothes were full of dirt and my hair needed trimming. They immediately asked a few questions to my mother, and it was my first time to hear the word CFCA.

Because of CFCA, my life was changed. Our family’s emotional and financial burden lightened.

I was given the opportunity to have new clothes, school uniforms, supplies, shoes, new backpacks and all other things I was deprived of before I entered this sponsorship program.

Due to this, I became more productive as a student. Along with perseverance and hard work, I graduated elementary school as valedictorian and secondary as one of the honors students. Read more

Apr 17 2012

‘CFCA is the way of God to show his love to me’

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Lea, who is hoping to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Lea, sponsored through CFCA in the Philippines“God is wonderful; he never gets tired of loving us.”

This is the saying that I will never forget. Because I knew and have proved that this saying is very true.

And did you know who taught me that? My sponsor.

Yes! I am one of the sponsored members of Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.

This foundation is the root of who I am now, and what I will be in the future.

Before I became a member of CFCA at the age of 8, I belonged to a poor family. I always heard my father and mother talk about money.

Because I am the oldest daughter in the family, I experienced many difficulties in life. Sometimes, I needed to give what I had to my youngest sister and brothers, even though in the end I am the one will have nothing.

Our home was very far from the town. It was very hard to walk half a mile to school every day, and when it rained, the road became so muddy.

I cannot help laughing when I remember that I always fell down, and I went home with a muddy bath! 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

Mar 20 2012

Celebrating Mass: Sponsored friends in the Philippines

Mass celebrations in Legazpi, Philippines

Communion during Mass celebrations in the Philippines.

What are Mass customs and traditions around the world? In this special blog post, CFCA explores how sponsored children, youth and aging friends in the Philippines celebrate Mass. Thanks to Gari Olavario, CFCA project coordinator in Legazpi, for contributing to this article.

Our mission at CFCA is to serve those living in poverty and recognize the God-given dignity of each person.

Most of our sponsored friends and their families in the Legazpi project are Catholic, and attending Mass every Sunday is their practice to praise and thank God.

Here are some of their thoughts about Mass: Read more

Mar 15 2012

Former sponsored youth shares dreams: ‘Today I dared to win’

The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Carmencita, a former sponsored youth who has graduated from the program.

Carmencita, former child sponsored through CFCA in the Philippines I was very young when I started dreaming. I dreamed of becoming an educator, novelist and news anchor. Such huge dreams, weren’t they?

It never came to me to dream of being a nurse. It just happened unexpectedly; perhaps it’s God’s will.

I was the youngest and only girl in the family, but was not raised to pursue whatever I wanted.

I was raised by my mother who was always in a state of worry over everyday needs. Three children were in school and her two frail siblings (both now are with our Heavenly Father) needed to be fed and clothed continually.

I was 1 when my father died of an undiagnosed disease, and the enormous responsibility of raising all of us fell on my mother’s shoulders.

Thus, new clothes and buying two pencils at a time were only ways of extravagance for my family. Life was not that easy for us.

Like other children, I studied hard because of the rewards I earned from my mother. She would buy a piece of cloth from her meager income every end of the school year when I was a consistent honor pupil, and made it into a nice dress for myself.

I started believing that through studying, one piece of cloth could become throngs of fabulous dresses in a wardrobe. That a single pencil I had could be a whole box of pencils. And that we would no longer worry over everything within our house. Read more

Feb 16 2012

Farewell letters from sponsored children leaving CFCA

CFCA sponsored youth Raul in El Salvador

Raul, CFCA sponsored youth in El Salvador, writes a letter to his sponsor.

Whether the relationship between sponsor and sponsored friend lasts a short period of time or over many years, it is a treasured friendship.

Every day we are privileged to see heartfelt letters of gratitude and appreciation pass between these friends.

Unfortunately, that relationship must come to a practical end someday, though it continues for a lifetime in our hearts and prayers.

We try our best to send our sponsors a farewell letter from their friend leaving the sponsorship program, although this is not always possible.

Below are excerpts from former sponsored children in the Philippines writing their farewell letters to their sponsors. We hope you are as moved and inspired by them as we were. Read more

Feb 15 2012

Reflection on ‘Rise and Dream’ premiere by Bob Hentzen

CFCA President Bob Hentzen traveled with members of the “Rise and Dream” film team to its world premiere at the Thin Line Film Fest in Denton, Texas. This is his reflection about the screening.

Bob Hentzen in the Philippines for "Rise and Dream" concert

In this photo from the CFCA archives, CFCA President Bob Hentzen talks with one of the youth featured in the "Rise and Dream" documentary film after the concert.

I’m confident that when the film festival votes are counted, we will be reaffirmed that “Rise and Dream” is a very good documentary. The spontaneous enthusiasm of all who see it speaks clearly that it is much more.

Everyone in attendance really gets into this story. At the conclusion of the film, we enjoyed such a lively dialogue.

The film festival staff had to ask us to clear the theater and continue elsewhere to make room for the next show.

The film’s executive producer, CFCA’s Paul Pearce, invited the entire audience to gather at the Sweetwater Grill & Tavern down the street.

We so enjoyed one another’s company and the film’s soundtrack harmonies of Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby …”and let the afternoon unfold.”

“This film is connected to the essential elements of being human.” It is a statement of the deepest values affecting millions of people in the Philippines and worldwide.

On the today side, this documentary is timely, as the world studies the moves of powerful nations interested in deposits beneath the archipelagos bordering the South China Sea.

On the transcendental side, the film grabs us all with irresistible human beauty. Youthful energy bursts forth and rides the waves far enough to return. “Can you hear the songs of children all around?” Read more

Jan 19 2012

Can you join us for the world premiere of ‘Rise and Dream’?

Rise and Dream film at Thin Line Film FestGreat news for all who are interested in our upcoming documentary film, “Rise and Dream!”

We recently learned that “Rise and Dream” is an official selection in the 2012 Thin Line Film Fest, an international documentary film festival, which will run from Feb. 10 to Feb. 20 in Denton, Texas.

This will be our world premiere ñ the first time the film will be shown to the public!

If you live in or near the Denton or Dallas/Fort Worth areas or are in the mood for a road trip, please come and see the movie! We know you’ll love the film, and we’re hoping for a packed house to show support for the film and for CFCA.

Rise and Dream will be showing at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Campus Theatre, located one block west of the downtown square: 214 West Hickory St., Denton, Texas 76201. Seating is limited, so we encourage you to get tickets soon. Read more