Tag: Philippines

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

Nov 3 2011

Father inspired sponsored child to envision a better future

Marisol, CFCA sponsored child in the PhilippinesThe CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.

Here’s one from Marisol, who has dedicated her achievements to her parents in gratitude for all they’ve done for her.

When I started studying, my father decided to work as a wood carver in a faraway place to earn enough to sustain our needs.

He rarely had a vacation in a year, only once or twice.

My mother was left to look after us. In spite of all of my parents’ hard work, life was not easy for us. Thatís why it was a big help when I was sponsored through CFCA.

For six years in grade school, I gained honors for which Iíve worked hard. I dedicated it all to my parents because I respect their efforts.

It was an achievement for me as well to show that we can still surpass all the struggles that poverty brought to us.

I was 13 and our youngest was 9 when my father died. It was really painful to lose someone you loved so dearly, but it hurt that we could do nothing about it.

He was suffering from colon cancer but refused to take medication because he worried about the cost of treatment. He suffered all the pain of his illness and kept it to himself all the time.

That particular experience is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to work to give my family a better living so we would not ever have that hurtful experience again. Read more

Oct 28 2011

‘CFCA is a blessing showered by God to us’

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

Here’s one from Jessica, a young woman who struggled to empower herself and her family.

I am blessed with loving and ever supportive parents and siblings. We live in a semi-concrete type of house, with chicken, ducks and a vegetable garden in our backyard.

Even though we encounter hardships, we do not lose hope. God is always there to guide, help, protect and bless us.

I also believe CFCA is a blessing showered by God to us…I became eligible for sponsorship in 1997.

After a month, I was fortunate to become a sponsored child. My family and I felt so much happiness and excitement because a kindhearted couple supported me in my studies and also my family. We felt we were really blessed by God. Read more

Oct 18 2011

Filipino CFCA scholar strives to provide for his family

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

Leoncio, former CFCA sponsored child in the PhilippinesHere’s one from Leoncio Jr., a sponsored youth who graduated this year in consumer electronics.

I am Leoncio Jr., 2011 graduate of a two-year degree in consumer electronics and sponsored for almost 12 years now.

During my younger years, my father earned a living as a construction worker, while my mother stayed at home taking care of the children.

Now since my father is too old to engage in construction work, he drives a three-wheel bicycle (a pedicab, a public-utility vehicle) in the neighborhood just to be able to support our familyís daily basic needs.

I am the youngest child and the only boy. Among the four children, only I was able to reach and finish college. Read more

Oct 3 2011

How CFCA projects worldwide celebrate Christmas, part 3

Previously we interviewed several CFCA projects around the world about last year’s Christmas celebrations for sponsored friends and their families.

Here are answers from three projects in the Philippines: Quezon, Antipolo and Legazpi.

CFCA sponsored children at Christmas celebrations in Antipolo, Philippines

Sponsored children in the Antipolo project, Philippines, at the CFCA Christmas celebration.

How do you select the types of gifts for sponsored children?

Quezon: We choose practical things for sponsored friends to use and celebrate the Christmas occasion with family, in school and during the CFCA Christmas party.

The celebration usually features a theatrical play by sponsored friends, a musical/band presentation and a talent competition.

As we empower and sustain our local livelihood products and services, some CFCA communities started to have their food catered by the livelihood project during this celebration.

Antipolo: Because of the families’ limited income, they often spend their money on food and other high-priority items, and the need for clothing goes unmet. Our clothing gifts were selected to address what sponsored friends requested. These gifts are very meaningful to them.

They wear these gifts at CFCA Christmas parties, school, community gatherings, birthday parties and church. What is amazing is their joy to extend their gifts with their siblings. Sponsored aging friends have shared their gifts with their grandchildren.

Legazpi: Christmas is one of the favorite celebrations, not only by sponsored children but by people of all ages because it brings peace, hope, joy and love. Sponsored members and families marked the Yuletide season as the most-awaited event in their lives.

We selected our gifts based on what parents of sponsored children requested during our annual planning session with project staff members. Read more