Mission Awareness Trip
June 21-28, 2008
On the first day of the trip, a huge number of families waited for us with fireworks, flags and live mariachi music. Max participation of children, scholars, staff, parents, sponsorsóamong them talented singers, dancers and poets.†
CFCA scholars in Ocotepeque, under the direction of staff member Juan Ramon Santos, have formed a very talented dance troupe.
Sewing business thrives
An inspiring testimony was offered on the Monday morning of the mission awareness trip. Dona Albertina and her three children, Lester, Manuel and Tanya, spoke of the challenges of living with a husband and father afflicted with a drinking problem. Albertina learned to be a seamstress through courses offered at CFCA. She now has a growing sewing business operating out of their home. She and the children attribute their more dignified living to the encouragement and help they receive from their sponsors and the CFCA community. Lester graduates this year with a degree in business. Tanya and Manuel are doing very well in 7th and 9th grade.
Sponsors had meaningful experiences with the families they visited, and they listened to powerful personal testimonies. Just in Ocotepeque, 12 new children and one aging person were sponsored on this trip. In addition, this enthusiastic group has requested 74 folders of children and aging people who are waiting to be sponsored. May God bless their efforts.
We were privileged to hear the testimony of the Osorio family. Both mom and dad work hard and produce a modest income for the family of seven. After thethe birth of their first girl, Gabriela, now 16, they were blessed with four more children, Jose, Cristian, Oscar and Eduardo. Luis, the father, is a gentle man made of iron. He makes a modest income hauling firewood from the forest using only a leather forehead strap (mecapal) and ropes. Martha markets door-to-door the fine aluminum bread pans she makes at home.
Outside San Marcos, I visited Douglas who is sponsored by Father Art Kirwin. This intelligent and likeable little boy is being raised by his grandparents, Don Pedro and Dona Evangelina. Children being raised by grandparents is fairly common in Honduras, but the remarkable thing here is that Don Pedro is 103 years old.†
Don Pedro likes to climb on top of the stove and sit close to the fire.
One cow leads to new home
At 36, Paula has experienced the challenges of abandonment and marginalization. Yet, with belief in herself, Paula has assumed control of her own life and that of her four children, including 4-year-old Claudia with Down syndrome. The family was given a cow as a special gift from her childís sponsor. The cow produced a fine calf and is currently giving 12 liters of milk per day. With proceeds from the sale of milk and cheese, Claudia was able to acquire three female pigs. To date, they have produced 21 healthy babies. Sale of the piglets allowed Claudia to purchase a series of chickens, which she sells after 40 days of feeding. This combination of entrepreneurship and accompaniment by the childrenís sponsors has generated enough cash to allow the purchase of a nice piece of property and construction of a home Ö simple, but itís theirs.
Honduran society is rife with economic inequality. Malnutrition, poor housing and infant diseases abound. The country has a youthful population; 50 percent of Hondurans are under the age of 19. But poverty, chronic unemployment and the prospects offered by drug trafficking have contributed to a series of crime waves conducted mainly by gangs known as “maras.”
Thank you for traveling with us in solidarity and prayer.†Godís blessings.