Mission awareness trip
July 12 – 19, 2008
Alcida and Kevin
Sunday morning in Guatemala City finds us hosting not only the arriving sponsors but a special sponsored family as well. Alcida came to thank the sponsors and especially sponsor Sylvia for all they are doing for her youngest son, Kevin. Alcida has a good husband who works as a stockman in a warehouse.
This loving family has also been confronted with challenges. Kevin, enthusiastic and likable at 14, was diagnosed at age 10 with a serious kidney problemóserious enough that the doctors are currently considering a transplant, with the mother as donor. During his nine years of sponsorship, Kevin has continued to excel in his studies. His hope and dream is to go on to higher studies. Kevinís mother expresses that he is an inspiration to her and to the family.††
At home in Iximche
At the Mayan Ruins of Iximche, we were blessed with a cool and breezy morning. The children, mothers and staff from the CFCA project in Patzun had prepared folkloric numbers. They seemed to fit naturally in our open-air theater. The outfits, dance numbers and songs demonstrate great love and creativity.
Sponsors were able to visit the ruins and then enjoyed a hot lunch under the high pine trees. We take our leave and make our way through the highlands and on to San Lucas Toliman in time for the 5:00 p.m. Mass. We are fortunate to have Father Greg Shaffer here in San Lucas.
My estimate is that over 400 sponsored children, youth, aging, staff and sponsors spent this July day with us. The day was as they sayÖìAlegreî (happy). Every sponsored person was present and accounted for, traveling from many corners of this country. The sponsored shared about their home areas, their families, their hobbies and their studies. Several sponsored children stood before this audience and recited poems they had composed for their sponsors.†
Featuring Israel Itzol
Israel Itzol is one of the many pillars of CFCA Guatemala. As Director of Finance, his responsibilities are great. I personally share a small office with Israel, plus two other members of the finance team. I believe that the calmness and accuracy of Israel comes from his forethought and his Mayan work ethic. He has what co-founder Jerry Tolle used to call ìsits and flash,î the ability to sit down and dedicate oneself to a job until itís done and done well.
Welcome Risen Christ
We are pleased to welcome to CFCA-Guatemala 14 members from Risen Christ Parish in Denver, Colo. With the encouragement and leadership of CFCA advocate Richard Swan, these dynamic young people are on a mission trip to visit their sponsored children and to do service projects in the Parish of San Lucas Toliman.
On to El Salvador
Four of us, including my wife Cristina and myself, leave for El Salvador to join the final days of the mission awareness trip there.