Guatemala mission awareness trip
Aug. 1-8, 2009
A solidarity walk, including an estimated 1,500 CFCA scholars and families, took place in San Marcos two days before the arrival of the mission awareness trip group, and was televised on three local stations. The next day, the CFCA rural livelihood project turned over 75 young bulls and cows to the San Marcos mothers groups.
CFCA has two projects and 103 subprojects in Guatemala. A total of 94,500 children and aging are sponsored, plus 56 vocations candidates. Those awaiting sponsorship total 5,407.
Lots of inspiration
We are most grateful for the presence in San Lucas of the parish groups of Church of the Risen Christ, Denver, Colo., and Holy Trinity, Lenexa, Kan. A few notes shared by participants:
From Rich Swan: ìThank you, CFCA, for touching my familyís hearts. Kara and Chris are who they are partly because of our first trip back in 2003. Thank you for helping us help you to reach others at at Church of the Risen Christ and in Denver.î
Another sponsor: ìWe all experience Godís love in different ways. I love seeing Godís love and joy in the Guatemalan way of life.î
Another sponsor: ìThe experience I had with my sponsored child was amazing. It warmed my heart to see how much I mean to the family. They were so kind and respectful. I look forward to seeing them for years to come. The experience made me rethink what is important in life.î
From Ilene: ìThis week has been very special for me. I have been able to open myself up to be here in this place and see what is really important in this life. Thank you for a fabulous experience and thanks be to the Holy Spirit for bringing me here.î
Unrest yields blessing
CFCA volunteer Dani Pollock is with us here in San Lucas. The tense political situation in neighboring Honduras has brought us this blessing. She misses everyone in Santa Rosa, and in particular, the girls in Hogar Amparo. We pray with Dani that she will be able to return soon to Honduras.
The CFCA team in Patzun prepared a lovely day for the sponsors. With max participation, the mothers especially showed great confidence and dynamism. Sponsors helped out with the documentation and signatures for clothing and food benefits. Following lunch, we all went out to the rural area to bless and inaugurate the new CFCA home of Dona Margarita, Don Agustin and their seven, young children.
On Aug. 5, we enjoyed a 16-kilometer (about 10 miles) trek from San Lucas Toliman to Santiago.
Staff estimated that there were 1,500 walkersósponsored family members of all ages ñ some still nursing. Even though one of Father Johnís new shoes fell apart, he joined us for the entire trek and then celebrated an outdoor Mass for everyone at the Santiago stadium.
Santa Catarina Palopo
Across Lake Atitlan on ìThe African Queenî (my name for the rented, vintage boat), mothers had sewn together hundreds of cloth sacks for shade. A mother who had just learned to read by syllables gave the welcome speech painstakingly and beautifully. Teens put on a skit about an indigenous courtship process in Santa Catarina. Scholar Tanya sang confidently for us in a strong voice.
ëWhat my sponsored family means to meí
ìLucia has become part of our family. She is the only one in her family to attend school.† She told me she would like to go to the university. This means so much to our family.î ó Sponsor Rita Reale.
ìThe relationship with my sponsored children helps me to understand the command to ëLove the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself.í The relationship takes the focus off of me and puts it on others, which again personifies Jesusí instruction to serve if we want to be truly great in his kingdom.î ó Jody Geary.
So far, 11 of these sponsors have chosen to sponsor additional children. They were able to see them all while here in Guatemala.
Because of the unrest in Honduras and the cancellation of our August mission awareness trip there, Cristina and I will have a week in Kansas City before heading for Nicaragua next Saturday. We wish you Godís blessings, and we are deeply grateful for your solidarity and prayers.