By Nicole Mirti, CFCA sponsor
My family and I started our involvement with CFCA about 10 years ago when a priest spoke at our parish. We were really moved and touched by the work CFCA does for those less fortunate, so we decided we would become sponsors. Upon learning of the countries where CFCA has projects, we chose Colombia. Colombia was an easy choice for us because that is where I was born. I was adopted from Bogota, Colombia, almost 24 years ago, and the country still holds a special place in our hearts.
My family and I sponsor a 7-year-old girl named Wendy, who is part of the Bogota project. We have been her sponsors for about two years. When we first learned of the mission awareness trips, we thought they sounded interesting but had to wait for a summer trip as I am a teacher and my mom also works for a school. I remember when we first got word about the 2009 Bogota mission awareness trip, I was so excited. My parents knew how much I wanted see Colombia and thought this would be a perfect opportunity for us to go and meet Wendy. Unfortunately, my dad had to stay behind and work.
In the weeks prior to our trip, I had a mixture of feelings going through my mind. I was happy, nervous, excited and scared all at once. It would be an amazing experience to see and meet Wendy, but it would also be one of wonderment. I have looked at many pictures and read articles about Colombia, but being there first-hand would be completely different.
A big surprise came when we exited the doors of the El Dorado Airportówe were greeted by Wendy, her mom and baby sister. She was there along with Bob, Cristina, CFCA Bogota project coordinator Judith, and translators Jamie and Lindsey. My mom and I felt so welcomed after meeting everyone and felt an immediate connection with Wendy.
The trip was an amazing experience. One that is extremely difficult to put into words. I consider the trip to be two-fold for me: we got to meet Wendy, and I got to see my birth country. The trip was one only those who had the privilege of going can understandótogether we went on a spiritual journey filled with many laughs, tears, love and appreciation. The feelings I walked away with from that week led me to sponsor a child on my own. I cannot wait to go back to Colombia and see Wendy again and meet my new sponsored child Kevin.
Bob was with us on the trip, and I remember a quote he said on our last day together, ìLife is a pilgrimage.î The people who were on the 2009 Bogota mission awareness trip will always hold a special place in my heart because they were with me on that incredible pilgrimage.