Nov 22 2011

‘Spirit of love’ infuses Kenya/Uganda mission awareness trip

By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison in Nairobi

CFCA sponsor Susan Colton hugs her sponsored child, Ritah, in Uganda

Susan Colton hugs her sponsored child, Ritah, in Uganda.

Each mission awareness trip stands out from the rest. The recently concluded trip was no exception.

The 12-day trip around CFCA projects in Kenya and Uganda started on a high note with 18 trip participants in good spirits and excitement as they touched ground in Africa.

The orientation day set the pace for the six days that the sponsors would be in Kenya. Here they met and interacted with staff members and learned more about the Nairobi project.

A visit to the Nairobi coordinating office and the Kangemi outreach program gave them a chance to see how CFCA works.

It was exciting to see their eyes light up as they experienced a deeper understanding of the program.

A day was set aside for sponsors to have fun with their sponsored friends at one of Nairobiís parks, well known for its serenity.

Everyone participated in the games, and the sponsors had an opportunity to teach us a new dance game called the ìHokey Pokey.î Everyone joined in and echoes of laughter filled the air.

The shade of the leafy green trees, the gentle breeze blowing softly, the birds whistling, even nature seemed to be enjoying this day filled with so much joy and love.

As I looked around, I could see a sparkle in the sponsored friendsí eyes as they unwrapped the gifts given to them by the sponsors and shared ìthank-youî hugs.

It was evident that the bond they all share is deep and goes beyond the many miles between them. In my eyes, they are a family.

A big, beautiful family

During the cultural day, the sponsors were adorned with beautiful fabric to initiate them into our African culture.

CFCA sponsor Cheri Duchrow, right, dances with women from the CFCA mothers groups in Nairobi, Kenya.

Cheri Duchrow, right, dances with women from the CFCA mothers groups in Nairobi, Kenya.

It was a colorful day with traditional tunes. Everybody put their best foot forward.

The cutting of the cake marked the end of a beautiful day. With every bite we were reminded of the beautiful, big family that CFCA is.

In Kenya, my highlight was during one of the reflections.

Former sponsored friends joined us and gave testimonies of their lives and how CFCA has impacted them.

I have had the honor of interacting with many sponsored friends, but their stories are always different. They always leave a lasting impact on my heart.

Jacinta, a young lady working with CFCA who has been a beneficiary for seven years, narrated her story to us. Everyone in the room was moved to tears.

ìI donít know what would have become of my life,î she said. ìI would not have come this far had my sponsor, my second mother, not believed in me. I had lost all hope in life.”

CFCA sponsor Cecilia Spearing meets her sponsored child, Levis, in Kenya.

Cecilia Spearing meets her sponsored child, Levis, in Kenya.

These words reminded me of CFCA, not as a sponsorship program but as a family, always there to lend a helping hand in times of need; a family that believes in you when you hardly have faith in yourself.

After six days in Nairobi, we headed to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.

From zero to hero

I was overwhelmed with the warm reception we received everywhere we went. The happy faces, songs and dance made me feel at home.

Meeting with CFCA sponsored friends and talking to them was an enlightening experience. Looking at those I met and seeing their joy filled my heart with so much gladness.

I remember one young man saying, ìI have been transformed from zero to hero.î

One experience that will forever remain with me is when one sponsor, Kathy, met with her sponsored child, Proscovia.

The moment we walked into the home, the family was waiting for us with open arms.

Proscoviaís mother broke down in tears, and as she knelt at Kathyís feet, she constantly thanked her for everything she had done for her daughter and the family.

 CFCA sponsor Kathy and Proscovia's mother embrace.

Kathy and Proscovia's mother embrace.

I tried to hold back my tears, but not for long. In the two years that I have been part of the CFCA family, I have never witnessed such a moving encounter.

Kathy was speechless. It was all very overwhelming.

She later told me, ìRegina, I dreamt of this day, but I never expected this. I am very humbled.î

Proscovia was excited to meet Kathy. She held on tightly to her hand and showed her around her home.

As they walked together hand in hand, Bobís words came into my mind: ìBy walking with them, we are saying you are not alone.î

Indeed, Proscovia and the rest of our sponsored friends are not alone. As the trip ended, I had a new understanding of the CFCA Hope for a Family program.

The spirit of love in the CFCA family during this trip will remain in my heart for years to come.

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14 thoughts on “‘Spirit of love’ infuses Kenya/Uganda mission awareness trip”

  1. Regina – great post! It was a blessing to meet you and all of the CFCA staff and sponsored beneficiaries. Everyone went to great lengths to welcome and meet us and to celebrate with us the fact that we are all God’s creation. I saw the face of God shining through the faces of so many individuals that I met along the way. I am humbled to be adopted into my African families. Meeting the other sponsors on the trip was another blessing from God. I can’t wait to visit again God willing. I will need to practice my dance moves until that time. If anyone is hesitating about taking a Mission Awareness trip please don’t. Lives will be changed, hearts will be broken and you will see the face of God!

    1. Cheri, through sponsors like you we have seen God’s love. We thank you for all you are doing.Hoping to see you on another trip, your dancing skill were very impressive! God be with you always.

  2. Regina, Thanks for the post. Surely reflective of what we all encountered during the recently concluded MAT – CFCA, A Family of Compassion…Long live CFCA

  3. Thanks Regina.. Its such an exiting experience when families meet their sponsors…Its one of the signs Of God presence in their lives. Long live CFCA

  4. Regina, Ed and I are still reliving our beautiful trip to Africa. Each experience, each day was a highlight. And finally meeting our beloved Ritah after 11 years of corresponding with her, and meeting and getting to know her entire family, was overwhelming.

    We never want to forget one moment or one person who made this trip so memorable. We hold you all closely in our hearts. Sue and Ed

    1. Thank you Susan and Ed for being part of the beautiful family,CFCA. We all hold you close to our hearts too and wish you all the best.God bless you for all you do!

  5. Granddaughter Regina, what a beautiful article. Tomorrow we here in the US will celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. I am sure we (all of us who made this trip) will be thanking God profusely for all the blessings we received as a result and will be praying for continued success of CFCA Kenya and Uganda. May God love and keep you all safe and close.

    Kathy

    1. Grandmother Kathy, it was beautiful sharing the moments of the trip with you. I am grateful to God for allowing me be a part of a wonderful family, CFCA. Grandmother,in my heart you will forever remain and memories of times shared I will always cherish. May God keep you safe and bless you as you continue walking with CFCA.

  6. Thanks alot Regina for the post, such stories bring back memories of the trip in us. Glory be to God who made this trip a success

  7. Regina . . . thank you for your stories that take us deeply into the lives of our loved ones in Africa. Today, I wish you a beautiful birthday and send you my love and especially my prayers on this your special day!

    1. Marcia! Thank you so much for having me on your mind and in your heart,more so for remembering my birthday! I hope its not too late to say “thank you”.
      I wish u a very happy and blessed new year,full of God’s blessings. You are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Regina and all other participants on the Kenya/Uganda MA trip! What an experience to share in the lives of our families in Africa; and to meet friends from the USA who know the joys of sponsorship. Being a sponsor has been a big part of my life for 22 years and I hope for many more. I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you and will keep you in my prayers. Stephanie

    1. Thank you Stephanie! it was a joy spending time with you and the other sponsors. I wish you well and hope to see you on another trip. Till then, God bless you in abundance.

  9. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about our trip to Kenya and Uganda and think about and pray for every single person on the trip, each staff member and all the beautiful wonderful people we met. I feel so connected to everyone through this experience. We’re preparing for our Thanksgiving holiday here in the US and we are truly thankful for each and every one of our brothers and sisters there. God bless you all. Love, Susan

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