“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.
What a joy to be back in Africa!
It’s so very encouraging to see the spirit of CFCA growing in this area. In particular, I would like to express my gratitude for the support and solidarity of our African sisters and brothers before, during and after Walk2gether.
(Please note: All photo credits in this report go to Regina Mburu, CFCA’s communications center liaison in Nairobi, Kenya.)
CFCA scholars in Kenya are dynamic, generous and very creative.
Listen to this poetic testimony of CFCA scholar Stephanie, this dynamic young woman from “up country.”
Stephanie has finished her secondary studies and is registered to continue her education, studying psychology at the University of Nairobi.
Once born, twice shy, so they say
But I change the “say” with CFCA
When I was born back in those hills
Beyond the mills
My fate was doomed, so I thought
I didn’t see any hope in my life boat
Searching for restoration and hope
Life was not easy to cope
Though I was always happy because I had God
Who made you and me Öoh my Lord
Gratitude is what dwelleth upon my heart and soul
And each time I give my all
If not for you my, my sponsor
What can I conquerÖ
For you give me strength and courage
Each day I stand on this stage
To present my spoken word
Before the mammoth crowds
I look back at my journey and count blessings on me
And you are one of them
Because my life has never been the same
With you being part of it
And always providing unending support
To me you give me the thought that
Heaven is missing an angel.
Another inspiring story
Meet Samuel, CFCA staff member in our project in Nairobi. (Direct quote edited by Bob.)
“It’s a miracle to have come this far, as I lost my dad due to a quarry accident when I was 7 years old.
“On the burial day of my father, we were kicked out of our rental home. My elder brother was 10, and our small sister was 3.
“We ended up on the streets of Nairobi, after which we were taken in by a children’s home where we grew up.
“When I came to know of CFCA, I was desperate, and I was sure I wanted to die, as all hope in my life had come to an end. Everything around me was speaking in one voice, ‘End it.’
“I met with Peter, the CFCA project coordinator in Nairobi, who took me in and believed in me. At CFCA, they gave me hope to live yet another day. They helped me to advance in my education, and today I am making my life count in my nation and in my generation.
“In addition to my work as a project counselor in CFCA’s project in Nairobi, I am a third-year student at Life Bible School in the U.S., taking an online bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling and psychology.
“I am also a second-year student at St. Paul’s University in Nairobi, taking a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management.
“I am a gospel music writer and vocalist with a third album under way, due to be released in August 2012.
“I am working on a book, due to be completed in a few months. It is an autobiography, with lessons that I have learned from people who have played a major role in making me the person I am today.
“Thank you and God bless you, Bob, and my CFCA family. May God keep you to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Sponsors and families speak
“The day with our sponsored child and her grandmother was like a dream.”
“I can feel how much the staff loves my sponsored elderly friend.”
“They really need someone to sayÖI hear you.”
“I am humbled by their courage and faith.”
“The staff really works well together.”
“We feel your love.”
“It’s inspiring to see how you are holding on to your traditions and roots. Thank you for sharing them with us.”
“Your presence in my home means a whole lot.”
Most of the families we visited had three stones on the ground for cooking and no electricity. In their gratitude, they love to give the sponsors gifts of handwoven baskets.
Sponsored child Emma lost her mother early in life. Her father Aniceto raised his children farming 2.5 acres. He has a nice herd of healthy goats, which he attributes to a CFCA loan.
We wrapped up an afternoon visiting families in the Mathare slum. Impressive reality. We just visited a family where both Dad and Mom are HIV positive, living in one room with eight children and grandchildren. Their sponsored child aspires to be a pilot.
Andy is a special child who can’t walk, but he wakes up sometimes at 3 a.m. singing.
The wild animals we saw on an early morning safari drive live much better than many of the families we saw in the afternoon.
We express our deep gratitude for your solidarity and prayers. Cristina and I will be heading to the Dominican Republic with 28 sponsors.
Please know of our love and gratitude.
Feb. 29, 2012