Nov 5 2012

‘Inspired by our CFCA sponsored friends and their families in India’

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“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.

Photo credits go to Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison, for India.

After a few days at CFCA headquarters in Kansas City, I entered this trip energized and grateful for CFCA board members, co-workers and family.

We are inspired by our CFCA sponsored friends and their families in India. It is a privilege to spend these days with them.

Since 1988, the CFCA presence in India has grown to include 29,315 sponsored children and youth, 860 sponsored aging friends and 1,114 families on our waiting list.

We invite you to visit CFCA in India. We have a mission awareness trips to North/Central India in October 2013. Please check our website for details. The children, teens, aging friends and staff members would love to see you.

With a population of more than 1.2 billion people, it seemed as though half were in the Howrah train station as we waited to board the Gaya Express from Kolkata to Bhagalpur.

For me, the train rides are enjoyable, but boarding and de-boarding can be tough.It feels like a hard-fought basketball game with elbows flying under the basket. We experienced a moment of panic when a surging crowd, anxious to board, seemed to be carrying our group toward a very unattractive drop-off to the train tracks.

It was nice to spend time with three special people who worked at the CFCA-Bhagalpur office for 17 years: Father Mathew, Sister Johncy and Sister Archana. They wished us every blessing and success.

We visited the home of CFCA sponsored child Sarala, and it was very inspiring. We learned that Sarala’s mother walks four hours each day to the shores of the Ganges River. She cuts, packs and hauls on her head fresh grass for their three cows and chickens. In addition to the regular sponsorship benefits they receive through CFCA, this humble family has been able to drill a functioning well within their small space. Sarala is one of 62 girls sponsored by CFCA sponsor Stephanie Angalet.

Sponsors visit CFCA-Hyderabad

Approximately 8,000 mothers, each dressed in her best sari, gathered under one roof for a day of learning and celebration.

The day rounded off with the testimony and Eucharistic celebration with Father Anthony. Father Anthony is originally from a remote village in India. Anthony was sponsored through CFCA for 10 years, and then entered the seminary. Now as a priest he directs a hostel for children from remote villages.

Final note: I bring you greetings from our dear families and colleagues in north and central India. Your solidarity with us on the trip really carries us along. Superstorm Sandy played havoc with many of our flights leaving India and entering the U.S. along the East Coast. It’s back to Guatemala now, then back up to Kansas City en route to the Philippines.

God’s blessings,

Bob Hentzen
Hyderabad, India
Oct. 30, 2012

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