Apr 8 2013

A place to call home

By Amanda Burian, CFCA communications project manager

CFCA sponsored friends and family members in Guatemala.

From left: Rigoberto, Natali, Darvin, Dayana, Audelina and Rebeca in front of their new home. Natali and Dayana are sponsored by Ken and Linda Vilag.

Not long ago, owning a home that was safe and comfortable seemed like an unattainable dream for Rigoberto and Audelina, the parents of four young children in Guatemala.

“[Owning a home] might have been in my dreams, but it was never considered a reality,” Rigoberto said.

In February, the family received the keys to their very own home. Their dreams were made possible through the support of Ken and Linda Vilag, who sponsor two of their girls: Helen, who goes by her middle name, Dayana; and Natali.

Audelina and her children in their old one-room home.

Audelina and her children in their former one-room home.

Before receiving support through sponsorship, the family faced many hardships and daily life was a struggle.

They lived on the property of Audelina’s brother and didn’t have much to call their own.

“We only had one room built with tin sheets,” Rigoberto said. “We were all piled up in that room. There was no space for our things, and it was chaotic at times.

“I felt helpless; there was no other choice but to continue living there. If it hadn’t been for CFCA and our sponsors, we would still be there today.”

Feelings of hope began to emerge as they started to receive food, shoes, clothing, school supplies, tuition and farm animals, among other sponsorship benefits. Of all these benefits, the most impactful was the gift of a place to call home.

In their old home, the six family members shared two small beds. They did not have enough chairs for each member of the family, so some were forced to eat standing.

Now, the family has a larger home made of more durable materials, and the children have their own room where they each have a bed of their own.

CFCA sponsored child.

Dayana feeds her baby doll in the children’s new bedroom.

They also have a dining room with a new table and enough chairs to allow them to sit as a family, have a conversation and enjoy a meal together.

Previously, Audelina cooked over an open fire inside their small home, which was very hard on her eyes and lungs.

Now, she has a stove and is able to cook several things at once.

New home for CFCA sponsored friends

Left: Audelina cooked over an open fire in the old home. Right: Audelina and her daughter, Rebeca, cook on the stove in their new home.

Finding enough water was also an issue for the family.

“There was not enough water for all of us,” Audelina said. “At times I could not wash our clothes and we could not clean ourselves. [Now], I wake up and I know I have enough water to start doing my laundry. I can even take a shower without worrying about running out of water.”

New home for CFCA sponsored friends

From left: Natali, Audelina, Dayana and Rebeca smile in front of their new laundry sink.

The family’s new home was possible with a special donation from the Vilags, in addition to their sponsorship.

“We pray that this house will provide ‘hope for a family,’ Linda said, “and be a daily reminder of God’s blessings. We ourselves are blessed beyond words to have this family in our lives. We are honored to be able to help this family live a better life.”

For Rigoberto, Audelina and their family, their dreams have come true.

“To my daughters’ sponsors, I can’t find enough words that can express how much you have touched our family,” Audelina said. “We love you very much. You are a great blessing for my children and our entire family.”

Rigoberto echoed that sentiment.

“I do not know what made you decide to sponsor my little girls,” he said, “but I do know that God works in magical ways. May God bless you, Ken and Linda, and may all your dreams come true.”

Dayana and Darvin stand in front of their new home.

Dayana and Darvin stand in front of their new home.

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11 thoughts on “A place to call home”

  1. I am a sponsor, I didn’t know it was possible to build a home. Can you post more information on this on your website, or in a reply?

    1. Thank you, Lisa, for your comment. If you learn about a critical need for your sponsored friend through letters, we can contact the project to assess the needs of the family. We also have a family needs fund where you may make a donation of $30 – $100 without any knowledge of a specific need.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a Sponsor Services representative at (800) 875-6564 or mail@cfcausa.org. We greatly appreciate the support you offer through friendship and sponsorship!

      ~Sponsor Services

      1. Is the Family Needs Fund for the specific family that I sponsor? or is it a general fund? How do we know what our specific family’s living arrangements are like? In all the years I don’t think I’ve seen a picture or heard what Claudia’s housing is like. I’ve never sent a photo of our home, because I knew it would be grand by their standards, even though it is typical in the US.

        1. Thank you for your questions, Mary!

          The family needs fund is specific to the individual and their family that you sponsor. This fund allows sponsors to address critical needs of their sponsored friend or family that go beyond what regular monthly sponsorship can cover. These needs may be learned through visiting your friend during a trip or through correspondence. We encourage you to share about your home in letters or eletters, if you choose, and ask about her home. Chances are, your friend loves spending time with her family in her home, even if it is less physically spacious and comfortable than yours.

          CFCA and our overseas project staff will work with your sponsored friend and the family to use your contribution effectively. Once your friend’s needs have been addressed, any unused portion of the funds may be used to help another member of your sponsored friends’ family or another person in the CFCA community.

          For more information or to make a special donation for your sponsored friend, call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 or visit http://www.hopeforafamily.org/funds.

          ~ Sponsor Services

  2. What a beautiful reminder of all we take for granted and how grateful we should be. Ken and Linda must be overjoyed. Continued blessings on Rigoberto and Audelina and their family.

  3. What a wonderful and generous thing for these sponsors to do. It is so awesome to see this generous spirit of giving to those we do not personally know.

  4. What a gift! We traveled to San Lucas Toliman in February and met our sponsored child and his Mother and four siblings. I pray for them every day. Is there a way we can find out what our family needs?

    1. Our sponsored friends are so lucky to have sponsors who care for them so deeply! If you are interested in providing extra assistance beyond your monthly sponsorship contribution, we can contact the project to assess the needs of your sponsored friend and his or her family. Our family needs fund also allows you to make a contribution of $30 – $100 without knowing of a specific need.

      If you have any questions, you can always contact a Sponsor Services representative at (800) 875-6564 or mail@cfcausa.org from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time Mondays through Fridays. Thanks so much for your support, Pat!

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