“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.
Photo credits for this report go to the CFCA Bolivia staff and to Bob Hentzen.
It is a joy to be in touch with you, this time from Bolivia in South America. This is a beautiful, mountainous and highly indigenous country of over 10 million people.
I read that nearly a fourth of the Bolivian population try to make it on an income of less than one dollar a day.
We at CFCA are privileged to walk with these hard-working families on their path out of poverty. Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Guarani are just a few of the 34 native languages spoken in Bolivia.
Bolivia is roughly 10 times larger than Guatemala, but it also has about 4 million less people.
Walking from border to border, all of us on Walk2gether personally felt the size of Bolivia.
We also noted that Bolivia is very rich in minerals, such as tin, iron and gold. I remember picking up good-sized rocks along the desert roads that sounded like two pieces of steel when hit together.
Since our humble beginnings in 1988, CFCA-Bolivia has grown to include more than 10,000 children and youth, together with more than 800 elderly participants. We currently have 1,000 families waiting for sponsorship.
We are blessed to have more than 800 sponsored aging friends in our program in Bolivia. As in all the places where we are privileged to serve, a significant intangible benefit is the sense of belonging to the CFCA community.
States and countries represented on this awareness trip:
“It was the Lord that helped me first.” — Harold Grundman, CFCA sponsor
“I am moved by the presence of these people. Thanks for teaching us songs, dance and sign language.”— Stacy King, CFCA awareness trip coordinator
Carmen Rosa, 34, has lived a tough but inspiring life. Her youngest boy, 9-year-old Matias, is sponsored.
“With the CFCA training and encouragement, my husband and I have received in CFCA, we and our four children are much better off now,” Carmen Rosa said. “Our children are healthy and helpful, although our son Nicholas goes to a special school because he does not hear.
“Little by little, we are finishing construction on our own home. May God bless Matias’ sponsor and each of you in your home.”
“You have included us in your life, and you are part of our daily life. You are helping us to be better people.” — Marsha, mother of a sponsored child.
“The bond between sponsors and families cannot be broken.”— Hugo Plaza, CFCA-Cochabamba project coordinator
“These are lovely unforgettable days with you.” — Evelyn Chalustowski, CFCA sponsor
The families feel your presence. They are encouraged. Cristina and I will have a few days with the CFCA projects in Guatemala before heading over to El Salvador for an meeting with the mothers groups.
Please know of our love and thanks.