“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 Ricardo Ajpuac and Gerver Churunel, CFCA-Guatemala staffers, the CFCA staff in Managua and Bob Hentzen.
My report actually begins in Guatemala, with a joyful and dynamic group of young people from Risen Christ Parish in Denver.
I have been tremendously encouraged and energized this week by the presence in Guatemala of the groups from Risen Christ and Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kan.
A heartfelt thanks to these two great communities. The families in Guatemala consider your visit a unique blessing.
Among other highlights, we had two showings of CFCA’s documentary film, “Rise and Dream.”
To Risen Christ and Holy Trinity parishes, we offer prayers and thanks as you go about telling others what you have seen and experienced in Guatemala.
We also walk in solidarity with another group from St. Luke’s Parish, Pa., spending this week in El Salvador.
On to Nicaragua:
After a pleasant early morning flight from Guatemala City, Cristina and I were the first pilgrims to arrive in Managua, Nicaragua.
We were privileged to attend Holy Mass with the sponsored elderly at Hogar San Pedro Claver, Masaya.
We were then invited to visit homes of sponsored children.
To find out what life is like for our sponsored friends and their families is one of the special “learnings” available to sponsors on these trips.
Before lunch, we were treated to a quality show of Nicaraguan folklore by children, youth and parents.
May we see the struggle, the gifts and the potential of our sponsored friends and their families.
I like this quote from our website:
“The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is a land of lakes and volcanoes, poets, artists and good baseball.”
I might add, “and a lot of folklore.”
I was amazed that apparently shy, humble mothers, proudly showing their bakery goods in the morning, could turn into flamboyant dancers, singers and entertainers by early afternoon.
Then again — this is Nicaragua, and these are CFCA mothers.
Comments on the show in Leon, Nicaragua:
Full of life
CFCA in Nicaragua:
Since 1991, CFCA in Nicaragua has grown to serve more than 9,000 sponsored children, youth and elderly friends through the CFCA office in Managua, and another 41 communities around the country.
For this awareness trip in Nicaragua, we are welcoming participants from the following countries and states:
On Sunday evening of our trip, we invited participants to view “Rise and Dream.” Almost all attended and we had a good dialogue after the film.
Sponsored friends and their families joined us from these places in Nicaragua:
Hopeful things I am hearing:
“[My sponsored aging friend,] Juliana, means the world to me.” — Jeri Simpson
“I really believe in self-help projects.” — Sylvestre Sisneros, CFCA sponsor
We spent a day with a dynamic mothers group in Chindega.
The mothers were organized and confident.
Around midday, we were invited to help celebrate the birthdays of about 20 children.
Clowns and pinatas were followed by games, snacks and two large cakes.
Here are some of the dreams shared by children and sponsors:
My dream is…
For more love in the world.
To be someone in life.
To become a doctor.
To become a teacher like my teachers.
To be a police officer.
For my sponsored child to be all that he can be.
For angels to protect our sponsored children.
To have a beauty salon!
That all adults can dream like a child.
To one day have my own house.
For education, for good jobs and good futures.
[For everyone to] reach their highest goals.
To become a doctor and have my own hospital.
Juliana [my sponsored aging friend] fulfilled my dream when she came into my life.
Helping the families in Nicaragua.
For good health for my sponsored family.
To be a pharmacist.
To be a professional and help children in need.
To become a doctor and help the sick.
To be a missionary.
To have these beautiful people in my life.
For all people of the world to be treated with respect and have the love of God in their lives.
A final note:
We finish this wonderful experience and then another awareness trip in Costa Rica.
From there we will head back to Guatemalaand then to a staff formation gathering in Bolivia.
I am grateful.
Thank you for traveling with us. The Lord is good to us.