When you sponsor a child or aging friend, you open the door to another culture ó your new friend’s culture. By writing to their friends, sponsors deepen this connection across cultural, geographic and economic divides.
These letter-writing ideas can help you on your journey to greater cultural awareness:
- Find some news headlines from your sponsored friend’s country.
These can make great conversation starters. As you search for headlines, pay attention to the news article’s tone as well as the information. Is it lighthearted or somber? Does it focus on institutional matters or social concerns? See who is quoted ó politicians, celebrities, government officials, etc.
Practical tip for your next letter: Set aside a few minutes each day for a week to scan some headlines from your sponsored friend’s country. Mention one or two of them and ask your friend for some context. What makes this news? Is it unusual or typical of the challenges the country may be facing?
- Watch the weather and how you react to it.
If you come from a cold climate, you’re probably used to wearing gloves, scarves and winter coats. If your sponsored friend is from a tropical country, she or he may have a hard time relating to descriptions of winter and cold. Read more
Janelle Stamm, accounting specialist for our office in Kansas City, was able to attend the installation Mass for Pope Francis with her daughter, Megan, as part of Megan’s high school senior class pilgrimage to Italy. Here are her thoughts on this historic occasion.
It’s been more than 40 hours since Papa Francesco was installed, and I’m just thrilled.
It. Was. Amazing.
Seeing the Pope up front, receiving communion blessed by him and sharing the entire experience with Megan is priceless.
After the Mass was over, the more than 40 participants on our pilgrimage swapped stories and pictures. Here is one of those stories along with the picture.
While waiting for the Pope to arrive, two of our high school senior girls, Kelsey and Virginia, met a couple who traveled from Argentina to Rome for the sole purpose to have their baby blessed. Kelsey and Virginia helped by handing the baby, named Joseph, to Papa Francesco.
The faith of this couple in Papa Francesco demonstrated by their sacrifice of time and money to travel all that way combined with the faith in others as they handed their baby over is humbling.
It has left a profound impact on all of us who have heard the story thus far and also contributes to my excitement about our new Pope.
Furthermore, it feels like Papa Francesco’s commitment to the poor aligns perfectly with CFCA’s mission. This alignment confirms my belief that the blessings I prayed for CFCA, our sponsors and our sponsored friends and families will be answered.
By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa
On March 4, Kenya held a general election in which the president, senators, county governors and members of parliament were chosen. Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa, is from Kenya and voted in the election. Regina shares her story of voting, of patiently waiting for the results and hoping peace would prevail.
As dawn broke and the sun made its way up to brighten the rather dull skies, my country, Kenya, was ready to usher in a new era ó one that the people hoped would bring along good tidings.
As early as 4 a.m. on March 4, Kenyans were already lined up in different polling stations all over the country, eagerly waiting to cast their votes.
The atmosphere was full of excitement, but at the same time there was tension hidden behind the smiles. The events of the 2007 election, in which more than 1,000 people were killed, were still fresh on the minds of many. Read more