Jul 23 2011

Chilean mothers reflect on Walk2gether finale

Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile journey undertaken by CFCA President Bob Hentzen, is over, but the spirit of the walk lives on. Recently the mothers in Chile who organized the finale and decorated Pratt Stadium gathered to reflect on the walk’s culmination. CFCA-Chile staff member Carolina Salazar Herrera sent us this report from Valparaiso.

Bob Hentzen and Walk2gether finale in Chile

Bob Hentzen and thousands of CFCA sponsored members and their families celebrate the end of Walk2gether in Valparaiso, Chile, on June 6, 2011.

The pilgrimage, an act of Christian love to those most in need, represented the unity between the different projects of Latin America.

Don Roberto (Bob) once more demonstrated with this walk that he loves the poor and is an example of hope, of a life of prayer, sacrifice and faith.

The Valparaiso project had an activity in honor of the mothers who supported us on the walk.

They helped us organize and decorate the place where Bob finished this immense work of love, passing on a message of hope, love and dignity to those most in need.

Many mothers offered their impressions on the celebrations:

1) Olga: “I can’t tell you how much seeing Don Roberto affected me. It gave me [a lump] in my chest and made me cry. Every day when I pray, I remember him and I ask God to give him vitality and health so he can continue this beautiful movement with everyone who helps him.”

2) Marcia: “When I saw Don Roberto arriving, I was grateful and content. I never thought I would see this. I told him that thanks to him, his family and the foundation, my children can continue their studies. I have so much to tell him, but at that moment, the words did not come.”

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Jun 23 2011

Sponsorship: ‘Walking together not just with your feet, but your heart’

Cathy Crosby, a CFCA board member, joined Walk2gether during the last leg of its journey through Chile. Here is her reflection on the nearly 8,000-mile walk through 12 countries to show solidarity with those living in poverty.

“La palabra es gratitud.” (The word for the day is gratitude.)

CFCA President Bob Hentzen’s words gathered us in a circle hours before dawn in the rain, the morning of Walk2gether’s last day.

Cathy Crosby, CFCA board member

Cathy Crosby

Dead birds and dry riverbeds along our route had offered silent witness to the plight of the people.

Gratitude for the rain underscored our thanks for months of safety, the gift of one another, and most of all the countless gifts from sponsored friends and their families.

Connection, connectedness and unity (not uniformity) are threads woven through my Walk2gether experience.

These words hint at, but fail to capture, the profound interconnections that are the heart of CFCA.

CFCA and its Hope for a Family sponsorship program are built on loving relationship, beginning with Jesus’ love for his heavenly Father, his earthly parents, each person he encountered, and extending to all of creation.

As a sponsor, I have been privileged to travel to Guatemala and Kenya to be with my sponsored children and their families. That relationship is foundational. Our prayers, letters and photos keep us connected.

Walking is a powerful reminder of our connection to our earth as well as one another.

When walking in darkness or slippery mud, we must take care with each step, often directly in the footsteps of the walkers in front. Those following will step into our footprints.

In daylight we share creation’s countless small gifts: a lingering wildflower, a spectacular cloud formation.

Gravity grounds us and binds us to our planet, yet our spirits soar as each mile unites us as companions on our life journeys.

A sliver of fingernail moon, waves crashing over the seawall, distant mountains and huge sand dunes: these images integrate each physical step with an awareness that our careless misuse of God’s gifts contributes to the burden of our sisters and brothers living in poverty.

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Jun 7 2011

Check back for more coverage of Walk2gether

Sheila Myers, a member of the CFCA communications department, sent us this report of Walk2gether’s finale.

She was at yesterday’s celebrations in Chile marking the end of Walk2gether, the nearly 8,000-mile CFCA solidarity walk through 12 countries.

Please check back in the following weeks and months for more about Walk2gether, including a video of the end of the walk!

Note: CFCA President Bob Hentzen will also be featured on a Twitter chat starting at noon CST on June 20. Anyone interested in hearing from him may tweet their questions to @CFCA using the #cfcachat hashtag.

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May 31 2011

Walk2gether passes from desert to fertile valleys

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Sixty-nine days in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile have been very inspiring.

Some describe the desert as Tierra de Nada ni Nadie (Land of Nothing and Nobody). On Walk2gether, we have had a much different experience.

In the silence of the long treks, I find myself comparing the survival struggle of the young desert plants to the daily struggle of our sponsored members and their families, as well as those waiting for sponsorship.

These humble families honor us with their invitation to walk with them from the desert of their isolation to the fertile valleys of their hope.

As I write this, we are walking in a zone of olive trees, vegetable gardens, cypress trees and vineyards. I see signs of wildlife along the road, as well as domestic livestock sporting woolly winter coats.

Knowing full well that itís winter ahead, we stride directly into the cold winds, moving south into the lives of Godís humble people. We are usually able to take our first steps of the morning around 3 a.m.

The Camanchaca fog is cold and mysterious, yet through it all, we know that the Southern Cross is ever present to guide us, as is Godís love and your love. I walk in awe of natureís colors and harmonies as she responds to centuries-old Pacific currents and Antarctic airs.

All of this causes me to reflect and pray in gratitude for this experience. Iím grateful for the opportunity for growth through relationships with my co-workers and the dear families who live here in Chile and in the other countries where CFCA serves. Exciting days are with us as we approach the finale.

Loved ones from our natural family and our CFCA family are beginning to gather in Chile as we near Valparaiso. Believe me, you are helping us all to rise and begin anew each day of our journey. Please know of our love and thanks.

Bob
May 29, 2011

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May 13 2011

Zamboanga families walk in solidarity with those in Chile

Walk2gether is in its final country, Chile, but that hasn’t stopped people in the Philippines from joining it in spirit!

Zamboanga solidarity walk with Walk2gether

The CFCA community in Zamboanga joins with Walk2gether on a weekend solidarity walk.

Over the weekend, two CFCA communities in Zamboanga conducted an early-morning solidarity walk of about 9 miles (15 kilometers).

More than 1,000 sponsored friends and their families participated.

“In this experience, we are just having a taste of how Bob and the walkers do it every day,” said Alan Partosa, project staff member. “This walk is also giving thanks for the CFCA community and Bob’s walk for journeying with us in the daily battle of life.”

After the walk, CFCA staff members in Zamboanga showed a video of Walk2gether, and mothers and children reflected on the morning’s experience.

“A sponsored youth, Joseph Arthur, shared in the group, ‘CFCA is love. We can give without loving, but we can never love without giving,’” Partosa said. “I have heard this already, but for a 15-year-old boy to speak it from his heart is a different thing for me.”

Chris Palmer, project specialist for the Philippines, said he was excited to hear news of the solidarity walk.

“We really see the families walking in solidarity with the greater CFCA community,” he said, “even though they’re spanning such great distances.”

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May 12 2011

Walk2gether finishes trek in the Atacama Desert

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

It is a pleasure to share with you these scenes from our walk through the beautiful and formidable Atacama Desert of Chile.

On March 22, 2011, we entered Chile from Bolivia at Chungara (more than 14,000 feet in altitude) in the awesome snow-capped Altiplano Chileno.

Iím happy to tell you that with Godís loving care and your belief in us, we have walked the entire length of the Atacama Desert in an unbroken line.

For us, it has become a place to pray, learn and appreciate.

We are right on schedule for the finale of Walk2gether in Valparaiso. We are preparing to walk and celebrate with our 6,000 sponsored members and their families during the first week of June.

We eagerly await those of you who will be traveling to Chile in person and in spirit during the next few weeks. Our youngest son, Robert Jacob, arrived on May 6. Naturally, Cristina and I say that Jake is a great walker and a great help.

Know of our thanks and love.

Bob
May 9, 2011

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May 2 2011

Walk2gether embraces desert vulnerability

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Bob Hentzen recently wrote to the CFCA headquarters from the road in Chile. You can see the full update on his Facebook page.

Fortified by the conviction that God lives, we walk deeper and deeper into the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on Planet Earth, and we stay there day and night.

We have found that in a 24-hour period, the temperature can change by 50, even 60 degrees.

Cars, trucks and buses speed through this desert like itís something to be feared and avoided. In high winds, their wake can literally blow us off the road.

We embrace our vulnerability.

Our small steps in the immensity of the Atacama may not seem like much. Yet down deep, in the very fiber of our being, we know that we are advancing toward something of incalculable worth: the 6,000 struggling CFCA families in the area of Valparaiso, Chile, and the community of compassion among ourselves that it will take to get us there.

Let me assure you that you are very much a part of all of this. Know of our love.

Bob
April 29, 2011


In other news, the Christian Science Monitor recently reported on Bob and Walk2gether. Check it out!

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