Tag: Easter

Holy week in Guatemala
Apr 18 2014

Celebrating Holy Week in Guatemala

This week, people around the world have been celebrating Holy Week in a variety of ways. The celebrations in Guatemala are particularly colorful and fragrant.

During Holy Week, families in Guatemala make carpets out of natural materials like sawdust, pine needles and flowers to line the streets for Holy Week processions.

Read more about the tradition here.

Do you have any special Easter traditions? Leave a comment below to share!

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Mar 27 2013

Colorful celebrations mark Holy Week in Guatemala

In the Latin American projects we serve, Holy Week is a time for family, reflection, cultural traditions and ceremonies remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luis Cocon, CFCA communications liaison for Guatemala, sends us pictures and an account of Holy Week as it’s happening right now in Guatemala.

Please note: Our Kansas City office will be closed March 28 and 29 for Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

A mystical feeling is in the air as Holy Week processions begin in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, set against a backdrop of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and volcanoes.

Holy Week parades in Antigua, Guatemala

Decorations and elaborate handicrafts adorn wooden platforms on which religious images are carried.

Holy Week procession symbols in Guatemala
Read more

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Mar 6 2012

4 tips for sending Easter greetings to your sponsored friend

By Jordan Kimbrell, Sponsor Services

CFCA sponsored child and social worker

Irene, a child sponsored through CFCA

Easter is almost here, and many sponsors are thinking about sending a card or letter to their sponsored friend expressing Easter blessings.

Before sending your next letter, here are a few tips and recent changes we’d like to share with you:

1) Check new mailing rates.

This January the United States Postal Service introduced new mailing rates for international mail.

A 1-oz. letter will cost $.85 to Mexico and $1.05 to other countries. Larger envelopes or those weighing more than an ounce will cost more to send.

A full list of prices can be found here: https://www.usps.com/send/first-class-international.htm.

You will still need to visit your local post office to have the item weighed and stamped.

2) Consider eLetters. Read more

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Mar 31 2010

The many reasons people walk

Easter reflection

There are many reasons people walk. Some walk out of choice, others, out of necessity. Along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-35), we meet two people who walked simply to get away. The one in whom they had placed their hopes had just been executed as a criminal, and now his friends ñ and theirs ñ were hiding in fear. Believing that nothing was left for them in Jerusalem but danger and disappointment, they decided to leave.

On the road, they met a stranger. The temptation to wrap themselves in fear and reject the stranger must have been strong, but instead they invited him along. And, as they continued walking, an amazing thing began to happen. Step by step and mile by mile, these two wounded travelers found restored hope in their encounter with this remarkable new companion.

The stranger was really the resurrected Jesus ñ a fact that the two disciples only discovered at the end of the day when they shared a meal. But once they did, they couldnít get back to Jerusalem fast enough, for such was their desire to share the good news.

In life, sometimes we feel as if we are walking toward something, and sometimes we feel as if we are walking away. But when the dust settles, the reasons we walk arenít nearly as important as the fact that we do, indeed, keep walking. For, like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, it is only in the journey that we continue to encounter Christ in traveling companions.

For the next two years, hundreds of sponsors will join CFCA President Bob Hentzen at points along the Walk2gether route from Guatemala to Chile. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they, too, are discovering a new and glorified face of Christ in the faces of the poor. And, again, like those disciples, they canít wait to take that good news home with them.

As we enter into this beautiful season of Easter, may each of us be blessed with fresh legs and renewed spirits. May we walk as happy wanderers, intent on savoring the blessings of the journey. Whatever sorrows we may be leaving behind, and whatever dreams we may be moving toward, may we always hold onto the joy that comes from knowing that the one who defeated death is our constant traveling companion.

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Mar 24 2010

The poverty and potential

Lenten reflection: Holy Week

At CFCA, we often say, ìWe donít see poverty, we see potential.î It is important to emphasize the hope and possibilities that sponsorship brings to a person and to a family.

However, we, of course, do see poverty. We are walking with the most vulnerable people in the world. To say we do not see the poverty would be to deny their reality, their daily struggles. Doing so would mean glossing over the heroism they show us in overcoming those hardships.

One of the gifts of sponsorship is that it gives us a fuller understanding of that reality. Instead of being apart from the dirt, sweat, smells, hunger and indignities that those living in poverty experience on a daily basis, they let us into their lives so that we can more fully understand their reality. We can see Jesus and the poor walking together and witness their suffering.

As Christians, we cannot have Easter without Good Friday. We cannot truly celebrate the light without honestly, boldly facing the darkness. We cannot celebrate potential without seeing the reality of poverty.

As we enter Holy Week beginning this week on Palm Sunday, let us hold close to our hearts those who live every day the dynamic interplay of Good Friday and Easter. Death, life, doubt, hope, loneliness and community: poverty and potential.

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Apr 8 2009

A present-day transformation

Lenten reflection: Week 7
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

ìLord, remember not only the men and women of good will but all those of ill will. Do not only remember all the suffering they have subjected us to. Remember the fruits we brought forth thanks to this suffering ñ our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, and generosity, the greatness of heart that all of this inspired. And when they come to judgment, let all these fruits we have born be their reward and their forgiveness.î
-Words scratched on the wall of a concentration camp in Germany

Transformative power: that is what bursts forth out of the tomb on Easter morning. The power of God to change that which was ugly to something beautiful. Changing darkness into light and destroying death to give us the chance for a real life. That is what we celebrate on Easter morning. Somewhere amidst the candy and Easter eggs we find the message that no matter how hard we try to get rid of God, we cannot and that God will transform our lives and our world if we only let God in.

If a woman in India is a widow or comes into a marriage with little dowry, she is seen as a burden and written off as worthless. This is a rather practical consideration for a family living on the edge because she is seen as not contributing to the family and is, instead, just another mouth to feed.

For the thousands of women who participate in CFCA mothers groups, however, they are given the chance to begin small businesses and bring income to the family. They are literally transformed in the eyes of their family members, as well as in their own eyes. They are given a new-found dignity and respect.

There are elderly in our projects who, after a life of hardship and struggle, were slipping away all alone, bereft of help or companionship. But, they are now part of a life-giving CFCA community where they can watch out for each other and care for each other.

And then there are the children. Hundreds of thousands of children that our sponsors have watched over the years transform into confident young adults. Our sponsors have seen the change from the first pictures of the small children, dressed in borrowed clothes, looking much too small for their age. Sponsors have watched them grow, overcome obstacles in their path and reach maturity with the ability and confidence to use their God-given gifts and talents.

Through womenís empowerment in the mothers groups, a childís maturity into adulthood and the companionship of the elderly, we are given the opportunity to watch, in present day, the transformative power of God that burst forth from the tomb on the first Easter morning. It is an amazing thing to watch God in action.

Happy Easter

From all of us at CFCA around the world, we wish you a most blessed and glorious Easter!

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