Feb 10 2010

A call from the Philippines

VeronWhenever Veron Telar, Manila project coordinator in the Philippines, can access the Internet, she tries to send email updates about Walk2gether to Trisha Pitts, the regional director for the Philippines. Veron is walking through Central America with Bob and the Walk team.

Feb. 6, 2010

Dear Ma’am Trisha,

Thank you for the very inspiring message and for sharing my journey with the CFCA. Thank you also for the appreciation, prayers and support of everyone in Kansas and in the projects.

We are now here in Nicaragua and have finished our first 40 kilometers here yesterday. So far, we have walked 1,051 kilometers after crossing the mountainous 575 kilometers of Honduras. It was a great time walking with the Honduran CFCA sponsored families and staff in the projects. I am privileged to meet my co-coordinators and the rest of each project team.

I deeply appreciate your support to the Manila project team as you are constantly communicating with my team.

We received a call from the Philippines last week during the mission awareness trip to Antipolo. It was really a great joy for me to talk with Ma’am Malou (Antipolo project coordinator) and share with them some of my journey and experiences on the Walk. Sir Bob also gave his message to the Philippines team. I believe they are having a wonderful mission awareness trip.

My prayer is that this year’s trip brings hope, joy and life-giving experiences to the sponsors, CFCA families and to all my co-workers in the Philippines. I am very proud to represent them in Walk2gether, and also all of our co-workers in Kansas and in projects around the world. It is very inspiring to walk, as every co-worker of each project that we have visited has requested me to continue walking for them. I am very thankful and will always be appreciative for this great opportunity provided by my CFCA family.

This is all for now. I will be in touch again in the next few days. I hope my emails do not take most of your time. I just want to tell my experiences in this beautiful journey. I would like to add that the Walk, to me, is a healing process of the many challenges in my personal and work experiences, and I am very hopeful that this will surely be a great success for me and for every CFCA community, co-worker and sponsors, as well.

Thank you very much. My best regards to everyone.

Sincerely,

Veron

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Jan 27 2010

Greetings from the roads of Honduras

Dear friends, greetings from the roads of Honduras in Central America.

The Honduran mountains make for a difficult trek.Walk2gether continues and, step by step, we are overcoming the mountains of Santa Barbara and La Esperanza, walking at an altitude of approximately 9,000 feet above sea level.

Some of the walkers have begun to experience the wear and tear from their efforts, such as blisters and chapped lips; however, their spirit continues, strong and unbreakable.

On Jan. 24, we arrived at the area of La Paz. Because the difficulty of the altitude, mountainous terrain and roads limited our progress, we were unable to cover the full 40 kilometers planned per day. So during our rest day, on Jan. 25, we had to go back and cover the 16 unwalked kilometers accumulated from the prior days.

That very same day we decided to suspend Walk2gether for two days, returning to the road on Jan. 28. The reason for this is that the new president of Honduras will be inaugurated on Jan. 27, and many demonstrations are planned for that day. This is a risky situation for us, as any type of demonstration is viewed as political. The local authorities are mobilizing military troops and police to the same roads where we are walking to prevent protesters from entering Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.

One little story during our walk: a few days ago, Bob fell while walking on a dirt road. I can report that he suffered no injuries whatsoever. On the contrary, he proved to be in great physical condition, and, at the same time, we discovered that Walk2gether will continue either walking, jogging, running or rolling down the road.

My best to all,

Manuel Pineda
CFCA Santa Barbara Project Coordinator

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Dec 23 2009

Walk2gether begins in one week

The walking begins in one week!

On Dec. 29, CFCA President Bob Hentzen will embark on Walk2gether, an 8,000-mile, 16-month journey through 12 countries in Latin America.

CFCA staff and BobExcitement and anticipation are building as families and CFCA staff in Guatemala prepare to bid Bob and his fellow travelers “Buen Viaje.” More than 65 sponsors participating in the mission awareness trip will also be on hand for the launch.

Meanwhile, CFCA staff in Kansas gave Bob an official send-off when he visited the headquarters in late November. Read more here.

Check out the new Walk2gether website, where you can follow Bob on an interactive map, and explore links to his electronic journals and to videos, slideshows and stories about the realities, people and activities in the countries he visits. You can also send messages of support and encouragement that Bob will share with the families of sponsored members and the CFCA staff in the communities he visits.

Walk2gether is a way to help counterbalance the isolation of people living in poverty, and show them that someone cares. The walk will help build community and strengthen the bonds of unity between CFCA’s sponsored members, sponsors and staff. It will also symbolize and promote the unity of countries, races, languages, genders and creeds. Visit Walk2gether.org to learn more.

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Aug 24 2009

A thankful trip

By Kathy Cvetko, CFCA sponsor

Imagine walking a gauntlet of men, women and children who are thanking you for the help you have given them. At the beginning of these lines, children are waving American and Honduran flags. At the end, they are escorting you to front-row seats at a Honduran cultural extravaganza rivaling any off-Broadway performance you’ve ever seen.

That is only one of the many extraordinary occurrences that my family and I had on our June 2009 mission awareness trip to Project Ocotopeque, Honduras. However, it serves as a relevant starting point for the story of our visit.

The theme of giving thanks was revisited again and again. At times, it left us sponsors feeling both confused and amazed at such appreciation. Most of us were just as much, if not more, thankful to our sponsored friends for allowing us to experience the full beauty of giving. And yet, looking into the eyes of the people of Project Ocotopeque, we sensed only their deepest sincerity at finally being able to meet us and tell us with a look and a smile that, “It means so much to me that I matter to you!

YessikaOur story of connection with Project Ocotopeque began in 1998, when we first laid eyes on a picture of Yessika del Carmen. We had just finished listening to Jim and JoAnne Rogers speak about a sponsor trip they had completed, and they were inviting those in the audience to sponsor a child or elderly person.

Three things struck my husband and me as reasons to say ìyesî: 1. We could afford the amount each month; 2. CFCA did not advertise, so more of the contributions would go to the sponsored friend; and 3. The organization helped both children and the aging in poor countries across the globe.

We asked our daughter and son, then ages 12 and 7, to help us pick out a child or elderly person who needed a sponsor. They took this decision very seriously as they carefully reviewed each folder. They finally agreed upon a 10-month-old, beautiful baby girl named Yessika.

So, began a lifelong association with a little girl more than 3,000 miles away from our home in Portland, Ore. It was delightful to receive pictures of her every year and to read letters about her and from her as she learned to write. Admittedly, we wrote much less frequently and didnít send pictures. Still, she was always in the back of our minds, and weíd pray that she was thriving and getting the care and love she needed and deserved.

In 2003, my mother, Helen Wyninegar, passed away at the age of 86. She left us a small sum of money, and she was such a giving person that it seemed a fitting memorial for us to use that money to take a sponsor trip to Honduras to meet Yessika. Continue reading

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Aug 11 2009

August isn’t back-to-school month for everyone

As U.S. students prepare for the onset of school, students in other countries have already taken mid-terms.

That’s right. For students in many countries where CFCA works, school does not start in August or September.

The school year in Central America started in January or February. Those lucky children are only two months away from the end of school. Schoolchildren in India and the Philippines are already into their third month of the school year. And students in Kenyaówell, they follow the British system and attend school all year, with long breaks at the end of each quarter.

Find the school calendar for your friend on the graph below.

School calendar

Related links
Time for school

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Aug 3 2009

Honduras update

Late last week we received an update about the political crisis in Honduras from three of our five Honduran projects. All three reported they are continuing to operate and provide benefits.

Please continue to keep your sponsored friends, CFCA staff and all people of Honduras in your thoughts and prayers through this turmoil.

To read the entire news story, please refer to this link.

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Jul 7 2009

Bob’s notes ó Visit to Honduras

Mission awareness trip to Honduras
June 20-27, 2009

Counting Cristina, myself and CFCA volunteer Dani, we are 37 sponsors this week in Honduras. With this number of sponsors on hand, we have a large number of sponsored families to see. We begin our journey in the North up near the Atlantic coast, and wind up in the Ocotepeque project, a dynamic little corner of Honduras within eyesight of both El Salvador and Guatemala.

As the level of awareness deepens in the course of a CFCA mission awareness tripóand after spending time with their sponsored family within the CFCA contextósponsors naturally start asking, ìWhatís my place in this story Ö what can I add to this song Ö ?î

An important role of the CFCA staff in each country is to help the sponsors understand the ongoing reality of their people. With their true calling and special grace, I find the interpretations of CFCA staff to be filled with hope, a practical and strong spirituality and resilient humor.

Charged political situation
Right now, Honduras is in the middle of a deep and powerful ideological war. In Central and South America, there are deep stirrings Ö in Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Honduras. It comes down to a real battle for minds and hearts. The situation in Honduras could result in real upheaval. So, we pray, and we work.

Sponsors and sponsored individuals unite in prayer in Honduras.

This group of 34 sponsors truly has been a symbol of Godís love. Even with great distances, poor roads and storms, they have been generous in visiting many families and communities. Thanked to the point of discomfort, they have represented all of the sponsors, in solidarity with the CFCA family.

From Puerto Cortez to Ocotepeque
This mission awareness trip is hosted by Project Ocotepeque. This project is organized in 13 subprojects with a total of 3,794 children and 109 elderly sponsored, and 161 scholars assisted.

Sponsored children and elderly man in the Ocotepeque project

According to the CFCA trip brochure, ìThe primary purpose of the Ocotepeque subprojects A, AU, and B is the formation and education of the children and their families. CFCA helps more than 800 children from these communities go to school, and develops relationships. Parents are trained in activities like tailoring, crafts, and farming, so that they might have their own businesses and increase the household income.î

At our gathering for families and sponsors in San Marcos, Fanny of Santa Rosa offers an original poem written by her mother: ìThis message is for people that see us and know about our needs Ö people who inspire us to reach our dreams Ö people from whom we have received a letter, a picture Ö thank you for helping in our personal growth Ö we are fortunate to have you here with us Ö we love you Ö God bless you always.î

Staff estimates that more than 1,000 CFCA members joined the group in a 6-kilometer solidarity walk on June 25. The walk finished up with Holy Mass, a nice lunch for all, music and a chance to enjoy a water park. There is tremendous interest in Walk2gether (our 8,000-mile pilgrimage beginning December 2009).

There is great adventure in experiencing the profound learning and love of the sponsors, the CFCA families and the entire CFCA staff. I am grateful.

Cristina and I are now off to the National Encuentro (staff formation) in Bolivia.

Godís blessings.

Bob Hentzen

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