Tag: mission awareness trip

Apr 12 2012

Costa Rica trip shows sponsored child’s renewed hope

CFCA sponsors visit sponsored child in Costa Rica

Susan, Alan and Chuck on a mission awareness trip in Costa Rica.

Charles and Susan Proesel are longtime CFCA sponsors and volunteers. They have six sponsored friends and travel on mission awareness trips to visit them.

Here’s a wonderful testimony from Susan that illustrates the beauty of the friendships that have formed between the Proesels and one of their sponsored children, Alan, in Costa Rica.

In March, we were finally on our way to our long-awaited CFCA mission awareness trip to Costa Rica, “the land of eternal spring.”

This trip would be to meet our sponsored child Alan and his family. We were looking forward to a breath of spring after our long Midwest winter, but what we found was certainly not what we expected.

Costa Rica is a land of many climates, and the western part of the country that we traveled to was parched and hot as a result of the usual dry season. Read more

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Apr 7 2012

Growing in grace and peace on trip to Costa Rica

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

Heartfelt greetings from this beautiful country.

We are excited to share these days with sponsored friends, their families, sponsors and staff ó inspiring people on a very real journey.

The CFCA community in Costa Rica has made us feel very much at home. “We would like to live this mission awareness trip with a profound spirit of gratitude to the Lord of life.”

Note: Photo credits go to CFCA staff members in our project in San Jose.

In Costa Rica, we are honored to be able to work with over 7,000 families. Another 500 families have applied to belong to CFCA.

Costa Rica is considered a paradise for ecotourism. We are fortunate to experience many beautiful parts, but we also experience dramatic contrasts.

This trip is a real experience of pilgrimage, which implies joy, sadness, tiredness, pain and hope. Read more

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Apr 6 2012

‘Blessing wrapped in a challenge': Sponsor visits the Philippines

By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor

In 2007 my wife, Jayne, and I began sponsoring Khain, then age 10. We enjoy a wonderful relationship through the letters we exchange on a regular basis.

Steve Taylor with Khain and Anjo in the Philippines

Khain, Steve Taylor and Anjo on the CFCA mission awareness trip to the Philippines in January 2012.

Jayne and I look forward to receiving the letters Ö even the one where Khain, age 14, gently questioned why I have not written for roughly 7 months, but she also offered an excuse for me, “You are probably very busy with work.”

I can honestly say I’ve never been so pleased about a reprimand. We loved that she looked forward to the letters, even enough to ask for them.

This gentle reprimand strengthened our relationship and made us think about Khain’s maturity and our interest in her future. We wanted to focus on her long-term future.

To match Khain’s maturity, Jayne and I transitioned our letters from general news to asking more about her goals and ambitions.

In addition to encouraging her to do well in school, we also determined we could help her with college or technical training costs after high school.

We decided the best way to communicate our offer was face to face during the 2012 CFCA mission awareness trip to the Philippines.

Now here’s the challenge. The day prior to visiting Khain and her family at their home, I was informed Khain had left home and dropped out of school for a month while only 14.

Fortunately, she returned home and is back in school. Now the long-term vision for college changes to ensuring she finishes high school. Read more

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Apr 5 2012

Couple visit sponsored friend in Kenya, connect across cultures

Fred and Scheryn Pratt have sponsored nine children over the years with CFCA. One of them, Newton, is pursuing an education in art with the help of CFCA and the Pratts, who contribute to his art school fees in addition to sponsorship.

Here is an excerpt of a conversation our correspondent Natasha Sims recently had with Scheryn about their sponsorship experience.

CFCA mission awareness trip - Newton and Scheryn Pratt

Newton and Scheryn Pratt on a 2010 mission awareness trip to Kenya. The Pratts have sponsored Newton for six years

I heard you got to visit Newton’s home and school. What was that like?

It was very eye opening. He goes to the Buru Buru Art Institute, and it’s a college.

It’s very nice with a lawn and grounds and nice buildings, and we toured the school. And that was just like a typical college, but small ñ not big like in the U.S.

Well, his home is in a very poor slum. It is one small room for three people: his older brother, his mother and himself.

It’s crowded in the sense that there’s so little space and there’s very little furniture.

When I say one room, I mean 12×12 or 8×8, so it’s small. It’s on the third floor of an apartment building.

There was one light bulb hanging from the ceiling, but the power had been turned off so they had no electricity. The neighborhood is full of trash ñ you know, nothing growing, just mud and dirt. Read more of Scheryn’s interview

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Apr 2 2012

Longtime CFCA sponsors: ‘Our family’ in Nicaragua, part 2

From left are Harvey Correia; his son, Michael; Claudia, the Correias' sponsored child; Linda, Harvey's wife; and Timoteo, Claudia's father. This picture was taken at Claudia's quinceañera.

Last week Harvey Correia wrote a beautiful blog post about his family’s first mission awareness trip to Nicaragua, where they met their sponsored child, Claudia, and also sponsored two more children: Juan Francisco and Neyling. Here he recounts the story of how Claudia and her “family” from the U.S. got to celebrate her quinceaÒera,the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and transition into adulthood.

We enjoyed visiting Claudia so much in 2009 that we returned on a mission awareness trip the following August so we could visit all three of our sponsored children.

We visited Claudiaís home on this trip and met her mother, a sister and a brother. Unfortunately, we learned that her father was quite ill and had been unable to work for nearly a year because of his ailments.

This obviously brought sad feelings, but we also had some new joys by seeing our children bond together while we traveled with CFCA for the next few days.

We treasure a photo of Claudia walking with her arm around Neylingís mother.

During this trip we met a fellow sponsor, and through him we met more sponsors through Facebook contacts.

One of these contacts had photos of a quinceaÒera celebration for their sponsored girl from Nicaragua, and we decided to pursue helping our girl Claudia celebrate her quinceaÒera.

We just returned from our most recent visit to Nicaragua and had a wonderful time. We visited all of our children and had a wonderful time at the quinceaÒera Mass. Read more

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Mar 26 2012

Longtime CFCA sponsors: ‘Our family’ in Nicaragua, part 1

By Harvey Correia, CFCA sponsor

Correia family in Nicaragua with CFCA

Claudia, second from right, is sponsored by Harvey and Linda Correia, also pictured. This picture was taken in 2009 when the Correias and their son, Michael, left, visited Claudia in Nicaragua on a CFCA mission awareness trip.

My wife, Linda, and I began our family relatively late so when there was a CFCA presentation in our parish while Linda was pregnant with our only child, Michael, we liked the idea of expanding our family through sponsoring a young child.

We sponsored Claudia, a 17-month-old from Nicaragua, in August 1998 when our son was 6 months old.

Although we were not especially active sponsors in writing to our sponsored friend, we treasured the letters received, first written by an older sister and, as Claudia grew older, from Claudia.

We did pray for Claudia and her family in our daily prayers, and this helped strengthen our bond with Claudia as well as help teach Michael our beliefs in social justice.

The annual photos have been a great treasure and formed a great album showing Claudia’s progress.

We read CFCA articles about mission awareness trips and thought one day it would be nice to meet Claudia. Read more

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Mar 23 2012

Dominican Republic trip shows positive, sustainable change

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies mission awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

We really had an “early-morning CFCA flight” out of Kansas City.

Twenty-eight students and faculty from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., boarded our same flight for Atlanta.

From Atlanta, Cristina and I went to a mission awareness trip to the Dominican Republic, and they are en route to a CFCA mission awareness trip to El Salvador.

Godspeed, dear friends. Thanks for keeping CFCA on the move!

At CFCA, we favor a culture of learning and listening.

Here are a few things I have heard this week in the Dominican Republic.

Sponsored youth Monica to her Puerto Rican sponsors, Beridiana and Rafael: “It has been many years. You are much more than sponsors. You are like my parents, and I love you.” (These sponsors have been with CFCA for 23 years.)

Sponsor: “Something I learned on the mission awareness trip (MAT) to Chile. Please keep in mind the elderly. Chile was my first MAT, but I’ll be going on many more trips with CFCA.” Read more

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