Tag: mothers groups

Aug 17 2009

Bob’s notes – visit to Guatemala

Guatemala mission awareness trip
Aug. 1-8, 2009

A solidarity walk, including an estimated 1,500 CFCA scholars and families, took place in San Marcos two days before the arrival of the mission awareness trip group, and was televised on three local stations. The next day, the CFCA rural livelihood project turned over 75 young bulls and cows to the San Marcos mothers groups.

Guatemala livelihood project

CFCA has two projects and 103 subprojects in Guatemala. A total of 94,500 children and aging are sponsored, plus 56 vocations candidates. Those awaiting sponsorship total 5,407.

Lots of inspiration
We are most grateful for the presence in San Lucas of the parish groups of Church of the Risen Christ, Denver, Colo., and Holy Trinity, Lenexa, Kan. A few notes shared by participants:

From Rich Swan: ìThank you, CFCA, for touching my familyís hearts. Kara and Chris are who they are partly because of our first trip back in 2003. Thank you for helping us help you to reach others at at Church of the Risen Christ and in Denver.î

Another sponsor: ìWe all experience Godís love in different ways. I love seeing Godís love and joy in the Guatemalan way of life.î

Another sponsor: ìThe experience I had with my sponsored child was amazing. It warmed my heart to see how much I mean to the family. They were so kind and respectful. I look forward to seeing them for years to come. The experience made me rethink what is important in life.î

From Ilene: ìThis week has been very special for me. I have been able to open myself up to be here in this place and see what is really important in this life. Thank you for a fabulous experience and thanks be to the Holy Spirit for bringing me here.î

Read more

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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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Mar 25 2009

Relationships are essential for a full life

Lenten reflection: Week 5
By Rev. Kelly Demo, CFCA preacher

ìAnd I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.î ñJohn 12:32

Our God, who is relational by nature, chose to become a member of the human family as an expression of intimate love. We, Godís children, are also relational and the yearning of our hearts for closeness to God and to one another is a reflection of our nature and Godís deepest desire.

Because of this, relationships are the very essence of life. Godís two greatest commandments are not about what work we do, or what we eat, or even how we are to worship God. Our two greatest commandments are to love God and each other.

We believe this is the greatest gift that CFCA has to offer to the world. The reason the founders chose the sponsorship model was because it is relational. One does not simply write a check and forget about it. Sponsors are called into personal relationships with someone they didnít even know existed before sponsorship. They are given the opportunity to love God by loving another of Godís children. Sponsor and sponsored friend carry one another in their hearts and allow the other to change them for the better.

CFCAís structure in our projects follows this model as well and feeds the need for relationships among those we serve. For example, mothers in Merida, Mexico, tell us that the CFCA mothers groups are the most important part of the program to them. Most of their families moved from villages to the city, and that move isolated them from the social fabric that had sustained their ancestors for generations. The mothers groups are recreating that sense of community that is so essential to a full life.

Lent gives us a chance to stop and examine our relationships. It is often easier to give up chocolate for Lent than to rebuild and heal relationships.

Author Stephen Levine writes, ìIf you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?î

Reflection questions:
1. How would you define your relationship with God? Is God your teacher? Friend? Distant relative you only see on holidays? Guide? Do you like that relationship or do you want it to change? What needs to happen to bring about that change?
2. Is there a friendship that you have lost and mourn that loss? What might God be calling you to do about that?

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Mar 12 2009

Creating role models close to home

Mothers groups offer the mothers of sponsored children a support system, both financially and emotionally. Dan Pearson of international programs says mothers groups allow the women to demonstrate their strength, which society, as a whole, does not always recognize. But perhaps one of the most important benefits of mothers groups is that the mothers themselves become strong, female role models for their daughters. Part four of four videos

Mothers share their talents to improve their community (Part 3)
Support in a time of need (Part 2)
Watch an introduction to mothers groups (Part one)
What do we mean by “empowerment?”

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Mar 11 2009

Mothers share their talents to improve their community

By coming together in the mothers groups, mothers in India can share their natural gifts and talents to help their community, says Dan Pearson of CFCA’s international programs. Josephine and the mothers group in her community work to improve their community by lobbying the city to pave the road from their village to the main road. Josephine also notices the number of homeless children in the community and starts an orphanage to care for them. Part three of four videos

Creating role models close to home (Part four)
Support in a time of need (Part 2)
Watch an introduction to mothers groups (Part one)
What do we mean by “empowerment?”

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Mar 10 2009

Support in a time of need

Dan Pearson of CFCA’s international programs introduces us to Preethi (a fictional name to protect her privacy), mother of a sponsored child and a member of one of India’s mothers groups. The women in her mothers group offered Preethi and her family a loan, protection and support during a time of great need. Now Preethi and her family have stable jobs, steady income and her child is attending school. Part two of four videos

Creating role models close to home (Part 4)
Mothers share their talents to improve their community (Part 3)
Watch an introduction to mothers groups (Part one)
What do we mean by “empowerment?”

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Mar 9 2009

An opportunity for mothers

Dan Pearson, a member of CFCA International Programs, returned from a six-month assignment in India to learn more about CFCA programs, particularly mothers groups. He saw that the mothers will find their own direction when they have the opportunity to take action. Part one of four videos

Creating role models close to home (Part 4)
Mothers share their talents to improve their community (Part 3)
Support in a time of need (Part 2)
What do we mean by “empowerment?”

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