Tag Archives: san lucas toliman

Oct 15 2013

Bob Hentzen’s life celebrated in Philippines

About 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects attended a memorial Mass for Bob Hentzen in Quezon City, Philippines.

About 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects attended a memorial Mass for Bob Hentzen in Quezon City, Philippines.


By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — About 1,000 families and staff members from three Philippine projects filled Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Quezon City in an outpouring of love for Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, who passed away Oct. 8 in Guatemala.

The memorial Mass was one of several held throughout the Philippines on Saturday, October 12, including services in Legazpi, Zamboanga and other communities where CFCA works.

The Mass in Quezon City was attended by children, youth, elderly friends, parents and staff members from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

“Bob’s memory and his legacy will ever be fresh in the minds of his people,” said Ed Miranda, vice president of the board of trustees for the Quezon project. “These are his people. These are the people of God entrusted to Bob, and he took good care of them.”

The Mass, celebrated in Tagalog, ended with all 1,000 in attendance holding candles and flowers as they filed out of the church. “It’s amazing how the people of the Philippines loved Sir Bob,” said Carmen Vicente, program development officer for the Manila project. “It manifested in their presence tonight.”

Elizabeth Bo, 20, a sponsored youth in the Antipolo project, is a fourth-year college student who attended the Mass with a group of friends. “I’m here to express my love with the simple action I have made,” she said. “By spending this little time, I want to honor him because without him, I don’t know if I can be here (and studying in college) today.”

Arnold Bavajadid, a leader in the ERPAT fathers group in the Antipolo project, traveled two hours in the rain to attend the Mass along with others from his community. “Without him, we don’t have CFCA to help our children,” he said. “We needed to come here to salute him and to thank him.”

The ERPAT (Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities) group is involved in community service such as disaster response and house repairs.

The main celebrant of the Mass, Father Angelo Pusiquit, has encountered CFCA through partnering with the ERPAT group in community service and through sponsored youth who graduated from college and are now helping their families.

Father Angelo said he is a former street child who got an education with the help of others, and shares Bob’s vision of sponsorship as a way to empower people and transform lives.

“To be free from the bonds of impoverishment, that is the work of Bob,” he said.

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Oct 12 2013

Bob’s legacy lives on in the families of the Philippines

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.

A memorial mass for Bob Hentzen was celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Quezon City, Philippines. The mass was attended by 1,000 sponsored children, youth and aging adults, staff members and friends of CFCA from the Quezon, Antipolo and Manila projects.


By Loretta Shea Kline, CFCA communications editor

We got the call while traveling from the picturesque mountain city of Baguio to the charming seaside town of Agoo, where CFCA serves 3,200 families through our project in Quezon City, Philippines.

CFCA’s Philippines communications liaison, Teejay Cabrera, answered his cell phone and listened for a bit. From the look on his face, I could see something was wrong.

“There’s bad news,” he said. “Sir Bob has passed away.”

Disbelief is the best way I can describe our reaction. Bob Hentzen, CFCA president and co-founder, always so strong and so vibrant, had passed away of natural causes Oct. 8, at age 77.

I had just spent a week with Bob and the Rise and Dream tour team in New York, the second leg of a two-city tour that also included Kansas City. It was one of the best weeks of my 13 years at CFCA.

The reaction of audiences to the film and to the talks by Bob and Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy, was special, even more so than usual, I thought. I feel blessed that I had that week with Bob out on the road, hearing his stories and songs as he shared CFCA’s work with students, Filipino communities, CFCA sponsors and others who came to see the film.

Bob believed in personal connection, and he modeled that for all of us on the CFCA staff, at the Kansas City headquarters and in the field.

He led one of the 200 largest nonprofits in America, but he didn’t do it from behind a desk. He led from the road, from the homes of the families CFCA serves in the urban slums and seaside fishing villages.

As we met families in Agoo (pronounced a go’ oh), I felt Bob’s presence there. He believed in the potential of people in poverty to use their talents to stand on their own, and it is happening in Agoo.

Parents of sponsored children showed us the rice mill, tailoring shop, wholesale store, peanut butter production and various food sales operations they began with capital and encouragement from CFCA. The businesses were providing income for parents so they could give their children a better life.

Bob also believed in growing the staff from the grassroots.

Geselle Cipriano, social worker; Miriam Laron, correspondence assistant; and Noel Garcia, livelihood officer; all former sponsored children and college graduates from the community, showed us the bright future of CFCA as they guided us through our visits in Agoo.

The staff is led by Benedictine Sister Mary Josephine Difuntorum, who told me that Bob had inspired her in her work, especially when it came to believing in the families and their ability to achieve their dreams.

“He had the air that attracted people to really want to work with him for the poor,” Sister Mary Josephine said. “Whenever I was near him, I felt the vibration was very strong, to love the very poor ones.”

“He made me realize working with the poor is working with the angels.”

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Oct 11 2013

CFCA co-founder Bob Hentzen passes away at 77

Bob Dies Story
posted by Christian Foundation for Children and Aging Oct. 9, 2013

Tuesday evening, the world lost a visionary soul, and heaven gained a bright star. CFCA president and co-Founder Bob Hentzen passed away Oct. 8 in Guatemala. He was 77.

Today we mourn the passing, and celebrate the life, of CFCA President and Co-founder, Bob Hentzen.

Bob was legendary in the CFCA family for his love of people, his commitment to the poor and his ability to weave a song into any story.

When Bob co-founded CFCA in 1981, he courageously acted on his unwavering belief in the dignity of the poor. This belief would form his life’s work.

Bob created a CFCA for every person: young and old, rich and poor, here and there. He found the inherent good in all people, and unified us for a great cause — that each individual across the globe could live a dignified life.

Bob was passionate about the sponsor and sponsored friend relationship. He was acutely aware that sponsorship had the potential to be life-changing for all involved. And if you heard him speak of this, you would quickly agree.

It’s no surprise that Bob co-founded an organization focused on relationships; he was so gifted at creating meaningful relationships with every person he met.

Bob did not see poverty; he saw potential in every human being. And he spent his days cultivating that potential.

To meet Bob on U.S. soil was to see only a small part of a great man. Bob was most alive surrounded by sponsored friends, walking dirt roads and playing his guitar. That is how he spent his life.

Bob didn’t govern CFCA from a fancy corner office. To do so would have been a departure from his very nature. He moved to Guatemala in 1996 and made a life among the people he dearly loved.
He understood the sponsored friends’ needs and desires because he lived with them every day. He listened as he worked with them in the garden in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, when he visited families on awareness trips or while sharing coffee and conversation with anyone who came to his door.

Bob spent a few years of his life walking on behalf of the poor. Reflecting on his most recent trek, an 8,000-mile walk through 12 countries, Bob said, “I walk in gratitude for all the poor have taught me. By walking with those living in poverty, we are saying, ‘You are not alone. We are listening to you and learning from you.’”

Our sponsored friends knew that they were never alone because of Bob. Their deep and abiding love for him is a reflection of his extravagant love for sponsored friends and their families all around the world. Bob showed us the limitless power of sponsorship.

When we remember Bob, we will remember the faces of the children, the aging, mothers, fathers and brothers and sisters.

And that’s exactly how he would want it.

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