Stopping on the Side of the Road

Do you remember that VBS song “Roll the Gospel Chariot Along?” If someone is in the road, what do you do? You stop and pick him up. That song could have been written about Moise Toussaint.

Moise Toussaint is our CRF director in Cap Hatien, Haiti. He takes care of 600 children, directs an old folks home, preaches at a church, does welding and even leads a marching band for children.

Here’s how I first met Moise. Shortly after the Haiti earthquake, I arrived to help with the disaster. We were driving a huge truck from Port au Prince to Cap Haitien to get medicine and tents. It was a twelve-hour drive through mountains and bandits on some of the worst roads imaginable. By the time we got to Cap Hatien, we had been robbed. We were lost and on the side of the road.

A man on a motorcycle saw our dilemma. And he stopped to help us with directions, maintenance and encouragement. After a bit, we introduced ourselves to each other. To my amazement, it was Moise, our CRF director. It was my first time to Haiti, and I had not met him yet. And he had no idea who I was when he stopped to help. He was simply a Good Samaritan.

On a more recent occasion, Moise and his wife, Altagrace, were on a street in Cap Hatien when they saw a couple ride by on a motorcycle.They had a little child on the bike. A little while later, they noticed that the child was wandering around the streets. The adults were gone. They had just dropped the child off and abandoned him.

Once more, Moise picked the child up. They took him to the police, but they were not able to find out where he came from. In the end, Moise and Altagrace adopted him. His name is Wilkens, and he is the cutest kid you have ever seen.

Moise just keeps picking up abandoned and misfortunate children in Haiti. Our work there has grown by hundreds during the last year. And a bunch of them need sponsors.

Would you stop and pick up one of these children for sponsorship?

- Milton Jones, CRF President

Can a Pig Change a Life?

Do you ever wonder what happens to those animals you buy in our Christmas catalog? Well, one pig was bought last year for Jacqueline Toruno, the cook at our CRF school overseen by Freddy Gonzales near Managua, Nicaragua.

But the story doesn’t end there.

With Jacqueline’s first pig, she started a tamale business. (The pig provided the makings of tamales.) After selling the tamales, she used the proceeds to buy another pig. But there was some extra profit remaining, so she bought 200 bricks for a future house. This cycle has continued eleven times. Jacqueline has now bought 12 pigs turning them into tamales and bricks for her house. She now has 2000 bricks!

With another 1000 bricks, Jacqueline will have enough for a house. It will take just over a year until her house is built, and then her pig profits will be available for other things.

If you bought a pig, you probably didn’t think you were starting a business. But all pig purchases don’t work out in the same way.

The family of Diego Silva, a CRF sponsored child, was given a pig. But the pig caused injury and created unsanitary conditions. And then Diego got extremely sick. When Diego got sick, the pig had to be sold to pay for his medical expenses and save his life.

We asked Diego’s dad if he wanted another pig. He said that pigs just had not worked out well for his family — except for selling them to save Diego. But he said that he dreamed of raising chickens. Chickens are a lot cheaper, and a bunch of donors had already given us money for Christmas to buy them.

Christian Toruno, one of our CRF directors in Leon, bought him some chickens and taught him how to raise them. Pigs didn’t make a hit with the family—but chickens were the ticket. Now Lorenzo Silva, Diego’s dad, has a great new business raising and selling poultry. And after just a few months, Lorenzo is on his second cycle. Yes, he has sold his original chickens, bought more and has some profit to help his family.

Start the Cycle.  Give an Animal!

UPDATED: Nepal Earthquake

UPDATE: 6/9/15

When a massive earthquake struck Nepal in late April, thousands of CRF supporters began praying and donating—and our disaster relief team immediately packed their bags.

Aided by your prayers and support, our medical response team arrived in Nepal as soon as possible and began working tirelessly to provide medical care and hope to earthquake victims.

Gigie Carranza, one of our team members, kept a diary during her time in Nepal. We wanted to share some highlights with you:

May 6, Wednesday: Dr. Evelyn and I were roused from our sleep by an aftershock. Yesterday we visited a small, poor village outside of Kathmandu that had not yet received support. We played with the children, gave food packs to the families, treated many sick women and children and blessed the Nepalese church families.

May 8, Friday: I am preparing activities for the children while Shem, Dr. Evelyn and Dr. Stanley sort out the medicines for our clinic tomorrow. I love spending time and bringing hope to the children while the doctors lead the clinics. We sing Jesus songs, share Bible stories, and play games.

It is such a delight to see those big smiles despite the catastrophe that recently befell them.

May 10, Sunday: Today was a busy day. We went to Thankot, a hilltop village where a church meets. We especially enjoyed the singing and the fellowship with the church before and after the medical clinic. We were able to treat hundreds of people who would not otherwise have received medical care. God is blessing our work. Keep praying!

May 13, Wednesday: Magnitude 7.4 earthquake! We were on our way to a shelter for sexually exploited women and their children when it hit. A cloud of dust enveloped us. People were running and screaming. Praise God that our whole team is safe. 60 more people were killed today. Pray for Nepal.

May 14,Thursday: We had two major aftershocks in the middle of the night. I was awakened by the sound of barking dogs and screaming women.Terror continues to fill Kathmandu.

May 16, Saturday: Today we set up clinic on the side of the road. Men and women came in trickles at first. Before we knew it, we were swamped with people asking for medical attention. Then some shop owners offered their buildings for our clinic. It is truly heartwarming when we bless others like this because they also get to bless their own people! In the afternoon we set up another medical camp and helped hundreds more people.

May 18, Monday: Today is my last day in Nepal. I will forever have Nepal in my heart. Special thanks to CRF donors for allowing us to serve in Nepal. Thank you for praying for us and the people of Nepal!

The work in Nepal has just begun. It will take many years for Nepal to fully recover. Church buildings have been leveled. Children who had already lost their parents have now lost their homes when the earthquake destroyed their orphanages. And whole communities have been affected by the severely damaged infrastructure.

So we are beginning to look toward the future. We are working with local Christians to rebuild homes and churches that will be able to withstand future earthquakes.

Our short-term plan is to provide tin roofing sheets to 1,000+ families. Heavy rains will be coming soon and we want families to be protected even if their homes are damaged or destroyed.

After we provide for the urgent needs of these families, our goal is to help rebuild the communities of Tikabhairab and Goldhunga where the church buildings along with many homes were destroyed.

It is difficult to nail down costs at this point, but our most recent estimate for rebuilding each church is $7,000. And each 2-room brick house will cost around $4,000.

Nepal is out of immediate danger, but the enormity of the destruction is still sinking in. As the media moves on to the next story, many are still left with no hope.

 

Can you help us rebuild?

Donate to our Disaster Relief Fund To Help Earthquake Victims


__________________________________________________________

UPDATE: 5/19/15

By now our disaster relief team has been on the ground in Nepal for more than a week.  We wanted to give you an update on our work and let you know our plans for the coming months.

 

The team has been very busy visiting rural communities outside of Kathmandu that are not getting the same level of care as larger cities.  They are hard at work treating the sick and injured, counseling children and delivering food and clean water—but most of all they are bringing hope.

 

We want to thank our donors because Nepali lives are being saved and transformed for the glory of God.

 

As we further assess the damage on the ground, it is evident that it will take many years for Nepal to fully recover.  Church buildings have been leveled.  Children who had already lost their parents have now lost their homes when the earthquake destroyed their orphanages.  And entire communities have been affected by the severely damaged infrastructure.

 

So while CRF is still actively supporting the relief effort, we are beginning to shift our focus to rebuilding homes and churches that will be able to withstand future earthquakes.

 

Our short-term plan is to provide tin roofing sheets to 1,000+ families.  Heavy rains will be coming in the next few weeks and we want families to be protected even if their homes are damaged or destroyed.

 

After we provide for the urgent needs of these families, our goal is to help rebuild the communities of Tikabhairab and Goldhunga where the church buildings along with many homes were destroyed.

The estimated cost of rebuilding each church is $7,000. And each 2-room, 10ft. x 20ft. brick house will cost $4,000.

 

Nepal is out of immediate danger, but the enormity of the destruction is sinking in.  As the media moves on to the next story, Nepali children and families are still left with nothing.

__________________________________________________________

Just two days ago, Nepal was struck with a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.  Since that time we have watched the death toll rise steadily to more than 4,000 souls with no sign of slowing.

Tens of thousands have lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods.  And UNICEF has announced that the quake has left nearly 1 million children in need of humanitarian aid.

The situation is terrible, but we have been amazed by the outpouring of love from our CRF donors who are asking us for ways they can help the earthquake victims.

Chito Cusi our CRF director in the Philippines, was in contact with Nepali missionaries immediately following the earthquake.  We have learned that one of the greatest needs at this moment is for trained medical professionals.

So we are wasting no time in sending a medical response team along with emergency relief supplies to Kathmandu.

Chito will be leading our response team in their work to provide medical care and counseling to the wounded and sick for as long as necessary.

The team will also work with local Christians to provide temporary housing, food and water to those who have lost everything.

The impact of this earthquake cannot be overstated.  But we ask you to continue praying for God to bring peace and hope to all those affected. The earth may shake, but His unfailing love cannot be moved.

Help victims of this disaster.

Donate to our
Disaster Relief Fund

 

Graffiti

Graffiti on the walls. What do you expect? It’s Mexico. There are gangs around. There are drug cartels in this place.

And what would you expect the graffiti to say? Gang names? Bad words? Not CRF, that’s for sure.

Yet if you go down the streets of Saltillo, you might find the unexpected. There’s a big graffiti version of CRF on the wall.

Where did it come from? Why is it there?

(more…)

House on Fire

As Bobby Moore was giving a short-term mission group a tour of the Town Square in Saltillo, a tour guide approached him and asked if he could show them around. After guiding them around the huge cathedral in the center of the city, he asked Bobby if they would like to see anything else. Bobby explained that he wanted to be taken to the barrio where the poorer people lived so that they could help them. It wasn’t the usual tourist site, but he obliged them.

Upon arriving at the barrio, the group found a house on fire. Bobby and his group quickly assembled a bucket brigade to extinguish the flames. (more…)