“Now We Aren’t Hungry Any More!”

 

Place of Joy. That’s what it is called. And that is what it could be.

But it hasn’t had a lot of joy in quite some time.

Place of Joy is in Cap-Hatien, Haiti. The government of Argentina built it after the great earthquake there. It is hard to believe how nice of a facility they built. It is over 70 acres with a school, dormitories, health facility, ranch, farm and church building. It has the potential to take care of hundreds of children.

The government of Argentina delegated the supervision and overall care of Place of Joy to the Catholic Church. But for whatever reason, Argentina and the Catholic Church pulled out. They left the facility and around 50 children who were living there.

After the abandonment of the facility, the Haitian government took charge. But they didn’t devote people to run the school or provide funding for it.

As a result, the government asked Altagrace Touissant, who works for CRF’s Sovereign School in Cap-Hatien, to be the director there. There was only one problem—there was no money. The government had stopped funding the children and the facility was wasting away.

CRF’s Bobby Moore has been in talks with the Haitian government, and they are now willing to give control of Place of Joy to CRF. This facility is bigger and has more potential than any place CRF works.

There is now hope for Place of Joy! But we need some help.

Bobby said that if 8 individuals would give $500 a month, we could renovate and bring some joy to Place of Joy. We would also need sponsors for the 50 kids immediately.

Could you do one of these?

We started bringing food to Place of Joy. As soon as the groceries arrived—Bobby Moore, Rick Chandler, and Mike Biggers heard from a child, “Now, we aren’t hungry any more!”

The children had been starving. Now there is food. There can be so much more if you can help us! We also need some mission trips going to Place of Joy to do some hands on work to get this place cleaned up and fixed up, so let us know if you are interested in visiting!

Help us bring joy back to Place of Joy!

 

What Your Letters Mean

From Sarah Nicholson, a missionary working with CRF in Kenya:

When you write to your sponsored child, they finally understand that someone on the other side of the world cares about them. When I show up at school with letters to hand out, the excitement among the kids is contagious. I just say a name, and they all run to find their friend and tell them the good news that they have received a letter!

After the child reads their letter, they pass it around to their friends so everyone can share in the joy. For children who don’t have anyone in Kenya that loves them enough to invest in their life, this letter represents God’s provision in their lives. It represents that fact that God is big enough to send someone to them from the other side of the world.

In Sunday school the children sing, “My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty!” Just how big is this God that they are learning about? He is big enough to move the heart of someone in the richest country in the world to provide for one of the world’s poorest children.

Believe me when I say that if you were here to see your sponsored child’s face when I place that envelope in their hands, you would understand how important your letters truly are.

Please consider writing a letter to encourage and connect with your sponsored child today!

 

I Miss My Mom

I miss my mom. She died last year when I was over in Haiti. No one exemplified James 1:27 more than the life of Helen Jones. I am who I am because of her. She gave me an example, encouraged me, and helped me in every phase of my life. More than anything I want to honor her with my life and work.

When she died, a lot of people made donations to CRF in her memory. I love flowers, but I really like CRF even more. And with the money given a school was built on Mt. Elgon in Kenya. David Marangach thought it was a great idea to remember my mom with this building on the campus of Milton Simotweet School. And I can’t think of a better memorial for her legacy than a place for perhaps the world’s most needy children to get an education and learn about Jesus.

As I was a little melancholy today with the absence of my mom, I also was smiling when I saw these pictures of the school and some of the children who would be attending there. There couldn’t be a better tribute for my mom. There’s nothing that she would have loved more than helping these precious children. It’s kind of like a part of her lives on in this area of Africa.

I think CRF does a good job with memorials. I have always believed that—but when I faced grief firsthand—I really became convinced that we provide a good service in the help of healing.

You may have seen all the memorials on the back of our newsletter. If you aren’t familiar with them, you can send a donation in your loved one’s memory when they pass away. We will notify the family with a nice memorial card and use the donation to help children around the world. Other people do the same things with honor gifts to recognize people who are still alive.

One of the greatest needs at CRF is for buildings for our children around the world. We take care of the needs of children with the $35 a month—but it won’t cover buildings needing to be built.

But maybe you will want to make a donation to build a building in their memory like we did for my mom. Or you could even drill a water well in someone’s memory.

I am so pleased with what happened in the life of my mother and how she will be honored for a long time in the future. And I wanted to share this experience in case one of you wants to do something similar in the future.

Thanks for remembering my mom. She was the best!!

Did They Cheat?

No, they didn’t.

It’s not quite “Deflategate,” but it is quite a controversy over in Nairobi and Eldoret, Kenya.

In Kenya, students must take a national exam to move forward in their education and show the quality of their education. As you can imagine, this puts all kinds of pressure not only on students but also on schools. And so much of the educational system revolves around the preparation for these tests.

Suzy Peacock is our high school outside of Eldoret, Kenya. More has been invested in this school than any educational center in CRF history. It has existed for only four years, yet it is one of the best schools in Kenya as you will see in our big dispute.

What happened? Educational authorities in Nairobi have accused Suzy Peacock of cheating. Why? They made the highest scores in the country on their national exams. They were much better than anyone else. So what did the system conclude? They must have stolen the national exam and had it in advance to do so well on the test.

But they didn’t. They are just that smart. I’m so proud of these students. Just a few years ago so many of them were AIDS orphans simply hoping to go to school. The odds were stacked against them, and they didn’t have much of a chance to have the funds to go to school. Even if they did, they wouldn’t get into a good school because of their background.

But they were sponsored. Suzy Peacock was built. And now the best of the best are these kids from the slum. And when you look for premiere schools, you can think of CRF.

We are sure that the truth will be discovered. Our kids are intelligent. Our kids are honest. And if they take the test again, they will still be at the top.

MacAnthony—Liberian Legend

Croezerville (pronounced Cruiser-Ville) sounds like a drive-in in a 50s movie. But it is anything but a place of fond nostalgia or glee. No, the memories are bad—and the present has not been much better.

In the past, Charles Taylor invaded this area of Liberia cutting people’s arms off and kidnapping children to make them child soldiers and terrorists. In recent years, it has been known for the Ebola epidemic that has killed so many and left numbers of orphans.

MacAnthony Siaker is the director of the CRF program in Croezerville. He knows what it is like to live in poverty and bad situations. MacAnthony’s father had three wives and was a farmer. He was able to get his kids into school—but just barely. Yes, MacAnthony and his siblings were the only children in school without shoes. There was a prize for being the best student. It was $25. And MacAnthony won the money every year. That’s how he completed his education.

With a bad economy and impending war, schools were closed all over Liberia. In 1992, MacAnthony left Monrovia with 60 homeless and unschooled children to go to the countryside near Croezerville. All he had was two bags of rice. It only lasted three days. That’s when his wife left him.

And then things got worse. A war happened.

When Charles Taylor invaded Liberia, he was after these children. He wanted them for his army. He wanted to make them killers. They surrounded the walls of our CRF facility ready to attack.

MacAnthony climbed the wall and yelled at them, “In the Name of the Lord—Outside!” And that’s exactly where they remained. They left. And not one child was taken. Not one rebel came inside. MacAnthony became a legend.

And then came Ebola. 

MacAnthony saw teachers at his school die, and new orphans emerged. Today, he is 58. He still sleeps at the children’s home on the floor. He is the only parent most of these 150+ children will ever know. He is the school principal, but refuses to take a salary.

He is simply glad to save children.

And now there’s finally some good news. The war is over. There haven’t been any new cases of Ebola lately. And new kids are coming to join MacAnthony’s dream. Yes, we are building a new school in Croezerville.

Deaf children from all over Liberia and Sierra Leone have been abandoned with no place to go and no hope for schooling. Christian Relief Fund has a great school in Monrovia run by Emmanuel Jacobsen. They just don’t have a school building or a good place to live. But that is about to change. MacAnthony has invited these kids to Croezerville so they can also meet in the new building we are building there. And four new dorms are about to be built for children from MacAnthony’s ministry and Emmanuel’s work.

In Liberia, there is a slogan that fits well the vision of Croezerville:
“IT IS BETTER TO BUILD CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR MEN”