Year End Giving 2018

When I reduce everything I’m looking for in life to a couple of things—I want things to go well and I want to know God.

The alternative seems awful—things going bad and not knowing God.

I found a verse buried in Jeremiah. It’s one of those you don’t always notice. But it gave me exactly what I was looking for in life:

He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord.
— Jeremiah 22:16 —

There it is. If you help the poor and needy, things go well and you know God.

It’s that simple.

As we come to another end of the year, can you help us one more time? We have seen more needs than ever before. Whether it is a disadvantaged child or a victim of a hurricane—you can make a difference with a year-end gift.

Sure, giving can be good for tax reasons. But Jeremiah tells us some even better reasons to help the poor and needy.

Thanks a trillion times!
— Milton Jones, CRF President

Donate one more time in 2018

Two Cups

Two CupsHe was simply wandering around the desert. Two cups were in his hands. One was for water. One was for food. His whole life revolved around these two things. Some days he found some. Other days he did not.

He lived in the desert of Turkana. It had not rained in his area for six years. He didn’t look well. And why should he? There was hardly any food. And so he wandered around looking for whatever he could find. He could have been so easily overlooked or missed.

My friend, Jim Shelburne, and I watched his meanderings. Jim’s congregation, Washington Avenue Christian Church in Amarillo, had paid to have a well drilled in this area. We were there to see the results. Jim asked our CRF director there, Francis Bii, about the name of this poor little boy.

We were told, “Emmanuel.” God with us.

Jim said, “I want to sponsor this child!” Emmanuel wasn’t even registered with CRF yet—but we found a way for Jim to sponsor him.

We were able to show Emmanuel our new well and how to use a hand pump. He was going to have water anytime he wanted for his little cup.

Jim and I sat there and ate some goat.

And we now had clean water.

Recently I was asked to speak at the A&M Church of Christ. They asked me to speak on the passage in Luke 22 where Jesus eats the last supper with His disciples. They got to eat with the God who became flesh. If you look carefully, Jesus has two cups.

I remembered that as I looked at Emmanuel’s two cups. Jim and I weren’t sharing the Lord’s Supper. And certainly it wasn’t the Last Supper. But there was something rather holy about our goat and water. We had been with Emmanuel. I remembered Jesus words—“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”

As we had been with Emmanuel, we had been with Emmanuel.

As we celebrate Christmas this time of year, don’t miss Emmanuel.— Milton Jones, CRF President

Sponsor a child like Emmanuel today!


A Joyful Misunderstanding

We had just traversed hours on some of the roughest roads you can imagine. And I had the ache in my back to prove it. But we had finally arrived at CRF’s newest well in Turkana, Kenya. Site visits have always been my favorite part of working with CRF’s water projects, so I jumped excitedly out of the truck to greet the community and see the well that had just been completed.

But I was greeted by something I didn’t expect — an angry person.

I had assumed everyone would be happy now that clean, plentiful water was available right in the middle of the village. In fact, I had been in this scenario dozens of times in the past and had always found myself in the middle of a giant celebration. There would be dancing and singing and jumping and pumping of clean water.

This time was different.

As I got out of the truck, I was met by a woman speaking loudly in a language I could not understand. She stood only inches in front of me and pointed forcefully into the distance as her eyes remained locked on mine. Apparently I had done something to offend her. I couldn’t remember ever making someone so irritated. My heart sank.

But then someone began translating what she was saying from the Turkana language into Swahili… and then from Swahili into English…

As she pointed into the distance, she said, “My children and I used to walk in that direction for at least three miles every morning. When we would finally find water, it would be in a shallow pit. There wouldn’t be enough for us. And it would be very dirty. My children would get so sick. I once had five children. Now I only have four children because we did not have clean water.”

Then she continued, “Today we have so much clean water here. We have truly been blessed by God. We have been praying for years for God to hear us and send His people to help us. God has heard our prayers. God sees us! God sees ME! Now my children can have plenty of water. They can be healthy. They can go to school instead of going to fetch water. We are laughing and jumping today for the joy of the Lord because He has given us water through you!”

It was clear as the translation continued that I had totally misunderstood her demeanor. What I had mistaken for anger was incredible passion and gratitude for the way God had blessed her and her family through all those who have given to CRF’s water projects.

I left that interaction in the Turkana desert breathing a sigh of relief that my first assumptions weren’t correct.

On the drive back from the village, I had another realization— I wished that I could thank all of you CRF donors with the same passion that this woman had. You have brought water to the desert! Your prayers and donations to our water projects have transformed the daily lives of thousands of people in dramatic ways! We truly can’t thank you enough!

— Andrew Brown, VP of Strategic Growth and Marketing

Help drill a water well for a community in need!



Honoring Baxter Loe

This Christmas season we’re remembering Baxter Loe who founded CRF after John Abraham, a preacher he met in India, starved to death waiting for help. Now tens of thousands of children have been helped through CRF. Baxter and John’s nightmare became a dream come true.

Baxter was just awarded a posthumous “Certificate of Christian Service” from Lubbock Christian University’s Institute of Missions. The award is truly deserved by this great man of God who gave hope to so many through his life and even more through his legacy.

Donate today to continue Baxter’s legacy ›


Indonesia Earthquake – Field Report

A field report from Patrick Jones who is leading our relief effort following the devastating earthquakes that struck Lombok, Indonesia.

Last month something happened that happens every few months. I woke up, turned on my phone and found out that there was an earthquake in Indonesia, the country I now call home.

The funny thing is, I didn’t find out from a local weather service. I didn’t find out from the news. I found out because a friend in America saw that there was an earthquake and sent me an early morning text message. He was afraid that I was dead.

Luckily for me and my family, Lombok is over 800 miles away from where we live. But this earthquake was different because my family and I have been to Lombok close to a dozen times. We have friends there. We have church connections there. We vacation there annually. And we were scared.

On Sunday, August 5, a magnitude 7 earthquake hit the northern tip of Lombok and flattened the rural villages that house most of the locals. Mataram, the main city, experienced everything from minor nuisances to collapsing buildings. The local tourist hub of Senggigi essentially shut down.

The problem with earthquakes in developing countries is that the local infrastructure is built with only one thing in mind: cost. Huts, houses and buildings are made to be cheap. Even a minor earthquake can cause considerable damage. But this earthquake wasn’t minor.

The August 5th earthquake was stronger than the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco. And it hit an island that has more bamboo and sheet metal huts than it has houses.

I instantly contacted my friend Eko, who works at a local church in Lombok. Though Lombok is, like all of Indonesia, predominantly Muslim, many other religions live peacefully here. And when something like this happens, the beauty of co-existing religions really shines.

Five days after the earthquake I was able to travel through Lombok to villages and refugee camps and distribute items provided by CRF donors — 10,000 eggs, 20,000 boxes of noodles, bed rolls, soap and cooking oil.

The majority of the people that received these goods were Muslim. It was my joy to be able to tell them that all of the gifts were from my Christian friends. My Christian friends in America. They were shocked. And they were grateful.

At Christian Relief Fund, the full amount of donations for Lombok go to Eko and the church where he works. They have partnered with local businesses to help out people in villages that no longer have houses. One business even lent him a semi truck!

I still wake up to early morning text messages. In fact, it’s happening more and more. But now they’re from Eko. They’re pictures, too. Pictures of people with soap. And eggs. Beds and blankets. And they have one more thing that I know we couldn’t ever hope to buy — smiles.