Coming Home to CRF

Brandon back at school

To quit or not to quit? That was Brandon’s dilemma.

There are upwards of ten million teens in Mexico that have decided for one reason or another to stop going to school. And when they do—problems like unwanted pregnancies, drug use or even drug trafficking can be right around the corner.

Why would a kid quit? It could be to start working. Maybe a child’s family can’t handle the costs of sending their child to school. Or it may simply be that the child doesn’t see the hope of a better future with or without an education.

That’s why it is so exciting that Brandon came back! He was one of our first sponsored children for CRF in Saltillo, Mexico. But he quit school at the age of 12. Now two years later, he has decided to come back. We have him in a program that helps dropouts catch up. And now three other former CRF kids have followed his example and decided to do the same.

We are often asked why a child who is sponsored would quit school or leave sponsorship. And it is so sad when they do. We know it upsets and saddens any sponsor. But the temptations to quit are extraordinary in places of poverty. When you haven’t seen many success stories, it is hard to believe that you could be one of them.

If you have a sponsored child, could you encourage them to stay the course—finish school, keep going to church, and make good choices? We rejoice that Brandon has come home. We love second chances. And we rejoice that so many have seen the hope of a bright future and chosen to stay with CRF.

When you invest in CRF, your sponsored children are real children who face real temptations and life choices. That’s why it is so wonderful to see the opportunities of a good decision like that of Brandon!

A Choice No One Should Have to Make

It is with our deepest sorrow that we tell you that Jeremiah Cooley died of Ebola.

Jeremiah worked for CRF helping orphans in Croezerville, Liberia. A week after his death his wife also died leaving four children as orphans.

Now MacAnthony Siaker, our CRF director, has to make a choice. Do you take in the four new orphans from Ebola to the orphanage or not? If you don’t, they will be isolated and probably starve to death. If you do, you risk the deaths of the other orphans that you are taking care of. But it’s not just Jeremiah’s orphans. Others are coming and seeking refuge. No one should have to make this choice. There are no rules. There are no guidelines. It is very difficult to even define what is the most compassionate thing to do. So MacAnthony simply has to use his best judgment in every choice and trust God.

Rodney Stark in The Rise of Christianity examines several critical factors that helped Christianity move from an obscure religious movement to the dominant world religion in just a few centuries. What makes the book so interesting is that he is not writing it to promote Christianity or to change the habits of churches in regard to their evangelistic styles. No, he is a professor of sociology at the University of Washington and merely gives an academic critique.

Several of the points Stark makes are the same ones that you would expect and commonly hear by church leaders concerning the rapid growth rate of the early church. But Starks camps out on one particular distinctive of primitive Christianity that truly needs to be explored.

He concludes that one of the primary reasons that Christianity grew so quickly was because of the way they responded to epidemics.

There were frequent epidemics in the first few centuries. Usually these vast disasters occurred in the cities. When the epidemics happened, people started fleeing the cities. But while everybody was running away trying to avoid the plagues, Christians stayed and ministered to the sick and dying.

This caused two things to happen. First of all, the compassion of Christianity was vividly revealed and juxtaposed to the lack of love in the secular city and other religions. Secondly, the survivors of the epidemics were indebted to the Christians and adopted their belief system.

Perhaps there is no greater opportunity for the expansion of Christianity than a response to the Ebola crisis in Africa. But even if our intervention promoted no growth, isn’t such a compassionate response at the very heart of the nature of Jesus?

At this point, none of our hundreds of CRF children have died of Ebola. However, some of their parents have died. And now orphans of the disease are being cared for by CRF. We can truly use your donations and assistance in this crisis.

Our Liberian CRF workers are not fleeing, but they are making the hardest choices imaginable. It is like they are deciding who lives and who dies. No one should have to make these choices.

But they have no choice. - Milton Jones

Donate to our
Disaster Relief Fund



Give the Gift of Hope

Yes, it’s only October, but in just a few short weeks, Christmas Eve will be upon us.

Children all over the world will climb into bed, force their eyes shut and anxiously await Christmas morning — wondering what gifts will be waiting for them under the tree.

But can you imagine being a child and not getting a present? It happens all over the world. But CRF is trying to do something about it.

At CRF, we get the joy of giving gifts to over 5,000 children every year! This is one of the most exciting things that we do. And we want you to join us!

Every year, every child in the CRF program receives a $10 gift at Christmas.

While this might not seem like much, it is the first gift many of our children have ever received. Their faces light up with joy and for just a moment, the weight of their circumstances is lifted. They know someone cares enough to give them a present!

By providing a free gift for a needy child in the name of Jesus, you are bringing hope into some of the most hopeless places in the world. You are telling a child that they are not alone – someone cares. And most of all, that their Heavenly Father will always provide for them.

Could you give a little extra this holiday season to make sure our children have a little extra hope this Christmas morning?

Every $10 you give will fill another face with a hopeful smile!


Donate Now


Kenneth Vaughn – A CRF Legend

What do you do with the rest of your life?

If you are 67, it’s about time to rest and retire—unless you are Kenneth Vaughn. Then, it is time to go to Africa.

Certainly, all of us want to end well. And that is why we need to pay attention to the life of Kenneth Vaughn.


Our Kids Give Back!

CRF kids may have a lot of things that don’t go their way. But they quickly learn that everything doesn’t revolve around them.

No, they are created by God to help others too. As they have been helped—they want to help others.

Maybe no CRF work displays this more than our Saltillo Mission in Mexico where Audrey Burnett had been directing camps for children. Not only have they been experienceing learning the Bible, history, spelling, arts and crafts, science experiments and games—they have also been serving others.

Whether it is going around the neighborhood collecting more than 60 bags of trash or going to the dump and helping children who don’t have enough to eat and aren’t yet sponsored—our children are growing up to serve like Jesus!