Look, We Remodeled

Wow, it’s beautiful!

Yes, our CRF building has been remodeled. And it is not only gorgeous—it has a great new purpose.

If you remember, a truck drove through our building last year and forced us to remodel. And through the ingenious design of architect Charles Lynch and builder Frank Alfonzo, a masterpiece has been created.

Our new CRF building reflects an international look to help people experience the way that we help children around the world. In fact, it is our goal to bring school children from the Panhandle of Texas into our building to teach them about poverty and life in the developing world.

Maybe the highlight of our remodel is the third world home. A house has been created to not only show how poor children around the world live but also what children receive when they are sponsored.

 

What does a sponsored child get?

  • A Bible (with spiritual training)
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Food
  • Clean water
  • Textbooks
  • a Bed
  • a Mosquito Net
  • Letters from their sponsor (with pictures)
  • Christmas presents
  • and so much more.

Our new display house shows how you change a child’s life when you sponsor them.

And to the side of our display are rows of children all waiting to be sponsored.

Our hope is that when people see these children, they will take one of their promos and fill it out on our table made from a water barrel which represents the water we are drilling for around the world.

We hope you will come see us at CRF and be motivated by our remodel. And you can sponsor one of the children too. If you can’t make it to the office, you can always sponsor a child online at christianrelieffund.org!

The Cosmic Lottery

My wife and I “sponsored” a child in Honduras through CRF.  Milton Jones, the president of the organization has been a speaker at a number of events I have attended.

It was following a presentation he made over a year ago that I browsed through the pictures of children who needed sponsors so they could attend school. There was nothing exceptional about Felix Flores, except he was born in January 2002, about halfway between the birthdates of my two grandchildren. I figured I could use that as a reminder.

In the early going, the pressure of other things got in the way of my remembering to regularly send a check. I received reminders and I’d send a check, and then I’d forget them again.

When a letter, hand written in Spanish by Felix and decorated with crayon drawings came, along with a recent picture, I had an awakening.

The letter written by Felix had been translated into English so I would know what he said, and his words touched my heart. He talked about his large family that lived together, three generations in one small house. He talked about his parents and their work. He mentioned that he likes to play soccer. He thanked us for our generosity.

His letter made me feel not very generous.

But it also gave me a resolve to do better.

As I made out my next support check, I wrote a letter back to Felix. It was my first acknowledgement that there was an actual child; a living, breathing human being, about the age of my grandchildren; who needed help.

About that time, I noticed a friend who had put the photo of his “sponsored” child in his office. It was a constant reminder of that human being who needed help. My $35 check each month was equal to about half his family’s income each month. I don’t know if that bought food, clothes, school supplies, or what, but I did know that it helped Felix and his family survive and gave them the hope for a better life.

I started including photos of my family in the letters I sent. It inspired me to write letters to my grandsons in Maine – something that would probably never have occurred to me without Felix and CRF. We received copies of Felix’s report cards, showing his progress in school.

Recently, he wrote that his mother was sick. He asked for our prayers for his mother. We have been praying for his family, and we’ve tried to send a little extra money for help with their doctor bills. Two letters from Felix have arrived in the last month. He is grateful for the prayers and for the care we have tried to provide. Felix is a real boy. He will be 12 next month. I’ve never met him and he’s never met me, but he is real.

Jesus said, “ Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” I have Felix’s picture on the wall in my home. I think of him. I am reminded that we, in this nation, in the words of Milton Jones, “hit the cosmic lottery.”

- By James Barrington, Managing Editor of The Canyon News
Reprinted with permission

Sponsor a Child Today!

 

 

 

Sharon’s Story

A young girl who lives in Kenya and is sponsored through Christian Relief Fund wrote a letter to her sponsor recently. Her story touched my heart and I hope it touches yours as well. Sponsorship has equipped Sharon to continue her education, have enough food to eat, and find hope for a brighter future.

-Emily Whelchel, CRF intern

Dear sponsor,

Get more greetings from I, Sharon. I am glad to write to you this letter just to say a word of thanks for your mercies and for what you have done for me. Surely I was going to sink in a hole and I would never come out.

My life since I was young was very bad and terrible. I have never lived with both my parents. I have never felt their parental care and love. I used to live with my maternal grandmother since 2006 when my life was extremely bad.

My father died in the year 2013. He started brewing illicit drugs when I was in first grade and my elder brother was in second grade. From there our life was going to be very worse. He used to take my mother’s money from her business which she used to pay our school fees. From there he started abusing my mother in front of us. He lastly sent her out of our home. My mother had no other [place to go]. She left and went to my grandmother’s home (her mother), where she stayed for two days and left to look for otherwise for our needs.

My father lastly left us alone in the house and he never bothered us. He left us without anything. He had to go and borrow. In the year 2006, we had lived alone for three months. Whenever we went to our maternal grandmother’s place, my aunt used to send us away from that home. Our grandmother had left to Nairobi.

My grandmother came back and took us. She lived with us. My younger sister used to be calling my elder brother “mum.”

Our grandmother continued to live with us and we continued with education. I had never stopped going to school, but my brother had stopped. He was taken back to second grade, where we continued to learn in the same class.

My brother is now in ninth grade and we thank God for remembering us. I thank God for His mercies and I also thank you, sponsor, for your mercies on me. May God of blessings bless you and give you a long life. Thank you very much.

Your loving,

Sharon

Is it Safe? Who Knows?

Vida Nueva is our CRF work in Piedras Negras, Mexico.

When Jair Castillo went to the dump there 35 years ago, he realized that it wasn’t just a place for trash — it was also where families got their groceries. Families went through the Citadel dump to find food and anything else useful in order to survive. It was where children played instead of going to school. And diseases were killing the kids.

Children were dying not only from diseases but also trying to escape the poverty of this Mexican border town. One day a child whom Jair had told about Christ drowned in the river trying to get to the U.S. Jair couldn’t stand to see the tragedy any longer. So he planted a church, started a children’s home and created a school.

CRF sponsors help the kids at Jair’s school learn God’s love through sponsorship. There are currently 250 children enrolled in the Christian school there. The church baptized 89 people last year. Jair and his wife, Norma, along with our CRF director, Lorena Cardenas, have created an oasis for children in the midst of the problems of this border town.

Over the years Piedras Negras has not only become one of our finest works but also one of our finest facilities. Because of its proximity to the U.S., it was a perfect place for mission trips. So they built dorms for big groups to come. Facilities were even built where doctors and dentists could come and work.

It seemed to have everything. The short-term mission groups would make the facility better with each trip and support more and more children.

But now no one comes. (more…)

Freely You Receive, Freely Drink

Blue Hills. That’s what they called it. I couldn’t find anything blue. And I certainly didn’t see any hills. But we were there because they told us that there wasn’t any water.

Blue Hills is right outside of Cap Hatien, Haiti. It’s not that far from the airport, but it seems like it takes forever to get there because of the lack of roads. We had been contacted by some church members about their lack of water, so we had drilled a well there. Now I was going with a team to see if they needed water purification so the people didn’t get cholera.

After the team had put up some overhead tanks and was working on the system, I noticed something strange down the road. There was a church building that really wasn’t far away at all. And it had something sitting beside it that looked very familiar. They had a water pump.

I asked everyone why we had drilled a water well when there already was one in the neighborhood. It seemed like a good question to me. No one had a good answer, so I walked down to the church building and looked at the well. Then I figured it out. There was a big lock on it. (more…)