Let me tell you about how CRF helped get stuck people ‘unstuck’ this year.
People in the Horn of Africa were stuck. It had not rained in five years. So CRF developed the greatest water ministry in our history. We brought in food and water to the most devastated places like Dadaab andTurkana. We drilled wells. We started farms. We built schools. We planted churches. It may seem like a drop in the desert, but CRF saved thousands of people who would have died without the water that you gave through CRF.
CRF children have excelled in school. As a result, these little orphans that you have fed, housed, and educated have grown up becoming smart. We have started elementary schools all over the world for these up and coming children. But now thousands of them have grown up and are ready for secondary school. And our fees are not great enough to pay for high schools in most places. Because of this situation, our best programs with our brightest children were absolutely stuck. They couldn’t continue their education. However, we learned that if we built our own high schools that we could keep the same fee structure and all of our precious kids could further their educa- tion. As a result, this year we laid the groundwork for the building of five high schools. They are not completed. We still need funds. But we are on the road to solving one of our biggest problems—further education.
As I project forward, I see 2013 becoming the year of water and schools. We hope to start our own drilling ministry with our own rig this year in order to dig more wells with reduced costs. We also plan on completing and opening these new high schools this year in order to solve perhaps our biggest economic and educational problem. Why haven’t we done this before? We were stuck without the finances to launch into such big efforts. But I believe this year will be a big leap of faith. We are trusting for more donations to be given for the areas of water and high schools.
As I look back to 2012, I realized that we were more domestic than usual. We are a relief organization. But most of our assistance is international rather than in the United States. But this was a year that trauma landed on our own soil. People in our own country got stuck. CRF became a little more national this year as we helped with disasters in Louisiana and New Jersey.
Years ago we started a clinic in Kisumu, Kenya to bring medical help to the most diseased place on the planet. People there were receiving no attention when it came to health issues. And this area had one of the highest numbers of people with AIDS. We started a clinic, but we only got so far.
In fact, we became stuck. We could treat so many illnesses but could not totally help with HIV. ARVs which prevent HIV from turning into AIDS were available for us, but we didn’t have the facilities, drugs, personnel, or equipment to make the leap to treating and saving the hundreds of thousands in this area who had HIV. We are no longer stuck. Through the generosity of some donors – we now have what it takes to get unstuck. We now distribute ARVs. People with HIV are now being saved from developing AIDS.
As I travel, I find so many people who feel stuck. They want a greater purpose. They are tired of the mundane life they have been living. CRF has been exposing so many people to the needs around the world in mission trips. Christians have learned first hand how they can change the world. It might be in Nicaragua, Haiti or Kenya—but our CRF supporters are giving much more than money now. They are giving them- selves personally to our CRF works.
But when it is all said and done, CRF is about children. We have child sponsorship programs in 22 countries around the world. More than 5,500 children are supported full-time by child sponsorship. These children are fed, housed, clothed, educated and given spiritual training because of their individual sponsor’s support. But many more children are helped through CRF. In fact thousands of others are alive, getting an education, and being helped through feeding programs and relief programs. We have places where we haven’t started individual sponsorship yet, but we still send money. Hopefully, we will have sponsorships in these places in the future—but we are just not ready yet for a full blown program. Still money helps to feed, house and educate the children in these places. In some of our programs, there are children who have yet to be sponsored. They still receive benefit from the CRF work but have just not been sponsored yet. We hope that 2013 will be a year to get some more of these unsponsored children sponsored and to start all encompassing sponsorship programs where we have just initially begun. Every place I go, I see children who are stuck. It may be because of poverty, illness, or slavery. But they are stuck. Our goal in 2013 is to get these children unstuck.
2012 was our best year ever. We didn’t stay stuck. More money was given. More disaster relief occurred. And more children were saved. Thanks for being true friends to the children we serve.
- Milton Jones President/CEO