Ronnie & Roonie

Ronnie and Roonie were twins born in the Kipkaren slum near Eldoret, Kenya. Their dad died of AIDS. And their mom feeling overwhelmed simply dumped Ronnie and Roonie in a trash heap and disappeared. Presumably she was HIV positive too. A Good Samaritan recognized the children who had been dumped and knew that they had a grandmother nearby. So Ronnie and Roonie were taken to her little mud house in the slum. Their grandmother didn’t want them but didn’t know how to get out of the predicament. This is the plight of so many in Sub-Saharan Africa. Parents die and older grandparents are left to raise the children. AIDS has caused a whole generation to disappear from this area. Ronnie… Read more »

Lo Imposible No Existe

Hello, I am Hazell Patricia Chacón Ruiz. I was born on September 12nd, 1991 in Managua, Nicaragua. I am the daughter of Thelma María Ruiz Reyes and Marvin Chacón. I started pre-school at age 4 at a public school that was just few blocks from home. Despite the many economic difficulties that my family faced, I always got good grades. When I was 6 years old, my dad died. My mom worked hard, day and night, to support me not only materially but also spiritually. While she was working outside the house, my grandmother would take care of me.

Outside Listening In

“I never met my father,” Daniel said. “That’s why I like CRF so much.” “I was an orphan,… I never even saw a picture of my dad. All I know is that he told my mother before he died— ‘Get this boy an education!’” Daniel Chengo’s mother did everything that she could to send him to school. With huge sacrifices, she helped Daniel get through the fourth grade. But by the time he got to the fifth grade, tuition increased and they were out of money. Daniel went to school anyway. He sat in the classroom until he was chased out of class for not paying his fees. But Daniel didn’t go away. Every single day, he would arrive and… Read more »

Martha’s Sacrifice

I recently returned from a visit to see the CRF programs in Liberia. People have been asking me how it was. I have mixed feelings about the country. Historically, Liberia should have all the amenities, government, economy and services like the US. It was founded by freed slaves after our Civil War. But it doesn’t. After years of corruption, abuse, their own Civil War, dictators, coups, and neglect, Liberia is a country that has so many needs. If I had to sum it up, it is as if a developed country slipped back into becoming a developing country again. But the people have tremendous hope; they see a better Liberia on the immediate horizon. I feel it too. I met… Read more »

Gratitude in Any Language

As I stepped into the building, I couldn’t see much. It felt dark because the windows all seemed to be small, and the old building was darkly painted inside. It was quiet, but every once in a while I could hear what sounded like muffled voices, which I followed to a small, dark classroom. The students were learning math. The teacher was teaching in sign language, and the kids were answering back out loud. When they saw me, they all stopped, looked at me, and then started signing, “I love you!” in American Sign Language. We all know that sign…hold up your hand with your thumb, index finger and pinkie all extended and your ring finger and middle finger down…. Read more »