‘Christmas will be Different’

Christian Relief Fund started a new program in Kimilili, Kenya this past July. Milton had heard about Kimilili and visited this impoverished area in the spring, and wanted to bring help. He found a small school with a bunch of orphans. These children had lost a parent or both parents to either HIV/AIDS or through tribal conflict. Their school was made from sticks, stones and mud, and was falling apart. The latrine was collapsing, and there seemed to be no end to the poverty they faced.

Trouble on Mt. Elgon

Sister Mono patiently waited to talk to me as I was visiting Emmanuel’s Farm near Bungoma, Kenya. When I made my way to talk to her, she gave me a letter requesting help for her children — all 1500 of them. “The mentioned children are more than 1500 from affected families because of the armed conflict, the SLDF, and army operations which led to the deaths and disappearances of some parents. During these operations women were sexually abused leading to infections of HIV/AIDS. Most of the children are either total orphans or half orphans.” – excerpt from Sister Mondo’s letter. It sounded like one of those Joseph Kony and Invisible Children stories—only this one may have been even more violent…. Read more »

Growing Up Like Jesus

It’s easy to think of Christian Relief Fund only as a compassion and justice ministry… Maybe we don’t explain enough about the other dimensions of what we do. The other day a church put us in their missions budget because they said it was hard to find anything more evangelistic than what we are doing. I think that church understands. As an example when I was in Kisumu, Kenya a couple of weeks ago, I got to witness 53 baptisms in Lake Victoria. If I would have made it to Emmanuel’s Farm a few days earlier, I would have seen over 80 people baptized into Christ. And it is not just Africa, in Nicaragua, we had 40 baptisms in one… Read more »

Oasis of Hope Challenge

If I evaluated our situation in Kenya, I would conclude that our biggest problem is our success… We have saved so many children in the slums who would have otherwise died. And we have educated them very well. In fact, they are so smart that they are getting accepted into some of the country’s best secondary schools. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a good longterm plan for raising so many orphans with incredible minds and a desire for further education. In most cases CRF operates our own primary schools and the sponsorship fees from CRF are able to pay for the children’s primary education. But when these children get older, we don’t have a secondary school for them and the cost of education is more than we can afford. The best answer is… Read more »

How much should you pay the guy who picks you up in the desert?

This is a guest post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog, Through Orange Colored Glasses. How much should you pay the guy who picks you up in the desert? Well, my trip to Turkana started out with one of those “small world” deals. Barbie and I taught at Puget Sound Christian College for a couple of decades. Gene Morden graduated in 1993, and we had kind of lost track of him. It turned out that he is living in Turkana doing mission work and drilling water wells. I told Francis Bii, our relief director for the Horn of Africa, to try to find him and see if we could partner in some way. Francis had made three trips to see… Read more »