Haggai

This is a guest post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog, Through Orange Colored Glasses. Haggai. It’s one of those books in the Bible that is seldom read. Maybe we should read it more. This minor prophet reminds God’s people that all the silver and gold belongs to Him not them. It’s a pretty good message. We so often think that all of the money that we have really belongs to us. No, it belongs to God. He lets us use it. And when I walk on the streets of Africa among the orphans, I often wonder if I am using His money like He wants it used. It seems that I am always convicted that He wants His money… Read more »

Oscar

This is a guest post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog, Through Orange Colored Glasses. There is no other way to describe the Ring Road Orphan’s Day School except for a light in the darkness. When you walk through the dreariness of the Nyalenda slum in Kisumu, there is a sense of poverty, disease, and filthiness that is reflected in the lack of color. In other words, the slum is dirt colored and rather dark. But as you wind your way through the maze of paths that some would call roads, you finally arrive at the Ring Road complex. The most striking aspect about it is the bright turquoise color that absolutely sets itself off from the rest of the… Read more »

Find What Works

This is a guest post from CRF President Milton Jones’ blog, Through Orange Colored Glasses. Sean Penn has made a lot of headlines at the Cannes Film Festival, and it is not a movie that he is promoting. He is calling for the film industry and any sympathetic heart to finish the task in Haiti. The poverty and the crisis are still there. Others will argue that enough is enough. Too much money and effort went into the Haiti crisis and not nearly enough relief actually happened. They will spin stories of governmental abuse and poorly spent relief money. I think I can argue both sides.

The Wise Women of Eldoret

Everyone in the charity world is throwing around the term “microfinance” as the way to help change a poor community. Microfinance principles are based on investments made in the community through small, or micro loans, and then letting the community help themselves through the creation of jobs. Microfinance is something CRF has been dabbling in for the past 5 years, and in those 5 years we have learned what types of projects work the best. It is especially tough in Africa where the loan default rate is very high in microfinance banking. To be successful in Africa, one has to understand the culture of money in Africa. Money is not saved in Africa, it is spent. If you have money… Read more »

A Mixed Blessing

I have often wondered where the term, “a mixed blessing” came from. It seems counter to what a blessing really is. How could there be negative attachments to blessings? Maybe “negative” is too strong a word, maybe I can use the word, “challenge” to describe the situation. This is the time of year when school starts in Kenya and other countries in Africa. The Kenyan school year starts in January and ends sometime in November. The kids go to school year-round, and only have a big block of time off around Christmas. With the new school year, we receive requests to help get school fees paid for our secondary school students. This is much like high school for the U.S…. Read more »