Indonesia Earthquake

More than 430 people have died from the earthquake in Lombok, Indonesia. Thousands more have been injured.

350,000 people have been displaced from their homes because of the destruction. Nearly 75 percent of residential structures have been destroyed in northern Lombok because of poor construction that was unable to withstand strong tremors.

Since CRF is a relief organization, we are always concerned about disasters. But this one takes on a special significance to us.

Patrick Jones, the son of our president Milton Jones, and his family live in Indonesia. Although Patrick’s home is in Jakarta, he ministers frequently in Lombok.  The church where he serves when he is in Lombok has been demolished and many members have lost their homes.

CRF is helping to restore Lombok, Indonesia.

If you would like to help these Indonesians, please

And don’t forget to pray for this horrible situation!

Verna’s Goat

Have you ever looked back and been able to pinpoint one thing that seemed to change everything else? Maybe it was a job opportunity in a new city, a chance meeting with an old friend, or a word of encouragement spoken at just the right time. A day that starts off like any other can become the day that—when you look back years later—changed the course of your life.

Verna, a sponsored child in Kenya, has had one of those experiences too.

And it came in the form of a goat.

Verna joined the CRF program in 2012. At just 10 years old, she had already lost both of her parents to AIDS. She was living with her elderly grandmother and young sister in a small hut with no electricity or running water.

Verna (R) with her grandmother and little sister

Verna’s life already took a major positive turn when she got sponsored. But then her sponsors went a step further and decided to buy her a goat!

While a goat might seem like a relatively small thing, to Verna and her family it represented a life-changing opportunity. The milk from the goat could provide extra nutrition for Verna and her sister. And the excess milk could be sold in the market to purchase other items the family needed.

Verna was very responsible and worked hard every day to take good care of her goat. And after a couple of years, she had saved enough money from selling her goat’s kids to buy a cow!

This cow has already produced a calf, not to mention a lot more milk than her goat! The profits from extra milk alone have been enough for Verna’s grandmother to pay for all of her school fees.

This has allowed Verna to move on from our sponsorship program so another child in need could be sponsored. Amazing!

We are so proud of CRF children like Verna who work incredibly hard to nurture the opportunities that have been given to them.

Verna will soon finish high school and her future is bright. We can’t wait to see what she does in the years to come!

It is so inspiring to see how God multiplied the blessing of a goat to completely transform Verna’s life! A small investment of $50 can make an impact that is felt for years to come!


God of the Hills and Valleys

One of the things we often hear from sponsors is that they love how CRF allows them to meet their sponsored children in person! Every year hundreds of CRF sponsors join us on mission trips where they have the opportunity to visit their children and serve their communities for the glory of God.

We wanted to share this story from sponsor Rachel Shoener of LCBC church in Pennsylvania about her recent experience visiting her family’s sponsored children in Honduras!


What an incredible trip! We saw some amazing mountain views, walked over hills and valleys to visit families, and shared a love that was beyond words – and an overwhelming love was shown to us. There was not a day that we did not cry together – sharing gratitude, love, and saying goodbye. We spent an hour or two with our sponsored kids. It was more than enough to make a lasting connection. We miss them greatly.

Christian Relief Fund is an amazing organization, and made extraordinary things happen, like meeting all 3 of our sponsor families for lunch at the center. It meant so much for us to meet our sponsored children and their families. I’m blown away by the care and love CRF shows for each of the 400 children sponsored by LCBC members in Honduras. They have worked hard to set up this child sponsor program so that children can go to school, receive food, clothes, and school supplies.

We got to visit our sponsored boy, Erick, in his school. He showed us his school papers and we are so proud of his hard work! We got to walk to his home that his dad spent a year building. It is finally complete and lovely! It was touching to see our pictures on his wall next to the kindergarten graduation photos and family photos – we are a part of their family there, and they invited us into their homes and lives.

Gimena, our sponsored girl, sat on my lap at her school for so long talking in Spanish so fast that I could only understood about 10% of it… but the excitement and love she shared was beyond words. She sang two songs for us. It was so sweet! We played games and drew pictures of animals with her. She asked my husband Rob to help her draw an elephant! Her laugh was contagious. Gimena is so sweet, smart, and silly! At Gimena’s house, her dad shared that he started a motorcycle repair business, is raising their kids to go to church, and is training them to be respectful to others. Gimena cried when we left. It was so hard to leave. We definitely have a family home there.

Meeting our sponsored girl Gladis, her dad, and her grandmother at their home was the highlight of my week. Her dad chose a high mountain top spot with a beautiful view to build their home. Gladis’ grandmother gripped and hugged me tightly, praying over me. She is truly a woman of faith, walking with God for more than 30 years. Her prayer was powerful and the room was thick with emotion. She prayed thanks to God and for God to bless us greatly. We are a part of their family. We all know God’s love has brought us together.

God is doing amazing things in Honduras, and will continue to do so. He is the God of the hills and valleys – and we are in it together!


Thank you, Rachel! We are honored to partner with sponsors like you to help children around the world break the cycle of poverty and grow to be leaders in their communities!






Innovations in Pig Projects

Our field directors are some of the most inspiring people we know. If you’ve been reading our newsletters for a while, you surely know many of their names. These men and women work incredibly hard to bring help and hope to children in the name of Jesus!

From purchasing school uniforms to arranging doctor visits to making sure children receive their letters from their sponsors, there are hundreds of details that directors manage every day. It’s a difficult job, but these men and women of God are filled with so much compassion and love for the least of these that they sacrifice continually to fulfill their mission.

So you can imagine how amazing it is when we hear stories about directors who, out of a desire to benefit even more children, develop projects that help their program funding stretch even further.

This is Juan Gradiz. He manages our program in San Marcos, Honduras.

Last year, Juan was looking for new ways to structure his program to provide an even greater impact for children. Of course, like all CRF programs, the sponsored kids in San Marcos were attending school, getting food, clean water and medical care, and learning about Jesus. But he wanted to do even more.

Juan saw an opportunity. Many of the families of sponsored children had small plots of land that were underutilized. And it just so happened that the land was the perfect size for small pig farms!

So using development funds provided by CRF, Juan started two pig farms in partnership with local families in need of support. Juan provided the pigs and the materials for the pens, and each family took on the responsibility of building the pens and raising the pigs.

When the first group of pigs were fully grown and sold, the family and CRF split the profit. The family used the funds to improve their home and buy the next batch of piglets. Juan was able to use the extra income to bring even more children into his sponsorship program!

Juan’s pig program has been such a success because it provides a much-needed opportunity for families while also multiplying the impact of the funding CRF provides for farm projects. We’re looking at how we can expand Juan’s project to help even more children and families!

We’re so honored to work with great, innovative people like Juan every day. Thank you for making this work possible through your faithful support!


Bruiser. That’s what Jeremy named him. It was years ago, but I will never forget it.

Yes, my youngest son took the money that his grandmother gave him for Christmas and bought a pygmy goat. Why couldn’t he have bought a video game or a CD? No, he bought a goat. The problem was that we didn’t live on a farm. We lived in Seattle. And you can’t keep goats in the city. Or at least you are not supposed to do so. Bruiser made too much noise to keep outside. So we had a goat living in our house. I learned a lot about goats living with Bruiser. I learned goats like to climb. Yes, Bruiser wanted to be on the highest spot around him which was always my head when I was sitting on the couch watching television. I found living with a goat to be quite annoying.

While we were in New York City listening to Jeremy sing at Carnegie Hall (just had to throw that in to qualify myself as a bragging parent), Bruiser died. It was very heartbreaking—at least for Jeremy. But it didn’t really change our lives that much.

When I was in Turkana recently trying to help with the big drought, I found myself among a very nomadic tribe. If you were to ask them what they do, you would probably get one of two answers. They would say, “I make baskets.” Or, “ I herd goats.”

And if you got the second answer and asked, “Where are your goats?”—They would have to tell you that the goats had died from the drought.

Goats are not annoying to the Turkana people. Goats are their livelihood and give them not only sustenance but also purpose. When their goats die, it changes their lives a lot.

Have you ever heard the story or read the book about Beatrice’s goat in Uganda? The story even made it to “60 Minutes.” The gift of one goat from a non-profit organization not only sustained her family but also allowed Beatrice to realize her dream of attending school and eventually college in the United States. Giving a goat can lead to great things. But for most people who receive a goat in Turkana, it is simply one of the first steps to staying alive.

I got to be the first to pump water from one of our new wells in the desert of Turkana, Kenya. It took us awhile to get the water to flow, but when it finally did we were ecstatic. The people started dancing and jumping for joy. And in just a few minutes as I was looking at the flowing water, guess what I saw? Yes, a bunch of goats had found the water and were drinking like crazy. It was like a sign from God to me.

If we can just get the water there, the goats can live. And the goat herders can herd goats. And families can have milk. And livestock can be bred. And people can start finding some hope in this famine where it hasn’t rained in years.

We’re so grateful for how you have supported our water drilling ministry. It has truly saved lives and transformed entire communities. Please keep giving to help us provide clean water to those who are thirsty!

But if you are looking for another way to help, you can also give a goat to help communities in Turkana get back on their feet. We have a great source for goats. We have the team ready to purchase them. We have the truck to deliver them. We have the herders ready to receive and raise them. And we even have the water so they can live. Let’s give a goat!


Give a Goat Today!