What Do You Do When You Don’t Have a Preacher?

Sometimes we drill a well, and we go ahead and plant a church without a preacher. We do everything that we can do to get them one as soon as we can. But we drill wells so quickly (in six days on average), and it takes some time to train a preacher (usually a year).

So what do we do in this in-between time? That’s where Proclaimers come in. You may not know what a Proclaimer is, but they have become invaluable where we plant churches.

A Proclaimer is like a boombox only it has the Bible recorded on it. You can get them in nearly any language with a native person who speaks that language reading God’s Word. They are solar powered and loud enough for at least 300 people to hear.

When we don’t have a preacher, we give the community a Proclaimer and the people get a message they can understand. This is especially helpful where we drill wells. Although we don’t have enough preachers ready to go, the people can still hear the Bible. This is important because in most of the places we drill, many of the people are illiterate. So sending Bibles doesn’t help much.

Faith Comes By Hearing in Albuquerque makes Proclaimers. They have nearly every language. And if they don’t, they will make a new one in that language. They sell Proclaimers to CRF for only $75. What a small investment to bring the Good News to people who have never heard it! Many people send Proclaimers through our Christmas catalog—but you can donate for them anytime.


Unsponsored Children

CRF is often asked what happens to children that lose their sponsor. When you sponsor a child, we have money to devote to the health, education and spiritual training of that specific child. When a child loses their sponsor, I think that it would be unkind for us to cut off their support where they could no longer go to school, be housed, or receive food. As a result, when a sponsored child loses his or her sponsor, we don’t quit supporting them.

But this money no longer comes from a donor. So the money has to be taken out of general funds that are devoted to paying for other CRF programs.

For our finances to work, CRF has to keep the number of unsponsored kids in our programs to a minimum or we don’t have money for our other ministries. When a child loses their sponsor, I try to get them another sponsor at places where I am speaking, and we put them on our website hoping people pick these children to help reduce our general fund spending.

Here’s what you need to know — if a child loses their sponsorship, we don’t leave them high and dry. We still send funds. But we need to quickly replace the sponsorship or hope people donate more money to our general funds to cover the unsponsored children.

We certainly realize that there are a lot of reasons why someone might have to stop sponsoring a child. And we don’t want anyone to fear for the safety and care of their previously sponsored child. We continue taking care of them.

But you could also help us when you sponsor another child to pick one of the unsponsored children—there’s a special “unsponsored” category on our sponsorship website.

Or you can help by giving to our “Most Urgent Needs” general fund, which will provide support for children’s interim needs.

Usually the children who are least likely to get sponsored are older children. Of course, we want you to pick the child you want to sponsor. But sometimes older children don’t come across quite as cute or as in need as the younger kids, so they tend to get bypassed. This often happens with war orphans like those we help in Liberia and on Mt. Elgon in Kenya. Because of war situations, schools were closed—and children had to start school much later than usual. It is also true where famines have occurred. Schools were shut down or didn’t exist. And so by the time schools opened again, the children were older. These kids need a break more than ever.

If you can’t decide what child to sponsor, could you consider an unsponsored kid or an older child? - Milton Jones, CRF President





Shalini’s Sponsorship

It sounds like the opening episode of “This is Us.” A baby is left at the doorstep. Only this wasn’t a television episode.

It was real life.

Shalini Angel Sharma was left on the doorstep of CRF’s Howard Peacock Cottage in India on January 5, 1992. She was only one day old. Her parents were never found. What a sad story! Can you imagine abandoning a newborn baby? But she could never have been left at a better place—the birthplace of Christian Relief Fund.

Yes, in 1971 Baxter Loe started Christian Relief Fund here in India. Shalini was going to receive care. She would get an education, a place to live, and good food. She would be raised knowing about Jesus. And she would be loved by her house parents.

Shalini wasn’t sponsored immediately. And then she lost her sponsor. And you can easily see how important it was for her to be sponsored again when she became unsponsored.

The Millsap Church of Christ picked up Shalini’s sponsorship and made sure she finished her education. They continued their support until Shalini finished nursing school. Shalini is very smart and an exceptional student. Her academic abilities demonstrate once again how important it was for her to be responsored. And now she has a job!

The good news for Shalini doesn’t end there. She was just married! She is so thankful for all of her sponsors here and her house parents in India. We congratulate her on her graduation and marriage.

Shalini, you have come a long way since that doorstep!




Emily’s Idea

Don’t you love watching children? I do. It doesn’t matter whether a child is working or playing. And if they’re really into something, it’s often hard to tell the difference. Children “dance like nobody’s watching.”

You’ve seen it, perhaps at the grocery store as a young girl accompanies her mom. Mom works her way up and down the aisles lost in the mental planning of next week’s meals.
The young girl skipping along, oblivious to people and goings-on around her. She’s singing, creating a story as she points and scans the shelves.

Or the 30 second walk to the mailbox turns into a 20 minute adventure as the boy detours along an ant trail or picks a handful of weed flowers to present with the letters and bills— if he remembers to stop by the mailbox at all. These children are lost in the joy of living.

Take a look at the sweet face in the picture accompanying this article. You can’t miss Emily Elliott’s pure joy and excitement. Emily found something to be excited about, and she’s all in!

Look at the precious box she created for donations “to change someone’s life!”

Emily, daughter of Tim and Susan Elliott, didn’t stop there. She and her grandparents, CRF sponsors Trish and Don Elliott, attend the Church of Christ in Dimmitt, Texas where Emily’s spoken to a class there about donating.

And according to a letter we received from Emily, it’s working! They’ve collected “a ton of money” for CRF!

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Many times we associate this with the innocence and purity of children. But I think Jesus wasn’t just referring to the fact that children are unpolluted. They are also unfiltered.

Jesus sees the exuberant approach children take to life. The way they go all in. The joy they take in doing and creating. The excitement of knowing a life is going to be changed!

Emily closed her letter to CRF by saying, “Well, I sure hope you like my idea!”

Emily, I LOVE your idea! I’m so glad you have a heart to help the less fortunate. And I’m thankful you let God’s love shine through you to those around you—because it’s contagious. I pray for more hearts like yours. And I really do hope you collect a TON of money for CRF, so we can change someone’s life – lots of someones!

- Kevin Wasner, CRF Executive Director

The ABCs of Child Sponsorship

CRF directors in the field find the most needy children and gather their information to enroll them in a CRF program where they wait to be sponsored. CRF sponsors orphans and vulnerable children in 20+ developing countries worldwide.

As soon as you sponsor a child, major changes start to happen in their lives.  They start attending school, get new clothes and shoes, and start eating a much more balanced diet.  Most of all, they experience a new level of love and support through their sponsors and CRF program staff.

Sponsored children love the opportunity to connect with their sponsors through letter writing, and send at least two letters each year.  They are ecstatic when they get a letter back! Once per year, picture day is a very exciting time for children to show their sponsors how much they have grown!

Write your child today!

Along with clean water, food, housing and education — children have access to medical care when they need it. CRF’s programs focus on preventing diseases by providing mosquito nets, vaccinations, and other basic health items.  We also make sure that children have access to a doctor when they are ill.

 Because of your sponsorship, children get the opportunity to go to school.  Sponsors’ support either pays for school fees at a public school or allows a child to go to one of our great CRF schools in areas where public schools are not adequate.

CRF children learn about the Bible every single day through schools and our CRF directors. Our greatest goal is to see our kids grow up loving Jesus. In fact, children often say that they know God’s love because of the faithful support of their sponsors.

 Our goal is for every child in our programs to complete high school. Some children are then accepted to college.  At that point, their sponsors have the option to continue supporting their child during their higher education.

After graduation, CRF children often return to their community and make a big impact. Many of our children have become teachers in CRF schools.  And many have sponsored other needy children themselves in gratitude for the help given them!