The Unlikely Roots of Child Sponsorship

Jared Odhiambo, Kotieno Thomas, and James Were from Kisumu, Kenya decided to go on a picnic. As they walked up the road, they came upon a man beating a boy.

“Why are you beating the boy?” they asked.

“Because he stole from me,” replied the man.

“How much did he steal from you?” It was approximately 5 to 10 cents in US money.

They asked the boy, “Did you steal from this man?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Why?” They asked.

“Mommy and Daddy both died of HIV/AIDS, and my grandmother is too sick to take care of me.” At this the young men noticed a crowd of other children gathering. They were also hungry children.

Jared, James, and Thomas asked the man if he would stop beating the boy if they repaid him for his loss. After agreement they gave the man the money; then they divided up all the food they had brought for the picnic, gave it to all the children there, and invited them to come to church the next day where they would give them more food and teach them about God.

After working a deal with the elders at the church to allow them to use the building, the three young men worked at breaking rocks to earn enough money to feed the children porridge and to teach them the Bible every day. Ring Road Orphans Day School was born.

Then CRF started sponsoring the children there. The same three young men are still dedicated to the work of Ring Road Orphans Day School. The school now teaches first through eighth grade and has nearly 400 children. There is even a high school where children attend, and some have even been to university!

One of CRF’s biggest sponsorship programs started with one child who needed a break. When you sponsor, even a single child, you never know how God is going to multiply it.

— Sandy Roberts is a long time CRF sponsor and one of Ring Road Orphans Day School’s first supporters.





It’s Never Too Late

Education is the best way out of poverty. That’s why child sponsorship is so important—it gives a child an education. Coming out of poverty, disease, and disaster makes it very difficult for a child to finish school. And it is why we rejoice so much when they do.

Paul Onyango Ogolla was from a large family. He had five siblings and no employed parents. He lived with extended family in a small house made from mud and sticks covered in concrete. He had no running water or electricity. He was happy if he could just get some beans and rice.

Because of a lack of funds, Paul was delayed in starting school. He simply didn’t have the money that Kenyan schools charge for school fees. He started late and had to drop out because of difficulties. It looked like he would never finish school. But that wasn’t the case.

A small group at the Alpine Church of Christ in Longview, Texas sponsored Paul in 2012. But he dropped out of school.

When he wanted to go back and get more education, Ron and Diane Garner from the group sponsored him again— and he finished high school. But that doesn’t always ensure that you get a job. As a result, Ron and Diane further funded Paul to go to the Ujima Foundation for Training & Development. And he finished and got his diploma in Food Services.

Paul is 25 but now he has an education—and a future.


“Paul is definitely a CRF success story and proof that you are never too old to return to school!”

— Sponsor Ron and Diane Garner —






The Letter You Always Wanted

For a long time. Through thick and thin. Even between jobs—Matt and Felicia Carter supported Elvies (pronounced Elvis).

And they just received what every sponsor wants to receive—the letter.

Elvies is one of our biggest CRF heroes. When he was in primary school at the Ring Road Orphan’s Day School in Kisumu, Kenya, government officials tried to shut down our school with the accusation that our school in the slum was inferior because AIDS orphans weren’t intelligent. The school was made to jump through all kinds of hoops until the ultimate challenge came one day.

They were going to make all of our students take the national achievement test to prove the academic inadequacies of our children. But there was one big problem—they underestimated Elvies.

Elvies ended up scoring the highest grade in all of Kenya. When the news got out, the government officials had to accredit our school. And things have never been the same since. And Elvies didn’t stop. He ended up pursuing secondary school and college. And Matt and Felicia were there for him all the way.

That’s why this letter is so good.

Dear Mr. and Mrs Matt Carter,

I hereby write this letter to thank you for helping me all the way from the time I was a young kid until now when I am a grown man who can fend for himself.

You helped me through primary school, high school and university. If it were not for you I don’t know where I would be right now.

I completed my eighth professional exam in November. With the little job that I already acquired, I can now support myself.

What you did for me was great, and I will also ensure that I give back. I will remain a part of the Ring Road fraternity and when the time comes, I will also join in the support of the humble project that has raised many vulnerable children like me.

May God always bless you and your family. I am hoping that one day I will meet you guys and appreciate in a special way in person.

Yours faithfully,
Elvies Otieno Ohonga

Thank you Matt and Felicia! What a difference you have made! This story is what CRF is all about.

And thank you to all of our incredible sponsors who make stories like Elvies’ possible through your faithful prayer and support!






$228. That’s how much it cost. I was shocked. How can one bottle of medicine cost me that much? But I didn’t have an alternative. I had malaria. That was the only medicine available. What can you do? You pay it. But I thought of all my friends living in Kenya where I got malaria. Most of them couldn’t pay that much for malaria drugs. Maybe their pharmacies don’t charge U.S. prices, but they still often don’t have enough to cover the cost. So they do without. Some are ok. Unfortunately, some are not. More than 1,000 people die from malaria every day because they can’t access or pay for the medical care they need. And many others can’t afford the price of a mosquito net for protection. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I’m not minimizing the problems we have in the U.S., but global poverty—where nearly half the world lives on less than $2.50/day—is different when you are honest.   A friend of mine sent me these statistics:

  • 97% of Americans living below the poverty line own at least  one color television.
  • 80% of Americans living below the poverty line have  air conditioning.
  • 75% of Americans living below the poverty line own at least  one car.
  • The average American residence has 2.56 rooms (approx. 740 sq. ft.) per person and 100% clean water access.
  • The average Kenyan residence has 0.27 rooms (approx. 55 sq. ft.) per person and 40% clean water access.

My point is not to make you feel guilty. It is to make you feel grateful. I am really thankful that I can pay $228 and not miss a meal or probably anything else that I want. I’m finding that there is hardly anything in the world better than giving. And it doesn’t take that much money given in the right place to totally change someone’s life. – Milton Jones, CRF President


Will You Run to Help?

She had a tear running down her cheek.

But she wasn’t crying.

Djinailove’s dad was in prison. Her mother had just been murdered. She had recently moved to Cap Haitien, Haiti and was hoping to go to school. She needed a place to stay and food to eat. She had plenty of reasons to cry. But her tears were actually caused by a medical issue—a hole near her eye that somehow caused tears to run down her cheek. She needed a doctor to help her with her unusual problem—but that took money.

What Djinailove really needed was a child sponsorship.

Have you ever left a worship service before it was over?

That’s what Dr. Rachel Philip did, but not for the reasons you might expect. The assembly wasn’t boring. It wasn’t that it ran too long. She didn’t have an emergency with one of her patients. It was that I had just told the story of Djinailove in my sermon, and Dr. Philip wanted to get to the CRF table as fast as possible to sponsor her. It’s like she was running to help. No one was going to beat her there.

Now Djinailove can go to school. She has food to eat and a place to stay. She has even been able to visit a doctor. And notice the nice school uniform that she is now able to wear. That’s what a sponsor like Dr. Philip can do.

I love CRF donors. You run to help.


Can you help us one more time this year? I have never seen a year with more disasters and needs. Whether it is a disadvantaged child or a victim of a hurricane—you can make a difference with a year-end gift. Sure, giving can be good for tax reasons. But on the other hand, it’s just good to help someone as quickly as you can.

Thanks a trillion times!
Milton Jones, CRF President


Your gift, big or small, brings smiles just like this one on Djinailove’s face.