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!





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 —