When you get on a swing, the only way to go forward is to lean backwards. I think it is true in life and in the life of CRF. It’s our 50th anniversary, and we are wanting to go into the future with great faith and vision, but perhaps the starting point is to lean backwards and see where we came from. In our newsletters this year, we are going to be looking to the future, but we also wanted to lean back and share again some stories of our past.

Here’s a story I wrote years ago about Carlos Carbajal, who is now a dynamic preacher in Miami. But this story will tell you about his past and make you want to sponsor other children who can become like Carlos.

—Milt


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 2012

Kids grow up. And some of them grow up well.

The goal of Christian Relief Fund is to help orphans and poor children so they can get a break in a world that throws a lot of junk at them. But what I often forget is that these little kids grow up. 

I just got back from Honduras. The key word these days in Honduras is fire. It is tragic what has happened. If you watch the news, you certainly heard about the fire in the prison that killed hundreds of prisoners. And then there was another fire in one of the huge marketplaces that has left thousands of people without jobs.  It doesn’t take long to figure out that there is a lot of violence going on here. In fact, we just lost our former meeting place for CRF because it was taken over by gangs. Sad story after sad story emerged because of the gang violence there.

Let me tell you about Carlos Carbajal. He has just finished hosting me around Honduras. Carlos has helped direct our CRF works in Honduras for many years, so no one could give me a better education about the wonderful care for children there than him. Carlos has recently moved to Miami to preach at a church, which further shows his spiritual leadership. But what I nearly forgot on my trip was that Carlos is a CRF kid. In fact, he even called himself “J30”—his old CRF sponsorship number. He was proud to share his story of how he was helped. It is good to have a vision for your future. But it is also good to know where you came from. I love Carlos because he knows where he is going, but he also remembers his past. He is so grateful for his past that he wants to continually help other children to receive similar blessings.

During our trip, Carlos took me to the poorest place he could find to show me the most needy children there. They were on a mountain. It took us hours to get to them. One place had a mother with her nine children on a cluttered dirt floor house with very little food. And then I saw a room in an even more difficult situation where most of the children had to pile together on a single worn out mattress that was filthy beyond your imagination. And Carla (Carlos’ wife) leaned over and said to me, “Look how happy they are.” And they were. But they still needed some help.

I wondered if someone would help them and if they could one day be just like Carlos. I thought about the extremes of the day seeing the best people on earth and seeing the destruction brought about by gang members. And what makes the difference in these two groups? Could it be who helped them and who didn’t when they were children? I so often see the beginning and middles of child sponsorship. I’m glad I got to see the end of it today.

Can you help someone who can become like Carlos? Sponsor a child today!

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