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David Marangach of Christian Relief Fund delivers food to a sponsored child and his family by donkey in a rural communuty near Mount Elgon in Kenya.
International
Photo provided by Milton Jones

‘We became Amazon’

By truck, bike or donkey, Christian Relief Fund delivers much-needed food to its sponsored children and their families.

CAMPAMENTO, Honduras Colorful paintings of bees and hummingbirds adorn the walls of the Christian Relief Fund facility in this Central American town. So do the signatures of visiting mission teams from the Crosspoint Church of Christ, Preston Road Church of Christ, Southwest Christian School and more.

Members of the Preston Road Church of Christ signed the wall of the Christian Relief Fund center in Campamento during their 2018 mission trip.

Members of the Preston Road Church of Christ signed the wall of the Christian Relief Fund center in Campamento during their 2018 mission trip.

The building — which housed a daycare, tutoring programs, a computer lab and even a barber shop, all CRF ministries — was empty and quiet when The Christian Chronicle visited on a recent Friday. Pandemic restrictions have limited gatherings. At least 15 mission groups scheduled to serve here have had to cancel their visits.


Related: Children of Abraham


COVID-19 has transformed the way that the ministry serves the children it sponsors in Campamento and its surrounding mountain communities.

At the Christian Relief Fund center in Campamento, Honduras, Donnie Anderson talks about COVID-19's impact on the ministry.

At the Christian Relief Fund center in Campamento, Honduras, Donnie Anderson talks about COVID-19’s impact on the ministry.

“It’s disaster relief, really,” said coordinator Donnie Anderson. Instead of feeding sponsored children at their schools, CRF workers deliver bags of rice, beans, coffee and sugar to their families. Those staples are needed, especially now, Anderson said. In addition to COVID-19 deaths and lockdowns, Hondurans are recovering from two hurricanes that hit the Central American nation in 2020.

CRF programs around the globe faced similar logistical challenges, said Milton Jones, the ministry’s president.

David Marangach of Christian Relief Fund delivers food to a sponsored child and his family by donkey in a rural communuty near Mount Elgon in Kenya.

David Marangach of Christian Relief Fund delivers food to a sponsored child and his family by donkey in a rural communuty near Mount Elgon in Kenya.

“So we became Amazon,” Jones told the Chronicle. “We started delivering food like crazy.” In communities near Kenya’s Mount Elgon, CRF workers strapped supplies onto motorbikes and used what Jones described as “streams of donkeys” to reach sponsored children and their families.

In Campamento, cellphones have become necessary education tools. Most classes are available only through video conference or programs like WhatsApp. Some children in the CRF program have received phones through gifts from their sponsors, Anderson said.

Campamento, Honduras

It is, at best, a stopgap solution, said Iris Alicia Matute, principal for the Joan Jones Memorial School, a school built by CRF with 280 students, all sponsored by the ministry. She longs for a day when the students can return to class.

Until then, she said, “We are so thankful to this organization, to all of our friends, for all of the help.”

Filed under: Christian Relief Fund Honduras Humanitarian aid International News Top Stories

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