The Christian Relief Fund (CRF) and Bread for a Hungry World (Bread), two worldwide Christian ministries, have finished an official merger this week, a move which empowers both, representatives say. The idea for the merger came from a dual magazine ad.
"Bobby Moore, President of Bread for a Hungry World, told me he thought we would be better working together than apart, since we were doing the same thing and had similar philosophies," Milton Jones, president of the Christian Relief Fund, told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. Jones said Moore came across the idea when he saw an ad for CRF and an ad for Bread side by side in a magazine.
Moore suggested the umbrella organization take the name "The Christian Relief Fund" and volunteered to serve under the CRF president, Jones said. The Bread president will serve as vice president of global operation, but he was unavailable for comment to CP while currently serving in Nigeria.
CRF focuses on "rescuing orphans and vulnerable children from poverty," in four key areas – intellectually, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, according to its website. Bread zeroed in on meeting hunger needs, and worked with CRF since the 1980s, according to a statement by CRF Executive Director Linda Purdy.
"Working together in the future is an exciting step and offers the opportunity to do more than ever to minister to children and families in crisis," Purdy added. "It just makes sense."
The CRF president said he and former Bread president Moore "did some work in Kenya for AIDS orphans, war orphans, and famine orphans." While both countries work in Central America, CRF did more in Africa, and only Bread had a presence in the Philippines. As a result of the merger, both will "expand the territories and have more people to work with," Jones said.
CRF has undergone many projects to relieve poverty, from feeding the hungry to digging wells, and even helping high school grads start businesses.
Up in the horn of Africa, Jones recalled delivering food and sharing the Gospel. "We give food to everybody, but we also feed and give water in the name of Christ, too," the CRF president said.
The mission organization has also dug "about 20" wells in the same region, Jones added. While a deep desert well costs about $10,000, the benefits spread far and wide. "Every time we drill wells, we end up starting a farm, and then starting a church and schools – it's like dominos fall over from there," the CRF president said. Having recently acquired a drill of its own, CRF plans to drill about one well a week, Jones announced.
He also mentioned micro-lending, a way CRF helps local youth start businesses. In order to provide another option for high school graduates, the organization offers grants. Once these kids graduate high school, if no one employs them, they could end up in gangs or on the streets, Jones explained.
"Bread and CRF have partnered for several years on special projects," former Bread President Moore wrote in a public statement on the merger. He recounted that the organizations were "duplicating effort" in many areas, so "the alliance will allow us to focus more energy and resources in specific areas instead of working in silos."
While CRF's office is located in Amarillo, Bread's office in Dallas is closer to CRF's donors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Jones explained.