MISSIONARIES & STAFF
Ray of Light Ministries
Green Door Housing
El Shaddai Christian School
Dondo Food Pantry
Tessa Grace Nutrition
JERONIMO & NOEMIA
The Cessitos serve as our national missionaries for the Ray of Light project. Noemia came from Brazil to Mozambique in 1984 during their civil war and worked as a missionary nurse when she met Jeronimo, who was attending seminary. They feel God’s call to help the poorest of the poor by serving as pastors of the Dondo Baptist Church and as our project leaders.
The Ray of Light project is located 20 miles inland from the port city of Beira in the twin villages of Dondo and Mafarinha. Both communities suffer from high rates of malaria and AIDS and regularly visit witchdoctors for healing. The Ray of Light project operates a medical clinic and the Tessa Grace Nutrition Center for malnourished babies and their mothers. One of its programs, Project Life, gives direct aid to widows through food pantry services and our Green Door ministry. And since 2004, our schools have grown from 60 to over 600 children spread over three campuses.
Spark of Hope Ministry
ERCYLIO & ANA
In 2007, Ercylio was a high school student assisting CRI with translation in Mozambique. His dream to attend a public university to study Internet and Computer Communications was a financial impossibility. But through the generosity of a sponsor, CRI secured him a scholarship. During his second year of university, Ercylio saw significant percentages of young men who dropped out of high school and did little with their lives afterward. He realized that his only reason for escaping this same situation was due to the scholarship given to him. And the vision for Spark of Hope was born. Ercylio ministers to about 50 men through the sport of handball. He lives in Dondo with his wife, Ana.
King of Kings Ministry
Tessa Grace Nutrition
Rajah Children's Home
Deep Forest Medical Aid
ISAIAH & ANANTH
Because their ministry is located alongside a well-known holy river, their city is filled with temples. People come from all over to bathe in its waters and pray in the temples.
Our national missionaries, Pastors Isaiah and Ananth (we affectionately call them the “G. Brothers”) are persistent in their desire to bring their people to Christ. We call our project with them "King of Kings". It includes a home for desperately poor children, supporting native pastors in the nearby deep forest region, carrying medical aid into its villages and providing microloans to women in a rock quarry.
Hesed & Truth Ministries
Hesed Children's Club
JEAN & JEAN-MARIE
Jean and Jean-Marie were both born and raised in Haiti until their pre-teen and teenage years, when they moved to the United States with their families. After the devastating earthquake that struck on January 2010, the church has experienced exponential growth, but most of the pastors and lay leaders have little to no theological training. The Lord has placed a burden on their hearts for Haiti.
The Josephs’ passion is to help bring training to those who have none. God has blessed them with a theological education in the United States, and they believe that God can use them to help fill this need in their country through a Bible school. Jean-Marie desires to begin a ministry to care for orphans and disciple women who live in oppressive circumstances. Their prayer is for God to give them strength and wisdom as they prepare to return to their home country.
Life Impact Missions
Alive Bible Club
THE "L" FAMILY
'M' experienced God’s healing from Hodgkin disease and committed her life to his service. She faced strong opposition and criticism for choosing vocational ministry. 'J' also grew up in South Asia, but worked on cruise ships in the Caribbean using his baking expertise. He felt God’s call to go back to minister to his people, so in 1998 he went to Appalachian Bible College to study Missions. After graduation, he moved back to South Asia and began training national pastors. The need for pastoral training motivated him and his wife to further their education at Dallas Theological Seminary. Upon graduating, they moved home to South Asia to plant a church and train pastors.
South Asia contributes to 40% of the world’s child trafficking. Their country has about half a million child prostitutes and 25 million children growing up on the streets. Here, one in every three children is malnourished. The "L" Family has started Alive Bible Club, a ministry to children in extreme poverty. They have also begun planting churches and training pastors.
Kalighat Bible Study
Nearly three decades ago, Smriti became a Christian after growing up in a Hindu family. God called her to be a missionary, first with another organization, then with CRI in 2007. Smriti takes Christ to children, young girls, abused women, and widows—those desperately in need of his touch. We have given her the nickname “Mighty Mouse,” as she is fearless in standing up and defending the one true God in a city filled with gods.
This project takes its name from the damp alleyways of her city. In these mudpaths, Smriti offers a one-year preschool program, tutoring for elementary aged children, and Sunday School in four different slums. She formed relationships by taking prayer walks, and when allowed inside families’ homes, she would pray for the sick and invite the children to her club. Her staff teach English, sing songs, and share Bible stories. She has started a Bible Club for children whose mothers work in the red-light district of the city. When all programs are combined, she ministers to over 300 children weekly.
Green Door Homes
Manuel’s life is incredibly busy, but from his quiet and calm demeanor, you would never guess it. Trained as a pastor in Zimbabwe, Manuel returned to Mozambique with something he knows most in Africa can never possess—an ability to understand and teach the Word of God. This weight of responsibility has propelled him into a life of many ministries. Manuel is a professor at Bible schools in both Beira and Dondo. He trains young men in the handball ministry, Spark of Hope. He also pastors a church out in the bush, a place of extreme poverty, lack of education, and hunger.
As the leader of Green Door, Manuel works to meet another deep need in Mozambique: safe, sturdy houses. He supervises two crews that build high-quality cement block homes, as well as latrines, for widows, orphans, and the disabled. This ministry takes the most vulnerable in Mozambique and provides them with security and dignity. Manuel and his wife, Ramizia, have three children.
Grace & Knowledge Academy & High school
Disciples Divinity School (Seminary)
Tessa Grace Nutrition
JACKSON & BLESSING
Blessing was raised in a Christian school with daily exposure to the Word of God. She attributes her hope, life, confidence and salvation to this upbringing. Jackson saw firsthand the attitude of the people of his country, and he observed that it is the children who suffer when everyone is out for himself. This sparked a long-term dream to open a Christian school in their village, which sits on the Muslim-Christian border of the country.
In late 2010, Jackson and Blessing prayed that God would open the doors for them to receive their first students. One year later, they opened the doors to the Grace & Knowledge Academy. They have 100 children attending their Bible Club weekly and 98 students are enrolled in their pre-school through third-grade classes. In 2014, Jackson completed his Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and in October, they moved back home to Nigeria with their daughter, Mayo.
Shalem Christian Academy
LIAN & LUN
Lian grew up in a remote village in Myanmar. The oldest of six siblings, the family responsibility fell on him at an early age, especially after his father died. Lian’s aim was never to become a theologian or pastor, but a political situation that sent him to a new country and untold hardships in that strange land were obvious signs to him of God’s call to ministry. Lian is married to Lun, and it was only after they were married that he felt fully able to fulfill God’s plan. Recently graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, Lian joined CRI in late 2011 as we helped him start the Shalem Christian Academy.
In Myanmar, many parents work all day in the rice fields and are too busy, too poor, and too tired to send their children to school. Lian and Lunnu’s vision is to bring these children, especially orphans, into their Shalem Christian Academy. The name Shalem is Hebrew, meaning “complete, whole, and perfect.” Their goal for their students is to teach them not only how to survive, but to love God, love their neighbor, and be useful to society.
The 'Y' Family Ministries
Tessa Grace Nutrition
THE 'Y' FAMILY
'R' experienced God’s grace in salvation at the age of seven and continued to grow under the upbringing of her Christian parents. 'J' was raised in a Christian home as well, but did not come to know Christ personally until he was 19. After a near-fatal chemical accident at J's work, God placed it on their hearts to resign from their jobs and commit to full-time ministry. They graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2011 and returned home to South Asia, where they live with their three children.
The 'Y' Family strives to plant churches among first-generation believers. They conduct several AIDS outreach programs in their city, especially among orphans and families. R’s medical and counseling degrees allow them to conduct mobile medical clinics and provide basic counseling specifically for women who live in the villages outside their city.
Nsanganiza Care Centre
REDSON & MARYAM
Maryam grew up in a Muslim, polygamous family. In the late 90s, her family left Nsanganiza, their village, so that she and her siblings could receive an education in Chilobwe. In secondary school, she met Redson. 11 years later, they married. As they began their life together, the images of Maryam’s childhood—of young girls in marriages, starving children, and struggling widows— pressed on her mind. She and Redson had lived a life of privilege, yet many of their people struggled. She felt burdened and called to serve.
Redson’s calling came early. At a young age, he desired to follow his father’s footsteps and become a pastor. He left Chilobwe to attend private school. When he met Maryam, he saw his passion to serve God compliment her heart for the suffering. With that, the couple returned to Nsanganiza to help their community.
As our international partners in Malawi, Redson and Maryam operate the Nsanganiza Care Centre for women and children. “We hope that once more of our people know His love, Christianity will become the norm,” Maryam explains. Their vision is to reach their community with the love of God.
Children of Light Project
Kiryodongo Refugee Settlement
MARTIN & RITA
Pastor Martin grew up in South Sudan (at the time, Sudan). Just after he was born, his father left. At four years old, he lost his mother. When the war in South Sudan broke out, his older brother and sister died. The government forced Martin to become a child soldier. He spent two years on the frontlines before he escaped to Egypt. There, a Canadian church led him to Christ and awarded him a scholarship to Victory Bible Institute. In Cairo, Martin met his wife, Rita. She shared his calling—to serve displaced and abused South Sudanese women and children.
When Egypt became unsafe for refugees, the couple fled. In Israel, Martin met a friend of Alan and Melody Pierratt, the founders of CRI. When Martin explained his calling, the friend put him in contact with CRI. In 2010, Martin and Rita returned to South Sudan to begin the Children of Light Mission. When war broke out again, they moved to Uganda. In 2018, they joined our team. Martin and Rita have five children.
As our international partners over the Children of Light Project, they care for women and child refugees in the Kiryodongo Refugee Settlement and in Kampala. Their vision is for people of different tribes to live in peaceful coexistence through the example of Christ.
As a child, Jessica visited her mother’s family in Mexico. In middle school, she went back on mission trips. With each visit, the stories of deeply poor children weighed heavier on her mind. “If my mom hadn’t moved, this would be my life,” she thought. By her teenage years, Jessica’s calling had become clear. She would return to her mother’s hometown and serve full-time. Upon graduation from Moody Bible Institute, she looked for a child-focused organization with projects in Mexico. CRI had a position open in Child Sponsorships. But it didn’t have projects in Mexico—let alone Latin America. Even so, Jessica accepted the position. “It was where God wanted me,” she reflects. For three years, she learned how our sponsorship programs worked both on and off the field. Then, when CRI’s leadership expressed its desire to expand to other regions, she took a chance. She presented about her connection to Chihuahua City and vision for its people. In 2019, Jessica moved to Mexico to launch our first project in Latin America.
As our international partner over the Vida Victoriosa Project, Jessica runs an after-school program for children and families living in and around Cerro Grande, a community on the outskirts of Chihuahua City. Her vision is to help them live victoriously through education and nutrition.