Founder & President
Alan and his wife, Melody, served as missionaries with WorldVenture in São Paulo, Brazil, for several years during the 1990s. As he worked in teaching, writing, and Christian publishing, his ministry extended to building relationships with street kids. After Alan and his family returned to the States in 1999, he felt a burden to begin a program that would focus on God’s poorest children and empower national leaders with a vision to impact their communities. This was the beginning of Children’s Relief International. Since that time, their work has extended to several continents and projects that take Christ to the poor through both Word and deed.
Where Alan calls home: Rockwall, TX
All Things CRI
Melody grew up in Nebraska, where she met her husband, Alan. In the 1990s, they moved to Brazil, where they served as missionaries for several years and raised their three sons. Upon returning to the States, the Pieratts began CRI from the upstairs of their home in Denver. Melody comes from a background of interior and graphic design. She works with teams, donor management, and creative design.
Where Melody calls home: Rockwall, TX
Vice President of Operations
Jason met his wife, Lindy, at a single adult Sunday School class in San Antonio in 2005. They moved to Rockwall shortly after so that Jason could attend Dallas Theological Seminary, and they became the parents of two daughters and a son. Jason serves by ensuring day-to-day operations of CRI run smoothly. He has a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary.
Where Jason calls home: Rockwall, TX
The son of missionaries, Ricky grew up in New Jersey, Florida, and finally Texas, where he met his wife Sarah while attending Texas A&M University. Afterward, he studied Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and fell in love with CRI during that time. He and Sarah have two sons, Eli and Jack. Ricky connects CRI with the community by building relationships with local pastors, colleges, and organizations. He also develops intern and team training material.
Where Ricky calls home: Rockwall, TX
Africa Field Developer & Programs Manager
After finishing his undergraduate study in his home state of Wyoming, Braxton and a friend found CRI and took a trip overseas. Following two summer internships in Mozambique and an MA in History that focused on the country's destructive civil war, Braxton could not shake the sense that God was calling him to do something more in Mozambique. Joining CRI in 2015 as the project manager for Spark of Hope, Braxton works with project leader Ercylio to strengthen the ministry in the area of Bible literacy, discipleship, and education as well as to showcase Ercylio's vision to churches and individuals in the United States.
Where Braxton calls home: Powell, WY
Anita was raised in South Africa. In 1985 she came to the United States to work with Cambodian refugees and met her husband, Dave. In 1995, they were leading a church plant when Anita was diagnosed with breast cancer. Upon healing, she embarked on a 40-day journey to Mozambique. In a roach-infested hospital, a woman accepted Anita’s message of the gospel on her deathbed, and Anita finally knew what mattered most: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.” Anita and Dave now pastor their third church plant in Illinois, and Anita assists CRI with mobilization and recruitment.
Where Anita calls home: Chicago, IL
Women’s Ministry & Recruiting Manager
A native Texan, Kaley grew up on barbeque, queso, and Blue Bell. Since the 10th grade, Kaley knew she wanted to spend her life teaching women how to know God and study His Word. Kaley went to Texas A&M University and spent her spare time teaching women the Bible, discipling, and leading teams overseas. Before Kaley moved into full-time ministry she wanted training, this led her to Dallas Theological Seminary. After years in youth ministry, Kaley went on a trip with CRI to South East Asia where she trained local pastors' wives. Falling in love with women she joined CRI to help bring training to women locally and abroad.
Where Kaley calls home: Dallas, TX
Program Mentor & Coach
Kathy joined CRI in 2006 after going on a short-term mission trip to Dondo, Mozambique. God opened her eyes and heart to serving a people she had never encountered in her small-town beginnings in Iowa. She lived part-time in Mozambique for six years, walking with the poorest of the poor. In 2012, Kathy began to reconsider her plan for retirement and the “American Dream.” She realized her purpose is to be available and go for as long as she is able. After this realization, her heart was broken again for a different kind of poverty—children and women in the sex trade in South Asia.
Where Kathy calls home: Cedar Rapids, IA
Child Sponsorships Coordinator
Cyndi’s involvement with CRI began when Alan Pieratt, President of CRI and long-time friend, encouraged her to make a trip to see their ministries in Africa. She and her husband had been supporters of the Pieratts and followed their ministry closely, and this trip was Cyndi’s first time overseas. She came face-to-face with real people who were hungry, who had children to feed, who faced the devastation of AIDS, and who were hopeless without Jesus. Cyndi lives in Minnesota and helps to manage the sponsorship program.
Where Cyndi calls home: Ramsey, MN
Jessica was first introduced to missions in 2007 when her family visited an orphanage in Mexico. She and her family continued to serve at that orphanage each summer for the next five years. As Jessica developed friendships with the children and heard their stories, she knew that God was calling her to share stories of children in need in a compelling way with those who could help. After hearing about CRI from a college professor, Jessica joined our child sponsorship team to be a voice for children in deepest poverty.
Where Jessica calls home: Dallas, TX
Sponsorships Program Manager
A Texan hailing from the Gulf Coast, Rebecca began thinking about full-time missions in college and after her exposure to poverty in China for two years. She studied Media and Communication at Dallas Theological Seminary and originally joined CRI in 2010 as a communications intern. She now serves as a voice for children in deepest poverty by connecting them to sponsors, leading teams to our project sites, and developing sponsorship materials.
Where Rebecca calls home: Abilene, TX
Photographer and Storyteller
Growing up as the daughter of a photographer, one of Ashley's favorite memories is the first time her dad kneeled down and handed her his big clunky Nikon. While attending Texas A&M University, Ashley spent her summers overseas. During this time, Ashley discovered her passion to share stories of God's work overseas through the lens of her camera and with the written word. After graduation, she attended Dallas Theological Seminary to sharpen her skills as a storyteller. At this time she was introduced to CRI and immediately connected with their passion for missions to the poor. Now, Ashley serves a photographer & storyteller on our Storytelling Team.
Where Ashley calls home: Garland, TX
KEITH & HOLLY
In 2015, Holly went on a vision trip with Children's Relief International to Mozambique. She fell in love with the Green Door Project and made it her mission to advocate for families in need of a home. A year later, Keith was called to use his talent as a designer and communicator. He left his corporate job to become our Chief Storyteller. Keith and Holly both share a passion for taking Christ to the poor and have a heart for Africa, as one of their children was adopted from Ethiopia. They reside in Rockwall, TX with their five children. Keith and Holly enjoy date nights, fine food, great coffee, and time with their community group. Their home is always open to guests...if you can handle the noise!
Where Keith & Holly call home: Rockwall, TX
Erin proudly hails from New Jersey where she was introduced to missions at a young age. Going on multiple missions trips in high school, both abroad and in the States, she continued the trend into college, going to Haiti in 2012 and 2013 and falling in love. Erin always had the urge to ‘go’ and lived in Massachusetts, Northern Ireland, Illinois, and Honduras before moving down to Texas with her husband, Sean. Sean is currently a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. Erin has a passion for youth and outreach, originally working as a teacher, but is looking forward to caring for the children of our world through the child sponsorship program.
Where Erin calls home: Dallas, TX
Savannah attends A&M Commerce where she is finishing up her Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. Savannah began working with CRI as an intern, helping out with teams. She also assists the administrative staff with day to day operations. Savannah currently resides in Rockwall, Texas with her dad, grandmother and cocker spaniel named Baili.
Where Savannah calls home: Rockwall, TX
After spending time in Peru and Argentina as both an English instructor and student, Lindsey knew her future would involve serving the world’s poor, specifically its children. In 2018, she graduated from Pepperdine University with degrees in International Studies and Spanish. Shortly after moving back to her home state of Texas, she came across CRI and couldn’t help but feel that it was part of God’s plan to employ her experiences and passion for His kingdom. She is excited to utilize her skills in international affairs and Spanish to communicate with the children of CRI and represent them to the world!
Where Lindsey calls home: McKinney, TX
Short-term Team Developer
Kara is a native Texan and Baylor graduate. She has spent the last 4 years accumulating Masters degrees in Religion and Missions & Evangelism at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and attending a one-year residency at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia. During seminary, Kara developed a passion for both missions and discipleship which is exactly why she is thrilled to join the team as Short-Term Trips Mobilizer! Aside from working at her dream job and being close to family again, Kara is stoked to be back in the land of Whataburger, Blue Bell, and two-steppin'!
Where Kara calls home: Rockwall, TX
Finance: Accounts Payable
Howdy, I’m April Zacek. I live in Rockwall with my husband, Collin, and our 3 kids – Emma 9, Ryan 7, & Ashley 5. My husband and I meet at Texas A&M and both graduated in 2002 from the Mays Business School. I met Jason & Lindy Pieratt and learned about CRI in the fall of 2011 through our Life Group at Lake Pointe Church. I joined CRI in April 2014 after the prior accountant retired. I handle the accounts payable – meaning I pay the bills and send the wires - side of accounting. I also set up the March Madness brackets for the office. I have been to India and Mozambique with CRI. In my spare time, I watch Aggie baseball & football. Gig’em!
Where April calls home: Rockwall, TX
Originally from Missouri, Cheryl worked as Accounting Manager for a chain of travel agencies. Eventually moving to California, she continued her work as manager and accountant of a retail store benefitting a large not-for-profit medical center. Her husband has been doing radio for over 40 years and currently has a syndicated radio commentary on stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. They moved to Texas to be closer to their 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Their dog, Bogey, a rescue from Tennessee floods years ago, is one of their favorite Texan companions. Cheryl and her husband love Texas and are happy to be a part of the Rockwall community!
Where Cheryl calls home: California
Abby graduated from the University of North Texas in 2018. She majored in Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies and minored in Art History and Journalism. Her passion for art and design led her to the mission field. Prior to joining CRI, she worked part-time as a Graphic Designer. Now, she pairs her artistic passions with her love for the oppressed full-time through CRI. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, reading good books, petting dogs, or working on other creative endeavors!
Where Abby calls home: The Woodlands, TX
Haiti Project Developer
Penny is from a small town in Michigan. She received a bachelor's degree in International Business from Alma College in 2018. Her passion for Haiti began following a visit to the country when she was 15. After her summer internship in Haiti years later, she knew she couldn’t walk away from the country. She found CRI and decided to join our team as the Haiti Developer. Through CRI, Penny pursues the calling that God has placed on her heart to serve the Haitian people. She looks forward to learning more about them every day.
Where Penny calls home: Michigan
Child Sponsorship Developer
Ansley is a native of Texas and graduate of Texas A&M. She received a Graduate Certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School. For the last 4 years, she has moved around the United States with her husband, a Marine Corps pilot. As early as kindergarten, Ansley found herself interested in human rights. She became passionate about the fight against injustice. In high school, Ansley felt called to international relief-work through missions in her church. While working in Peru as a kindergarten teacher, Ansley realized her calling was to bring both education and the Gospel to children. Ansley loves that CRI lets her live out her dream…and gives her reasons to visit Texas!
Where Ansley calls home: wherever the Marines take her, but usually Southlake, TX
International Project Developer
Robert grew up in Corpus Christi. After law school, he settled in Dallas, where he met his late wife Holly. Several years ago, he cared for Holly through many health challenges, and his faith deepened. He began to sense a call to Kingdom-work. So, before Holly passed, he attended seminary at the Anglican School of Ministry. Even so, when a friend approached him about CRI, Robert's responded, “I would never be a missionary.” Famous last words! Through his position on our board and trips with us to serve the poor, Robert's calling became clear. In 2018, he joined our team. He helps develop international projects and assists the management team in areas of his expertise.
Where Robert calls home: Plano, TX
Devan fell in love with creative culture in her hometown of Austin, Texas. In 2017, she graduated from the University of North Texas (UNT) with a major in Radio, Television, & Film and a minor in Marketing. As a UNT student, Devan got involved in campus ministry and met Jesus. Her faith led her to service; she began to disciple fellow students and help those in need. Through CRI, Devan employs her love for service and visual storytelling to advocate for the oppressed and marginalized. When she isn't behind a camera, you can find her at a movie theater, coffee shop, in front of a band, or with a taco in-hand.
Where Devan calls home: Richardson, TX