Founder & President
During the 1990s, Alan and his wife, Melody, served as missionaries with WorldVenture in São Paulo, Brazil. As he worked in teaching, writing, and Christian publishing, his ministry extended to street kids. After Alan and his family returned to the States in 1999, he felt burdened to build a program that would focus on God’s poorest children and empower native missionaries with visions to impact their communities. This was the beginning of Children’s Relief International.
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 and raised their three sons. Once they returned to the States, the Pieratts began CRI from their home in Denver. Melody comes from a background of interior and graphic design. She works in donor management, creative design, and with teams.
Where Melody calls home: Rockwall, TX
Vice President of Operations
In 2005, Jason met his wife, Lindy, at a single-adult Sunday School class in San Antonio. After they married, the couple moved to Rockwall so that Jason could attend Dallas Theological Seminary for his Masters. In 2018, Jason received his Doctorate of Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary. Jason and Lindy have two daughters and a son. Jason leads CRI’s team in day-to-day operations and develops our organizational goals.
Where Jason calls home: Rockwall, TX
The son of missionaries, Ricky grew up in New Jersey, Florida, and later Texas, where he met his wife Sarah. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University. Afterward, he studied Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, where he fell in love with CRI’s work. He and Sarah have two sons, Eli and Jack, and a daughter, Betty. Ricky trains our missionaries, cares for our team, and oversees our Haiti project.
Where Ricky calls home: Rockwall, 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
KEITH & HOLLY
In 2015, Holly went on a mission trip with CRI to Mozambique. She fell in love with our Green Door Project and made it her mission to advocate for families in need of a home. A year later, Keith felt called to use his talent as a designer and communicator for CRI. He left his corporate job to become our Chief Storyteller. Keith and Holly share a passion to take Christ to the poor, and they have a heart for Africa; they adopted one of their sons from Ethiopia. The couple resides in Rockwall, TX with their five children. Keith and Holly enjoy date nights, fine food, a good cup of 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
Content Strategist + Storyteller
After her time in Peru and Argentina as an English instructor and language student, Lindsey knew her future would involve service to the world’s poor, specifically its children. In 2018, she graduated from Pepperdine University with degrees in International Studies and Spanish. Once she moved back to Texas, she came across CRI. She couldn’t help but feel that it was part of God’s plan to employ her passions and experiences for His kingdom. Lindsey looks forward to every day at CRI because “[she gets] to do it all”--utilize her skills in International Affairs, Spanish, and writing to represent children in need.
Where Lindsey calls home: McKinney, TX
Photographer + Storyteller
As a photographer’s daughter, one of Ashley's favorite memories is the first time her dad handed her his clunky Nikon. During her undergraduate years at Texas A&M University, Ashley spent her summers overseas. Through her travels, Ashley discovered her passion: to share stories of God's work overseas through the lens of her camera and written word. After graduation, she attended Dallas Theological Seminary to sharpen her skills as a storyteller. At seminary, she met members of CRI’s team. Through CRI, Ashley saw a way to connect her love for missions and the poor with her passion.
Where Ashley calls home: Dallas, TX
Designer + Storyteller
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
Videographer + Storyteller
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
EMMA Photographer + Storyteller
Emma grew up in Boston. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. As a child, Emma messed with her dad’s old film camera and fell in love with photography. Since then, she has photographed people and places around the world. Emma has a passion for social justice and feels called to care for people in the farthest corners of the world and in her own backyard. And, ever since Emma could dribble a soccer ball, sports have enthralled her. At CRI, Emma puts both passions to work! She tells stories through photography and helps develop our Spark of Hope sports program.
Where Emma calls home: Charlottesville, VA (for now!)
Women’s Ministry & Recruiting Manager
A native Texan, Kaley grew up on BBQ, queso, and Blue Bell. As early as the 10th grade, Kaley wanted to spend her life teaching women how to know God and study His Word. Kaley went to Texas A&M University, where she spent her spare time teaching women the Bible and leading teams overseas. Before Kaley transitioned into youth ministry, she attended Dallas Theological Seminary. In 2015, Kaley went on a trip with CRI to South Asia to train local pastors' wives. She fell in love with the women she encountered. Kaley left youth ministry and joined our team. Through CRI’s Strength & Dignity program, Kaley trains women in the States and abroad. She manages our collegiate connections and supervises the applicant process.
Where Kaley calls home: Dallas, TX
College & Internship Mobilizer
After mission trips to Ecuador and Romania, Briana knew she had a heart for taking the light of Christ to people around the world. She majored in Intercultural Studies at Dallas Baptist University. Before graduation, she decided to pursue her passion for missions. And in May of 2019, she found CRI. As our College & Internship Mobilizer, Briana’s vision is to raise up college students to take aid and the Gospel to places of deep poverty. In her spare time, Briana enjoys local coffee shops, concerts, and good food-finds in Dallas with friends.
Where Briana calls home: Longview, TX
Sponsorships Program Manager
A Texan hailing from the Gulf Coast, Rebecca first saw poverty when she served in China for 2 years. During college, she contemplated full-time missions. Unsure of what God had planned for her, she continued her studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, where she received her Masters in Media and Communication. Through a seminary connection, she found CRI and, in 2010, joined our team as a communications intern. Now our Child Sponsorship Manager, Rebecca serves as a voice for children in deepest poverty. She connects needy children with sponsors, overlooks sponsorship updates, and develops sponsorship training materials. In 2018, Rebecca and her husband, Brian, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Savannah.
Where Rebecca calls home: Abilene, TX
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 our African projects. She and her husband had been supporters of the Pieratts and followed their ministry closely. This trip was Cyndi’s first time overseas. In Africa, 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 manage the sponsorship program.
Where Cyndi calls home: Ramsey, MN
Sponsorships Developer +Writer
Erin prides herself on her New Jersey origin, where she discovered missions at a young age. She went on mission trips in high school, abroad and in the States, and continued the trend in college on trips to Haiti. Despite her love for New Jersey, Erin has always had the urge to “go.” Because of her background as a teacher, she has a passion for youth and outreach. She loves that CRI gives her another way to care for children--our Child Sponsorship program. Before she moved to Texas with her husband, Sean, she lived in Massachusetts, Northern Ireland, Illinois, and Honduras. Sean is pursuing a Masters in Cross-Cultural Missions at Dallas Theological Seminary. The couple welcomed a son, Abel, in 2018. In her free time, Erin enjoys reading.
Where Erin calls home: Dallas, TX
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
Africa Field Developer & Programs Manager
After he finished his undergraduate studies in his home-state of Wyoming, Braxton and a friend took a trip overseas with CRI. Braxton then returned to Mozambique to intern for two summers. His time in-country motivated him to complete a Masters in History which focused on the country’s Civil War. Even then, he could not shake the feeling that God had called him to do something more for Mozambique. In 2015, Braxton joined CRI. He works with our Mozambican international partners to strengthen their ministries, and he showcases their visions to U.S. communities and churches.
Where Braxton calls home: Powell, WY
Anita grew up in South Africa. In 1985, she came to the United States to work with Cambodian refugees. During that time, she met her husband, Dave. In 1995, Anita was diagnosed with breast cancer. Upon recovery, she embarked on a 40-day journey to Mozambique. In a roach-infested hospital, a dying woman accepted Anita’s message of the Gospel. In that moment, Anita discovered what mattered most: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.” Anita and Dave pastor their third church plant in Illinois. Anita assists CRI with mobilization and recruitment.
Where Anita calls home: Chicago, IL
Program Mentor & Coach
Kathy went on a short-term mission trip with CRI to Dondo, Mozambique. When Kathy connected with the native people, God opened her heart to service--one unlike anything she had known in small-town Iowa. For six years, she walked and lived with the poorest of the poor of Mozambique. In 2012, Kathy reconsidered her plan for retirement and the “American Dream.” She realized her purpose was to “go” for as long as she was able. Soon, on another trip with CRI, her heart broke again but for a different kind of poverty—children and women in the sex trade of South Asia. In 2016, Kathy joined our team.
Where Kathy calls home: Cedar Rapids, IA
Savannah studied Business Administration with a concentration in International Business at Texas A&M Commerce. She works as our Teams Intern and assists with daily operations. Savannah lives in Rockwall, Texas with her dad, grandmother, and cocker spaniel, Baili.
Where Savannah calls home: Rockwall, TX
Short-term Team Developer
Kara is a native Texan and Baylor graduate. She received Masters degrees in Religion and Missions & Evangelism from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Post-graduation, she completed a residency at Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia. During seminary, Kara developed a heart for missions and discipleship. Her qualifications and passions make her ready and excited to serve as our Short-term Team Developer! Not only is Kara stoked to have her dream job, but she is thrilled to be back in the land of Whataburger, Blue Bell, and two-steppin'!
Where Kara calls home: Rockwall, 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
JENNIFER Tessa Grace Developer
Jennifer grew up in a small town outside of Dallas. In 2018, she finished her degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman's University. Before graduation, Jennifer planned to pursue a career in adult nutrition. But when a hospital job introduced her to pediatrics, she fell in love. Through volunteer-work with homeless ministries, Jennifer developed a passion for the underprivileged and, soon, felt called to missions. In 2019, she joined CRI. As the first Tessa Grace Nutrition Developer on our team, Jennifer combines her loves of Jesus, children, and nutrition to improve the health of babies and bring the light of Christ to our projects worldwide.
Where Jennifer calls home: Royse City, 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
Sara loves people, anything creative, and has worked with CRI since 2005. She grew up in California. A decade ago, her husband dragged her to Texas. Now, they have four beautiful daughters who keep their hands full. Sara has worn many hats at CRI. But since 2018, she has worked on our Finance team. Sara takes pride in the part she plays in such wonderful work each day.
Where Sara calls home: Rockwall, TX
STACY Administrative Assistant
Stacy grew up in Allen, Texas. She attended Hardin-Simmons University, where she received a degree in Psychology. From a young age, Stacy had a passion for the "forgotten", in particular the elderly and sick. Since then, she has served her community and church in various capacities. She and her husband, Robby, have six boys and one girl. In their free time, you can find them at the lake or near a baseball field. Stacy assists our VP, Jason, and the CRI team with day-to-day operations.
Where Stacy calls home: Rockwall, TX