MISSIONARIES & STAFF
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.
Birthday: May 13
Where Ricky calls home: Rockwall, TX
After attending the University of Georgia, Raimie came to know Christ through a family in Athens, GA. In 2010, he did mission work in ten countries and has since continued serving overseas. To study the Bible at a deeper level, he moved to Dallas to study a Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary. Raimie now serves as the student body president and sits on the Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership advisory board. He is passionate about training pastors in the Scriptures and serving the poor. His vision is to develop the best training program for Western missionaries to train indigenous pastors.
Birthday: May 2
Where Raimie calls home: Dallas, TX
SPARK OF HOPE DEVELOPER
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.
Birthday: August 15
Where Braxton calls home: Powell, WY
Human Resources Manager
In 2004, Christa and her husband, Todd, took their youth group from Syracuse, New York, on a three-week mission trip to Mozambique. At the time, Christa was working as an LPN and Todd was a youth pastor. During their trip, they fell in love with the people and country. So in 2008, they moved to Mozambique with two-year-old twins to serve as missionaries. In 2014, they moved back to the States to Rockwall, Texas. Christa is involved with developing employee policies, clarifying staff insurance and retirement programs, and managing other human resource needs.
Birthday: September 10
Where Christa calls home: Rockwall, TX
Africa Field Director
Todd served as a youth pastor in up-state New York, where he met his wife Christa in 2001. Shortly after they welcomed a son and daughter into the world, they took their youth group to Africa and stepped onto the sandy soil of Mozambique—a place that would forever change their lives. God called them to serve the poorest of the poor with CRI as missionaries to Mozambique for several years. In 2014, Todd moved with his family to Rockwall, Texas, to oversee projects in Africa, equip our leaders, assess strategies, and connect our African programs to the home office.
Birthday: April 22
Where Todd calls home: Rockwall, TX
Asia Field Director
Carl and his wife, Paula, began working with CRI in 2003. At that time, he was the vice president of operations for a large metal manufacturing corporation, and Paula worked as a special education teacher. God called them to use their experience to help children in deep poverty, so in 2008, they retired and began serving full-time with CRI. Carl travels to our projects in South Asia to equip our leaders, assess strategies, and connect our overseas programs to the home office.
Birthday: December 1
Where Carl calls home: Rockwall, TX
Tessa Grace Nutrition Developer
An upstate New York native, mother of three, grandmother of two, and registered nurse by trade, Valerie joined CRI in 2007, bringing with her the expertise and wisdom of over 30 years in the healthcare industry. After her husband was unexpectedly called home to the Lord, Valerie took her first trip to Mozambique. It was there that Christ made it clear Valerie was to leave her nets behind and follow him. She now manages day-to-day operations of our Tessa Grace Nutrition Centers, oversees our Tessa Grace Miracle Milk Sponsorship, and travels the world educating mothers and caring for babies.
Birthday: February 16
Where Valerie calls home: Rockwall, TX
and public relations
Amy grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where she studied Hospitality Management. After graduation, she moved to Dallas and witnessed overwhelming poverty and sadness in 2012 when she took a trip to Kolkata with CRI. Amy plans trip logistics, exposing people around the world to what she witnessed on her CRI team trips. She also manages home office special events.
Birthday: September 26
Where Amy calls home: Dallas, TX
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.
Birthday: November 19
Where Anita callas home: Chicago, IL
Program Mentor and 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 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.
Birthday: November 14
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.
Birthday: October 27
Where Cyndi calls home: Ramsey, MN
IT Systems manager
Jonathan realized his passion for children’s ministry and education after serving at his church in Fayetteville, Georgia. In 2011, he left home for Dallas, where he met Ricky and Sarah Allegretto, who introduced him to CRI. Jonathan is the engine for communication operations, working behind the scenes to connect CRI’s work to the rest of the world. Among many other responsibilities, he maintains and develops technology systems.
Birthday: June 3
Where Jonathan calls home: Rockwall, TX.
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.
Birthday: December 27
Where Alan 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 is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies at Western Seminary.
Birthday: November 30
Where Jason calls home: Rockwall, TX
Director of Communications
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.
Birthday: October 29
Where Melody calls home: Rockwall, TX
Short-Term Teams Leader
In the summer of 2009, Dan stepped off the plane in Mozambique and immediately knew he was where God wanted him. Dan spent ten days working, serving, and praying alongside people who live in one of the poorest countries of the world. Over the next two summers, Dan had the opportunity to lead teams of teens and adults to the village of Dondo. His prayer is to serve the people of Mozambique and expose Americans to the great need in the country.
Birthday: April 20
Where Dan calls home: Rochester, NY
Child Sponsorship Developer
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.
Birthday: May 28
Where Rebecca calls home: Garland, TX