Panhandle Spirit: Christian Relief Fund
AMARILLO, Texas —
Nearly fifty years ago, an Amarillo pastor started a fund to help the orphans of a man he once met on a mission trip to India. That mission to feed a single family has grown into an operation that has touched tens of thousands of lives.
“It’s not as big as World Vision, or Compassion, but it does the same things that they do, and yet it’s always been located with its headquarters right here in Amarillo, even though it’s operating all around the world,” said Christian Relief Fund President Milton Jones.
Jones was a pastor in Seattle, when Baxter Loe visited his church several years ago, and shared the story of starving orphans in Africa who desperately needed help to survive.
“Baxter was just on fire. He felt like his whole duty of life was to help orphans, and he started telling his story every place.”
Now Jones tells that story—including the work they’re doing to establish water wells in remote regions of Kenya.
“We were drilling in a spot where it hadn’t rained in 8 years. We know what it’s like not to have rain in Amarillo, but we can still go buy a bottle of water. And they just don’t have hope,” Jones said.
Executive Director Kevin Wasner says the organization also helps with basic needs like shelter, which is depicted in a replica Third World hut in their Amarillo headquarters.
“This is a good representation of what we see, but really, it’s better than what we see in many cases. You might have rain coming through the roof. You might have animals, rodents, vermin coming in at night, nibbling on the kids—all sorts of bugs and insects,” Wasner said.
And for the past five decades, the people in our area have answered Pastor Loe’s call, giving their money, time, and resources in the Panhandle Spirit, to help families halfway around the world.
“One at a time. One more child. If we can help one more child, that’s one more child who has a chance, who has some hope for the future,” Wasner said.