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Celebrating 50 Years of Service: The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
(From left to right) Peter Vander Muelen, Office of Social Justice at the Christian Reformed Church in North America; David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World; Andrew Ryskamp, director of Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC); and Ida Kaastra Mutoigo, director of CRWRC Canada gathered in Grand Rapids, MI, to celebrate CRWRC's 50th anniversary on Friday, May 4, 2012. Photo by Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy.
While Bread for the World’s niche is Christian policy advocacy, we often partner with dozens of church entities that respond to global poverty with relief and development programs and ministries. Organizations such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) operate as the “official development arms” of the national church bodies reflected in their names. The on-the-ground wisdom and best development practices of these organizations inform Bread’s policy advocacy analysis and policy platforms about what works.
This past Friday evening, Bread for the World had the honor of celebrating the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Grand Rapids, MI. The Christian Reformed Church, with about 280,000 members in the United States and Canada, and its relief arm, CRWRC, with an impressive budget of about $40 million, celebrated its five decades of work in 86 countries.
Along with tens of thousands of Christian activists and thousands of congregations, relief and development organizations help to strengthen Bread’s “collective Christian voice to end hunger.” It was an honor for Bread’s president David Beckmann to reflect with CRWRC staff, board, and donors and consider the unique contributions CRWRC made in the life of Bread for the World.
CRWRC is a partner of the Alliance to End Hunger. Also, the Christian Reformed Church has faithfully supported Bread’s Hunger Report for the last 20 years.
Andy Ryskamp, CRWRC’s executive director in the U.S., has been closely involved with two of Bread’s more recent high-profile religious-leader events aimed to engage influential evangelicals in foreign assistance reform: the evangelical consultation hosted at Wheaton College 2010 and its predecessor consultation hosted by Dallas Baptist University in 2011. Ryskamp’s involvement in these initiatives helped attract other CEO’s from evangelical development organizations to participate in these events and to articulate why evangelical Christians should engage in advocacy, especially around U.S. foreign assistance.
CRWRC will change its name to World Renew this summer to reflect the wider reach of its relief and development ministries across the globe.
CRWRC’s commitment to local leadership, capacity building, empowerment, collaboration, and integral mission has impacted thousands of communities around the world. These aspects of CRWRC’s development work shape the kinds of effective development programming and policies that Bread for the World advocates for stateside.
Thank you for you partnership CRWRC. Happy 50th anniversary!
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