As CAMA turns 50 years old this June, the question of how we remember, rejoice, and renew is at the forefront of our minds. Looking back at our storied history of incredible people who have said yes to going overseas and serving others in the name of Jesus, we want to share with you three stories from people whose lives have been transformed and restored through the gifts you’ve given in the name of Jesus. Below is just a small glimpse of the difference you’ve made these past 50 years by extending Christ’s compassion to others!

The Gift of Hope: Timothy’s Story

My name is Timothy. I was born in Laos during the peak of the Vietnam War to an extremely poor family—so poor that simply surviving outweighed entertaining any hopes or dreams beyond making sure that our daily needs were met. In 1975, when I was about six or seven years old, my family fled the country to escape to Thailand.

A few months after settling into our third refugee camp, I learned about CAMA after being told that their international workers were helping families by providing blankets, cooking pots, and canned food. I also heard that they were giving away T-shirts to children. One hot and sunny day, I went out to a building in a dusty field and got into a long, long line. After waiting for almost two hours, I finally received a T-shirt. This T-shirt became the most valuable thing I had, and this invaluable thing soon instilled in me the ability to have hopes and dreams—leading me and my family to move to America, to become U.S. citizens, and then, eventually, to me becoming a pastor.

It wasn’t until 2017—when I became an international worker for the Christian and Missionary Alliance—that CAMA’s impact in my life came full circle. Who would have thought that, through a T-shirt, a seed of love and compassion would be planted inside a small, poor boy—leading him to go back and serve the Lord in the very place where hopes and dreams used to be nonexistent? I would not be who I am today had it not been for CAMA. I want to sincerely say, “Thank you.” Through your support, true hope has been shared with the hopeless—turning my life from meaningless to meaningful.

The Gift of Empowerment: Joseph’s Story

My name is Joseph. Growing up as a boy in Foya, Liberia, life was relatively good. Then, one day, the unrest started. I was among the thousands of Liberian refugees that crossed the border into Gueckedou, Guinea. A teenager at the time, I had to find food for my family. I had to do things for people in return for food or for money that could guarantee us a meal for that day. It was a difficult time. However, it was at this crucial stage of my life that I encountered a group that had a very positive impact on my life.

Through your support of CAMA Services, help came to my family and others living in the refugee camps. CAMA international workers were able to give us rice, oil, beans, food for dying babies, cash in some cases to refugee families, and more.

In addition to receiving relief, I was able to get my very first job as a receptionist at a counseling center run by CAMA international workers. During my initial interview, I shared my dream of one day starting a Christian youth radio station in Liberia. With CAMA’s assistance, I was able to raise the funds for a station, and my dream has become reality, as VOX Radio now reaches over 500,000 Liberians with both social programs and the gospel of Christ. I have also been able to work with several other Christian organizations including Reach Beyond, Your Network of Praise, and Christianityworks as my first job through CAMA equipped me for public engagement and serving others. Without your desire to extend Christ’s compassion through CAMA, I’m not sure that I would have had the experience needed for what I do today. Thank you for empowering me to serve others for Christ.

The Gift of the Gospel: Fatos’ Story

My name is Fatos. Before Jesus, I was a devout follower of the majority faith. Despite gathering each week to pray with fellow followers, I felt that something was missing from my heart.

Thanks to your heart for extending Christ’s compassion, CAMA was able to come to Kosovo in the late 90s to provide relief to families affected by the Balkan War. These efforts made it possible for CAMA to stay in Kosovo and send believers to serve at a local community center, which I came across while looking for English classes. Here, I learned useful skills while rubbing shoulders with international workers, who invited me to a Bible study. At the Bible study, I shared how I was suffering from recurring nightmares. I told them, “If this Jesus is real, He will take away my bad dreams!” Two people then offered to pray for me. I said yes. That night, my bad dreams were taken away, and I returned the next day to tell them of my choice to start following Jesus.

The center eventually hired me, and after going to weekly Bible studies and receiving discipleship, I grew in my faith and began sharing it with others. Because of your partnership with CAMA, I was able to start my own recycling business which provided much-needed jobs and services within my local community. A dream also began to grow in my heart of becoming a pastor. Through your support, I was able to attend Bible school, where I met my wife, Iris. In 2021, we both graduated with bachelor’s degrees. We’re now raising our own family while following Jesus and sharing the gospel with friends and relatives. This wouldn’t be possible without the gift of the gospel that you gave—thank you!