I'm less than 24 hours out from attending an event that impacted me so greatly I have a hard time even finding the words to describe it. My friend Hillary's Dad, Ron Hesser, is the founder of an amazing organization called Crio International. Here is their mission statement: Crio International is a non-profit foundation producing sustainable growth and prosperity in vulnerable and war-torn nations in Africa. We train up leaders to serve their communities through the local church. We address the broken systems that have produced the great need in many of the communities in Africa. By mobilizing and supporting local leaders, the church is bringing life and hope to each community by serving real social needs, supporting local resources, and providing education.
Our mission is to serve the poor, widows, and orphans in Africa by empowering leaders in the local church to influence their culture with the hope of Christ.
Crio International was nominated for an Epoch Award. An Epoch Award is an award for the unsung hero's who are making a difference in the global and local communities through faith-based non-profit organizations. The awards ceremony was in Atlanta and Hillary and I flew out to be a part of the ceremony. I got to spend the evening with incredible leaders from all over the globe who are giving their lives to make a difference in the lives of others. This was an evening to honor and celebrate those who work hard day in and day out to serve others. Throughout the evening we got to hear amazing stories from the organizations and the things that each of them are accomplishing was astounding to me. I love to see the dreams that God has put on their hearts becoming reality in a big way. From those being rescued from sex trafficking, to helping former gang members enter the work force, so many facets of people who aren't just "talking" they are "being". It was one of the most inspiring things I've ever had the privilege to be a part of. To see each of these ministries was to see Gods redemptive power at work. Many of them where literally ashes to beauty stories. The inspiring thing is that can be each and every one of our stories if we just allow ourselves, even in our greatest pain, to be used for His purposes.
I was so honored to get to sit with the team at Crio International and cheer them on throughout the night. I know that the Epoch event was just the beginning of some incredible things that God had in store for this ministry. If you want to learn more about Crio click here. Below are some pictures of our evening at the event with some of the people who helped to make it so special.