It was the year 2000, and Wayne Cramer, a retired financial analyst and Navy submarine specialist, along with his wife Susan and their daughter Amanda, accepted God’s call to Rubio, Venezuela, where they would teach the children of missionaries at Christiansen Academy, founded in 1952.
It was also the year the Cramers would fall in love…head over heels for the people of Venezuela. A people of deep faith and, often, great need. For as long as the Cramers taught in Rubio, they learned something themselves: they couldn’t possibly return to the States without offering these children hope for a brighter future. But how?
The answer came in the form of Gaby Andrade, a private school principal who worked with the Cramers to form the first Help and Hope Center in Rubio, focusing on the needs of the local children, many of whom were refugees from nearby Colombia. The initial idea was to transport children from the neediest communities into the city, but this proved to be a problem for both the children and the operation of the Center. Out of this practicality sprang the notion that each Center should be set up in a village or neighborhood and linked to the local church.
By 2003, Andean Aid was up and running, registered as a 501(c)(3) headquartered in Ingleside, Illinois and Rubio, Venezuela.
Today, Help and Hope Centers operate in many parts of Venezuela and Colombia serving hundreds of children a day, each Center guided by a local pastor and run by teachers who attend to the educational, spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the children. All carefully overseen in partnership with Andean Aid’s NGO in Cucuta, Colombia, its Civil Association in Rubio, and a U.S.-based Board of Directors.
Andean Aid is also proud to be affiliated with a private Christian school in Rubio – the Christiansen Academy – where 160 children receive private education and 26 teachers and staff make their living. A scholarship fund is available to students in great financial need or with disabilities, and today, a new school on a large parcel of land is being built to accommodate many more students.
The Andean Aid story doesn’t end there. After hearing stories of changed lives and dreams realized, dozens of churches in Venezuela and Colombia have requested a Center in their community. With your support, Andean Aid can easily be serving more than three thousand children each day. There is much more we can do – together.
We hope you will prayerfully consider supporting our work and in so doing, help us build the child, the church and the community in Andean Venezuela and Colombia.
“And He said unto them, go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.”