Cloud & Fire History
Cloud and Fire Ministries was founded in 1999 by our President and Executive Director, Melody Rossi. Prior to that time, Melody worked as a professional opera and symphonic singer, but in 1994, experienced a nearly fatal illness that resulted in permanent infertility and required a full year of recovery. What seemed like a terrible tragedy was really the beginning of something wonderful that God was about to do.
As Melody began to rebuild her life, she became a substitute teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and was repeatedly sent to a middle school that was performing in the lowest 2% in the nation. She was appalled to see gang members, prostitutes and drug dealers assembled outside the school on a daily basis, looking for new inductees. Her heart began to break for these young people, and she determined that she would do something to make a difference in their lives.
In November, 1999, Melody started a weekly after school club for some of her students in a nearby church. Every Friday, her middle school students came to hang out, make crafts, and have fun together. Melody gradually introduced lessons from the Bible, and awarded prizes for those who memorized verses. The little club also began taking fieldtrips, including cultural events camping trips. Our first official fiscal sponsor was Malibu Presbyterian Church, which contributed initial seed money and eventually helped procure a ministry van. MPC continues to be a generous sponsor of Cloud and Fire Ministries.
Cloud and Fire became an official 501(c) religious nonprofit in 2002. In 2004, the organization became part of the Charitable Choice program that awards grants to faith-based organizations that work with at-risk youth. Today, CFM has six staff members, numerous volunteers, and faithful church partners who help support our mission.
Cloud and Fire has now grown into a wonderful refuge for low-income Hispanic youth. The original middle school students have now grown up and become leaders in their community. Cloud and Fire now serves over 500 youth each year and provides multiple programs that help provide young people with a future and a hope.