Boxes of Books at 100,000 and Counting
Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world, has reached an extraordinary milestone in its Boxes of Books program. Announced during the 75th anniversary of the ministry last month, an astonishing 100,000 Boxes of Books have been delivered around the world since the program began 13 years ago. This program, which is funded through charitable donations, has made a crucial difference in advancing the CEF ministry in developing countries.
In May 1999, Boxes of Books was launched to meet a pressing need: In many of these emerging countries, there were thousands of nationals being trained as teachers by CEF and who were eager to evangelize and disciple children locally in Good News Clubs, but they lacked the funds to purchase the CEF curriculum to do so. Through Boxes of Books, CEF printed the curriculum at its headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri, then shipped boxes of the curriculum for free to the CEF workers abroad. The colorful, high-quality visuals of Bible lessons that make up the curriculum make the gospel come alive for children. The leader of CEF Romania, Mr. Iulian Mangalagiu, captured the effectiveness of this program when he said, “We are thankful to God for those who have a heart for providing the tools to enable our teachers to effectively take the gospel to children. The Boxes of Books program has enabled thousands more children to be reached with the Word of God and has greatly encouraged those teachers who due to financial difficulties would never have been able to afford the materials.”
In an emotional ceremony during the 75th anniversary celebration of CEF, the 100,000th Box of Books was passed along a human chain representing the CEF workers who make the program a success. The chain provided a visual representation of the many tasks that must be accomplished to get the CEF curriculum around the world, such as fundraising, accounting, writing, printing, binding and shipping to name a few. Also in the chain were users of the Boxes of Books, including Mr. Joel Indico, the CEF national director of the Philippines, who stood at the end of the chain to receive the historic box.
The number of boxes sent overseas has steadily increased each year. In 2010, 12,153 boxes were sent out and in 2011, the total was 16,057. This year, CEF expects to ship over 18,000 boxes around the world. As a result, the number of children CEF has reached has steadily increased through the years. Going back to 1999, CEF was able to reach just 3.8 million children. Last year, the organization reached over 12 million children worldwide in 180 countries and territories around the world.
This remarkable growth would not have been possible were it not for the generous donations Boxes of Books has received through the years. Since its inception, the program has received more than five million dollars in charitable donations. “Boxes of Books has been a popular charitable cause,” said Mr. Harry Robinson, executive vice president of International Ministries at CEF, in a recent interview. “The program fills a concrete need and as soon as those boxes are received children benefit greatly.”