Gracie, age 8, was affected by the tornado’s destruction that hit Alabama on April 27 in a personal way. Her grandparent’s home was devastated in the wake of the storm, leaving questions of why did this happen to them, and why did this happen to my town?
Gracie loved attending the Good News Club at her school, and was visited by her Good News Club leader a few days after the storm. As the leader saw Gracie and the family going over what was left of her grandparent’s home, she was able to place into Gracie’s hands a CEF “Do You Wonder Why?” booklet. She was so appreciative, and her mother was also delighted for Gracie to receive the booklet from CEF that would help answer questions Gracie would have. CEF responded within 24 hours of the tragic storm to this community in Alabama, responding to meet the spiritual needs of the children.
At present, CEF is simultaneously ministering in in the aftermath of three major natural disasters. One of the best ways CEF has found to reach children has been through the distribution of its booklet called “Do You Wonder Why?” This booklet, which has proven particularly effective in answering the important questions children have in the face of tragedy, was written in the wake of the September 11th terrorist bombings. Its message conveys the Christian understanding of tragedy: its roots in humankind’s collective choice against God; the hope of the Gospel; and the wonder of a God who loves them, watches over them and will never forsake them.
In addition to Alabama, where it has already distributed 30,000 booklets and has demands for still more, 10,000 booklets are being distributed in Christchurch, New Zealand and 50,000 in Eastern Japan. Always the goal is to minister to children as quickly as possible in a crisis.
While these booklets are designed for children, they are not the only ones who benefit from them. In January 2010, after the earthquake in Haiti, CEF workers distributed over 32,000 booklets. It was not just the children of Haiti who benefited. One parent told a CEF worker, “You should not only give those [booklets] to children! We as adults need this too! I have been struggling with emotional despair since after the earthquake, blaming God for what happened. I stopped praying and going to church. But this booklet answered my questions! Please, do not only give it to children, we need to know too. Thank you!”