Newsflash

Sheep, Goats and God’s Heart for Children

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It was a chilly (80 degrees) morning when a Burkinabe friend arrived at my house. When it’s hot, I know how to be a good hostess, offering water as the cultural way of expressing welcome, but since my friend arrived wearing a stocking hat, I hesitated. Should I offer her water? The last time I’d done this on a “cold” day, my guest had reacted like I’d offered him poison. Since then I’d noticed a pattern: people actually believed drinking water in the morning or on a cold day could harm them.  

This time, however, my friend accepted the water and sat with me on the porch to talk. A few minutes later, she noticed my roommate’s pet tortoise and informed me with delight that tortoises were her ancestors. She told me how each clan has a different animal as ancestor. These ancestral animals are to be greatly respected: clans cannot eat the meat of their particular ancestral animal, and they bury these ancestral animals the same way they do humans, with elaborate funerals.  

The culture has many stories about the ancestors and stories to explain why life is the way it is. For example, you may know that if you’re driving along and see a goat in the road, it is likely that it will run off the road, but if you see a sheep, this is most definitely NOT the case. However, you may not have known that long ago a goat and a sheep took a bus trip. At the destination, the driver asked for their fares. The goat paid only half and ran away; now every time he sees a car, he runs for fear that it’s the driver looking for the other half. The sheep, however, paid with a large bill. Instead of giving him his change, the driver sped off, so now the sheep stubbornly waits in front of every car, hoping to make the driver pay up.  

For most people here, even Christians, these stories and ideas are more than just amusing—they think they are true. Sadly, mixed in among all these false ideas is the idea that children can’t be saved. A good study of the Bible is all it takes to prove that this isn’t true, but sadly many churches hear of the work that Child Evangelism Fellowship is doing and dismiss it because of an idea that you must be a certain age to be saved.  

Now the members of the CEF committee and I are meeting personally with pastors and Sunday school teachers, sharing with them about God’s heart for children and asking them to partner with us to reach the children in the neighborhoods all around Burkina Faso. It is my prayer that children all over will hear God’s Word so that water doesn’t make them think of poison but rather of the living water they can drink and never thirst again. It is my prayer that sheep in the road won’t make them think of overpaid bus fares, but of Jesus’ promise to take care of us like a shepherd cares for his sheep.

By Chelsey Horkman
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Child Evangelism Fellowship Celebrates President’s 25th Anniversary

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mr. Reese Kauffman’s tenure as president of Child Evangelism Fellowship, which under his leadership has become the largest Christian ministry to children in the world.  Last year, CEF reached 15.6 million children around the globe with the Gospel. 

According to Mr. Bill Elgin, chairman of the International Board of Trustees for CEF, Mr. Kauffman came at a crucial time. “When Reese was installed as president of CEF, the ministry was in crisis.  The buildings and equipment at International Headquarters were in a state of disrepair, morale was low and the lack of financial support seriously hindered the ministry to the children.  Reese immediately provided vision and godly leadership that began to change the culture of CEF.  This has resulted in improvements to the facilities, motivated leadership around the world, a rapid increase in the number of children being reached, and an aggressive vision for the future.  It is safe to say there will be millions of souls in Heaven that may not have heard the Gospel if it were not for Reese's leadership these last 25 years.”  A self-effacing man, Mr. Kauffman gives all the credit for these accomplishments to the Lord first of all, to the CEF staff, workers and volunteers.  “Our people are what make the difference,” he says.

The ministry has indeed expanded enormously over the past 25 years. Today CEF has ongoing daily ministries in 190 countries, more than double the number of countries it had in 1989. Currently there are over 4300 CEF Bible clubs for children, called Good News Clubs, in public elementary schools all over the United States and over 62,000 Good News Clubs worldwide.  Every summer CEF reaches thousands of children through 5-Day clubs and its Good News Across America campaigns which target a different American city every year.  Its published materials have reached children in every corner of the globe.  For example, the CEF Wonder Bookhas been translated into 150 languages and millions of copies have been distributed all over the world.  The Do You Wonder Why? booklet, designed to help children cope with tragedy, has been distributed by CEF to countless children after  major natural or man-made tragedies,  such as  the September 11th bombings, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan.

Mr. Kauffman who grew up in Indianapolis and now resides on Sanibel Island, Florida, built a successful manufacturing business in Indianapolis where he became involved in a local CEF committee in 1975.  Later he served on the CEF International Board of Trustees. Then in 1989, he was asked to take on the leadership of the entire international ministry.  He agreed to do it for one year, refused a salary, and left his business in order to take the reins of CEF full-time.  He never left and has been a volunteer president ever since.  “I am not a children’s worker,” says Mr. Kauffman, “I am a business man and I understand high volume, high output organizations.  CEF is just that.  When you realize that 85% of Christians in the world trust the Lord Jesus as Savior by the age of 15, and see the extraordinary work God does through our children’s workers, you can see why CEF runs like a high output business.”

Asked about his future goals for CEF, Mr. Kauffman does not  hesitate.  “By 2017 we want to be in every nation in the world; we have seventeen to go.  Ten of them are going to be tough but it won’t be accomplished by a strategy, method or program.  If it happens it will be done by God and his grace.  Our motto is ‘Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day’.”

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An Appointment with God

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On October 26, 2014, Rick, eleven others and I visited Missouri Eastern Correctional Center to conduct a worship service. Only Rick and I had been in a prison before so the others’ stomachs turned with excitement and nervous anticipation as they wondered what it would be like.

Filled with several God moments—the day exceeded all of our expectations. These God moments came out in several fashions, but the most effective one was definitely a God appointment.

We had arrived early to set up. As they began to practice, an inmate approached Elizabeth, an intern from West Virginia who signs as she sings. He said, “I saw you signing! That is so great. I’m glad you’re here. There are three guys in here that are deaf. I’m going to go get them.”

Between practice and the start of the worship service the interns mingled with the inmates. Two inmates knelt at the altar and prayed, both crying and one signing. Soon the music began and the two praying men went and sat in the two front rows. The deaf man, Michael, noticed Elizabeth signing. He was so excited, his face lit up—a sight I will never forget! He enthusiastically motioned to the other inmates with two thumbs up. The others nodded with equal enthusiasm as they watched him joyfully worship.

Later, during testimony time, an inmate shared, “We have been praying for someone who could sign to come so that Michael could worship and praise God with us. You are definitely an answer to prayer.”

This was obviously a God appointment! Inmates and interns were blessed alike as their faith was strengthened and their hearts renewed with awe for our God’s greatness.

By Sandy Bunch

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Multiplied for Mauritius

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Elizabeth_Bunch_and_Frik_webHawk Nelson in his song, “Words,” says “Words can build us up, Words can break us down, Start a fire in our hearts, Or put it out.” In 2012, Reverend Frik Janse van Rensburg, Director of the South Africa/Indian Ocean Region put a fire in our daughter Elisabeth’s heart.

It was a special day. Spiritual renewal week was in full motion and CEF was buzzing with both International Headquarter employees and the overseas regional directors. Elisabeth skipped school that day and came to work with us so she could meet some of the international missionaries. Her day was well spent as she listened to what God was doing all over the world.

At lunch, Frik sat across from Elisabeth. They chatted, getting to know each other and discovered that they shared the same birthday.

“Elisabeth, I’d like to challenge you,” Frik said.

“Okay,” Elisabeth answered with uncertainty in her voice.

“We are building a camp for children in Mauritius. But we have a lot of money to raise. I am asking people your age to collect just $10 from all their friends to pay for this camp. Do you think this is something you could do?”

“I can try.” Elisabeth was excited about the challenge, but was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to raise a lot of money.

At first, she seemed to forget about Frik’s challenge. But as September 16, her birthday, approached she remembered that it was also Frik’s birthday. The challenge was renewed.

“Mom, since there is nothing I really need, why don’t I have my friends bring a donation for the camp rather than gifts for me to my party?”

Elizabeths_partyThe plans began. Friends were invited to a Mystery Dinner Party that took place at a camp. Each guest dressed and played their part. There was a lot of fun and laughter that evening.

But that is not why the evening will be remembered. It will be remembered for what God did with the money that Elisabeth collected. In total, her friends donated $238. In Mauritius, that was more than $2,000 MUR! Elisabeth, who thought her efforts would have minimal impact, was amazed at how God had multiplied her money.

The Impact in Mauritius

“We tell others about what Elisabeth has done,” Pauline Kut, Director of CEF Mauritius, says. “When I was first told about the donation they told me it was a ‘little girl.’ I thought she was about 9 to 11 years old. I thought how wonderful it was that God impressed it upon a little girl’s heart to raise money for this project. But then I found out it was a teen! This is rare. The board found out first and thought ‘Wow!’ because this never happens in Mauritius. They are encouraged by this and want our pre-teens to follow in her steps.” Elisabeth has been invited to Mauritius so that she can speak to and encourage the teens there to raise money.

Pauline has seen God work in many miraculous ways during the planning of the camp in Albion, a city not far from the seaside in the northwest corner of the island of Mauritius. God has provided an architect and an engineer free of charge. These provisions convince Pauline that this camp will one day be completed. They are currently waiting for the building permit to be approved. Once it is approved they will begin the first phase which will cost $167,000 MUR ($67,000 USD).

“It seems like quite a lot to raise, but it is peanuts for my heavenly father,” Pauline says. “If God has spoken to me about it, I believe that this project, now being planned for 35 years, will come to be a reality.” God has shown Pauline that He is in the project. What seems impossible to us, is not impossible for Him. “As we step in faith in this project, God is going to move, showing his faithfulness again and that this is not my project or anyone else’s but God’s,” states Pauline.

Pauline has worked for CEF for ten years and at first, she wanted to sell the land. She was discouraged by how long it was taking to get the camp built and operating. She originally felt that it was an old vision, not hers. There was so much fund-raising to do and it seemed to be impossible. She reasoned that having the money for CEF would be better than having an unused piece o

“But I was thinking only of myself. Just three years ago, God spoke to me through the book of Joshua. I am now convinced that no matter the cost of the project it is not about my raising the funds, it is about Jehovah Jireh who will provide.”

About the Camp and Mauritius

The island nation of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,250 miles east of Africa. The island itself is only 28 miles across and has a population of over one million.

Mauritius is religiously diverse but over half of the population practices Hinduism while 32% practice Christianity. It is obvious that the people of Mauritius need to hear the Gospel.

Once the camp is built, it will be used for this purpose. The goal is to share the Gospel with as many Mauritian children as possible. The site will also be used for training, multiplying the workers who can reach the children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pauline says, “We will be able to do so many things on these premises for children and if God is in this project He will surely provide everything.”

Elisabeth’s Challenge

Elisabeth would like to challenge others, especially teens, to do as she has and raise money for the camp in Mauritius. She says, “It was kind of hard not getting presents, but you have to put others first. Mauritius is a small country where Hinduism is prevalent. They need to know Jesus. Someday I would like to go to Mauritius and learn about the people and their culture. I also want to tell them about Jesus and maybe all of the people on the island will change.”

Do you accept Elisabeth’s challenge? Will you help CEF of Mauritius raise the money needed for their camp? It is difficult to raise funds in Mauritius due to Hinduism being the prominent religion. Funds must come from elsewhere. They need $15, 000, 000 MUR ($500,000 USD) more to make Camp Mauritius come to fruition. If you would like to make a donation, you can send it to: CEF Inc. Mauritius Real Estate, Account # SMU0270, PO BOX 348, Warrenton, MO 63383 - USA.

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Two Nations, Two Children, One Supernatural Result

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Poland

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Benjamin's mom did not believe that children the age of her seven-year-old son could give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, at a Polish CEF conference, she bought a Wonder Devotional Book for her young son, and presented it to him when she arrived home later in the day. After several days had passed, Benjamin read about sin and went to his mother crying. When asked why he was in tears, Benjamin replied that he had read in the book that "I have sinned...but I [also] read that Jesus, when I go to Him, He will clean my sin." Benjamin's mom did not encourage her son except to say that perhaps he was correct. But Benjamin persisted: "I must go to Jesus...will you pray with me?" Mom, surprised, finally agreed and listened as her son prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive his sin and be his Savior. Today, according to Konrad and Dorota, the CEF Poland literature directors, this mom is a firm believer in the evangelism of children!


Greece

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During one week of camp, Magda taught a Bible lesson that included a clear invitation to trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation from sin. Following the lesson, one young ten-year-old girl came to talk to Magda, but unfortunately, there was a camp emergency that put Magda in charge and alone at camp, preventing her from being able to spend time with the girl. Two more times she approached Magda wanting to talk. Things remained hectic and Magda could only put her off and promise to talk later. Finally this young girl pleaded with Magda: "Please, I can't spend another night without Jesus as my Savior!" She did not have to spend that night without her Savior.

Contributed by Doug and Jan Hamm
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Get Great Training Without Leaving Home!

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The Time to APPLY for CMI Online Courses Beginning in January 2015 Is NOW!

Four courses are available.

•             Teaching Children Effectively Level 1

•             Understanding Today's Child

•             Progressive Methods of Child Evangelism

•             Leadership Essentials

All courses require application and acceptance to the Children's Ministries Institute. The approval process takes three to four weeks from the time the application is submitted and must be completed before students can register for either course.

A 20 percent discount on online course fees is available to anyone who has successfully completed a CMI Online course. This discount is available for a limited time and applies to courses beginning in January. Don't miss your opportunity to receive this special offer! Learn more at online.cefcmi.com.

Registration is open from November 21-December 14, 2014.

Courses begin January 25, 2015.

If you have never applied to CMI, Apply Now!

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Celebrating Open Doors!

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Kelron_nita_and_myronThere is now active ministry in every country of the North America/Caribbean Region! The total count worldwide is 190 nations with CEF ministry and 17 left to open. 

During the International Board of Trustees meetings earlier this month the opening of the Caribbean nation of Turks & Caicos was announced. USA-sent missionaries Sean and Mandi Miller have committed to a four-year term to build a foundation for the ministry there and seek a national director to lead the work.  

It was anticipated that Bermuda, the final country in the North America/Caribbean Region, would open later this autumn. Last week Regional Director Myron Tschetter reported on his recent trip to Bermuda. Twelve attended the board training and nine agreed to join the national board. Two Good News Clubs were scheduled to begin last week. A believer in Bermuda contacted each elementary school and is encouraging churches to adopt a school. He is planning to hold Christian Youth In Action next summer and is looking for an office for CEF. He also showed Myron his goals for the ministry. Myron said it's possible this gentleman will be the national director. With active ministry now taking place in Bermuda, we announce it to be an open country.  

A celebration of praise to God for this great accomplishment was held on October 16 at International Headquarters during the (USA) State Leadership Conference. Two national directors were present from the region: Kelron Harry and Florita Kentish. Kelron shared, "Today I am very happy to be a part of this event celebrating the [completion of the] opening of the North Americ/Caribbean region and particularly the Caribbean area. I am proud to be a Caribbean man and a part of the CEF family. Why? If you know the Caribbean, you will know that it consists of many but very small islands that could easily be considered insignificant and inconsequential relative to the larger regions. But, however small we are there are many children living on these islands and CEF has not overlooked them. It delights my heart that CEF has now entered every country in the Caribbean and thus has remained true to its words: EVERY CHILD, EVERY NATION, EVERY DAY."  

Former regional directors Steve and Kris Groome, and current regional directors Myron and Nita Tschetter took part in the special event giving God glory and telling of the many milestones along the way. Mark Robb, project manager for CEF of Florida also shared as teams from the state played a strong role and continue in training partnership with CEF of Bermuda.  

We are grateful for your continuing prayer in the great task ahead as we seek to be "Around the World in 80 Years" by 2017.

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Focus on the Good Finish

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In the whole month of October, I was having my quiet time with the Lord, based on the book of Joshua. As I was reading Joshua 14:1-15 I came to know Caleb was focusing on the good finish.  

I want to begin with the following illustration: In a race a good start is important, but not as important as a strong finish. The same is true in our spiritual lives. People generally don't remember how well we begin; they remember how well we finish. 

You have had a great beginning in your ministry with CEF. The fact that we read the Bible, teach the message of salvation to children and lead our ministries in various levels of leadership reveals a strong commitment to God who works in our lives, quietly, steadily, faithfully and daily to develop us into dynamic men and women that He can use.  

The Christian life is not to run at a full speed over a short distant, it is a marathon; many people have had great beginning, only to stumble and fall along the way. Many Christians have become sidetracked by the temptations that the world has to offer them, only to flush their faith and drift away from Christ.  

In John 6:66-67, we read how many of Jesus' disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. Then Jesus said to His twelve disciples. "Do you want to go away as well?"  

During the National Directors Institute in the month of September in CEF Headquarters in America, President Reese Kauffman while addressing the subject of "Finishing Strong" said that this is all about the heart! He gave us many Bible references; one of them is Psalm 139:23. "Search me, O God, and know my heart!"  

Thank God for Caleb. In the book of Joshua 14:10-12, Caleb reminds Joshua that he was one of only two people to take an unpopular stand for his God against the crowd. He never compromised his commitment in spite of overwhelming pressure. Forty-five years later, he was still going strong. In Joshua 14:10-11 Caleb shared that the Lord kept him alive and now he was eighty five years old and still as strong as he was in the day that Moses sent him.  

Caleb wanted to conquer the hill country for God--that part of the land was very tough and challenging. Caleb attempted something humanly impossible. If God was not with him he was likely to fail. Yet he confidently declared, "if the Lord is with me, I can force them out," Caleb finished strong. Will you?  

Focusing on the good finish is all about the heart. Let us pray to our Lord who knows our hearts. We must let the Lord know that our desire above all things is to finish strong!

By Joseph Kavuli, East and Central Africa Regional Director

 
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Paper Missionaries!

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"Each of the children was really happy to receive a Meet the King! booklet due to its very attractive colors, graphics and quality. Most of all, children were really joyful to have received a copy of the story of Jesus. We could see their smiles, which somehow encouraged us to continue on sharing the message of salvation to more Filipino children and hand them this literature." (Oro Hael, CEF Philippines.)

With great joy I want to announce that since the very first printing of

Meet the King! (before Christmas of 2007), in just seven years:

MEET_THE_KINGover 16 million booklets have been printed

in 52 languagesand distributed in

124 countries around the world.

God has used this little Gospel booklet in wonderful ways!

Since 2008 over a million booklets have been distributed by CEF France, in partnership with 30 churches in various locations across the country. "A boy who received the Meet the King! booklet in a post box wanted to learn more about God. For weeks he nagged his parents to take him to the church which distributed it. Finally his mother could not take his nagging anymore and took him to the evangelical church. He enjoyed the Sunday school so much that his parents could not do anything but go back to church every Sunday." (Johan Bloemhof, CEF France.)  

In 2010 every home in Moldova received a copy -- a total of 1.6 million booklets were distributed. Our vision of Every Child was able to be put in practice and reality.  

In 2012 and 2013 two churches were planted as a result of the distribution of one million booklets in Cambodia.  

In many countries this booklet became a great advertisement of Truth Chasers Club, Wonder Devotional Books and Wonderzone.com. Pavle Kostadinov, CEF Macedonia shared: "At the International Book Fair in Skopje we distributed 4,800 booklets as well as correspondence courses, together with a flyer advertising Wonderzone in Macedonian."  

It is an opening into places where we cannot have other ministries. "Meet the King! is such an important tool which strengthens our ministry to the children. Thus far about 5,000 copies are being used by the workers to distribute at schools where we are not allowed to have clubs and for open air hand outs." (Annette Diedericks, CEF South Africa)

 
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Not a Gangster Anymore!

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Haiti_-_Gangster_webMildade, a teacher who works in the school ministry in Port-au-Prince, shared this story: A five-year-old boy in my class told me and the class, “I'm a gangster like my daddy. He has a gun and he kills people. When I grow up I will become like him. If you punish me I can bring his gun and kill you.”

When this little boy told me that, I took his words seriously and I prayed for a response. The Holy Spirit inspired me to talk about Cain and Abel. I gave some examples of what can take us far from God and make us sin. I never talked about what he told me in the beginning of the class, but the example touched his little heart. After I gave the invitation, he said “I’m not a gangster anymore; I don't want to displease God. I need to produce good fruit.” He prayed to receive Jesus that day!  

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Palau Denomination Gets Behind CEF

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The Palau Evangelical Church (PEC) was previously the only church that did not support and work with CEF Palau. God has answered prayer and national coordinator Jo Maldangesang is praising Him. This summer  the church asked for their help in teaching five days of children's classes during the 85th year celebration of the denomination's Gospel day. After the week-long classes the Sunday school director, thanked Jo saying, "You are a good team. From now on we will work together for any activity we have. We were connected before but we never worked together. But now we thank God for your presence and help."

 

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