Newsflash

India's Special Project

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Training of 10,000 volunteers is underway in India as CEF workers prepare to reach 1 million children during the month of August! Volunteers are being taught how to effectively evangelize children using The Wordless Book as part of the "Reaching Children Effectively" project.

We are calling for international prayer on behalf of our CEF staff in India, the thousands of volunteers who will carry out this ministry and for the children who will be reached.

Author E.M. Bounds wrote, "Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage that never fails." We know that those doing the actual work of training and reaching children during this national event will need amazing energy and perseverance as they pursue the goal. May we also expend that energy in prayer on their behalf.

Will you commit to pray specifically for "Reaching Children Effectively" in India? We have already seen God provide in wonderful ways-even providing the entire estimated budget of $9,000 in one gift at International Conference when the donor was not even aware of the specific need. Pray for:

  • Strength for staff as they train new workers.

  • Volunteers to fully understand the training and to make effective use of it.

  • Children to clearly understand the Gospel and respond by trusting in Christ.

  • Thousands of new workers to become involved in CEF on an ongoing basis after the project is complete.

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You Do Not Have Because You Do Not Ask (James 4:2)

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Steve Groome and I (Kris) built our team by asking. We truly believe James 4:2 is the key to the ministry growth that we experienced. We asked God to open our eyes to see potential workers, volunteers and donors. Once the Spirit prompted, we opened our mouths and asked. I remember when Sister Pet Farnum came to teach in Brazil with us, and she shared that she had sensed that she should resign her position with CEF Guyana. She did not know what God wanted her to do, and she was waiting on His direction. I heard Him say “Ask”. So I asked her to consider being the regional Member Care Coordinator. What an amazing job she has done!. I thank God that I asked.

Larry and Lorna Frickel, North America/Caribbean Ministry Development Team, sat with us at the International Conference three years ago. They were ending their ministry in Asia and seeking God’s direction for their future. God whispered “Ask”, so we did. They have opened the British Virgin Islands, helped Regional Director Myron Tschetter with board training, and assisted with the ART financial program.

Bev Huff and Janet Snyder came to us during a transition time in their ministry in Canada. We were just developing the Caribbean ministry and quite frankly we were very overwhelmed by what needed to be done. In God’s perfect timing He provided a perfect solution for them and for us when Steve asked them to be education coordinators for the Caribbean! Our load was lifted when we obeyed and asked.

Our finances were very low when I started to volunteer at a local resale shop. We were at a point where we may have had to leave the ministry because things were so tough financially. The shop was created to use all its profits to support ministries and nonprofits locally and around the world. They were looking for volunteers to manage the store on Saturdays. I asked if Steve and I could do it and receive support for our ministry. They agreed and God blessed more that we could ever imagine. Initially we received around $25 a week and now the shop is our biggest supporter and because I asked, we are still on the field and financially blessed.

I could go on, but you get the point. I ask you to listen to the Spirit and ask! Be amazed at what he does when you ask!

---Kris Groome, North America/Caribben Region

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Mr. Overholtzer's Dream is Coming True

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It is amazing to realize that the prayers and dream of our founder, J. Irvin Overholtzer, to reach children around the world is actually happening. The goal of CEF is to reach 100 million children per year by 2020. There are now 188 countries open to CEF ministry with just 19 target countries to go before our 80th anniversary in 2017!

The last night of conference was a special time of prayer dedicated to these remaining target countries. All of the target country flags were placed around the auditorium with one person standing beside each flag to represent that country. Reese Kauffman asked the audience to gather around the flag closest to the, lift their hands toward the flag and pray that God's hand would move mightily in that country so that it would be open for ministry and children would come to know Christ. I was one who stood by the flag representing the country of Bermuda. My heart broke as I heard 50 or more people praying fervently that God would open doors and allow ministry to happen in each of these countries. Incontrollable tears began streaming down my face as I felt God's presence. What joy it must have brought to God's heart as these prayers were lifted up.

As I listened to people praying I wondered how God would answer those prayers and orchestrate His plan for each one of the remaining 19 countries. Maybe at our next International Conference, all of these countries will be open and we will say with the hymn writer, "To God be the glory, great things He has done!"

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"A Vessel, Answering God's Call"

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Many international CEF workers that attended the conference chose to fly into Charlotte, North Carolina, almost two hours away, because it was less expensive. These individuals had no idea how they were going to get to Ridgecrest, but trusted that the Lord would provide. Little did they know that God was already answering their prayer.

Stan and Karen Pryzynski from Charlotte, NC have been with CEF for eight years and currently serve as local coordinators for the Charlotte-Metro chapter. At the last International Conference in 2011, Stan had received calls from CEF missionaries looking for transportation and housing, and had been happy to help. This year, God laid it on Stan’s heart that there would be a need again. Before even hearing from anyone, Stan asked one of his ministry coordinators and her husband, Jean and Jerry Sullivan, if they might be able to transport and house attendees if needed. They answered, “Yes, of course!”

Stand and his helpers arranged transportation to Ridgecrest for more than 17 people and provided housing for those who needed to stay overnight. Stan offered his phone number and email for anyone who needed assistance. CEF regional director, Myron Tschetter said, “I don’t know how we would have managed to get our people to the conference without Stan’s help. Every time we contacted him with yet another person who needed help, he would say, ‘We will make it happen.’”

Yolanda, from Belize, was one of the conference attendees blessed by Stan. “I must say that I am thankful that the Lord opened up the way for me to attend conference. God worked in ways I did not plan or could not plan if I tried. It was a blessing to have Stan and Karen come into my life. They were so wonderful to all of us that they transported.”

Stan, like many others behind the scenes, greatly impacted the lived and ministries of our CEF workers so that they could be blessed. Stan said, “I’m just a vessel answering God’s call, when needed. Truly the blessing came from the fellowship with those we helped.” Praise the Lord for how He orchestrates our lives and answers prayer!

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CEF Trelawny Fire

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Trelawny_Fire_Caribbean_JulyThe building that housed the CEF Jamaica’s ministry's office for Trelawny, was engulfed in flames. Monica Speare, Parish Supervisor reported, “Up to this point, no one knows for sure the cause of the fire. I was told however when I got into Falmouth yesterday, that somewhere between midnight and 1:00 am yesterday morning, 2 gentlemen saw fire at the top of the building (in the roof), and one called the Fire Unit. However, before the firemen came, that section on the roof collapsed into the CEF office, and the rest we just have to entrust in God’s care! Absolutely nothing has been saved!”

I praise Him that there has been no loss of lives! The work of the Lord will continue. God has provided a new office, but it needs a significant amount of work for it to be usable. Fellow laborers, Our God is still in control!

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Virtual 5-Day Clubbers and Other Things….

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5_Day_club_-_hannah_C._2014I couldn’t help laughing to myself as I sat outside, walkie-talkie in hand, listening to the Bible lesson.

“Well this is a first!”  

A little girl who had attended club Monday was unable to come on Tuesday because she had contracted lice. (Yikes! Thank goodness she didn’t decide to come and share! Although three or four other children at the club had lice during the week and decided to come anyway.…). Faced with the prospect of missing the fun at club she armed her friend with a walkie-talkie and instructed her to give it to a teacher so she could still “come” to club!  

And she did!  

She listened and answered questions and sang along with us! It was great, and the other kids got a kick out of it too! She was then able to come to club for real later during the week – lice free! It was definitely a HUGE encouragement to see how much she loved club, and that God was making such an impact in these kids’ lives.  

This pretty much describes 5-Day Clubs. Not that we always have walkie-talkies or lice, but clubs are always “a time full of wonder and excitement” (to quote Adventures in Odessey). You never know what’s going to happen!

---Hannah Cashman, CEF of Missouri CYIA Volunteer

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God is at Work in the Small Things

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Paver_stoneAt the end of the last school year and over the summer months, this school started a beautification project in front of the building. This included landscaping, mulch and an area where students and teachers were invited to decorate brick pavers for their classroom or their club. There is a paver for each classroom, club, the PTO and more. Today, just before I got to the front door of the school, I noticed one very special brick paver. It caught my eye because I thought I saw a very interesting shape on the paver. I knew it couldn't be, but it seemed like a picture of three crosses on the hill. It made me stop in my tracks and bend down to look closer. At which point, I realized that this was a Good News Club brick paver with a very simple image showing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What surprised me most of all is that I have no idea who designed or placed that special brick paver in that location, right in front of the main door to the school. It was not me, nor was it any adult from our club. Was it a child, was it one of the school administrators, was it one of the teachers? Either way, it is a beautiful picture of the way God has used all of you to have an impact on the children, teachers, administrators, parents and this entire school.

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Jesus Changes Lives in Zambia

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Zambia_school_picture_Kabamba“You changed our school!” Jesus changes lives, and that was evident to the principal of Arcon Park Primary School in Zambia. After only nine weeks of Bible teaching by CEF staff, most of the children in class had trusted in Christ as Savior. There was no longer a problem in the school of stealing. 

This year workers in Zambia have been able to reach children in Open Air, schools, Party Clubs, Good News Club, a day camp and other outreach ministry. At one event, 3,408 people heard the message of salvation. Once while a CEF missionary taught children, a pastor listened. Afterward, he exclaimed, “For the first time I see that although Jesus died for my sins, I need to ask God to forgive me.” He and the children received Christ. 

Pray for missionaries Stephen and Beth Kabamba of Zambia as they plan for the next Children’s Ministries Institute to be held from January 8—April 2 in South Africa. Stephen says, “We trust that many students from several countries in the Southern Africa/Indian Ocean Region will attend the course, learn to reach children, study to train others and start working full-time.”

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Cross Culture

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It is heartbreaking to see yet another example of the severe racial divide that is a part of American culture.  The undeniably senseless death of an unarmed 18 year-old Black at the hand of a White man, who is also a police officer, puts the spotlight once again on the ongoing culture war that plagues our great country.  But in the midst of it all, there is a clear call for all of us who name the Name of Jesus Christ to be “cross cultural” in our response and in our witness to the world around us.  

Being “cross cultural” is to know that the only true answer to the pain, the anger, the hatred, and all the expressions of evil is found at the foot of the cross.  From the world’s perspective, nothing could be more foolish, but from the perspective of the body of Christ, it is the power of our True and Living God.  The purpose of this message then is to call us to the supernatural healing power of “cross-culturalism”.

--- Harry Walls III, Chairman of CEF of Greater St. Louis Board, Member of CEF Missouri State Board

Hear the message Harry gave in Chapel at CEF international Headquarters on August 13, 2014:

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Believers Take Every Opportunity to Tell of Christ in Closed Countries

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Stele_Licinia_Amias_Terme_67646_resizedIn the days of the early church, particularly in the city of Rome, Christian used the fish symbol to identify themselves to other followers of Christ. Jump ahead 2,000 years and imagine that faithful Christ-followers of the 21st century must still use secret symbols to identify and protect. This is the situation in at least one part of the world that some may declare closed to the Gospel. But in reality, people there are hearing the truth and coming to faith in the Savior. Christians in this creative access area have a small Christian symbol tattooed on their body as a symbol of their commitment to Jesus Christ and as an identifier to other Christians. If the symbol is seen by non-believers the result could be beatings, problems at work or even denial of entrance to a university.  

In this same area God granted CEF personnel favor with authorities by allowing the ministry to officially register with the government. The registration documents are such that CEF is able to freely print and distribute materials in other places that speak the same language. And because the literature is coming from such a well-known place, the recipients are able to use the government registration documents in one country as a cover for meetings in another. The key is meetings which promote their publications.  

Believers are using this opportunity to have promotional meetings, which result in thousands of children hearing the Gospel. Regular ministry goes on in different schools representing different religions of the world. Another favorite outreach is a 3-Day Club, rather than the traditional 5-Day Club. The first day political and religious authorities don’t know the club exists. The second day people begin to notice. By the third day the club has been reported to authorities, but by the time they arrive the teachers have moved on to a new location.  

Becoming a follower of the Lord Jesus costs the person who trusts in Him. He is expected to renounce his former faith and firmly embrace Christianity. Imagine a 10-year-old child or a 25-year-old man or a 75-year-old grandmother facing rejection by their family or even death because of their faith in Christ. But God is blessing their faith in this place and thousands are putting their trust in the Savior.  

Pray for the CEF team—for protection, courage, strength and peace. And pray for those who hear God’s Word and choose to follow Christ.    

Source for the attached picture of an early Christian Funerary stele with the inscription ΙΧΘΥC ΖΩΝΤΩΝ ("fish of the living"), early 3rd century, National Roman Museum

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Stele_Licinia_Amias_Terme_67646.jpg

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The Gospel Makes a Difference in Perth, Australia

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The young boy was in tears as he came to talk to his Bible class teacher. “I know I am a sinner and need Jesus in my life,” related the boy.

Read more: The Gospel Makes a Difference in Perth, Australia