GUIDE Retreat – Discover where God is leading you.
April 10-13 marked the fourth GUIDE RETREAT on the campus of Child Evangelism Fellowship. This free event occurs twice each year—once in the spring and once in the fall. The next GUIDE RETREAT is scheduled for October 2-5, 2014. The most recent retreat attracted nearly 50 guests from 18 states and people from every walk of life. Some were young people seeking guidance for their next steps as they seek to discern and follow the will of God. Others were retirees seeking to determine how to most effectively use their retirement years for the Lord.
The weekend is divided into five sections, linked to the acronym GUIDE.
Gaining a biblical perspective
Understanding God’s will
Investigating the opportunities
Developing a plan
Enjoying the journey
Below are comments from last weekend:
“I had a wonderful time and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know in depth what CEF is all about.”
“I have been able to better understand my God-given gifts and learned just how important it is to minister to children.”
“I discovered with confidence what God wants me to take as the next step in my life.”
“Until I came here I wasn’t sure I wanted to go into ministry but I felt God leading me in that direction. He also gave me peace over a sacrifice I had to make to come.”
Plan to join us for the next GUIDE RETREAT which is schedule for October 2-5, 2014. Click here for more information.
Time for Refreshment
For our US-sent missionaries, furlough is usually the time for support-raising, visiting with family and friends and presenting ministry updates. With all the traveling and presentations of their ministry, furloughs can be exhausting. They need a time for refreshment!
Missionary Refresher was developed as a time for them to come to CEF International Headquarters for a week of spiritual refreshment, physical renewal and relationship-building with the International Headquarters staff.
Missionary Refresher is held once a year, usually in the spring. A group of five to eight individuals or families are invited to spend a week here at the headquarters while they are on furlough. Our goal is to have each US-sent CEF missionary attend approximately every four years.
This year five of the eight CEF ministry regions are represented in six individuals or families. These missionaries have been serving the Lord in CEF between 5 and 35 years.
Please praise God with us for these six individuals and families who are faithful servants of the Lord and CEF. You also can join us in prayer for them as they raise additional support, give ministry presentations at partnering churches and have times of refreshment and rest before returning to their various nations of ministry
Teen Teams up to Teach Children
Kevin is a typical Crucian teenager. He likes to watch TV, play video games and eat chocolate cupcakes. But Kevin has another favorite activity: he helps at Good News Club every Monday afternoon.
After Kevin attended Christian Youth in Action last summer, his youth pastor invited him to help teach the weekly Good News Club at the JFK Housing Project. Kevin joined the teaching team in October of last year.
"Good News Club is important," Kevin explains. "The kids that never go to church can find out about Jesus and it encourages them to go to church."
Four of the children from Good News Club who don't regularly attend church have begun going to services at Southgate Baptist, the club's sponsoring church.
"I like helping at Good News Club," Kevin continues. "I get to help kids learn about God. Rather than just go to church, I'm part of the church. I'm being more active."
Kevin sees children respond to the Gospel message as well. Three children in the past month have believed in Jesus as their Savior from sin. "Every day we teach the children they can be saved and give them a chance to be saved."
As he looks toward the future, Kevin knows Good News Club has benefited him as well. "If I ever decide to be a teacher or missionary or a worker for Child Evangelism Fellowship, I have the skills and have practiced and prepared for that."
When asked if he plans to attend Christian Youth in Action again this summer, Kevin nods his head emphatically. "Yes," he says smiling. "A definite yes."
April Nesbitt, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Internships at CEF International Headquarters
Internships provide a real world opportunity for hands-on experience in the workplace. They are the number one means of helping people discover their God-given passions and abilities.
Register Now for Romans Road for Children
In the Romans Road for Children Demo Course, students will learn how to share the message of salvation in a simplified way with children.Romans Road for Children has recently been updated to reflect wording related to the invitation and counseling. This update is part of our ongoing effort to make all of our training materials consistent with the changes being made in our curriculum.
Read what a recent student said about this online course:
"Enrolling in Romans Road was two-fold for me, to see if I could maneuver around the site and understand the technical side of doing online training. Secondly, learning how to present the well designed Romans Road tool on a child’s level. Both expectations were fulfilled as I acquired much valuable information in the teaching that was clearly presented with excellence. The directions were very clear and explanatory. Getting to know the other students through forum discussions and gleaning from their ideas and thoughts was very beneficial as well."
Dates: April 27-May 17, 2014
Registration Open: April 12-26, 2014
Spaces Are Limited!
Don’t miss your opportunity to register for this effective online course!
God's Word Changes Hearts
Ms. Dehall's Good News Club has 100 children. That is not too unusual except for the fact that these 100 children come at 7:00AM in the morning before school begins at 8AM!
Their love for God's Word is very evident and God is using His Word in the lives of these children in a wonderful way. One boy was a trouble maker. He created problems with other children and throughout the whole school. Every single day he was in the principal's office for something he had done wrong. This same boy also started coming to Good News Club and brought his unruly behavior with him. But Mrs.Dehall saw his potential and began to allow him to hold visuals or read a verse from the Bible. Over time God changed his heart! He no longer spends time in the principal's office and now is a well-behaved 5th grader who still attends the club. In fact, the changes in the children in this club are so evident that a Mom brought her son to the teacher and said, "Please let my son become a part of this club". Praise God! His Word changes hearts!
Sometimes Groans are a Good Thing
A collective groan escapes the ten children sitting at yellow picnic tables in the community center. Outside the open-air building the island sky turns from bluish-pink to dark gray. Although the groans sound like homework has just been assigned, they are actually in response to the Good News Club® announcement: No club next week—teachers are traveling. But the children were assured that club will resume the next Tuesday. Eleven-year-old Cristaly whispers to me, “I’ll be here. I’ve only missed once.”
This weekly community Good News Club meets each Tuesday evening at an apartment complex near my home on St. Croix. Several faithful volunteers prepare dynamic Bible lessons, cliff-hanger missionary stories and life-changing memory verses for each fun-filled, hour-long club.
I remember a few months ago when Cristaly ran to club with a small red book clutched in her hand. “I finished it,” she stated breathlessly, handing me The 60-Day Wonder Devotional Book. The children received the book when the club first started earlier in the year. Cristaly, the first to complete all 60 days, had even highlighted and marked certain pages. “Those were the verses I looked up in my Bible,” she explained. We held a little ceremony in club and Cristaly beamed as she was awarded book 2.
Now a few months later, other children are also on the second devotional book. Latiesha shares, “I keep the book at school and do it there. I really like it. The things about God are so interesting. I just can’t put it down.”
I smile, remembering the children’s groans at hearing club will skip a week. Sometimes groans are a good thing.
April Nesbitt, St. Croix
U.S Virgin Islands
Taking a Stand for GodHave you ever had to stand up for what you know is right? This was the question posed to sixth grade Elliana* at the end of her Truth Chasers Club lesson. The Truth Chasers Club is a through-the-mail Bible correspondence club for children and adults. Their purpose is to evangelize children and disciple them in their faith. In the case of Elliana, her lesson talked about making right decisions for God. In response to the question, she said:
When I was…public school my teacher said that the Bible was not true and God was not real. When she said that I got up and told her the Bible is true and is real…I am a believer in Jesus Christ. After that more kids [who go] to church stood up for what they knew was true. Then the teacher was quiet! Now she is going to church!
If you or a child you know would like to enroll in the Truth Chasers Club visit truthchasersclub.com for more information.
CEF Ministering in 28 Military Communities
As I walked past the newsstand, these statistics published in the Army Times caught me by surprise: "30,000 kids abused, 118 killed; 40 percent increase in cases from 2009 to 2012."
God's Word at Work
Camron* began attending Good News Club at a school in Fresno one year ago. He was an active participant during club time. He loved answering questions and was an eager learner. When The 60 Day Wonder Devotional Book was given out he would return each week with several pages completed and continued to do so until the entire book was finished. When he got another one at Christmas time, the same thing happened. Before Easter break he was given a third Wonder Devotional Book and a Truth Chasers Club starter lesson. A couple weeks later the Good News Club finished for the year and he had not completed the third book yet. However, because his book was nearly finished, he was given one more devotional book.
The first day of GNC this year he arrived at club with his two The 60 Day Wonder Devotional Books completed as well as three certificates from the Truth Chasers Club and a Bible with his name on it. The Bible had been given to him as a reward for completing lesson series from the Truth Chasers Club.
As Camron’s GNC teacher, I had the privilege of checking his answers to the questions in each lesson in his devotional books. I could tell from his answers that God was doing something special in this young man’s life.
Tammy, my co-teacher, and I scheduled a time to talk with his mother to find out what effect this was having on his home life. She told us, “Although Camron has attended church, he is learning so much more about God from these devotional books.” She explained he would realize that when he disobeys his mother or is unkind to a friend at school it is sin and God does not like it. He didn’t want to do those things. He asked God to help him. She was seeing his behavior and attitude change at home. She said the devotional books were affecting his life and hers as well. The Truth Chasers Club is something new to him and he likes the different activities in the lessons. As soon as one comes in the mail, he does it immediately and then his mother sends it off in the mail the next day for him. Also, she has started doing the adult Truth Chasers Club lessons and finds them challenging and helpful.
How we praise the Lord for allowing us the privilege to see God at work in these lives!
The Countdown Continues
Celebrate with us as we announce two countries newly opened for ministry with Child Evangelism Fellowship®—Samoa and Sweden. This brings the total number of open countries to 187 out of the 207 in the world. To be qualified as opened, the country must have ongoing ministry to children by CEF-trained and equipped adults.
Samoa is a chain of islands in the South Pacific Ocean with a population of less than 200,000. Though statistics show the major religion to be Christian, the children do not always have an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel. We are grateful for the structure now in place to share the Good News with the beautiful brown-skinned boys and girls in Samoa.
Sweden, a country of mountains and forests, is on the other side of the world. Here the children are fair-skinned with blond hair and blue eyes. The winters are cold and dark—much like the attitudes of the Swedish people toward Christianity. CEF leadership in Europe has worked for years to revive the ministry in Sweden where a secular, postmodern worldview dominates the society. CEF has faced both opposition and apathy to the Gospel. CEF of Sweden has a project in place to deliver copies of “The Jesus Film for Children” DVD and Meet the King! Gospel booklet to 60,000 homes in Stockholm this year.
It is the goal of CEF to be around the world by 2017, our 80th birthday. We anticipate opening three more of the remaining 20 countries in the coming months. Join with us in prayer that the Great Commission will be accomplished among the children of the world. Watch for updates as God continues to work.