Prayer Changes Things
As we were starting our first Good News Club at Mi Patrimonio in Tijuana, Mexico my husband and I started to walk around the neighborhood to invite children to the Good News Club in our home. I came across a mother and her nine-year-old daughter Linda who live behind our house. As I was speaking with them, I noticed a satanic charm around Linda's neck. It turned out that it belonged to Linda's grandfather. Her mother agreed to allow her and her brother Jose to come to GNC and we were happy to see them at club that week. They came every week and it was not long until they both received Jesus as their Savior. They loved to participate, they used to sing to the Lord with all their hearts and they learned the story of the Wordless Book. We were able to see that they were growing in their faith. After a year we didn't see much of Linda or her brother and they stopped coming altogether. Their father even called my husband the seventh son of the devil. Neither Linda nor her brother, were allowed to look at us or say hello to us. We prayed for them for a long time. Every time we saw them, they looked scared and sad. We asked our sister church in Utah to help us pray for them and their family. It was not long after that Linda and Jose showed up at GNC with smiles on their faces and ready to praise God. Linda's father now has a respectful relationship with my husband and has allowed Linda to come to church with us on Sundays. Linda is now twelve years old and recently I asked her if she was a child of God. She answered yes and we both recalled the day when she received Jesus as her LORD at Good News Club three years ago. We have been able to see God's mighty hand in the life of these two children and their family.
Rick Bunch Moves to New Ministry Role
CEF is praising God for an answer to prayer. Rick Bunch has moved to a new ministry role as Editorial and Creative Services Manager at International Headquarters.
Rick will be overseeing the creation of our curriculum in Literature Development and Creative Services. He has served at CEF for the past four years as the data manager in the Truth Chasers Club.
Rick has served as a theological reviewer for many of our new lessons. He has a bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education and a masters in Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rick has served as a pastor and in secular positions. Through his gifting, education, past experience and his time as data manager in TCC, the Lord has prepared Rick for this new role. Please pray for Rick as he undertakes this vital ministry.
It's 258,600. That is the number of flashcards and other teaching tools sent out from Revival Movement or printed at another nine locations throughout the world in 2014--and this is not yet the final figure for the year! This has enabled many trained teachers to be equipped to better reach and teach boys and girls.
From the very beginning of CEF, Mr Overholtzer put a special emphasis on visual aids for teachers. We keep this area of literature our first priority. The impact that a single flashcard book can have is tremendous.
On December 10, CEF started Christmas parties in one country with 931 teachers, all trained and equipped with visual aids. The plan is to have 6,127 clubs! Most of those children will see scenes of the biblical account of Jesus' birth for the first time in their lives.
CEF Press visual aids are a great incentive for teachers to continue with. One Good News Club in Switzerland just celebrated 40 years of existence. Imagine how many times a flashcard was used to teach children the Bible!
CEF Haiti was able to clear through customs eight pallets of literature which will be used in Good News Clubs--over 108,000 items of various CEF publications such as Meet the King! booklets and devotional books, as well as 11,200 flashcard lessons!
CEF Armenia had a project to give 15 flashcard lessons and Bible lesson texts to the churches free of charge. This brought a new enthusiasm among the teachers (and pastors!) and as a result new invitations to start CEF trainings in their churches were offered. Some 150 churches took part in this.
As we soon start a new year I would like to share a special request for 2015. We are looking for 100 prayer partners for CEF Equipping who would pray every day. Would you like to pray every day for CEF Equipping? If so, please see the list below:
Sunday: Salvation of children who received a copy of Meet the King! or another Gospel booklet.
Monday: Spiritual growth of children who are reading devotional books on a daily basis.
Tuesday: More training opportunities for teachers who are receiving flashcard lessons and other teaching tools.
Wednesday: Finances for the production of literature and creation of new multimedia items.
Thursday: The work on the new Good News Club and 5-Day Club four-year curriculum which is to be launched internationally in 2017.
Friday: The best translations of materials into 83 languages, as well as for more languages to be added to that list.
Saturday: That the new Wonderzone and other online resources will reach many children.
By Bogdan Bassara, International Literature Director
As We Enter 2015 Let's Consider Three Significant Entrances
As we enter 2015, it seems timely that we consider three vital "entries" which are core to our lives and our ministry in Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Christ Entered the World.
The only reason we can go on mission together is because of God's boundless grace in sending the Lord Jesus into this world. This is the basis of our hope and the hope which we share with children around the world. God's gracious workings perfectly revealed in His Son.
"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, He has spoken to us by His SON whom He appointed as heir of all things, through whom He also created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God..." (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Christ, our creator entered time and space, to become our Savior.
We Enter the Holiest Place.
Because Christ came to us--bearing our sin in His own body on the tree--we are welcomed to enter God's presence. We are accepted before Holy God because of what Christ did in coming as Savior. We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. So in the words of Hebrews 10:22-24, we have the wonderful privilege of entering His presence.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean....
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering....
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works."
We do these things by entering His presence and seeking Him in prayer.
We Enter the Doors of Opportunity which God Has Opened.
So, in light of Christ's coming to us, and in the power we receive as we enter the holy place in prayer, we walk out into 2015 with God on the mission to which He has called us-- Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day.
Billy Graham once said:
"Some say there are many closed doors around the world.
I am not concerned about the closed doors;
God has the power to open them in His timing.
I am concerned about the ones that are open
that we do not enter."
My prayer is that in 2015, God will help us walk through the open doors of opportunity He gives us as we fervently pray that God will enter the lives and hearts of many, many children from all around the world.
May Christ allow us to enter many doors this year for HIM.
By Harry Robinson, Vice President, International Ministries
Girl Helps Sunday School Grow
An 11 year old girl took up the challenge to invite her friends to club. Summer missionaries from Belize challenged the children in their 5-Day Club to earn points by coming (1,000), learning a memory verse (2,000), and bringing friends (3,000). Keily the daughter of the Pastor where the club was held invited 37 friends! When asked how she did it she said she went into the village told the children their church had sum-mer missionaries who were teaching a Bible club and invited them to come. As a result many of these children now attend Miss Vilma’s Sun-day school class. Miss Vilma averages 35-45 students each week and on some special occasions up to 60 children. May we never overlook the abilities children have to make a difference! Look what Jesus did with a child’s five loaves and two small fish!
Regional Directors Have Board Training
It seems God is continuing to expand the idea of training boards even in other countries around the world. Recently the 8 Regional Directors met to learn firsthand what the training involves. Even though they had all seen the Core 6 Board Training Manual for most it was their first time actually being trained in it. Their comments were “this is excellent material”, and “we need this in our country”. They had many comments and questions but seemed excited to implement the training in their countries. Myron had done training for the country of Singapore this past year and the representative from that country has al-ready done six trainings in the Asia Pacific Region. Board training is essential for a solid and ongoing ministry. We are excited to have a small part in helping countries around the world build and establish boards for the glory of God.
Difficult - Yes! Impossible - No!
Ministry in Canada is quite different and varies greatly from one province to another. Mary Porter and Jenne Phillips are two delightful ladies who serve in the French speaking province of Quebec. The schools there are 100% closed to any ministry and are required to teach all religions. As a result, children often have many questions about how they can know what is really true. Jenne and Mary work closely with the churches, most of which are very small. In fact, statistics show there is only one evangelical church for every 11,000 people in Quebec! Even though Good News Clubs are non-existent in schools and homes, the churches are still able to use the Good News Club ministry to reach out into the community.
Jenne and Mary recently attended Spiritual Renewal week and Missionary Refresher at Child Evangelism Fellowship International Headquarters and were encouraged in spite of many difficulties! Jenne and Mary are blessed to have a team of nine people carrying on the ministry while they visit donors and raise support. Please keep these two women, as well as all of Canada in your prayers. Pray that God will open doors for ministry and use His Word to change lives of boys and girls.
Haiti’s GNC Teachers Ride “Tap Tap’s”
Transportation in Haiti and other Caribbean countries is sometimes difficult and costly. Ketelie and Gerthree are two of many who teach Good News Clubs in Haiti schools. Ketelie travels to six schools and has been working with the schools for 12 years. She says there are many challenges but she knows this is what God has called her to do. Gerthree travels to seven schools and is grateful for CEF because it has shown her the gifts she has. They ride in a very crowded bus called a “tap, tap” with up to 15 people packed into it. Gerthree has to take 3 “tap taps” to get to one school where she teaches. The roads are very bumpy and seats are not comfortable but the commitment of these ladies is strong. They have a heart for the children and desire to see them come to know Christ. Praise God for faithful Good News Club teachers in Haiti and all across our Region!
Why We Do What We Do
Eight year old Emily came home from school and told her mom that her friend asked her what she did over the weekend. Emily said “I went to church”. Her friend said, “what’s church?” Emily replied “it’s where we go to learn about God”. The friend said “who’s God”?
Are you shocked, like I was?
Children are starving to know God!
After telling her mom about her friend, Emily went to her computer and created this Bible lesson...
So, who is God? God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The creator of every living creature. Who made us all? Why God did!
Who loves everybody in the entire world no matter how naughty they are? God does! Who is always with us? God is! Now, what is sin? Well, sin is what you do that isn’t the right thing to do.
For example, if your mom said you can’t have any more candy, and you secretly eat some when your mom isn’t looking, that would be sinning. So what does it mean to obey? To obey means to do what is right. Like if your mom said you have to do your chores before you watch a movie, and you did what you were told, that would be obeying your mom.
Now, answer the following questions about what you just read.
Who is God? What is sin?
What does it mean to obey? Who created every living creature?
Who loves everybody in the entire world no matter how naughty they are? Who is always with us?
I think we have an evangelist and future summer missionary!!
80% of our children do not attend church. This is why we do what we do.
By: Linda Draper CEF of Madison
As usual, November weather had become much cooler. Most of the leaves were down and only a few birds remained. As usual, the windows had become sparkling shiny mixtures of colorful decorations. As usual the TV and radio were full of “must have” toys and other gifts to offer friends. And, as usual, the boys and girls were becoming more and more excited, talking to one another about the gifts they wanted to receive. Also, as usual, the Christmas Party Club kit arrived and I began to think about the best way to use it. The contents were as usual: a song, a memory verse, a review game and, as usual, the best of all stories—how and why Jesus came to us so many years ago.
As usual, it took quite a few hours to get all of it ready to use in the very best way. And, at last, the Christmas Party Club day arrived, as usual. The children waited quietly for last-minute preparations. Then we began. Attentive eyes watched as I put colorful figures on the board. Adding the shepherds to a scene, I also put up the angel in the sky. I remarked, “Some of you were with us for this lesson last Christmas. Maybe someone remembers what the angel said to the shepherds.” In the split second it took to pick up the next figure I heard a small voice very seriously declare, “The angel told them ‘I’m gonna kill you!’” Bold silence reigned. This was not “as usual.” The Lord gave grace to answer, “This angel would not have said that because he was a messenger from God.” and the lesson continued and ended on a good note, as usual.
Somehow I regretted not knowing which child had said that. Or was it better this way. Had the Lord opened up for us a corner of today’s world for children? Did He want us to better understand where these boys and girls are coming from? The culture of today’s child is often the complete opposite of what the Bible teaches. This is why THESE children need to hear of God’s love for them—as usual.
By: Ellen Kay McGuire
Get Involved and Pray!
Prayer, prayer and more prayer. In the last couple of days God keeps bringing to my mind the need for more prayer. I spoke with a committee member who tells me that her city is experiencing revival as a result of much prayer and as a result of revival, after-school Good News Clubs are exploding and so is prayer.
Recently I read an article by John Piper entitled, "Prayer: the work of missions." Piper says, "Until you believe that life is war, you cannot know what prayer is for. Prayer is for the accomplishment of a wartime mission." He goes on to say, "I believe the proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed is the work of missions. Prayer is the power that wields the weapon of the Word, and the Word is the weapon by which the nations will be brought to faith and obedience."
The spiritual warfare going on around us is so obvious. We have 17 countries left to open for CEF and for many of those it is going to require a miracle of God. God can do it, but somehow in His amazing grace He wants you and me to get involved and PRAY!
I trust you had a fantastic CEF World Day of Prayer. We certainly did here at International Headquarters. Everything stopped here for the day. About two 200 people, International Headquarters employees, Children's Ministries Institute® students and volunteers, spent the day in prayer. It was a day not to talk about prayer, but to pray. It was wonderful!
In these last days we must increase our labor of prayer. We must be women and men of prayer and we must mobilize others to pray. • We need prayer for workers: "therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Matt. 9:38).
We need prayer for boldness: "and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel" (Eph. 6:19).
We need prayer that God will give us praying hearts: "praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints" (Eph. 6:18).
We need prayer for the teaching of God's Word: "Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you" (2 Thess. 3:1).
We need prayer for the salvation of children: "So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish" (Matt. 18:18).
Let us pray.
By Moises Esteves, Vice President USA Ministries