Child Evangelism Fellowship Extends Ministry in Caribbean
Child Evangelism Fellowship has announced the establishment of its international ministry on two British territories located in the Caribbean: Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. According to Mr. Harry Robinson, vice president of International Ministries at CEF, the ministry has but three more territories to open before it has a presence in all countries and territories in the Caribbean region. Those territories are Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands and French Guiana. Efforts are underway to establish CEF ministries in these territories by May of 2014.
The model that Child Evangelism Fellowship uses contributes greatly to its successful establishment of programs abroad. Rather than send missionaries to a foreign country, CEF finds nationals who are eager to go into full-time service to evangelize children in their own country; only in rare circumstances where there are specific ministry needs, does CEF send in cross-cultural missionaries. For preparation, these nationals, or workers as they are called, attend a 12-week training course usually taught by CEF workers from the same region of the world. These new workers are then equipped to go back home and train local volunteers to evangelize children through the establishment of local clubs, called Good News Clubs. If possible, the workers try to partner with local churches offering training to willing church members to run Good News Clubs sponsored by their particular church. “Our goal is not to compete with the local churches, but to support them,” said Mr. Robinson. “We do this by providing churches with a program that will help them evangelize children.” In both Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, local workers have started Good News Clubs and have permission to hold clubs at the end of the school day in the local public schools.
Another key component to CEF success is the establishment of an indigenous board composed of individuals from a cross-section of the culture, and if possible representing different denominations. Such a broad composition of the board fosters greater outreach. The board’s responsibilities include prayer for the success of the local CEF work, holding workers accountable, and insuring that the CEF program they run stays true to its purpose of meeting the spiritual needs of children. Additionally, the board works to raise financial support for the workers from local sources. Finally, it helps with that crucial work of integrating the CEF program into local churches.
None of this would be possible without the dedicated support of the Child Evangelism Fellowship International Headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri. Besides the training already described, CEF Headquarters creates training materials for volunteers all over the world as well as the curriculum they will use to evangelize and disciple children. Finally, CEF arranges financial support for many of the full-time workers through its program, Sponsor-a-National, or SPAN, until local financial support is established. Most of the support for this program comes from the charitable contributions from citizens of the United States or other western countries. Currently, CEF has 2900 workers around the world, 92% of whom serve in their home countries.
Establishing a ministry in a new country requires great care and persistence. Much prayer and consideration may go on before nationals are ready to commit to full-time service with CEF. Yet, a tremendous momentum is building as countries are opening in regions across the world. “Child Evangelism Fellowship is committed,” said Mr. Robinson, “to help churches reach children for Christ in every nation and territory of the world by 2017. By our count, we have only 22 to go.”
Re-ignite the Spark of the Great Commission
There is always excitement when the CEF family from around the world gets together! It is time. The CEF International Conference, held every three years, will take place at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, North Carolina, May 12-17, 2014. The first two hundred 18- to 29-year-olds to register will receive a $100 discount. Dove award winning musician Steve Green will be part of the exciting program.
Recharge your vision to exalt the name of Christ as the CEF family heads into the final phase of establishing ministry in every nation by 2017. The goal is attainable! Only 22 countries remain.
Conference is a great time to reconnect with others and renew friendships as well as make new ones. Reese Kauffman, CEF president, said, “There’s nothing more encouraging than gathering with the CEF family from around the world! I hope to see representation from all 185 countries in which we have established ongoing ministry. You will bless others by being at the Conference and you will be strengthened as well!”
LAS VEGAS IS LOOKING FOR A LOCAL DIRECTOR!
Perhaps Las Vegas is the last place you would expect to find the work of Child Evangelism, but the truth is that God is doing a wonderful work in Las Vegas and boys and girls are being reached with the Gospel. “Sin City” reportedly has more churches per capita than any other city, but this number counts the numerous wedding chapels that are found throughout the city. Few would doubt that “Sin City” is a place that desperately needs the Good News of Jesus Christ and where “sin abounds, grace much more abounds.”
The Las Vegas area is made up of Las Vegas and Pahrump counties with a total of 221 elementary schools. In the past two years, without a local director, 32 schools have started Good News Clubs! There is even a waiting list for schools and churches that are ready to adopt a school but just need the training and equipping to make it happen. The Lord has assembled a wonderful group of volunteers who make up the local committee and are praying for God to raise up the person of His choosing who can help take the Gospel to every school in “Sin City.”
In the midst of a city that has reputation for gambling, drinking, show girls, and immorality, God is at work calling out a people for Himself. Las Vegas might be the last place you would expect to find a Good News Club, but what better place to reach out to those who need those who need to hear about Jesus. Las Vegas is a place for God’s people who want to reach the lost and broken and share with them the life-changing message of the Gospel. In Vegas you will find children who are hungry to hear about a God who loves them and will never leave or forsake them.
Please CLICK HERE to see the job description for the local director.
Introduce Children to the Promised Savior
It’s less than three months until Christmas! It’s a perfect time to plan an evangelistic outreach party for kids in your neighborhood, church or your child’s school. CEF Party Clubs offer a fun party atmosphere while sharing the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Last year, 1,600 Party Clubs were held in the USA alone. Party Clubs are a great way to celebrate holidays, welcome the change of seasons or inject new excitement into your club or class.
This Christmas you can have a Christmas party Club with the new Party Club lesson The Promised Savior. This lesson follows God’s promises made to Adam and Eve, Abraham and David to send a Savior and how He kept those promises by sending Jesus. These flashcard visuals will help children learn that Jesus is the promised Savior.
You can check out this Party Club lesson and all our other materials at www.cefpress.com.
Two New Countries Open to CEF Ministry
Child Evangelism Fellowship has officially declared Anguilla and British Virgin Islands open to CEF ministry! Both countries have trained national boards, active Good News Club ministries and staff excited to reach the children for Christ. Myron Tschetter, Regional Director for the North America/Caribbean Region said, “The Anguilla and British Virgin Island national boards have a real passion to reach the children and the leadership abilities necessary to lead the ministry forward.”
Watch for more about what God is doing in the upcoming issue of the Impact! If you would like to receive the Impact magazine, complete the online subscription form. Impact is published three times a year and is completely free.
Over 2700 Children in Denver Reached Through the Good News Across America Campaign
On Sunday, July 28th, the East Denver Bible Baptist Church, a small mission church in a working class neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, saw attendance of its worship service swell from the usual 75 to an astonishing 235. Of these newcomers, 106 were children. According to Pastor Loren Richmond, the remarkable attendance that Sunday, and the significant increase in attendance since then is a direct result of the church’s participation in the week-long Good News Across America campaign, sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world. Good News Across America began in 2008 targeting a strategic city in the United States every July with evangelistic clubs, called 5-Day Clubs. It has consistently reached over 2000 children each year and this past July in Denver, the campaign reached over 2700 children.
To reach so many children in such a short period of time requires considerable manpower and resources. This year in Denver, 162 CEF staff and volunteers from 27 states, partnered with 38 Denver area churches to provide 87 5-Day Clubs for children in the churches’ communities. 530 members of the participating churches worked alongside the CEF workers. The cost of the program is borne entirely by CEF and its volunteers. “We want to help churches with something they often find challenging: evangelizing children, especially non-churched children. And we want churches to bear as little cost as possible because our strong desire is to serve and bless the churches,” said Mr. Moises Esteves, vice president of USA Ministries for CEF. Indeed, the only expense the churches incur is the cost of one meal for the participating children and their families at a rally the final evening of the clubs.
The Good News Across America campaign has its roots in Brazil, where CEF workers pioneered the program, targeting areas where the ministry was not yet established. The first campaign held in the United States was in Chicago, in 2008, followed the next year by Little Rock, Arkansas, then Boston, Salt Lake City and last year, the Twin Cities.
Two weeks prior to the start of the 5-Day Clubs the 29 churches handed out a minimum of 250 invitations to children and families around each of the 87 locations where the clubs would be held. A week prior, they handed out another 250 invitations at each location for a total of 45,000 invitations in all. Also, during that week, the CEF workers and members of the participating churches were given training on the curriculum of the 5-Day Club, as well as the cultural background of the local communities. “The goal of the curriculum simply stated is to train participants to share the gospel as clearly as possible,” says Rev. Moises Esteves, vice president for USA Ministries at CEF. “God does not require us to make people believe. The children must decide that for themselves.”
The genius of the 5-Day Clubs is that they are held where the children are rather than inside a local church. Depending on the community, clubs might be held in parks, community centers, private backyards, on playgrounds or in apartment complexes. “Many churches need this program because their traditional method for evangelizing unchurched children, the Vacation Bible School, has been in decline,” said Mr. John Luck, project manager for Good News Across America. “Instead of reaching children who do not know the gospel, VBS attendees are primarily children who already attend the host church or another church. We want to help churches find those children and their families who have not heard the gospel.” Indeed, Ms. Vickie Deasy, a volunteer from Grace Church said, “We had given up on VBS…we wanted to reach more kids of our community and Good News Across America helped us do that.”
The clubs themselves are a wonderful mix of learning and fun. Engaging Bible lessons, songs, and games have been designed to encourage relationship building among the children, with church members, and help children learn how they can have a relationship with God. The clubs culminate on Friday evening with rallies at the sponsoring churches for the children and their families. The rallies, which were attended by 2800 people this year, serve as a bridge to connect the children and their families to the local churches. The churches offer many ways for them to become involved, including inviting the children, with their parent’s permission, to attend Good News Clubs which meet once a week after school, in local public schools. Like the 5-Day Clubs, these clubs offer a good mix of fun with thoughtful Bible lessons and are led by church members who have been trained by CEF. In this way, churches are able to maintain their relationships and spiritual care of these children. CEF will be working with churches who participated this summer as well as other local churches in the Denver area to launch Good News Clubs in all of the Denver Metropolitan School Districts this fall.
School is starting – so are Good News Clubs!
Child Evangelism Fellowship offers a club for elementary-aged children, the Good News Club. Last ministry year CEF conducted 4,009 Good News Clubs in public elementary schools across America. With parents’ permission, children enjoy the action-packed Good News Club where they hear an exciting Bible lesson, sing fun and enriching songs, memorize scripture and play games.
Parents, see what Principals are saying about Good News Club!
Fifteenth Anniversary for Child Evangelism Fellowship in Mozambique
In August, Child Evangelism Fellowship marked the 15th anniversary of its ministry in Mozambique with a four-day conference at the Biblical and Theological Seminary in Maputo, the African nation’s capital. The 120 attendees from around the world had much to celebrate: The ministry has been able to share the gospel with tens of thousands of children each year. Last year alone, 22,866 children heard the gospel through CEF Bible clubs called Good News Clubs, according to Mr. Harry Robinson, vice president for CEF International Ministries. Currently, there are 114 GNCs in Mozambique. Over half are able to meet in elementary and pre-schools during the school day. Others are held in neighborhoods, and there are even 16 that meet regularly in orphanages. Beyond this direct influence, other Christian ministries in Mozambique use the vast array of CEF literature in their own efforts to spread the gospel.
CEF Mozambique owes its beginnings to Mr. Frik Van Rensburg the regional director for the CEF Southern Africa/Indian Ocean Region. He was eager to establish a CEF ministry in this country after its17-year civil war which began after it gained independence from Portugal in 1975. He was able to make contact with Mr. Jossefa Ngomane, a Christian and native of Maputo. While neither spoke the other’s language they were able to communicate using their Bibles: Mr. Van Rensburg would point to the word in his English Bible he wanted to say and Mr. Ngomane would try to find the translation of that exact word in his Portuguese Bible; and vice versa. Mr. Ngomane eventually agreed to serve as the national director of CEF Mozambique and along the way decided to learn English to facilitate their communication.
Mr. Ngomane’s efforts to build the ministry in his country have been substantially aided by CEF Brazil, a well-established ministry across the Atlantic in the only Portuguese-speaking nation in South America. Out of its own modest resources, CEF Brazil has provided training materials as well as children’s literature in Portuguese, and sent workers to provide numerous teacher training classes. All of this has been invaluable to the growth of the ministry in Mozambique, says Mr. Robinson.
Going forward, CEF Mozambique, which has a solid presence in the South around Maputo, would like to expand its ministry into the northern part of the country where Islam predominates. Currently, there are only two CEF workers in the North. Efforts to expand the ministry are hampered by funds. Mr. Ngomane is trying to recruit indigenous financial supporters of the ministry but it is difficult. He says that many are eager to serve and he could easily double the number of CEF workers if he had the resources. In the meantime, the 12 CEF workers who run the ministry are provided 150 dollars per month by CEF Headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri, through its Sponsor-A-National (SPAN) program. This allowance helps but is not sufficient to cover even modest monthly expenses. These CEF workers must also work on the side to survive.
The large numbers of children who are eager to enroll in Good News Clubs in Mozambique are reflective of a larger trend in the 16 countries that comprise the Southern African/Indian Ocean Region of CEF. Last year in this region, 2,310,194 children were reached by CEF, a fifty percent increase in children over the previous year. What accounts for this dramatic increase? “Children ask the same questions as adults in the face of poverty, violence, cruelty and war. Why is this happening? Where is God?” explains Mr. Robinson. “By teaching the Bible, CEF answers those questions.”
Over 25,000 Students Come to Christ
The Truth Chasers Club has reached its greatest milestone yet. As of August 6, 2013, the Truth Chasers Club has had over 25,000 students express faith in Christ for the first time while enrolled in the club. The Truth Chasers Club, established in 1999, is a popular through-the-mail Bible club sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship the largest Christian ministry to children in the world. While the main ministry of the TCC is for children, the 25,000 students that have expressed faith in Christ, like the almost 49,000 active members in the United States this past year, are not all children. The TCC has lessons for a range of ages from three through adult.
Angela*, a 16 year old, was one who learned that these timeless truths are for all ages. She wrote:
"Four years ago I started the [lessons]. As I got each lesson I saved most of them. I was sorting through papers today and came across these old lessons. On the cover of my last lesson was written ‘We love you’.
I have attempted suicide twice. Convincing myself that no one cared, not even God, I was ready to end it all.
Today, as I read the last lesson about being ‘In Christ’ I remember that I am redeemed, forgiven, and loved. I considered suicide simply because I forgot who I was in Christ.
Thank for all you have done for kids just like me.
Your sister in Christ,
Children interested in joining the Truth Chasers Club and receiving their first lesson can sign up at www.truthchasersclub.com.
Record-Setting Year for Equipping workers
“Mr. Paul, I love this book. I’m already on page 18!” this was told to CEF missionary Paul Rog in Grenada. “A new Good News Club was started in Kanesville this September, and the children were given Wonder Devotional Book 1,” Paul said. “Angelina believed on Jesus as her Savior and always did her Wonder Devotional Book. He younger sister Nekita did not want to come to club so I sent a book for her. Now Nekita is the first person to arrive at club – sometimes half an hour before starting time. The sisters have difficulty reading but they always help each other with words and answers that are a little challenging. The things they’ve learned about God, Jesus and sin have helped them become more Christlike.”
Children in this Caribbean nation have benefitted from a record-setting year for equipping CEF workers and reaching and discipling children. More than 8.5 million pieces of literature were provided through our international literature program.
Children all over Namibia have been introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ through an evangelistic booklet called Meet the King! CEF Namibia received a shipment in the fall of 306,375 English books, 90,000 Afrikaans books, 22,800 German books and many Portuguese tracts. They immediately requested permission from the government to distribute Meet the King! booklets in the public schools throughout the country. There are approximately 425,793 children enrolled in first through seventh grades. A private Christian radio station will partner in the distribution and promotion of the project, which will take place in September.
Evangelistic booklets have been supplied to CEF workers in South Africa, India and the Caribbean islands. Ashby Kurion of CEF South Africa, “Never has such a large amount of books come into our possession. All the books have been handed out! People are commenting about the excellent quality, especially in the theology of The Wonder Book and Meet the King!” Peter Karre, CEF of India, said, “I have never seen so much material in all my 32 years of ministry in CEF!”
In the first three months of this year 47,240 Boxes of Books were sent from International Headquarters and our partnering ministry, Revival Movement. Boxes include Gospel literature items (Meet the King! and tracts), growth literature items (Wonder Devotional Books and Every Day with God) and teaching tools (Flashcards and teachers’ packs) – more than one and a half million individual pieces of literature. To speed shipping and cut costs CEF has started printing projects in Romania, Sri Lanka and Nepal in addition to the United States and Ireland. Plans have been made to send 22-foot-long containers of literature from Revival Movement to at least eight African countries. Small shipments will also be sent to other countries.
Frik Janse van Rensburg, regional director for southern Africa/Indian Ocean, said, “We can’t thank God enough for the literature that came through Boxes of Books and through Revival Movement. Only through this literature and help were we able to reach 2.4 million children in this region last year.”
From Radio Waves to Ocean Waves
Every Sunday at 12:30 "one of the programs that everyone turns on," according to Millicent Campbell, CEF national director of Jamaica, is The Children's Bible Club. The Children's bible Club is a radio program hosted for the past 35 years by CEF of Jamaica.
Millicent found out how popular the program is after the death of Uncle Berry, a former chairman, a year and a half ago. While mourning their loss, the team of volunteers and workers that do the program skipped a week without notice. That's when the radio station called. "We've been getting calls," they told Millicent. "Mrs. Campbell, we're having men - big men - calling from the bar to say that the radio program wasn't on. They love the stories!"
What is the story that they find so interesting? "The story is a Gospel presentation," Millicent said. This well-loved radio program is all about sharing the Gospel. Volunteers write the scripts and present the programs.
Of course big men in bars are not the only ones who love and respond to the radio program. Over the years CEF of Jamaica has received letters and heard testimonies of many boys and girls who have been reached through this program. For example, they learned about an 11-year-old girl who responded to the invitation to trust in Christ when she tuned in one Sunday. Now, years later, she has attended Children's Ministries institute and last year became a full time CEF worker. "I grew up listening to the program every Sunday," she and many others commonly respond whenever the CBC radio program is mentioned.
In addition to sharing the Gospel, The Children's Bible Club radio program helped start the Children's Bible Club Camp. When workers found out most of the children who listened to the radio program were not going to church, they invited these children to camp. Last year at camp they had Bible lessons and missions stories, devotional time and games. They also took the campers to the beach.
"This year," Millicent says, "we'll be going into an area that is very poor. The principal of the school has already, said has 25 children for us.
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