Seeing Former Good News Club Kids in Ministry Is a Joy
These past few months, I was thinking of how the Lord chose me to work for Him. I realized how much He loves me and trusts me to share His love to all of His creation. Many times, I meditate His Word and His faithfulness, and I teach myself to trust Him in everything I do. I thank God for what He has done in my life. Thank God for His provision and protection every day. I cannot go on without Him. He is my helper, provider and my guide.
People in my home country were shocked when I applied for my first passport and wrote on the application form: “OCCUPATION: Missionary.” They asked: “What do you mean about missionary?”
Yes, it is strange for them as we always think “missionaries” are the people from other countries. Here in South Africa, they were amazed when I said “I am a missionary from Madagascar.” They asked, “Do we need missionaries here in South Africa?”
Everywhere in the world, there will always be an opportunity for a missionary to share the Good News of Jesus.
A missionary is someone who shares the Good News to all creation. I enjoy being a full- time CEF missionary for 21 years, eight years in my own country, Madagascar, and 13 years in South Africa. During those years, many boys and girls were reached. Last year I had an opportunity to meet four adults who were in my Good News Club as children, and today they are active Good News Club teachers. Praise the Lord. What a joy to see children grow and become mature in Christ.
My first students to take Teaching Children Effectively™ Level 1 back in 1994 are now mature men and women of God still serving with CEF. Many students from my past classes are still reaching boys and girls in their own countries. Now I am so happy that I've introduced one of my nieces to Christian Youth In Action (CYIA) in Madagascar. It has always been my heart’s desire that my nephews and nieces who were in my Good News Club would lead children to Christ one day. And guess what? ONE DAY arrived during August!
My niece Sariaka was in my Good News Club since her birth. In 2006 she visited during our three-month teacher training course. In 2012 she visited again during the same course and asked lots of questions. Then, she said someday she would take the training. This August, she began taking CEF training in CYIA. Sariaka is now leading children to Christ!
By Marie-Marthe Rasoanantenaina (South Africa)
Truth Chasers Club Does Impact the Lives of Our Students!
The Truth Chasers Club is an exciting Bible correspondence club designed to disciple children and adults. In one particular series of lessons, God Cares For You! Lesson one asks the question, “Have you ever told anyone about Jesus? If so, tell us about it!” This is a response we received written in her own words.
“Yes, I have told someone about Jesus, my best friend. One day in class, we were talking about religion, and I told her I was a Christian. She asked me what it meant to be a Christian, and I told her how to be saved, and how God sent his only son Jesus to die on a cross for her, and for me. She started asking me other questions, and then finally, she told me she wanted me to help her ask God into her heart. Of course I did. Right afterwards, someone walked up to her and said, “You look different…Why are you so happy?” She told them, “I have God now.” I was so touched I started to cry, and she started crying too.J The next day I brought me Bible to school, and we read some parts that I thought were important. I am sooooo happy that my best friend got to know Christ.
Teachers in Bequia Appreciate Lessons
Bequia is a very small island which is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, but God is doing great things there! This summer, 5-Day Clubs were taught there and teachers have received training. During one of the 5-Day Club trainings three children came to know the Lord and a mom led her son to the Lord at home while practicing the Wordless Book!
Three Good News Clubs are active on this small island with as many as 30 children or more in each club. CEF missionaries John and Mary Hines used their sailboat to carry Teacher’s Packs which include lessons and visuals to Bequia. The teachers are so appreciative of these free lessons since they cannot afford to purchase materials or if they could buy them the shipping cost would be very expensive. The Good News Club teachers usually make a school bag for the children. This year they were delighted to be able to make 80 and include a Wonder Devotional Book in each bag! Several times in a letter written to John and Mary Hines the teachers said, “Thank you once again for all the materials that helped us a great lot. To God be the glory for all that was deposited in the lives of these children. Thanks for the training and the awareness of how important child evangelism is.”
By Nita Tschetter
Welcome Hyae Yung Kim
Join us in welcoming Hyae Yung Kim to International Ministries. Hyae Yung, a native Korean, has been serving as an illustrator in CEF Press for four years.
Congratulations to Reese and Linda Kauffman on 25 Years of Ministry
CEF International Headquarters staff and guests will honor Reese and Linda Kauffman for Reese's 25th year as CEF president. This special anniversary celebration has been organized by the CEF International Board of Trustees. Board members are preparing a wonderful program that will include many guest visitors as well as the musical group, This Hope. After the program there will be a special lunch.
National Directors Institute at IHQ
These are exciting weeks as the first National Directors Institute gets underway here at International Headquarters. There are 19 directors in attendance representing all eight CEF regions. Training begins on September 1 and ends on September 12. They will be learning about spiritual leadership, leadership across cultures, team dynamics, motivation, communication, conflict management and much more.
Myron Tschetter, North America/Caribbean regional director said, "National Directors Institute is important for every national director because it allows the director to gain in a short time a very concise picture of the national leaders role, the many resources available and gain a much broader perspective and skills from other very strong leaders. This makes it possible for many more children to be reached with the Gospel." Two national directors will be attending from his region.
Please pray for these national directors as they process and apply all that they are taught.
159th CMI Class is Underway
The 2014 fall session of the Children’s Ministries Institute began on August 21. This is the 159th CMI class held in the states since the Institute began here in 1945. The current class is one of the largest groups in recent history, with a total of 77 students who will be taking various modules throughout the 12 weeks. The students range in age from 18 to 70 and come from a variety of places including, Anguilla, Canada, Korea, St. Vincent and the USA.
The core staff of six instructors from the department of education is joined by various instructors from other departments at headquarters as well as instructors from the field. In total, approximately 33 instructors will be involved throughout the 12 weeks of training. Having such a wide variety of instructors brings richness to the training as each one shares from their own experiences in ministry.
Please pray for the students and staff as they begin this 12 week journey. Pray that they would bond as a family for this time of training; pray that God would use this time to draw each one closer to Himself and prepare each student for the work He has planned for them.
Featured Country - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is one of our few green countries located in the Middle East Region. It is an island in the Indian Ocean, south of India. According to The World Factbook, Sri Lanka has a population of 22 million with the median age at 31 and life expectancy at 76 years. Most of the population is Buddhist with only 6.2% listed as Christian. CEF ministry began in Sri Lanka in 1973 through the efforts of USA-sent missionary Marguerite Fiandt (photo). Over the years, however, ministry eventually came to a standstill. In 2004 a mssionary from CEF South Korea became the missionary director of Sri Lanka. He began reorganizing the ministry by training workers and developing a national board. When he left in 2008, there were about 200 Good News Clubs. At his departure, Justin Fonseka became the new national director (pictured with his wife).
CEF Sri Lanka currently has 14 well-functioning chapters located throughout the country. They plan to begin another ten chapters this year with a goal of 30 workers by the end of 2014. They presently conduct about 450 Good News Clubs and are praying to at least double that amount. However due to threats from other religions, many churches have stopped having them. Justin comments, "Evangelism is getting harder and harder. Still God is moving in CEF. Many children are coming to Christ and many teachers are getting training to be evangelists. We need more prayers. Only one percent of the children are saved and 99 percent are unreached. Our goal is to reach six million children in Sri Lanka."
Justin and his wife Miriam have a unique way of reaching children for the Lord. Eight years ago they started an orphanage--a home for needy boys. They now have 18 boys ranging from age seven to 18 with the majority of them age 12-13.
Some of the boys have a single parent, some none and some have been abandoned by their parents. The boys have come to the Fonsekas through the courts and probation department. The Fonseka's friends and relatives are helping to support the home. "I grew up without a father and I had a desire to be a father to the fatherless. My wife also had the same idea. So we both prayed and opened our home for them."
Pray for CEF Sri Lanka as they endeavor to reach their goals. Pray for the Fonseka family--that all the boys will love and follow Jesus.
Featured Country - Israel
CEF ministry was begun in Israel in 1951 by USA-sent missionary Matilda Alexander.
In 1964 Wayne and Carol King (better known as Abu and Em Danny), also from the U.S., began their 39-year ministry in this country. The very week they moved to Nazareth in 1966, a baby boy was born in a nearby village. His "believing parents not only brought him up in the way of the Lord but also taught him to serve the Lord and to love children." Later on this child, Fadi Ramadan Hanna, was introduced to the work of CEF and now he is the national leader of CEF Israel.
Over the years "...with the help of a tremendous team and a blessed board, CEF has grown and advanced reaching Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of Israel."
In addition to the Hannas, CEF Israel has six more workers -- all nationals.
CEF Israel ministers to people of diverse beliefs: Evangelicals, Anglicans, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Muslim, Bedouins and Messianic Jews. In a regular month they reach about one thousand children. During special holidays, that number triples. One of their unique outreaches is hospital ministry. On Sunday afternoons a team goes to a local hospital and puts on a program in the children's ward. Many Muslim children, along with their visiting siblings and parents, hear the Gospel message.
This summer, for the very first time, Teaching Children Effectively was taught in Israel. Various classes were taught in years past, but never a complete TCE. "For several years now I've been wanting to hold this training in Israel, but with no success."
A special project going on this fall is renovating the CEF house. The LIFT team from Ireland, who have previously helped CEF Israel, will once again be putting their skills to good use.
The main goal for CEF Israel is the universal one--evangelizing as many children as they can. "To do such a big mission with little money and few workers requires great faith. But we have and believe in a great God who loves the children and is faithful."
New National Coordinators Appointed
Jacky Gilles is the new national coordinator for Haiti. Prior to CEF, Jacky served with World Relief. His first introduction to CEF was after the devastating earthquake in 2010. He attended a TCE course and little by little became involved in the ministry. His wife's name is Myrlande.
Another recent appointment in the NA/C Region is Kelron Harry as the national coordinator for St. Vincent/Grenadines. Kelron has previously worked as a mathematics and science teacher, lived in New Zealand for four years and has been serving as a pastor since 2003. Kelron's wife, Ro-Anne, works for the government and they have one son, Joshua, who is seven years old.
India's Special Project
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.