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
Lead by Example
Have you ever heard the name Roger Bannister? He was the first sub-four- minute-mile runner. Which means he was the first man to run a mile within four minutes. Before he broke this four-minute-mile barrier, most of the professional runners firmly believed that running a mile within four minutes was humanly impossible. They thought if you seriously sought to achieve this goal, your heart would burst and your muscles would be torn apart. It was such a tremendous barrier, physically, mentally and psychologically.
Then the day came on May 6, 1954, when Roger set the world record of three minutes 59.4 seconds. This young man, practicing as a junior doctor, had truly shocked the world of athletics. But a more interesting fact was that within a year of his sub-four mile, John Landy had joined him in breaking the four-minute barrier (Landy shattered it, going 3:57.9 six weeks after Bannister's achievement). Thirteen months after Bannister, an additional three runners broke four minutes in one race. Then many more broke the barrier in the following years.
DAVID SET AN EXAMPLE AND MANY FOLLOWED IT
When Goliath first showed himself and challenged the people of Israel, he was a huge barrier to the army of Israel. Everyone, including the army generals and the king, greatly feared him and no one dared to confront him, even though the prize of slaying him was marrying a daughter of King Saul! Then young David bravely came forward with righteous anger for the Lord. The rest of the story, we all know too well. What I want to emphasize today is the fact that he set an example of killing a dreadful giant.
Some years later, there was again war with the Philistines at Gob (2 Sam. 21:18). The Bible says Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was one of the descendants of the giants. And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants. And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David's brother, struck him down. These four were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
YOU, AS A LEADER, ARE TO SET THE EXAMPLES
Do you see in this portion of the Bible the power of setting an example? It seems like killing giants was as easy a thing as having a breakfast to David's men. How could this be possible? What made these men of God fearlessly go out and slay these huge giants? The answer is, there once was a brave man with trust in God, who dared to confront the giant and set an example. This is the power of setting an example.
Are you, as a leader, willing to become David or Roger Bannister and set an example for your followers? If you dare to confront the giant in your day-to-day ministry, whether it be financial, emotional or relational, with strong trust in God, you will surely have victory and set an example. Then someone under you will follow your example and kill their giant, too!
By David Ra, Asia Pacific Regional Director
From Boxes to Containers of Books!
Did you know that the need for CEF literature around the world is so big that we no longer provide only boxes of literature or pallets full of boxes? During this year 17 countries will have received 22 ft containers packed with literature. A full container is roughly 18 tons and usually contains Meet the King! booklets, Wonder Devotional Books and a selection of Bible lesson flashcards. When the container is packed at our ministry partner, Revival Movement, it normally takes two hours to fill the container, with four people packing the boxes and one person on the forklift bringing the pallets to the container. These are experienced packers! To unload a container at the destination sometimes takes a full day or more.
Recently we received this encouraging email from a girl who received a set of Wonder Devotional Books which were sent in one of these containers:
"It is a joy for me to write to you and to share my joy. Last summer I received the
Wonder Devotional Books (volumes 1-8). I started with volume three--Power Through the Holy Spirit which I read it in September/October. I realized that God spoke much to me through this book. I was sinning often in my behavior at school and in my attitude towards the Word of God. I took different types of Bible studies, but it seemed that nothing got through to me and everything seemed so distant--that is, until I started to read the Wonder Devotional Books. It seems that they were written especially for me. I like that throughout the text it was personally written with the word "you." The book is written in a friendly way between the writer and the reader. Today my attitude and behavior have changed for the good. I wouldn't like to say that all is rosy in my spiritual life, but knowing that I love my Father in Heaven and He helps me to not sin. Now I am reading the 4th book (Spending Time with God) and I have realized how important prayer is in the life of every Christian. Thank you so much for the Wonder Devotional Books!"
The good news is also that there are more girls like this one. Potentially there could be literally millions of boys and girls who have been helped through CEF devotional books. In the past 10 months alone 2,686,400 copies of various Wonder Devotional Books and Every Day With God were sent around the world. His Word is active! Would you please pray that the Lord will use it in a similar way to how it was used in the life of the girl mentioned above?
As you read this four containers are about to be packed for Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Sri Lanka.
- Pray that these, too, will reach their destination soon.
- Pray that the customs fees will not be high.
- Pray that the literature will be used for His glory.
Remember too, that as well as these containers, boxes and pallets of literature are also being sent out almost every day! The smaller orders are equally as important!
By Bogdan Bassara, International Literature Director
Jesus Changes Lives in Zambia“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 ministries. 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.”
Sheep, Goats and God’s Heart for Children
It was a chilly (80 degrees) morning when a Burkinabe friend arrived at my house. When it’s hot, I know how to be a good hostess, offering water as the cultural way of expressing welcome, but since my friend arrived wearing a stocking hat, I hesitated. Should I offer her water? The last time I’d done this on a “cold” day, my guest had reacted like I’d offered him poison. Since then I’d noticed a pattern: people actually believed drinking water in the morning or on a cold day could harm them.
This time, however, my friend accepted the water and sat with me on the porch to talk. A few minutes later, she noticed my roommate’s pet tortoise and informed me with delight that tortoises were her ancestors. She told me how each clan has a different animal as ancestor. These ancestral animals are to be greatly respected: clans cannot eat the meat of their particular ancestral animal, and they bury these ancestral animals the same way they do humans, with elaborate funerals.
The culture has many stories about the ancestors and stories to explain why life is the way it is. For example, you may know that if you’re driving along and see a goat in the road, it is likely that it will run off the road, but if you see a sheep, this is most definitely NOT the case. However, you may not have known that long ago a goat and a sheep took a bus trip. At the destination, the driver asked for their fares. The goat paid only half and ran away; now every time he sees a car, he runs for fear that it’s the driver looking for the other half. The sheep, however, paid with a large bill. Instead of giving him his change, the driver sped off, so now the sheep stubbornly waits in front of every car, hoping to make the driver pay up.
For most people here, even Christians, these stories and ideas are more than just amusing—they think they are true. Sadly, mixed in among all these false ideas is the idea that children can’t be saved. A good study of the Bible is all it takes to prove that this isn’t true, but sadly many churches hear of the work that Child Evangelism Fellowship is doing and dismiss it because of an idea that you must be a certain age to be saved.
Now the members of the CEF committee and I are meeting personally with pastors and Sunday school teachers, sharing with them about God’s heart for children and asking them to partner with us to reach the children in the neighborhoods all around Burkina Faso. It is my prayer that children all over will hear God’s Word so that water doesn’t make them think of poison but rather of the living water they can drink and never thirst again. It is my prayer that sheep in the road won’t make them think of overpaid bus fares, but of Jesus’ promise to take care of us like a shepherd cares for his sheep.By Chelsey Horkman
Child Evangelism Fellowship Celebrates President’s 25th Anniversary
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mr. Reese Kauffman’s tenure as president of Child Evangelism Fellowship, which under his leadership has become the largest Christian ministry to children in the world. Last year, CEF reached 15.6 million children around the globe with the Gospel.
According to Mr. Bill Elgin, chairman of the International Board of Trustees for CEF, Mr. Kauffman came at a crucial time. “When Reese was installed as president of CEF, the ministry was in crisis. The buildings and equipment at International Headquarters were in a state of disrepair, morale was low and the lack of financial support seriously hindered the ministry to the children. Reese immediately provided vision and godly leadership that began to change the culture of CEF. This has resulted in improvements to the facilities, motivated leadership around the world, a rapid increase in the number of children being reached, and an aggressive vision for the future. It is safe to say there will be millions of souls in Heaven that may not have heard the Gospel if it were not for Reese's leadership these last 25 years.” A self-effacing man, Mr. Kauffman gives all the credit for these accomplishments to the Lord first of all, to the CEF staff, workers and volunteers. “Our people are what make the difference,” he says.
The ministry has indeed expanded enormously over the past 25 years. Today CEF has ongoing daily ministries in 190 countries, more than double the number of countries it had in 1989. Currently there are over 4300 CEF Bible clubs for children, called Good News Clubs, in public elementary schools all over the United States and over 62,000 Good News Clubs worldwide. Every summer CEF reaches thousands of children through 5-Day clubs and its Good News Across America campaigns which target a different American city every year. Its published materials have reached children in every corner of the globe. For example, the CEF Wonder Bookhas been translated into 150 languages and millions of copies have been distributed all over the world. The Do You Wonder Why? booklet, designed to help children cope with tragedy, has been distributed by CEF to countless children after major natural or man-made tragedies, such as the September 11th bombings, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan.
Mr. Kauffman who grew up in Indianapolis and now resides on Sanibel Island, Florida, built a successful manufacturing business in Indianapolis where he became involved in a local CEF committee in 1975. Later he served on the CEF International Board of Trustees. Then in 1989, he was asked to take on the leadership of the entire international ministry. He agreed to do it for one year, refused a salary, and left his business in order to take the reins of CEF full-time. He never left and has been a volunteer president ever since. “I am not a children’s worker,” says Mr. Kauffman, “I am a business man and I understand high volume, high output organizations. CEF is just that. When you realize that 85% of Christians in the world trust the Lord Jesus as Savior by the age of 15, and see the extraordinary work God does through our children’s workers, you can see why CEF runs like a high output business.”
Asked about his future goals for CEF, Mr. Kauffman does not hesitate. “By 2017 we want to be in every nation in the world; we have seventeen to go. Ten of them are going to be tough but it won’t be accomplished by a strategy, method or program. If it happens it will be done by God and his grace. Our motto is ‘Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day’.”
An Appointment with God
On October 26, 2014, Rick, eleven others and I visited Missouri Eastern Correctional Center to conduct a worship service. Only Rick and I had been in a prison before so the others’ stomachs turned with excitement and nervous anticipation as they wondered what it would be like.
Filled with several God moments—the day exceeded all of our expectations. These God moments came out in several fashions, but the most effective one was definitely a God appointment.
We had arrived early to set up. As they began to practice, an inmate approached Elizabeth, an intern from West Virginia who signs as she sings. He said, “I saw you signing! That is so great. I’m glad you’re here. There are three guys in here that are deaf. I’m going to go get them.”
Between practice and the start of the worship service the interns mingled with the inmates. Two inmates knelt at the altar and prayed, both crying and one signing. Soon the music began and the two praying men went and sat in the two front rows. The deaf man, Michael, noticed Elizabeth signing. He was so excited, his face lit up—a sight I will never forget! He enthusiastically motioned to the other inmates with two thumbs up. The others nodded with equal enthusiasm as they watched him joyfully worship.
Later, during testimony time, an inmate shared, “We have been praying for someone who could sign to come so that Michael could worship and praise God with us. You are definitely an answer to prayer.”
This was obviously a God appointment! Inmates and interns were blessed alike as their faith was strengthened and their hearts renewed with awe for our God’s greatness.
By Sandy Bunch
Multiplied for Mauritius
Hawk Nelson in his song, “Words,” says “Words can build us up, Words can break us down, Start a fire in our hearts, Or put it out.” In 2012, Reverend Frik Janse van Rensburg, Director of the South Africa/Indian Ocean Region put a fire in our daughter Elisabeth’s heart.
It was a special day. Spiritual renewal week was in full motion and CEF was buzzing with both International Headquarter employees and the overseas regional directors. Elisabeth skipped school that day and came to work with us so she could meet some of the international missionaries. Her day was well spent as she listened to what God was doing all over the world.
At lunch, Frik sat across from Elisabeth. They chatted, getting to know each other and discovered that they shared the same birthday.
“Elisabeth, I’d like to challenge you,” Frik said.
“Okay,” Elisabeth answered with uncertainty in her voice.
“We are building a camp for children in Mauritius. But we have a lot of money to raise. I am asking people your age to collect just $10 from all their friends to pay for this camp. Do you think this is something you could do?”
“I can try.” Elisabeth was excited about the challenge, but was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to raise a lot of money.
At first, she seemed to forget about Frik’s challenge. But as September 16, her birthday, approached she remembered that it was also Frik’s birthday. The challenge was renewed.
“Mom, since there is nothing I really need, why don’t I have my friends bring a donation for the camp rather than gifts for me to my party?”
The plans began. Friends were invited to a Mystery Dinner Party that took place at a camp. Each guest dressed and played their part. There was a lot of fun and laughter that evening.
But that is not why the evening will be remembered. It will be remembered for what God did with the money that Elisabeth collected. In total, her friends donated $238. In Mauritius, that was more than $2,000 MUR! Elisabeth, who thought her efforts would have minimal impact, was amazed at how God had multiplied her money.
The Impact in Mauritius
“We tell others about what Elisabeth has done,” Pauline Kut, Director of CEF Mauritius, says. “When I was first told about the donation they told me it was a ‘little girl.’ I thought she was about 9 to 11 years old. I thought how wonderful it was that God impressed it upon a little girl’s heart to raise money for this project. But then I found out it was a teen! This is rare. The board found out first and thought ‘Wow!’ because this never happens in Mauritius. They are encouraged by this and want our pre-teens to follow in her steps.” Elisabeth has been invited to Mauritius so that she can speak to and encourage the teens there to raise money.
Pauline has seen God work in many miraculous ways during the planning of the camp in Albion, a city not far from the seaside in the northwest corner of the island of Mauritius. God has provided an architect and an engineer free of charge. These provisions convince Pauline that this camp will one day be completed. They are currently waiting for the building permit to be approved. Once it is approved they will begin the first phase which will cost $167,000 MUR ($67,000 USD).
“It seems like quite a lot to raise, but it is peanuts for my heavenly father,” Pauline says. “If God has spoken to me about it, I believe that this project, now being planned for 35 years, will come to be a reality.” God has shown Pauline that He is in the project. What seems impossible to us, is not impossible for Him. “As we step in faith in this project, God is going to move, showing his faithfulness again and that this is not my project or anyone else’s but God’s,” states Pauline.
Pauline has worked for CEF for ten years and at first, she wanted to sell the land. She was discouraged by how long it was taking to get the camp built and operating. She originally felt that it was an old vision, not hers. There was so much fund-raising to do and it seemed to be impossible. She reasoned that having the money for CEF would be better than having an unused piece o
“But I was thinking only of myself. Just three years ago, God spoke to me through the book of Joshua. I am now convinced that no matter the cost of the project it is not about my raising the funds, it is about Jehovah Jireh who will provide.”
About the Camp and Mauritius
The island nation of Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean about 1,250 miles east of Africa. The island itself is only 28 miles across and has a population of over one million.
Mauritius is religiously diverse but over half of the population practices Hinduism while 32% practice Christianity. It is obvious that the people of Mauritius need to hear the Gospel.
Once the camp is built, it will be used for this purpose. The goal is to share the Gospel with as many Mauritian children as possible. The site will also be used for training, multiplying the workers who can reach the children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pauline says, “We will be able to do so many things on these premises for children and if God is in this project He will surely provide everything.”
Elisabeth would like to challenge others, especially teens, to do as she has and raise money for the camp in Mauritius. She says, “It was kind of hard not getting presents, but you have to put others first. Mauritius is a small country where Hinduism is prevalent. They need to know Jesus. Someday I would like to go to Mauritius and learn about the people and their culture. I also want to tell them about Jesus and maybe all of the people on the island will change.”
Do you accept Elisabeth’s challenge? Will you help CEF of Mauritius raise the money needed for their camp? It is difficult to raise funds in Mauritius due to Hinduism being the prominent religion. Funds must come from elsewhere. They need $15, 000, 000 MUR ($500,000 USD) more to make Camp Mauritius come to fruition. If you would like to make a donation, you can send it to: CEF Inc. Mauritius Real Estate, Account # SMU0270, PO BOX 348, Warrenton, MO 63383 - USA.
Two Nations, Two Children, One Supernatural Result
Benjamin's mom did not believe that children the age of her seven-year-old son could give their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, at a Polish CEF conference, she bought a Wonder Devotional Book for her young son, and presented it to him when she arrived home later in the day. After several days had passed, Benjamin read about sin and went to his mother crying. When asked why he was in tears, Benjamin replied that he had read in the book that "I have sinned...but I [also] read that Jesus, when I go to Him, He will clean my sin." Benjamin's mom did not encourage her son except to say that perhaps he was correct. But Benjamin persisted: "I must go to Jesus...will you pray with me?" Mom, surprised, finally agreed and listened as her son prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to forgive his sin and be his Savior. Today, according to Konrad and Dorota, the CEF Poland literature directors, this mom is a firm believer in the evangelism of children!
During one week of camp, Magda taught a Bible lesson that included a clear invitation to trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation from sin. Following the lesson, one young ten-year-old girl came to talk to Magda, but unfortunately, there was a camp emergency that put Magda in charge and alone at camp, preventing her from being able to spend time with the girl. Two more times she approached Magda wanting to talk. Things remained hectic and Magda could only put her off and promise to talk later. Finally this young girl pleaded with Magda: "Please, I can't spend another night without Jesus as my Savior!" She did not have to spend that night without her Savior.Contributed by Doug and Jan Hamm