Stories from CEF
Sacrificing for the Sake of the Gospel
By Reese Kauffman
Jesus made it clear to His disciples that there would be a cost to carry out the Great Commission. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). The signs of opposition are all around us. Nearly every week, we hear of one of our workers suffering for the sake of the Gospel. On the international scene, the cost of following Christ is becoming greater and greater. But as in the days of Jesus, persecution does not stop the spread of the Gospel; rather, it accelerates it. Here in the U.S., our culture is speeding away from God. We still have great freedom, but with that freedom comes the responsibility to do everything in our power to reach the next generation—across the street and around the world.
The world population is well beyond 7.7 billion people; with 2.5 billion children under the age of 15 who desperately need to hear the Good News. The Lord has given His Church the task of taking the Gospel to every corner of the Earth so that all may know Jesus’ words, “…I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Taking the Gospel to Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day is a daunting task and will not be accomplished without sacrifice.
Our workers around the world have been striving together for the sake of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27-29), “not counting their lives dear unto themselves” (Acts 20:24). God has used their sacrifices to reach the greatest number of children in the history of CEF®—25.5 million in 2018! We are thrilled that the number of Good News Clubs increased by 30 percent! The impact of that growth is huge because this is our core ministry, where boys and girls gather weekly to hear God’s Word. The Lord is blessing our efforts to evangelize, disciple, and establish children in the local church.
The task, however, remains unfinished. Even though the Lord has made it possible to establish CEF ministry in most nations of the world, there are still billions of children waiting to hear. The Lord has burdened our hearts with the absoluteness of Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” We are asking our staff, volunteers, and ministry partners to pray earnestly—to beseech, implore, beg the Lord of the harvest to raise up more workers. The need for more workers is abundantly clear because the harvest is abundant. We must ask God to call and send workers to reach children while there is still time.
We are praying for 1,600 more workers worldwide in the next three years to allow us to move from reaching 25 million children annually to reaching 45 million. This is a God-sized vision, but as someone said, “Attempt something so great for God, it’s doomed to failure unless God be in it.”
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