by Deb Hane
Where I grew up, most people were connected with one of the more than ten different churches in town. Church played a big part in the social network and was considered the place to help raise good kids. But our cultural view toward church has dramatically changed since then. Community life revolves more around schools. Many don’t see the need for church, and their children aren’t learning about God and the Bible. Some people who have beliefs other than Christianity or just don’t believe in God are hostile to the church and will never allow their children to go to one.
Although kids may never step inside a church, God still reaches out to them. He uses ordinary people who take the time reach the children where they are and teach them about Jesus. This is true all around the world. Let’s listen to the testimony of a teenaged young man from Africa.
“I come from an interesting family. My mother knows God, but my dad is a Muslim. Since we were little, I remember my dad allowed my mom to go to church and teach children away from our home. One of my dad’s family rules was that we were NOT to go to church. My mother was told she could go to church but not take any of us children with her. There was very little opportunity for us to come to faith because my mom was not even allowed to read the Bible with us at home.
“One day, I tagged along with my mom when she taught Good News Club. I continued going to GNCTM with her but did not go to church out of obedience to my dad. One day as my mom taught the Bible lesson at GNC, I realized I was a sinner. That day I put my faith in Christ and became a believer. I was 12 at the time and chose not to tell my dad about this decision. I continued going to GNC and grew to know God better.
“When I was 13, my mom asked my dad if I could go to a training for teenagers to learn how to be well mannered and mentor children. Dad agreed. I’m sure he didn’t realize it was a Christian gathering and that through Christian Youth In Action® I would learn more about God and grow in my faith.
“I attended CYIATM in 2019 and again this year (2021). Now I teach children in 5-Day Club® and GNC with other teens. It is encouraging to see children learn about God.
“My desire is to see boys and girls receive Jesus as Savior. I am sure there are many young people like me who do not have an opportunity to go to church. I still don’t go to church in obedience to my dad, but I am thankful for GNC that helped me put my faith in Christ. I am also thankful for CYIA where I met other young people and grew in my walk with Christ and skills in teaching. And I am grateful CEF makes it possible for all kinds of people to know God even without going to church. I am also thankful to my mother who prayed for me and led me to Christ. This week, I’ve been teaching two 5-Day Clubs and reached over 67 children.”
Children from around the world face the same struggles. Some have opportunities to attend Good News Club in their schools or neighborhoods. There are more testimonies like this one of Good News Club kids growing up, getting trained, and teaching clubs of their own. But there are still millions who’ve never heard. They need someone who will go to where they are and tell them the Good News of Jesus. Will you pray for them to be able to hear?
For encouraging stories from ministry around the world, check out IMPACT Magazine at cefonline.com/impact. IMPACT magazine is a free quarterly publication of CEF that tells the stories of ministry going on to children and their families all around the world.
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