When the children heard the story of a girl who desperately wanted a Bible, it ignited a desire in their hearts for a Bible of their own . . . and opened doors for the Gospel.
One day Jessica, a CEF missionary in Australia, was teaching the children in her Good News Club the story of Mary Jones, a Welsh girl who lived in the late 1700s who wanted a Bible so desperately that she saved for eight years and walked 25 miles to buy a copy. Mary’s passion for God’s Word amazed the children so much that they all wanted to know how they could get a Bible for themselves!
Jessica reached into her lesson cart, brought out her Bible, and showed them the inscription her aunt had written in the front, wishing her a happy sixteenth birthday.
One of the boys asked, “Have you really known Jesus for that long?”
“Yes,” she responded. “I received Jesus when I was only six.”
He said, “Can you receive Jesus as a child?”
“Yes!” Jessica replied.
Then he asked right in front of the class, “How do I receive Jesus?”
Then he asked right in front of the class, “How do I receive Jesus?” Jessica knew this was a perfect opportunity to explain the Gospel to him and the rest of the class! God used the story of Mary Jones to open doors to share the Gospel at just the right moment.
Australia has a strong economy, with good access to education and healthcare for children. However, about one in seven cannot escape poverty. In particular, most indigenous children live in poverty and face discrimination and racism.
Every year, over 46,000 children are victims of abuse. Those most affected by sexual abuse or negligence are under 1 year old and between 1–4 years old. The number of cases of psychological violence in the country is increasing, and many children regularly witness domestic violence within their homes.
The key ministry of CEF Australia is correspondence courses, where children receive Bible lessons through the mail and send them back in to be graded and get comments from a volunteer. Even though the school classrooms are still open for ministry, the lack of volunteer workers limits this opportunity. We’re praying for God to provide firm leadership, as our ministry in Australia has been without national leadership for over a decade.
Please pray with us that God will use CEF in Australia to create a contagious passion for His Word among the children . . . that will spread to their families, their friends, and their communities!
- Pray for missionary, Sue Richards, who has been dealing with health issues.
|Languages:||English, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic, Greek, Cantonese, Vietnamese|
|Life expectancy:||82.3 years|
Roman Catholic 22.6%
Sources: Central Intelligence Agency: The World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/); Operation World (http://www.operationworld.org/); World Data Atlas (https://knoema.com/atlas)