‘Children traumatized by conflict need answers to the most difficult questions, and our booklet helps them get through it,’ says Moises Esteves, CEF executive vice president
For Immediate Release
October 17, 2023
ST. LOUIS — As the fighting and violence spreads in Israel and the Gaza Strip, children in the region are facing serious threats. Reports estimate that over 700 children have lost their lives due to the conflict, and thousands more are being displaced from their homes and forced to flee. As war continues between Israel and Hamas, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is stepping up efforts to reach children impacted by this deadly conflict and provide valuable resources.
“CEF’s children’s booklet and video ‘Do You Wonder Why?’ takes on the toughest questions children (and adults) have,” says Moises Esteves, CEF executive vice president. “These include ‘Why do so many bad things happen in the world?’ and ‘Why does God allow this to happen?’ and ‘How can I get through this terrible time?’
“The booklet was actually created shortly after the attacks on 9/11 in response to the grief children were wrestling with. The booklets explain the role of sin, the fact that we can’t always know why bad things happen, our need for salvation and the good news that, no matter what, Jesus will never leave us when we accept Him as our Savior.”
The booklet, which is available online in English, Arabic and 17 other languages — as well as currently being translated into Hebrew — clearly and concisely walks children through some of the toughest questions about life, death, and tragedy. The booklet is used to meet the spiritual needs when children face the trauma such as school shootings, tornados, floods, hurricanes, wars, and other catastrophic events. To distribute this valuable resource, CEF often partners with churches and ministries who are equipped and focused on meeting the physical and emotional needs of these children and provides resources like the ‘Do You Wonder Why?’ booklet to address the spiritual needs of the children.
“Our desire is to get these booklets into the hands of as many children as possible over there. In a time of such disaster and catastrophe, we pray that those impacted find the supernatural peace and reassurance that only God can provide,” Esteves added.
In each booklet, the Gospel is clearly explained. Children are given the opportunity to write their names and the date on which they became “part of God’s family.” English versions of the video and booklet are available on the CEF website at www.cefonline.com/why.
“Children traumatized by conflict need answers to the most difficult questions, and our booklet helps them get through it,” Esteves said.
During the devastating Middle East earthquakes earlier this year, CEF was able to quickly distribute Do You Wonder Why booklets to those affected. A 13-year-old girl who was affected by these earthquakes was handed a booklet. After reading the booklet, she sent CEF the following message: “Our living, holy, and perfect God knows what we feel and fully understands our circumstances. He is in control of everything, and He loves us so much that He gave Jesus for us.” A young boy who was affected by the earthquakes and received a booklet said, “I had a terrible fear when the earthquake occurred and the walls of our house cracked. Reading this booklet made me feel calm and helped me trust God to protect me.”
The “Do You Wonder Why?” booklet has been an invaluable resource for CEF’s ministry all around the world. As part of its Hope for Ukraine program, CEF has been distributing millions of “Do You Wonder Why” booklets to aid children in Ukraine and nearby countries. One million of the booklets have been printed in Ukrainian, one million in Russian, and three million in other languages.
Child Evangelism Fellowship, which was founded 86 years ago, has been establishing Good News Clubs® in countries around the world for decades. Clubs are thriving worldwide, in countries including Australia, Cambodia, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uganda.
Last year, through CEF’s combined ministries, more than 19.5 million children worldwide heard the Good News. In 2022, more than 439,000 teachers were trained around the world.
For more CEF news, see the ministry’s latest edition of the online magazine Impact.
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is an international, nonprofit, Christian ministry that has been dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, discipled and established in a local church since 1937. CEF is located in all 50 American states and in most countries around the world, with over 3,500 paid staff and tens of thousands of volunteers around the world.
To interview a representative from Child Evangelism Fellowship, contact [email protected], Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.