Big Picture

CEF brings the Gospel to children in war-torn Ukraine, other Eastern European nations

‘Children brutalized by conflict need answers to the most difficult questions, and we are printing five million booklets to address them,’ says Moises Esteves, CEF executive vice president

For Immediate Release

June 26, 2023

ST. LOUIS — Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by the ongoing war with Russia, with many fleeing to neighboring countries for sanctuary. Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is reaching out to thousands of Ukrainian children in homes, churches and refugee camps. Hope for Ukraine, a CEF program, is providing evangelism packs, backpacks, videos and booklets about the Gospel. The colorful materials come in Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian and other languages.

“This is some of the most important work we are doing,” says Moises Esteves, executive vice president of Child Evangelism Fellowship. “Children brutalized by conflict need answers to the most difficult questions, and we are printing five million booklets to address them.

“Our children’s booklet, ‘Do You Wonder Why?’, takes on the toughest questions children (and adults) have, such as ‘Why do so many bad things happen in the world?’ and ‘Why does God allow this to happen?’ The booklet was 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.”

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

One million of the booklets are printed in Ukrainian, one million in Russian, and three million in other languages. Individuals, churches and camp centers hosting Ukrainian refugees can order them for use in Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and other countries.

The Hope for Ukraine outreach also goes far beyond literature distribution. The Ukrainian staff teach children in weekly Good News Clubs around Ukraine, even in areas with danger of incoming missiles. One CEF worker reported that in Romania, every orphan child at a three-week camp received special Hope for Ukraine backpacks and that “we received a warm welcome everywhere.”

In addition, 100,000 Hope for Ukraine Gospel packs are being distributed. Each pack consists of a “Jesus loves you” pen and pamphlet; a Gospel postcard; a “Do You Wonder Why?” booklet and a “Meet the King” booklet.

An eight-minute video has been translated into Ukrainian and is ready for distribution. A digital version of the “Do You Wonder Why?” booklet in Ukrainian is available online.

The ministry is also expanding support for 70 CEF workers in Ukraine who need basic goods and necessities that have become rare because of the cessation of regular shipments to shops and pharmacies.

CEF is continuing to reemphasize its commitment to the Great Commission with a new slate of ambitious goals. With God’s help, the ministry hopes to:

  • Reach approximately 26.5 million children in 2023.
  • Minister to 100 million children each year globally with the Gospel in the near future.
  • Increase the number of Good News Clubs® — in 2022, CEF’s Good News Clubs® served children in 79,733 public schools worldwide.
  • Train hundreds of thousands of adults worldwide to reach more children for Christ.

“We are already sharing Christ with nearly 20 million children every year,” says Esteves. “What may seem impossible to man is attainable with God, for Whom nothing is impossible.”

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.