‘Despite the war and the many hardships and problems every day, CEF receives a lot of positive news from there,’ says CEF Vice President of Administration Fred Pry
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2024
ST. LOUIS — It has been nearly two years since the onset of the war in Ukraine. Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) has been reaching out to thousands of Ukrainian children in homes, churches and refugee camps in Ukraine and surrounding countries. Hope for Ukraine, a new CEF program that offers spiritual encouragement to the country’s children during wartime, is providing evangelism packs, backpacks, videos and booklets about the Gospel. The colorful materials come in Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian and other languages. CEF’s enduring commitment to ministering the Gospel to Ukrainian children in homes and churches expanded to refugee camps in Ukraine and surrounding countries once the war began.
“Despite the war and the many hardships people are facing on the ground, CEF receives a lot of positive news from the region,” says CEF Vice President of Administration Fred Pry. “Good News Clubs® take place in basements, 5-Day clubs are held in sanatoriums, including churches and camps held in hidden places. It is great to see God at work even in the most difficult circumstances.”
Bogdan Bassara, a CEF Staff Member in Poland, shares his first-hand account of when the war in Ukraine broke out as he along with several other CEF staff members had to evacuate. Through the power of prayer, Bogdan and the CEF staff were able to flee the country. Bogden recalled, “As I think about the nearly three million refugees and about 25 percent of children leaving Ukraine, I thank the Lord for CEF’s vision to reach every child with the Gospel, and in many other places in Europe.”
Here are some messages from frontline CEF workers in Ukraine:
“Thank you for the prayers for the evangelism in the park for Children’s Day. Over 100 children came! Everyone was very happy.”
“We thank the Lord for the children’s camp in the Donetsk region, that the word of God was sown in the hearts of the children and for those who turned to the Lord.”
“CEF is distributing millions of our children’s booklets in and around Ukraine,” Pry said. “‘Do You Wonder Why?’ takes on the toughest questions that children (and adults) have, such as ‘Why do so many bad things happen in the world?’ and ‘Why does God allow this to happen?’”
After two years exiled from their homeland, many refugees have returned despite the danger and unrest still threatening Ukraine. For the children, school and other gatherings must be held near bunkers for safety. CEF workers who remained in Ukraine along with those who returned, continue to hold clubs for children who are undeterred by fear of nearby incoming missiles.
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.
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.
Some 135,000 Hope for Ukraine Gospel packs are being distributed by CEF. Each pack consists of a “Jesus loves you” pen and Wondersurf.com 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. A digital version of the “Do You Wonder Why?” booklet in Ukrainian is available online.
“The Hope for Ukraine outreach goes far beyond literature distribution,” Pry said. “The Ukrainian staff teach children in weekly Good News Clubs® around Ukraine, even in areas in danger from incoming missiles. We pray daily for their protection.”
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 Bogucki, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Daniel Moyer, ext. 104.