Big Picture

CEF’s SPAN program allows national missionaries to reach children all over the world with the love of Jesus

‘If it weren’t for our SPAN program, many of these missionaries would have to give up full-time ministry,’ says Child Evangelism Fellowship Executive Vice President Moises Esteves

For Immediate Release

October 9, 2023

ST. LOUIS — In more than 143 countries around the world, Child Evangelism Fellowship is assisting national missionaries who teach children about Jesus through Good News Club® and other CEF outreaches.

“National missionaries are uniquely equipped to share the Gospel because they already live in those countries and know the culture and language,” says Moises Esteves, Executive Vice President of Child Evangelism Fellowship. “We provide training and CEF literature in dozens of languages.”

CEF has over 3,500 missionaries internationally, approximately 3,400 of whom are nationals. Many of these workers live in areas of extreme poverty or that are hostile to Christianity. This makes it almost impossible to raise the financial support they need to serve full-time and provide for their families. The largest percentage of missionaries are serving in their own countries, most of which teaching about giving to a missionary is not taught.

“That’s where CEF’s Sponsor-a-National (SPAN) program comes in,” Esteves says. “Through SPAN, we’re able to provide support to these missionaries on a monthly basis. They can reach boys and girls with the Gospel without worrying about how they’ll get to a club or even put food on the table for their families.”

CEF’s SPAN program currently has 1,407 workers supported by CEF International Headquarters with $298,000 a month.

“If it weren’t for our SPAN program, many of these missionaries would have to give up full-time ministry. We need more people to pray and to support SPAN so that more children will hear the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ,” says Esteves.

Good News Club® and 5-Day Club ministries take place in neighborhood settings such as homes, backyards, schools and community centers all over the world. These fast-paced, one-hour programs are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment – and in their own languages. In addition, CEF has numerous online resources geared to the needs of children in their own languages.

 In a testimony from Caye Sudo, a CEF missionary from Guam supported by SPAN, he said, “In 2015, the Lord opened doors to Child Evangelism Fellowship teacher trainings, along with opportunities to be a volunteer teacher in community and public school Good News Clubs®. These experiences heightened my burden to reach children for Christ, and I began to understand His leading. We had the joy of starting a 5-Day Club in San Fabian, Philippines. It became an outreach to a mission point and is now a church.”

Last year through CEF’s combined ministries, more than 19.5 million children worldwide heard the Good News. CEF is committed to reaching 15 percent more each year.

Other goals:

  • Minister to 100 million children each year globally with the Gospel in the near future. 
  • Reach at approximately 26.5 million children in 2023.
  • 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.
  • Reach 10 million children worldwide in the 2023 Christmas season.

“These goals might seem bold or improbable. But we are already sharing Christ with nearly 100 million children in the last five years,” says Esteves. “What may seem impossible to man is attainable with God, for Whom nothing is impossible.”

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.