Big Picture

Child Evangelism Fellowship prepares teens to share the Gospel with children in their community

‘It’s a life changer for many’ says CEF Vice President Moises Esteves

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2023

ST. LOUIS — A few well-spent summer weeks can have eternal impact.

That’s what young people who attend Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Christian Youth In Action® (CYIA™) program learn — often to their amazement.

“It’s a life changer for many teens. Some come with already strong faith and others with little. But in learning how to help spread the good news of the Gospel to younger children, they develop a stronger relationship with Jesus,” says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves. “They not only come to a deeper understanding of their own faith but are increasingly able to share that joy with others.”

Angel, who came out of a troubled background, found new life in CYIA.

“I had gone from this hopeless situation to where I wanted to do something with my life,” she said. “And so, joining CYIA gave me the opportunity to make my life not about me but about serving others.”

After five years, she is still active in CYIA. “I went from a very different person from what I am today. I continue to do CYIA not because it just impacts the kids, but it also impacts me as an individual… Putting me in this organization has just really helped my faith overall.”

The Christian Youth In Action® program is transforming the lives of young people across the United States and around the world. Teens take one to two weeks of intensive training in how to present the Gospel clearly on a child’s level and how to counsel a child for salvation. They emerge with confidence, faith, and leadership skills to lead 5-Day Clubs for boys and girls. Over the decades, over 3,000 teens have been trained each summer in the USA. Many have gone on to be pastors and ministry leaders.

Components of this club include teaching a Bible lesson, a real-life missionary story and a Bible verse as well as leading songs, games and a fun review time.

After the training, teens return to their local community. They teach predominantly unsaved children who don’t regularly attend church. Locales include apartment complexes, day care centers, neighborhoods, schools and other community locations.

Alan, a recent high school graduate, led a Bible lesson filled with spiritual truths for children. At the end, he invited them to accept Jesus as their Savior. One of them who did was Matt, who had previously helped groom children for gang membership. After Matt accepted Christ, he transformed his neighborhood, inspiring others to embrace the Gospel.

Carter Houck, who grew up in a Christian family, had a life changing experience while his family did mission work in the Dominican Republic. He saw how God used Child Evangelism Fellowship to change lives, including his own, and he brought back a strong desire for ministry to children in the United States.

“If I had to describe CYIA in one word, I’d describe it as passion,” he said. “Not only a passion for Christ but a passion for letting others know about Christ… I’ve grown just as much as I’ve seen kids grow in their relationships with Christ throughout my last four years here,” Carter said.

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.