Big Picture

Child Evangelism Fellowship shares the love of Jesus with migrant families in Mexico

‘It breaks your heart to see so many children in distress, but it’s uplifting to reach them with the best news of their lives — the saving grace of Jesus Christ,’ says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves

For Immediate Release

December 4, 2023

ST. LOUIS — While politicians wrestle over immigration and border issues, the tens of thousands of children and their families traveling through Mexico from various countries are in dire need of not only food and shelter but the love of Jesus and the comfort of God’s Word.

Child Evangelism Fellowship’s National Director of Mexico and his wife are doing whatever they can to coordinate with local churches to minister directly to the migrants. They bring them food, water, bandages and socks for the feet of children who have suffered greatly on their journey. Families are often gone again within a few hours and continue on in their journey.

“It breaks your heart to see so many children in distress, but it’s uplifting to reach them with the best news of their lives the saving grace of Jesus Christ,” says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves.

Enrique and Mayté began a pilot project nine years ago in Chiapas, Mexico, training with local churches to reach local homes. Now, those trained workers are focused on reaching migrant children in the caravans.

By day, churches take food to people and invite them to listen to presentations using the CEF booklet, “Do You Wonder Why?” This Gospel-centered trauma healing booklet addresses the hard questions of why bad things happen in the world. It helps people identify their fear and questions about life, explains how sin came into the world, and how the only remedy is to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Enrique and Mayté have heard many stories of the migrants’ journeys, including violent assaults, countless accounts of children dying and women who cannot save the lives of their own children. The migrants are from many countries including Haiti, Honduras, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, the Congo, Angola and Brazil.

Language barriers add to the chaos. People who speak particular languages tend to group together and respect the space of other groups. Enrique and Mayté took some of the CEF training in Brazil and were able to pick up Portuguese.

As the pilot program found success in the south of Mexico, Enrique desired to see these same people followed up in the north. Battling fatigue and illness, he began a trip visiting CEF workers and pastors along the entire northern border of Mexico.

Anthony, an 11-year-old migrant child, was sitting with his mother and siblings while they passed by one evening, and Mayté shared the Gospel with him. As she described Heaven, the boy’s eyes sparkled and he asked if Heaven is like the United States. She told him “Better, it is perfect.”

When she explained sin, and asked him for examples, he told of terrible things he had seen on their journey. After he prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior, she explained Hebrews 13:5 (“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”)

“Obvious faith welled up in the boy as he closed his hands, raised them in triumph and exclaimed, ‘Yes! He will never leave me!’” Enrique recalled.

Enrique called to mind the story of a child named Michael, from Haiti who traveled to Brazil so he could make the trip to the U.S.: “We found him and his family in Monterrey and took them to the headquarters of CEF Mexico to give them food and clothes. We shared the Gospel with Michael and his family, and they accepted Jesus as their Savior.”

“Enrique and Mayté are clearly doing the work of God in a very hands-on way in difficult situations –and often at considerable risk,” says Esteves. “They have asked other Christians to pray for them, specifically for their health, their safety and their ability to reach many more migrant children with the Gospel.”

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.