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From Bullies to Buddies: Children embrace faith in Christ and transform their lives

‘During October, which is Bullying Prevention Month, CEF is sharing how the love of Christ has a positive impact on troubled children,’ says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves

For Immediate Release

October 2, 2023

ST. LOUIS — Children oftentimes undergo a remarkable transformation through a newfound relationship with Christ. In a survey conducted by Child Evangelism Fellowship, 87% of the over 200 school principals from 28 states shared that they had personal knowledge that CEF’s Good News Clubs® had been a positive experience for their school.

“Undoubtedly, the club has been a successful part in curbing bullying and classroom disrespect from children” said one school principal. 

Child Evangelism Fellowship highlights how the Good News of Christ is changing the hearts and lives of children from bully to buddy.

“During October, which is Bullying Prevention Month, CEF is sharing how the love of Christ has a positive impact on troubled children,” says CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves. “Rather than just being on defense against bullies and knowing how to report and stop bullies, let’s call our kids to leadership.”

Bullying is when someone with more power of any kind intimidates or mistreats a weaker person. Kids can have power by being larger, wealthier, more popular, better looking or especially witty. They can use their advantage to cut down others with scornful looks or laughing, gossip, cutting remarks and physical intimidation. It can be done in person or through social media, known as cyber bullying.

Perpetrators are so focused on establishing and holding superiority that they lack empathy for how their actions can devastate another. Meanwhile, the victim can experience debilitating social anxiety and scars that he or she carries into later life.

Praying for a bully

CEF shares stories with children that inspire them to react appropriately to a bully. Here’s one from CEF’s online page, Tough Topics:

Zak loved playing basketball at recess. It was his favorite game, and he couldn’t wait to get out on the court with his friends. But this time there was a bully named Josh on the playground. Josh tried to pick a fight with everyone he could. He was bigger than the other boys and he knew it.

Zak’s mom kept reminding him not to fight and to stay out of Josh’s way. But it was so hard. Zak didn’t like being picked on and Josh was ruining his recess.

Zak began to pray for Josh. All year long he and the other children in a kids’ club prayed that Josh would not be so mean. For a while nothing changed.

Just when Zak was ready to quit praying, something surprising happened. Josh asked Zak why he wouldn’t fight with him like the other boys. Zak was able to share with him about Jesus and His love. Today, Zak and Josh are friends and love to play basketball without fighting.

“One of the most important things we do here at CEF is to let children know what God has blessed them with and how to use it for the good of others,” Esteves says. “Fear loses its power when kids realize they are loved by the most powerful force in the universe and are motivated to share that love.”

‘I’m like, a way better person.’

An anti-bullying success story in a Good News Club® was recorded on video, when a boy shared his testimony:

“Before Good News Club, I used to bully a lot and be mean to people and like, joke on them, and now I know that’s not good because the Good News Club® helped me become a better person, like spiritually and behavior-wise, and now I’m like, a way better person.”

“Because it teaches you about what God does for  you and what He can do for you regardless even if you’re like, down or feeling bad, or if you’re like, in a great mood. And it’s just like a great experience for me. It’s like a really good program and I would encourage any kid to join it because it can really change somebody around.”

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.