Thousands of CEF staff members and hundreds of thousands of volunteers teach millions of boys and girls daily in weekly face-to-face Good News Clubs. Suddenly, COVID-19 brings that to a halt. Staff, volunteers and children can’t leave their homes. Is the ministry “dead in the water?”
Immediately, CEF International Headquarters and CEF offices all over the world began designing long-distance ministry strategies. A Good News Club online manual was created for video conferencing clubs. Many clubs are operating successfully, for example, one in Norway that started with over 1,000 students. Existing CEF literature began to be distributed digitally. New ministry tools were created, e.g., digital tracts The Greatest Doctor and Stop the Spread. CEF began sharing the Gospel through the internet like never before but the internet was not accessible in many countries.
Frik van Rensburg, a CEF regional director in Africa said, “Most of our people can’t use email or computers because of lockdown as they can’t get to the internet cafes to use Wi-Fi. Ninety percent of all they do is via mobile phones.” Today digital resources are getting into the hands of the children via mobile phones. WhatsApp is a major tool.
Joseph Kavuli, another CEF regional director in Africa said, “Kenya had much rain and flooding for three months. After that came the largest swarm of locusts in the last 70 years, eating everything in some parts of the country; then came COVID-19. The children need the hope that only Christ can give.” In developed countries with good Wi-Fi signal, CEF is distributing lots of resources. In a few countries, pastors take CEF Bible lessons door to door. They grade them, returning them with the next lesson. Thousands have been saved. CEF of Maine reported more children returning correspondence courses through the mail than had been attending clubs.
The same Word of God is being taught to boys and girls and parents all over the world through new ways, like mobile phones, videos, digital literature, radio, television, social media, Bible correspondence lessons, WhatsApp, etc. See some of these exciting resources at www.cefonline.com/COVID19.
Child Evangelism Fellowship is an international, nonprofit, Christian ministry that has been teaching the Bible to children since 1937. CEF is organized in most nations of the world, with over 3,500 paid staff and hundreds of thousands of volunteers. In 2019 CEF ministered to over 25 million children in its face-to-face teaching ministries.