Celebrating 80 Years of God’s Faithfulness!

1937…a great year by God’s grace! In that year, the beautiful and gloriously delicious Krispy Kreme donut was available for public consumption.

 

The Hobbit is published by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1937.

Cost of a gallon of gas in 1937 was 10 cents.

Also in 1937, Child Evangelism Fellowship officially started with the mission to serve and work with local churches as they reach out to the children in their communities. The goal back then and now is every child in every country hearing the truths of the Gospel, being discipled in the Word of God, and the children and their families being established in local churches.

May 8-13, 2017 Mandi, Charlotte and I went to the triennial CEF International Conference in Ridgecrest, NC (thanks to Sean’s Mom for taking care of RG and Maddy!). Over 1,500 people were there from over 100 countries! It was by far the largest CEF international conference ever held, and it was a special conference because we celebrated 80 years of God’s faithfulness to CEF ministry around the world. We also give praise to God that CEF has nationally led ministry in almost every country of the world!

I had the opportunity to lead two workshops on “Zeal Without Burnout“, a workshop based on the amazing book by Christopher Ash. I gave away four of those books, and the first workshop was translated simultaneously in three other languages. This was a little distracting at first, but it meant that this session was going to be taken back to many other countries and used to serve and encourage CEF workers in their own language!

CEF is made up of 96% national missionaries, people serving in their own country. This is a foundational belief with CEF, that it is God’s design for the local people to reach the local children.

That is why we do what we do now as missionaries, we help the national leaders and board members in the Caribbean to make their jobs as easy as possible.

We want to free up their time by assisting with eliminating red tape, board/staff issues, logistics, materials, fundraising, strategic planning and vision casting.

We daily ask the question, how can we help these workers in the best way possible so that every child on every island in every nation is reached?

It was a joy and a privilege to have face to face time with nearly every CEF national worker we serve, and see so many of our fellow CEF friends and coworkers!

Thanks to technology, as long as I have access to the internet and/or a phone, I can do my job from almost anywhere in the world. However, there is nothing like spending invaluable face-to-face time with someone, praying with them and hearing their heart and vision for ministry in their country! That was the highlight of this conference for us.

Praise God for the past 80 years of CEF ministry! Please continue to pray for CEF, that the next 80 years would be marked with a further resolve to have Gospel-centered literature, wise leadership decisions and a focus on being a humble servant to the Church globally.

God is faithful!

 

Helping Bermuda Reach Every Child!

October 27-31 I was able to help serve CEF of Bermuda as they seek to reach every child in their nation. Dr. Melvyn Bassett is the national leader and he volunteers his time to help develop the CEF ministry there.

More pictures of the national CEF office!

Dr. Melvyn and the CEF Board Chairman

Dr. Melvyn asked me a few months ago if I would consider helping them conduct their first ever event to help raise awareness for CEF in Bermuda. Additionally, I was to help discuss with their new national board the role and function of a thriving national board and best practices in strategic planning.

More pictures from the board meeting, this is the view from the board room they get to use for their meetings!

I was thankful for the opportunity, it was a humbling honor to sit across the table from many highly influential people who care deeply about the future of their country. On their national board they have people who have served as teachers, principals and ministers of government, including one who served as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. God has arranged the right people to lead the CEF ministry in Bermuda so that every child can be reached with the Gospel! It is a privilege to serve them and to help them in ministry as much as we can.

It was a relatively short trip, highly focused and we made the most of our time there. We were able to spend a good bit of time with Dr. Bassett and hear his heart and vision for Child Evangelism Fellowship in Bermuda. We were able to understand better the unique challenges the children face and how a thriving CEF ministry can help local churches meet those needs.

We were able to go to an evening social where we met numerous current ministers of government, doctors, lawyers, the true “movers and shakers” in Bermuda. We were able to tell them about how CEF can help their country’s future by churches reaching out to the children in their communities!

We visited a local church and saw one of our good friends who we went to church with in Turks and Caicos, Abria, who also attends there. That is what is so exciting about ministry in the Caribbean, wherever you go you likely either know someone or have a mutual friend in nearly every country!

The briefing dinner we helped conduct went extremely well by God’s grace, it was a packed house and cast a strong vision for the CEF ministry being established there.

The Christian Youth In Action team shared both their testimonies and in song and they were inspirational to all who attended. We are looking forward to how God uses the results of that dinner to help further the local CEF ministry in Bermuda!

Lastly, on a personal note, I was thankful to have with me a childhood friend, Benjamin Hughes, who was able to assist in ministry and see what we do as missionaries firsthand. It was encouraging personally to have a friend travel with me and was wonderful to introduce him to the people in Bermuda that we have the joy of serving!

CEF Regional Leadership Conference 2016

From August 15-19 the triennial Regional Leadership Conference was held at the international headquarters of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Mandi and I had the privilege of helping to coordinate this conference, and it was such a blessing!

It was a growing and stretching experience for us putting on a conference like this, there is so much that takes place behind the scenes that most people do not see when they go to a conference. Additionally, this conference usually takes place in the Caribbean, so planning can become even more complicated. Thankfully we had a wonderful experience working with the event staff at CEF headquarters, and it was a blessing for them to host our regional conference. It’s not everyday the staff at CEF IHQ gets to have fellow staff members from so many countries there in Missouri!

There were 64 people from 17 countries in attendance at this regional leadership conference, all either national leaders or national leadership volunteers (board members, etc…).

The conference was held under the theme “Together We Can”. The goal is to have trained teachers from local churches reaching 2 million children annually across the 27 nations of our region. Not that “we” can do it ourselves apart from Christ, but as all the national leaders and regional team have a singular focus together to “…declare His glory among the nations”, it is possible.

There were many testimonies given by the attendees of how this conference was used by God to challenge them, to encourage them and give them a broader perspective of CEF around the region. Additionally, there is something about getting people together and everyone knowing that they are not alone in ministry.

Often in the nations that Mandi and I serve as missionaries, these national staff members are the only CEF full-time staff serving in their country. If they do not have a good base of volunteers and a strong board, it is easy to get discouraged and even burnt out.

It is vital and essential to pour into the leaders of these countries so every child on every island is reached with the Gospel! Thank you for supporting us as international missionaries with CEF, you are directly a part of these national leaders reaching children and them pouring into local churches.

We give God all the glory for the great success of this conference! One board member said: “This conference has opened my eyes and broadened my vision for what CEF is and how it can impact my country.

Our vision is that each nation in the region has a strong, locally sustainable CEF ministry that is thriving in helping churches disciple children in the Word of God! You are a part of this ministry!