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Hope in the Midst of Pandemic

Our Good News Club® year ended unexpectedly when schools across Wisconsin were shut down in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean CEF® is done reaching children with the Gospel! We're offering both pre-recorded and live, interactive Good News Clubs online. We're also distributing various resources to families, including a CEF booklet called "Do You Wonder Why?" that was developed to help kids in crisis situations. In this time of global fear and uncertainty, children need the hope Jesus offers more than ever! CEF is here to meet that need.

Praying God's Own Prayer Request

“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)

What if God Himself gave you a prayer request? Recently, CEF has been praying Jesus’ prayer request from Luke 10:2. We are pleading earnestly with God to send out more laborers into His harvest around the world and here in Southeast Wisconsin. This ministry depends on three unique types of “laborers” to reach children with the Gospel: donors, staff, and volunteers. Currently, we have significant needs in each of these areas.

As a nonprofit ministry, CEF relies on the generosity of faithful donors. While we are deeply grateful for each of our current ministry partners, we are in urgent need of additional financial support in 2020. We began the year with a large budget deficit and despite substantial budget cuts, we are still in need of an additional $2000 per month to meet current expenses.

The CEF staff play a vital role in training and equipping others to share the Gospel with children. Our staff team has undergone significant changes this year. In January, Melanie Pastor, who served in community and donor relations for nearly seven years, stepped down from CEF to focus on family responsibilities. Due to the chapter’s financial challenges, Buzz Taves also made the difficult decision to resign in early February after serving as local director since July 2017. Several other staff members have had their hours reduced due to the lack of funds. To sustain and grow our ministry to children, we’re asking God to send a new local director as well as the financial provision to allow the current staff to resume their regular hours.

Our amazing volunteers are the backbone of this ministry. They teach the children in Good News Clubs and 5-Day Clubs® as well as performing countless other tasks behind the scenes. One key area where we currently need volunteers is on our local committee. The committee provides crucial support and oversight to the staff, assisting in strategic planning, fundraising, and promotion. Several individuals ended their terms of service in 2019, leaving us with openings for at least four new committee members this year.

Will you commit to praying God’s own prayer request with us in 2020? Together, let’s ask Him to send out laborers into His harvest. If God calls you to be the answer to this prayer by increasing your giving, joining our local committee, or even considering a staff role, please contact us! We’re excited to see how God answers as we pray and act according to His will.

“So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14) 

Good News at Good News Club

Note: This article was written prior to the pandemic. Praise God for the children who got to hear the Gospel before the schools were shut down!

Every other week, a group of children from Orchard Lane Elementary School in New Berlin gather to play fun games, hear Bible lessons, memorize verses, and sing fun songs with volunteers who love them and are intentional about building relationships with them. On the surface, this looks like a fairly traditional Good News Club, but things didn’t start off this way!

In 2017, New Berlin Free Methodist Church partnered with CEF to start this Good News Club. Despite their strong team and lots of prayer support, the club had a challenging start. The school district was less than welcoming, and for the first year no children from the school attended. Rather than being discouraged, the team continued to show up week after week to teach the handful of children from their church who came. They demonstrated creativity, faithfulness, and persistence, believing that God wanted them in this school even though they weren’t seeing fruit yet.

Last spring, the team had the opportunity to promote the Good News Club at a community event. As a result, three children from the school joined the club. This school year, they had two students from the school who loved club so much they started inviting new friends every week! Pastor Scott Ehle shares:

“God is good. Our struggling little club is now 21 kids strong and more than half of them are from the school. It brings so much joy to my heart when we walk into the school to set up for club and hear the teachers say, ‘Okay, Good News Club kids, time to go to club!’ God is working in a mighty way through this club, and we are reaching children for Him. All praise and glory to God!”

"Even a Child Could Understand It!"

In the fall of 2017 my mom was dying of stage 4 lung cancer. Several women from my church made a home visit to my mom. Each came, Bibles in hand, very eager to share Christ and His gift of salvation with my mom. Although my mom enjoyed the visit, she was very overwhelmed with all the information. A few days after that visit, one of the ladies (a CEF volunteer and a good friend of mine) sent my mom a very kind card. My mom called me and was so excited to have received the encouraging card and especially the "little book" that was enclosed. My mom exclaimed, "It was so easy to understand that even a child could understand it!" That "little book" was a CEF tract and I believe it was the tool God used to help my mom finally understand the Gospel message. My mom passed away very shortly thereafter. However, before passing, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior! I am very grateful to CEF for all they do to spread the Gospel to children around the world, but this is just a reminder that God can use CEF to touch the lives and save the souls of anyone! (Submitted by Cari Cruz)
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