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Good news about good news
Posted By Pat Boone On 10/09/2010 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
I need some good news. Don’t you? I mean, with all the breakdowns and bailouts and foreclosures and jobless numbers and trillions of dollars in national debt, with gun runners and drug cartels exploiting our porous borders, with the institution of marriage under attack and our national monuments in danger of terrorist attacks, with almost all candidates for office attacking and vilifying each other – I want, I need, to hear something good!
Well, I’ve got some great good news. And it’s about what we call “The Good News.” The Gospel. The wonderful news about an all-powerful God who loves us!
How is this relevant in a news, government and social commentary website like this? Let our Founding Fathers explain.
What is increasingly overlooked, forgotten, or intentionally hidden from too many Americans, especially our young in school, is that this incredible country only exists because of the Judeo-Christian faith of the men and women who built it. There is no other reasonable or even possible explanation for it; the republican concept of democratic government grew wholly out of the Bible declaration “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” Not only that. Wherever this Christian approach to self-government under a loving God who grants every individual equality and liberty has taken root, in any part of the world, that nation or people have prospered, moving beyond their neighbors in every facet of life.
So, in this increasingly dark, dangerous and threatening world … what’s the good news?
Almost under the media and political radar, the great Good News of God’s love is being taught to millions of young people in many parts of the world. And it’s being enthusiastically received, changing forever the priorities and knowledge of self-worth for all who receive and believe it!
I’m referring specifically to an organization named Child Evangelism Fellowship. This valiant, dedicated group of unsung heroes has been teaching school kids about God for over 73 years now. And amazingly, they’re still able to teach them on public-school grounds – through Good News Clubs that meet after school, in neighborhood homes, even outdoors, wherever children and a good Christian adult can meet together, freely and voluntarily.
CEF trains an average of 275,000 children’s workers each year, mainly parents and caring adults who will take the time and effort to teach. And not just in America – not by a long, long shot. Courses are available worldwide and even online, where people from 40 countries have learned how to reach children with the Gospel … the Good News. Some of these thousands of clubs around the world, like one in Zimbabwe, have as many as 1,400 children in them!
Millions of American adults today remember being in these Good News Clubs when they were growing up, while most of the learning and fun activities were away from school somewhere. But happily, a 2001 Supreme Court decision established the right to hold GN Clubs in our public elementary schools. This landmark decision led to subsequent lower-court victories allowing Christian school teachers to teach Good News Clubs after normal class hours and to distribute club invitations during school hours!
A wonderful partnership has developed in which local churches adopt neighborhood schools and provide club volunteers who are trained by CEF and then teach the CEF lessons to eager, receptive young kids.
What makes this so dramatic in America are the statistics that show the majority of children in the USA never attend a Bible-believing church! But they do attend school. According to research by the Barna Group, most born-again Christians accepted Jesus as Savior before the age of 14. And “whatever a child believes by the time he is 13 is likely what he will die believing.”
This underscores Jesus’ own plea “Let [allow] the little children come to me.” And also “… except you come like a little child, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Today, millions of our kids in this country are never even given the opportunity to know God and experience relationship with Him. CEF is working powerfully to change that sad fact.
And in 163 nations around the world, CEF has divided its efforts into eight distinct regions, each with its own director, who is a national from that region. There’s a staff of 217 expatriate missionaries, 2,346 national workers and thousands of volunteers. They say passionately, “CEF works in the most spiritually productive harvest field anywhere – among the children.”
There’s the CEF Mailbox Club that mails age-appropriate Bible lessons to children and adults who request them. When a lesson is returned, volunteers write encouraging comments, pray for the needs of the recipient and mail the next lesson. Since this program began in 1999, 4.5 million lessons have been mailed.
There are 2.3 million adult inmates in America’s prisons – and they have an estimated 6 million children, who have a 70 percent chance of ending up in prison themselves. So CEF set up a special unit to reach those kids through their parents. Prisons all over the U.S. are opening to CEF, whose workers go cell to cell and give inmates a “What Went Wrong?” booklet, helping them to find personal salvation. And then they enroll their kids in the CEF Mailbox Club.
These people are doing far more than I can tell you here. But they are some of the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time. Please find out how you can be part of this world-changing program at cefonline.com. Let’s spread the great Good News together.
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