Introducing The New National Director
– interview with Adri Olivier
Louis Van Tonder is the new National Director of Child Evangelism Fellowship South Africa. Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) is a Bible-centred organisation composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelise boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in the local Church for Christian living.
Where did your love for the children come from?
My love for children is to see them spiritually alive. When we read 1 Cor 2:14 we see that all of us are spiritually dead, but when we trust Jesus as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, Ephesians 1:13, “And then we are spiritually alive.” Now children will understand God’s love for them and parents can be sure that the Holy Spirit will work with their efforts when they teach their children the Bible.
What is your aim taking CEFSA forward?
Everyone in South Africa needs to know about CEF, an evangelical children’s missionary organisation. They need to know that we need them to reach children with the Gospel, they need to know that we will train them, they need to know that we will equip them with material, they need to know that it is not the Will of our Heavenly Father that one of the children in South Africa should be lost for His Kingdom.
Why should everyone get on board and invest in the future…our children?
We are all part of the body of Christ. Some will pray with us, some will give finances towards our mission costs (we need a R100 000 a month), some will work with us in our Good News Clubs, school assemblies, and 5 Day Clubs.
Every child, every nation, every day
CEF was founded by Jesse Irvin Overholtzer in 1937. Mr. Overholtzer read one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons which stated, “A child of five, if properly instructed, can as truly believe, and be regenerated, as an adult.” The Lord used this statement in Mr. O’s life to lead him to begin the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship when he was 60 years old. The ministry has grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world. CEF is currently ministering in 198 countries around the world.
CEF kids’ ministries
CEF has many different ministries for children, but the primary ones are the Good News Club and the 5-Day Club. The Good News Club and 5-Day Club ministries take place in neighbourhood settings such as homes, backyards, schools, and community centres all over the world. These fast-paced, one-hour programmes are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment. An exciting program for teenagers is Christian Youth In Action(CYIA). Many young people are trained to conduct 5-Day Clubs. During school holiday they have many opportunities to present the Gospel to boys and girls, experiencing the joy of leading others to the Lord. This programme offers challenging, often times life-changing experiences that God has used to spiritually enrich many lives.
Our ministry vision is to reach Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day.
- Every Child:
God has given His people a clear commission – to reach every creature with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our special mission in CEF is to evangelise every child. In the last ministry year our workers worldwide reached over 19.9 million children! CEF is committed to reaching 15 percent more each year. Good News Clubs in public schools and concentrating on high potential growth countries will help us reach our goal.Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
- Every Nation:
CEF is a worldwide ministry serving in every region of the world in an ever expanding way. Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.”
- Every Day:
We are committed to leading children to be in God’s Word every day. As children grow in their relationship with the Lord through meditating on His Word, they develop Godly character, which produces much fruit to the glory of God, including spreading the Gospel to their peers. We now have over 800 000 Wonder Devotional Books in Africa. Right now we are working to reach 500 000 children in Asia with the books.
God works through His people
Psalm 119:2, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart.”
Only as we trust in God and call upon Him are we empowered to do His Will. Programmes come after prayer, never before it. We have over 2900 workers worldwide led by eight regional directors. There are also tens of thousands of volunteers worldwide. God works through His people, Godly leaders, staff, and volunteers in order to accomplish our goals. The sun never sets on CEF ministry. We provide training, equip our workers with ministry tools, and support them through fund-raising and ministry development.
Trusting in the Lord
In CEF we need a growing number of workers on the front lines to see the children evangelised and we also need an increasing support team to get behind these workers – both are vitally important. The work of CEF cannot continue without the Lord’s provision.
God is our source—we “trust Him and tell His people”—the rest is up to Him. So our prayer is that the Lord will send out more labourers and also that He will raise up a team of supporters for them.
JOY! Magazine (January 2017)