Tuesday, November 15, 2011
New Book for Every Day with God Devotional Series by Child Evangelism Fellowship
WARRENTON, Mo., Nov. 15, 2011 This month, Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry to children in the world, will release its second book in its daily devotional series for children, Every Day with God. Geared for children who are six to eight years old, the new devotional is written at a first to second grade reading level. "Our other devotionals are written for older children," stated Ms. Lynda Pongracz, Executive Director of Education for CEF. "We wanted to offer a devotional for younger children especially since our Good News Clubs are attracting more and more children from this age group." Good News Clubs are Christian Bible clubs sponsored by CEF for elementary-age children. Indeed, the full color pictures, large font and simple sentence structure of the devotional are well suited to the younger child. Altogether, CEF plans to publish six books in the Every Day with God devotional series. The other four will be published within the next two years.
Like the first book in the Every Day with God series which appeared in May, the second book will have a two-page daily reading with five sections. The first section includes two to three Scripture verses which are printed in full. This is essential because many children who receive the devotional do not have Bibles in their homes, said Ms. Pongracz. The second section encourages the child to find the meaning of the passage with such tools as true/false statements and fill in the blank. An application section follows which helps the child reflect on how the biblical passage applies to his life. The application is reinforced in the fourth section by means of an activity such as a word search, secret code or picture drawing. The final section is called a prayer starter which shows the child how he can pray to apply the biblical passage to his life. These interactive sections are an effective learning tool for young children because they grab and hold their attention. "We have found that the appeal of these devotionals goes beyond six to eight year olds. Older children who are not readers by nature and are kinesthetic learners are also enjoying these devotionals," explained the Director.
The first book covers the foundations of Christianity, focusing on the first two books of the Bible, from creation and the fall to Moses and the Israelites. The second book will pick up with the Old Testament prophecies which predict the coming of Christ. This book will also cover early details of Christ's life, from His birth to His Sermon on the Mount. So far the Every Day with God devotional has been well received. Since May, twenty thousand copies of the first book have already been sold in the United States.
When CEF created Every Day with God it had more than America in mind. With this new devotional CEF would like to replicate the international success of its devotional for older children called the Wonder Devotional Book. Since its publication ten years ago, the Wonder Devotional Book has been translated into 95 languages and distributed all over the world. To ensure the multicultural usefulness of Every Day with God, European staff members of CEF worked closely with the creators of the devotional to ensure its clarity to an international audience. This means avoiding "Americanisms" as Ms. Pongracz calls them, such as slang terminology and colloquialisms. "We try to use examples and illustrations that are more generic and that children of any culture can relate to," she said. "This applies also to our artwork used in our books...we try to be sure there is an ethnic mix, so that children of other cultures will relate to what they see. This is necessary even here in the states as we work with children of many diverse ethnic groups within our country."
"We would like to spread Every Day with God as far and wide as the Wonder Devotional Book," said Mr. Tom Levanos, CEF Executive Director of Operations, who described the huge distribution of this latter book in Africa and Latin America. Since 2009, CEF has been working to distribute the devotional to 900,000 children in Africa; to date, 650,000 children have received them in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. Translations into the languages of Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda will soon be printed. In Latin America the demand for the Wonder Devotional Book is also impressive. Since 2010, copies have been sent to seventeen Latin American countries to accommodate 400,000 total children. In Romania, Latvia and Brazil this book is actually used as part of the religious classes in the public schools.
The testimonials from children are heartwarming. "I thank God for the Wonder Devotional Books. I learned to pray and to ask forgiveness," said Kesime, grade 6, from Uganda. "At first I did not know how to pray, at the same time too I liked insulting my friends, but when I started using the Wonder Devotional Book I learned how to pray and I have repented. Now I read the Bible every day and I am happy. Thanks to the Wonder Devotional Book," said Esther, age 13, from Ghana.
"CEF's vision is 'Every Child Every Nation Every Day'" said Ms. Pongracz. "Our goal is to have an active ongoing CEF ministry to children in every nation of the world by 2017 -- our ministry's 80th birthday. Our desire is that every child in every nation would have opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel, and that they would then develop the habit of reading the Bible and spending time with God every day. Our hope is that these new devotionals will serve that purpose."
For more information about these devotionals or to obtain a copy visit cefonline.com.