Ministry helps kids deal with Boston/Texas tragedy

By April 24, 2013

USA (MNN) — While the world continues to ask questions about the Boston Marathon Bombing and the explosions in West, Texas a ministry is thinking about kids and helping them cope.

Child Evangelism Fellowship, the largest ministry to children in the world, will distribute thousands of crisis evangelistic booklets in Boston, Massachusetts, in response to the terrorist bombings during the Boston Marathon on Monday, and in West, Texas, where an explosion at a fertilizer plant has killed or injured many and devastated the area.

Child Evangelism Fellowship has discovered that one of the best ways found to help children in the midst of crisis has been through the distribution of its booklet called, "Do You Wonder Why?" This resource answers the important questions children have in the face of tragedy.

It was written in the wake of the September 11th terrorist bombings. A small team was sent from CEF to New York City to meet with firefighters and pastors to learn from their experience in order to craft a succinct and appropriate booklet for children.

The book answers four common questions people have in response to suffering: (1) Does God know and care about me? (2) Why do so many bad things happen? (3) Why did God allow this to happen? (4) How can I get through this terrible time?

"When tragedies occur, children ask the same questions adults do: 'Why did this happen? Does God care?'" explains Mr. Harry Robinson, vice president of International Ministries at CEF. "The emotional and spiritual pain they experience is intense. Child Evangelism Fellowship wants to reach these children and provide them with the answers that will bring real emotional and spiritual healing."

The booklet's message conveys the Christian understanding of tragedy: the hope of the gospel, the wonder of a God who loves them, watches over them, and will never forsake them.

Hundreds of thousands of these booklets have been distributed around the world after man-made and natural disasters since 2001. Last December, after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy when 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, several thousand booklets were distributed in the Newtown area by eight different churches and personal outreach groups because pastors saw firsthand the spiritual healing the booklet brought to children. Adults, too, have been helped by the booklets–not just in Newtown, but around the world.

After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, one parent told a CEF worker, "You should not only give those [booklets] to children. We as adults need this, too. I have been struggling with emotional despair since  the earthquake, blaming God for what happened. I stopped praying and going to church. But this booklet answered my questions. Please, do not only give it to children: we need to know, too. Thank you!"

If you'd like more information about "Do You Wonder Why?," click here.

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