Roots of CEF

Beginning of CEF Singapore

In 1968 the CEF Home Office asked me to make a tour of Singapore and other areas in Southeast Asia regarding the possibility of establishing a regional CEF office in Singapore.

Meeting at the airport

I was put in touch with Miss Lois Ward, who at that time was working with the Navigators there. She arranged a get-together for me at the airport, and among those in the group were Mrs Eileen Kuhn, Dr Tan Kai Kiat, along with Miss Ward. I shared with them something of the burden on my heart for the boys and girls, and we prayed together toward the possibility of setting up CEF work in Singapore.

Regional office

Two years later, in September of 1970, our family came to Singapore to reside and to set up the South Pacific-India Regional Office for CEF. Much of my time was spent outside of Singapore.

Training begins

But during those years, my wife and I conducted numerous teacher training programmes in various churches in Singapore. CEF literature was made available from the office in our home. Good News Clubs and 5-Day Clubs were conducted as a part of the local church since CEF was not recognized by the government at that time. 

First national workers

In July of 1975 the Lord enabled us to conduct a Leadership Training Institute in Singapore. There were 24 students from 7 different countries who took this course. Two of these students, Dorothy Tan and Eunice Teo (married now and bringing up their own children) became the first national CEF workers in Singapore. 

Kindness of Life BP Church

Their office was located in 1976 at Life BP Church. The work of CEF was conducted under the umbrella of that church until CEF was registered with the government in March 1977.

Leadership of Dr Tan Kai Kiat

A CEF Committee had been formed in 1976 to help in promoting the work as well as taking on the responsibility of being the Board of Directors in registering CEF with the government. Dr Tan Kai Kiat was willing to take the leadership as chairman of the Board. He had continued to show a real interest in the work of reaching boys and girls for Christ right from that first meeting at the airport. It was due much to his concern and burden that CEF Singapore was established.

Rev. Jim Turner
Jan/Feb 1984 issue of CEF News, Singapore