Meet Our Staff

"Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" - Matthew 19:14


We have a passion for God, our city and for children.  It's our goal to help kids come to know how much Jesus loves them and what He did that proved it.  Our staff is made up of Christ followers who love to share the good news and help New York City's Christians and churches to do the same.

  • Betsy Maddox

    Metro Director            

    A Favorite Verse:  "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Galatians 2:20


    Little Known Fact:  Many people are surprised when they find out that Betsy's real name is Elizabeth. 


    Bio:  From the age of six, when Betsy gave her life to the Lord, she was already a missionary.  At school she would sit her friends down and tell them about Jesus.  Her whole family was involved in CEF ministry including her father who served as the President of the international organization.  Betsy went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where she met her husband Tom.  God called them to move to New York City in 1987 to be missionaries with CEF.  Their ministry focused on the welfare hotels in Manhattan until they were closed a few years later.  Tom and Betsy used clubs, sports, drop-in centers, and more to make opportunities to share the Gospel.  Their ministry grew, as did their family.  They soon had four children:  Josiah, Micah, Hannah and Libby.  In May of 1995, Tom was diagnosed with Lymphoma and died five months later.  Betsy continued the work as the Staten Island Ministry Coordinator and in 2009 became the Metro Director.   

  • Karen Bonamo

    Bookkeeper

    A Favorite Verse: 

    “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:13


    Little Known Fact:  Karen homeschooled all 4 of her children.


    Bio:  A Staten Island native, Karen was led to the Lord at age six. She received Christ as a result of her involvement in a CEF ministry as a child. Karen graduated from Wagner College with a degree in education, and has been involved in children’s ministry in many ways through her church on Staten Island. She joined our team in 2009. Looking for part-time work that could be done from home, and also hoping to work for a ministry, Karen found that her friend Betsy Maddox was looking for a bookkeeper. She is a valuable asset to the work that CEF does.

  • Jong Dae Choi

    Korean Ministry Coordinator

    A Favorite Verse: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." - James 1:5


    Little Known Fact:  Jong Dae's name means Big Bell in Korean.


    Bio:  Rev. Jong Dae Choi was born in Gwangju, South Korea. Growing up in a CEF family, he was involved in Good News Club, 5-Day Clubs, Camp and other ministries from his earliest years. Though he studied Chemical Engineering, God called him to full time ministry. He served as a GNC club teacher and camp counselor for 16 years, and after he was ordained he became a local director in Gwangju. While actively working in children’s ministry, God gave Jong Dae a heavy burden for Korean-American second-generation kids. He struggled with this for some time. Finally, following God’s vision, he moved to Chicago with his family, Mihyoung Kim(wife), Jihun(son), and Jiyou(daughter) in 2007. Together they reached out to children there, especially to Korean-American families. Jong Dae got his Masters of Divinity, and a Masters in Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton CollegeNot only did Jong Dae work for children, but he also worked along-side children. The children taught each other, and cried out in prayer together for their families, friends, churches and for the whole world. After 6 years of ministry in Chicago, God led this family to New York City in 2013. 

  • Chris Kotecha

    Children's Ministry Specialist

    A Favorite Verse:  "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." - Habakkuk 2:14


    Little Known Fact:  Chris learned how to fix cars working at an automotive repair shop and he used to race cars. He's rebuilt an engine from the cylinder heads on up and still performs much of the maintenance on his cars. 


    Bio:  Chris was born in Suffern, NY, and was raised in the small hamlet of Valley Cottage, where he has settled with his wife, Sarah.

    Growing up, he went to church most Sundays, yet did not experience a deep, personal relationship with the Creator until after graduating from the University of Albany at the age of 22. He achieved a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, and met his sweetheart, Sarah in the process.

    For many years God has placed a burden for children on Chris’ heart. With 10 years of experience working in outreach children's ministry under his belt, he joined the CEF family in 2012. It was providence that in 2008 he met NYC Metro Director, Betsy Maddox, at Camp Good News in Maine. As children in public schools across America are being taught a curriculum in which God has been stripped out of history, science, mathematics, literature and the arts, Chris is excited to be able to take the gospel into the schools of Rockland County, helping churches start Good News Clubs and sharing Christ with children.

  • Josiah Maddox

    Brooklyn Ministry Director

    A Favorite Verse:  "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8


    Little Known Fact:  Josiah loves to fly.  He even thought about being a pilot, and went to flight camp in high school where he got about 10 hours of flight time in a four seater propeller plane. 


    Bio:  Born into a CEF family, Josiah was involved in Good News Clubs, 5-Day Clubs and other ministries from his earliest years. He served as a Summer Missionary here in NYC for six summers during his high school and college years. God called Josiah to full time ministry during his sophomore year in high school. It was during his freshman year at Liberty University that God specifically placed a burden in his heart for his hometown of New York City. As graduation approached, Josiah prayed and looked for ministry opportunities. Being from a family where his grandfather was once the president of CEF and both parents were CEF missionaries, he originally thought God had something other than “the family business” in mind for him. As is often the case, God showed that His ways are higher than ours, and He used several people and events to guide Josiah to become the Brooklyn Ministry Coordinator for CEF of New York City, in 2009. In July of 2010 he married Josie, who shares his love for God and passion for children. After teaching school in Brooklyn for four years, she now stays home with their two children, Thomas and Kasey, with one more coming soon. Together they work to impact the next generation for Christ!

  • Elisa & Helen Teo

    Chinese Ministry Coordinators

    Elisa's Favorite Verse:  "Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4


    Helen's Favorite Verse:  "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:1-2


    Little Known Facts:  Did you know that Elisa likes to sing and play the harmonica (maybe not at the same time), and Helen particularly enjoys teaching preschool age kids?


    Bio:  The two sisters, Elisa and Helen Teo, hail from the Philippines. For many years they have been serving with CEF of Greater New York City among Chinese children, sharing with them the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. They also train other Christians to do what they do and challenge Chinese churches to be diligent in leading children into God’s kingdom. They have faithfully served with CEF of New York City since1989. Together they teach Good News Clubs and 5-Day Clubs throughout the city but specifically focus in areas like Flushing, Queens and “China Town” in Manhattan. They work diligently to partner with Chinese churches, equipping and inspiring them to reach kids in their community for Christ. Elisa and Helen are passionate about ministry partnerships, seeing churches and organizations worldwide work together to advance the kingdom of God.

Serve with CEF

With more than 2 million children in the New York City area, there are so many opportunities to serve.  If you share our passion for kids and for God's kingdom, would you consider how you can join the team?  


How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? 

And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 

And how are they to preach unless they are sent? 

As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those

who preach the good news!”        Romans 10:15


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