The 10 Challenge is embraced weekly at Liberty St. Apts. Durham

Teens from Liberty St. Apts with Lori Fisher and Amanda Hallsbrook, student volunteer-mentor, together at "Blacktop Games"

It’s common after weeks of serving together that fellow volunteers and mission team members would become friends. Shared experiences and challenges creates a unique bond between those who were there with a first-hand perspective.  After five years of weekly outreach and discipleship at the Liberty St. Apts. in Durham many of the children do not know life without a Good News Club® (here called “Downtown Bible Club”) on Tuesday night.  Many teens in this community have grown up in the club from childhood.  There have also been many workers, teachers, and volunteers during these five short years.  There has also been a church, First Baptist Durham, which adopted the community embracing the 10 Challenge from CEF Ministries.  During this journey many acquaintances were made and stronger friendships established.  It’s almost expected that this would happen between fellow workers.

But what was unexpected, yet so natural and biblical, most of the children, teens, and families have developed real friendships within this outreach team.  The team of college students, young professionals, and ministers feel the same way.  Friendships and trusting relationships have been forged at the margins of our city.  How did this happen?  The Gospel… of course.  It’s been shared and received.  Discipleship… yes, weekly Bible teaching, devotionals, and activities are conducted, but the team has consistently engaged the entire community, which has made the biggest holistic difference.

Through a working relationship with the Durham Housing Authority and team members attending the Liberty St. Apts. resident council’s monthly meetings, many extra activities, camps, field trips, and resources have been provided for the community.  The defining attributes of this developing friendship are not the programs, extra curricular activities, or even the resources provided, like painting lines on the community blacktop so that kids had a game surface they could enjoy and take pride in, but it has been the personal experiences and relationship shared which have enriched the team’s lives and the community.