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John Blake, Director CEF and Camps for City Kids

These classes and sports camps (Bible, Power & Light, Reading, Etiquette, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Pickleball, and Black-Top games) went four weeks from June 13-July 8th. Tennis, Basketball, Pickleball & Soccer sports camps were held in conjunction with Camps for City Kids and the DNS Reading Camp.

Fun play, basic skills, and court fitness are offered by Doc Blake, summer staff members, and “Mak” our intern. Dr. David, Pastor Harley, Jamo, Ms. Jackie, and Mak (above) conducted classes to build character for campers, understand their power, and change things in their world.

Kevin Mahoney, Dean of Studies, Durham Nativity School and Director of the Reading Camp

It’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the service, food, transportation, care, and academic enrichment that we provide. But know that we are providing each family a service valued between $50 and $400 per week  for summer camp. As a father, I know the face-value/dollar importance of that.

However, the real difference is the energy and kindness each of you bring. As a team, we have been consistently reliable and nice, which is always the goal each summer. As a result, and thanks to your efforts and attention to our students, the Jenny Koortbojian Reading Camp will successfully conclude tomorrow. 

Thank you so much for keeping our campers safe, engaged, and full of joy. For tomorrow, we have a bunch of food and beach toys; have some fun!

John “Doc” Blake JHS’73, Coach Parrish 45+yrs, and Emily Biggs JHS’74 want to make a greater impact on city kids this summer with your help! Our summer includes 4 weeks of fun and 35 campers. Here is your chance to sponsor a city kid. $5,000 will sponsored kids and the supplies this summer. CEF is pleased to introduce our summer intern, Mak, who will facilitate and lead our campers.

Tennis, Basketball, and Soccer: Camp for City Kids will include these sports and the following activities this summer June 13th-July 8th. We’re offering tennis, basketball, and soccer. Camp will instructions, drills, and team play each day. Week on Tuesdays & Thursdays ››

Pickleball: Fun, social and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Picklebell Learn About ››

Blacktop & Field Games: These are the same games we use for fun and gather kids during weekly clubs, sports clubs and sports camps. Games on Blacktops: Ball throws, Hulo Hoop relay, Water Balloon relays, etc.

Bible Study, Etiquette Class, Values Based Character Education: Character development, Bible study, and Etiquette classes offered each week to camps understand their Good-given value, power, and destiny. Our summer will last for 4-weeks each Monday-Fridays June 13th – July 8th. Our summer staff is Mr. Kevin Mahoney and the DNS staff, Dr. David Johnson, Michael Haley, Jamison Berthold, Mrs. Jackie Omotosho, CEF staff, and our new intern, Makenzie “Mak” Pendergrass.


Sponsor-A-City Kids for summer camps in Durham… so $100 at a 4-weeks!!!

Today: May 5, 2022 Observances in Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill

Noon 12:00 pm in Downtown Durham will Christians to pray for our city, state, and nation. Gather at the “Bull” on the Plaza for a one hour to observe Durham’s the annual National Day Prayer.

Exalt the Lord who has established us from Colossians 2:6-7 / Let’s continues to pray! Next Date: May 5, 2022 — The National Day of Prayer exists to mobilize unified public prayer for America. This is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. God is sovereign and nothing comes as a surprise to Him. Whether we face fluctuating economics, threats from abroad, unrest at home, or other troubling circumstances, our Heavenly Father is not caught unaware. Through prayer, we are able to tap into His wisdom, strength, protection, and peace. He stands ready to respond to our needs when we humbly ask for divine intervention in the affairs of men.

GOVERNMENT

Pray for your leaders, as well as the judges in our courts. Ask God to grant them wisdom…

  • Federal Government:

Consider praying for our President, Vice President, Cabinet Members, Congressional Leaders, Supreme Court Justices

  • State Government:

Consider praying for your Governor, Executive Leaders, Legislative Leaders, Judicial Leaders

  • Local Government:

Consider praying for your Mayor, City Counsel, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Judges, County Officials

MILITARY

“He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them…and encouraged them with these words: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him. With him only is the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles…’” (2 Chronicles 32:6-8)

MEDIA

“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

BUSINESS

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working…” (Exodus 31:3-4)

EDUCATION

“If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:3-6)

CHURCH

“So then, just as you received Jesus Christ as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:6-8)

FAMILY

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:25)

I am planning on being back at Oxford Manor tomorrow after months of being out because of sickness. I will be taking canned goods and non-perishable items for the residents as well as sausage biscuits and snacks for the kids. Please continue praying for this ministry. We continue to need volunteers in order for us to get back into regular kids and teen activities and lessons. God shows me every week that we are supposed to be  there. I saw in the news that there are so many gangs in Durham, and the only answer is saturating these boys and girls with Jesus. These kids are worth it. Please pray and respond as God leads. He is in control and I give him the honor and glory for all he has done. 

Our 2022 Easter community party & basket give-away is scheduled for Friday, April 15th 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Join us our partners and friends of the Durham Rescue Mission to help us celebrate the miracle of Easter! We need volunteers to help Easter Baskets and CEF Gospel-booklets for over 2,000+ city kids and families. Serve for one hour or the 2 hrs.

CEF Ministries to Families in Communities

CEF Durham Area Chapter follows Luke 10 instructions toward biblical transformation. Our staff and volunteers:

  • Bless: speak (pray) peace to please v.5-6
  • Fellowship: build relationship with those outside the Kingdom of God v.7-8
  • Minister: respond to their felt needs in the Name of Jesus v.9a
  • Proclaim: announce that the Kingdom of God is available to them through Jesus Christ v.9b (Gospel)

Since the beginning of 2022, CEF Durham has given away at least 3,000 lbs. of food, furniture/children items, shoes and clothing to various communities.  It has been a blessing to be a blessing. Thank you for supporting CEF/Jesus in this way. Our staff, board, and volunteers engage all four biblical transformation principles as they minister through Good News Clubs, Power & Light, sports camps, and/or various community events.

Grateful for CEF Durham and the Blake Family

We are grateful and appreciative for your prayers, calls, cards, financial support, and faithfulness of our boards and volunteers keeping ministry going this time. John’s recent MRI scan marker shows the tumor is a “good” one and responds great to chemo. Game plan is to begin a higher dose of chemo for 5 days, then 23 days off for then several months. Additionally (up to 4 months every 2 weeks) an infusion through IV of a drug which has been proven to provide decreased swelling/irritation as well as help John feel and speak/understand better. 

The vision for City Kids is simple – to visit under resourced sites and deliver a  comprehensive gospel impact. We are faced with many questions in our calling, but it is in our search for the answer that we strive to spread the Gospel to all. Is God powerful enough to keep kids away from gangs? Does the Word of God still accomplish what it says in the current day & age? What if The Church at Durham took seriously its responsibility for taking the Gospel to city kids and youth? What if for 10 years a collaboration of churches and ministries comprehensively served the 10 most physically and spiritually needy communities of Durham? …my recent medical update from my wife!


John Blake’s Recent Medical News from his wife Carolyn:

Hello everyone.  I wanted to thank you for your prayers and steadfast love for our family during this time.  To bring you up to date, last week on February 9, John had his scheduled MRI imaging.  When meeting with the oncology team later, the image was still indeterminate, possibly due to the 6 weeks of radiation, causing swelling and a cloudy image on the MRI picture. An indicator of the swelling has been John experiencing mild seizures and his speech somewhat worsened.

After meeting with the team, the approach now is to help settle the brain down and diminish the swelling.  So… on Valentine’s Day we begin an every other week (up to 4 months) infusion through IV of a drug which has been proven to provide decreased swelling/irritation as well as help John feel and speak/understand better.  All other therapies will continue as before, but our doctor is hopeful that this may give added relief to John during this time of recovery.

Praise God, John’s recent scan marker shows the tumor is a “good” one and responds great to chemo. Game plan is to begin a higher dose of chemo for 5 days, then 23 days off. What is determined there will give doctors an idea on whether we go through another year of every 1-2 months of MRI/recheck, or if the plan needs to be adjusted. 


For the past 10 years (…more 2010-2021):

For the past 10 years CEF Durham, along with a select group of collaborating agencies, ministries, and churches, have addressed the spiritual, physical, and social needs of 10 Durham communities. During these 10 years, the number of communities actually increased to 14, of which were being served. There were many stories of individual lives transformed by the Gospel and tireless volunteers consistently caring for these children and their families.

A few collaborators and volunteers burned-out along the way, while most labored weekly, yearly, to see the spiritual atmosphere change from darkness to light in many homes and throughout the communities where they served. Most of the children born and raised in these communities never knew life without their Good News Club.

Today, we continue to engage some of the same communities and others where crime and evil still dominate life, even if intermediately. There is still spiritual darkness, an orphan/poverty mindset within these communities where kids are not expected to succeed. These are the communities where the words: at-risk, under-resourced, and marginalized are still experienced everyday by its residents. These are the communities where God has been rejected, yet screams out to be glorified! This is where the Lord desires that the residents welcome Him back — into their homes and into their communities.

Sponsor City Kids for Camps:

Camps for City Kids are held for 4 consecutive days during summer months and school holiday sessions.  These camps emphasize putting God first in every aspect of play and life.  Building solid athletic skills and strong Christian character during drills and team play are expected of every camper.  Basketball, Soccer, and Tennis are regularly offered, but other sports like Wrestling, Baseball, Football, and Black-top Games have been held in the past. Sports camps, clinics, and tennis academies are typically held in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Fitness and healthy lifestyles are emphasized during all sessions. Presidential Fitness standards will be the age/sex baseline goal for all campers before the end of each camp season. For further camp details and a current schedule: Visit Upcoming Events and/or Call John Blake at 919.630.9434 — Though we meet with the kids in a variety settings, all of these camps emphasize putting God first in every aspect of play and life.


I’m (via Carolyn writing) trying to update everyone on my medical condition, how I feel physically or mentally, and the ongoing challenges. On January 4-5, 2022, we had an oncology consult which included a new MRI analysis of the treated area. A genetic test taken on the removed tumor showed that it was a “good” one and responds great to chemo. We are so thankful. The area of treatment looked a bit “angry” to the team, but was expected with this type of tumor after radiation.

God’s Game Plan” is to begin a higher dose of chemo (started 01/13), for 5 days, then 23 days off, to continue for next few months. Next recheck is Feb. 9th. What MRI shows at that time will determine direction of treatment – whether we go through a year of MRI/recheck every 2 months or if the plan needs to be adjusted. 

I pray for discernment and wisdom as to what I am able to do during the next 4-6 months. Although on a “sabbatical” from daily ministry, the CEF Board is keeping me apprised of the work, as well as taking on the daily/weekly responsibilities while I recover. My prayer is to heal/recover and seek God’s leading in ministry activities, as well as see His hand of blessing for CEF during this time. A word from the Lord we were given: “Watch and see what I can do”! He is able to do all things especially when we are at our weakest. Thanks again for everyone stepping up during my recovery, praying, and giving. All of this is such an encouragement to John and I.

Next update March 9-11th.

Priorities for Ministries 2022


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Principles & Strategics to help all N.C. schools flourish!!! (Durham Local Website – Overview)

Power & Light and other workshops are offered in a series of 1 hour sessions, each adaptable for all school-age groups, faculty, and other audiences. These workshops, conducted in school classrooms, will challenge students at a very strategic time in their development. See Outcomes, Workshops, Seminars, Assemblies, and strategies for schools below.

We provides principles & strategies to help all N.C. schools flourish. Special events, workshops, and seminars are scheduled when requested by a school.

Outcomes: Students, Faculty, and Schools accept the truth about their identity, value, and destiny as world-changers. Where everyone is valued and matters.

All workshops, seminars, and follow-up activities use discussion, object lessons, high-energy games, and relevant applications.

Assemblies: Amy Williams, Humble Tip, Bouncing Bulldogs, and the Strongest Redneck in the World are scheduled in 2022-2023 as assembly speakers in schools.

We have a New Partner

The Maxwell Team has agreed to partner with our character education  programs by providing a curriculum, called iLEAD, for weekly student-led  discussion groups within classrooms where we offer school assemblies and workshops. Students used this during our 2022 collaborative summer camps. Find our more about iLEAD.

Stay connected regarding orientation and training courses for facilitators, as well as, how to serve and support values-based character education workshops and special events at local schools. The 2022 schedule at local schools will resumed (via COVID, etc.)

PrayDurham seeks to cover the streets and strategic sectors of our city with prayer through a collaborative of churches, individuals, and intercessory prayer groups. This site is a venue for encouragement, motivation, and a challenge to the Church at Durham to fulfill the Law of Christ, to bless our city with Godly peace and mercy, to pray and serve with our city — not merely for our city. We follow the teaching of Jesus for engaging our city through Prayer Evangelism.

  1. Engaging – 7 sectors of our city with Prayer Evangelism is the 1st leap towards spiritual transformation of the marketplace, home, city, etc.
  2. Ministering – to those in need are encouraged to adopt their own residential street for regular prayer to see the Kingdom of God flourish in the homes of each resident and neighborhood.
  3. Affirming – our city officials, schools, and marketplace in Durham have intercessory for 20+ years. Durham Ministries in Prayer share a common vision and heart to pray for Durham. Meet on Tuesday at 9:30-10:30 am, Dayspring/New Path Durham / 9th St.
  4. Justice – Church and marketplace intercessors meet monthly at the Durham County Courthouse to pray for judges and the local judicial systems. Monthly ZOOM: TBA
  5. Marketplace & Schools – Praying within the Durham’s marketplace, including local schools and strategic locations believing God will repair, rebuild, reconcile, and heal.
  6. Pray Walking – Justice. Unity. Solidarity. Prayer Walking with Communities.

Pray with DURHAM: Join a Prayer GroupNational Day of Prayer: May 5, 2022

Footnote Disclaimer: During future blogs, as my speech and writing have been affected, taking cancer treatments. I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understanding for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

CEF Durham Gains a New Board Member and Exciting Vision for 2022

Welcome to Christina Snowden, our newest Board Member.  She has “gotten on board” with our other members in this exciting time for CEF Durham.  The Board will work towards providing decisions/direction in the focused areas noted as well as daily/monthly needs of CEF Durham. 

The 2022 vision for CEF Durham is not a new one, but with an enhancement on certain ministry areas. We’ve found that these focused areas produce greater Kingdom dividends in reaching and serving the children/families in Durham. These include the following: (1) Sports/Educational Camps; (2) Power & Light Values-Based Education; (3) Outreach/Community/Friendship-Building Events; (4) Weekly Good News Clubs; and (5) Pray Durham which covers streets/strategic sectors of Durham with prayer evangelism.

Meet the Durham Area Board Members

Ruth Poole, Jamison Berthold, Bill Allard, Christina Snowden, Jan Perry, Lou Brogden, Michael Harley, Paula Droege (Advisors: Dr. Johnson & Ms. Renthrop)

Your Year-End Giving Makes a Difference

Our Annual Fund covers all organizational costs and direct ministry expenses.  Besides fixed overhead expenses,  there are staffing costs and a number of activities that happen behind the scenes. Your gift enables us to move forward in the weekly outreach to children/parents as well as building capacity for carrying on not only for the moment but years to come. 

A big thanks to all supporters, and past giving.  We hope that if you haven’t given before that you will partner with us in a year-end December contribution plus prayerfully consider committing to becoming a monthly supporter which can help us through 2022 and beyond.  No gift is too small for God’s purpose. 

2021 Year-End Ministry Report and Community Events

As we close out 2021, see links above for a more detailed report of ministry activities. We ended the year strong with our Christmas Party. Events like the Christmas/New Year’s Party (during holidays and selected community events) are similar to activities/outreaches where many children are reached/ministered to throughout the year.


Footnote Disclaimer: During future blogs, as my speech and writing have been affected, taking cancer treatments. I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understanding for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

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