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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)

Wonderful Savior, thank you for incarnating on earth to save the world. Through your redemptive earthly life that began on Christmas Eve and finished on the cross, you have made it possible for me – and all of humanity – to connect with God for eternity. As 2 Corinthians 9:15 declares, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

I would still be lost in sin without my relationship with you. Thanks to you, I’m free – free to live with faith rather than fear. I’m grateful beyond words for all you’ve done to save my soul from death and give me eternal life, Jesus. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and guiding me.

Matthew 1:23: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).

John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christmas Eve Prayer

Lord Jesus, Light of the world, John told the people to prepare for you when you were very near. As Christmas grows closer day by day, help us to be ready to welcome you now. Amen

Contributions to Child Evangelism Fellowship of North Carolina (Durham Area Chapter) are tax-deductible by the IRS as a 501c3 org.  Funds, Stock, and Sponsorship donations to CEF Durham towards funding Camps for City Kids are also included.  Give via USPS mail: CEF Durham PO Box 1288 Durham, NC 27702 / Give via website: gospeltokids.org

We are grateful and appreciative of all acts of love and provision from God’s people. As a result of your prayers, financial support, the many acts of kindness through John’s illness, and the ministries of CEF Durham, we continue to be strengthened and encouraged through this season. Medical bills have so far been paid, volunteers have stepped up for daily radiation runs for John, ministry activities are continuing through the diligence of our board members and volunteers, plus so many of God’s people have kept us in prayer – reaching out in such timely moments. Even with obstacles that we face, CEF continues to move forward in reaching God’s precious children. I’m thankful for this “2021 Thanksgiving Day Week” and from CEF Durham and see other updates from John Blake https://johneblake.blog I’m grateful for continued prayer and financial support to the ministries, board, and local churches for the communities, schools, and city kids in the local Durham Area Chapter of CEF.



CEF Durham Director and Board

I’m completing my 4th week of radiation and daily chemo. Though I’ve lost some hair, cannot speak clearly (surgery and radiation), and have low energy days, I’m doing well, PTL! Dec. 13th will be my last treatment at the Duke Cancer Center before the Christmas holidays. Then, I’ll have a dental and thumb procedure before a scheduled MRI diagnosis (re: tumor) in January 2022. We’re believing and trusting that the MRI will show all clear… SEE MORE

Community-based strategies for biblical transformation…

https://www.facebook.com/CEFDurhamArea

Updates: Nov. 20th per Treatments and Recovery Status

I’m completing my 4th week of radiation and daily chemo. Though I’ve lost some hair, cannot speak clearly (surgery and radiation), and have low energy days, I’m doing well, PTL! Dec. 13th will be my last treatment at the Duke Cancer Center before the Christmas holidays. Then, I’ll have a dental and thumb procedure before a scheduled MRI diagnosis (re: tumor) in January 2022. We’re believing and trusting that the MRI will show all clear. Once the MRI has been evaluated, my Oncology team will plan for our next steps.

We are grateful and appreciative of all acts of love and provision from God’s people. As a result of your prayers, financial support, and many acts of kindness through John’s illness, we continue to be strengthened and encouraged through this season in our lives. Medical bills have so far been paid, volunteers have stepped up for daily radiation runs for John, ministry activities are continuing through the diligence of our board members and volunteers, plus so many of God’s people have kept us in prayer – reaching out in such timely moments. Your prayers have sustained us, giving us a peace and calm throughout this journey, allowing us new insights into others that walk this path, as well as bringing joy to our daily lives. In the midst, we have welcomed a new baby granddaughter, “Birdie”, and again praise God for His undeniable gifts and blessings in our lives. A big thanks from both of us and God’s blessings to you all.

Since my past blog, Carolyn and I spent a week at Ocean Isle Beach. We had a wonderful time with our 3 grown children, spouses, 3 grand kids, and our fourth grandchild was born November 19th. It was a restful time of recovery after brain surgery, allowing us fun, ocean, surf, conversations, and many great meals around the pool.

Lots of Prayer and Support

Support from hundreds of friends, ministry partners, and Christians we didn’t even know, have strengthened, encouraged, and walked with us in the Peace and Light that only the Lord provides during such challenges. We feel your prayers and lift you, our partners, as well, many times at 3:00 AM as God wakes me. We continue to practice Prayer Evangelism for family, city, ministries, and our street/neighbors.

Medical Update

While we were away at the coast we spoke with Dr. Cook, my surgeon, where he reported that pathology revealed a gliomablastoma tumor, a nasty/fast-growing type, and will be treated aggressively with radiation and chemotherapy. While at the coast, I had some issues with edema in lower legs/ankles, which was evaluated at a local medical center in Shallotte. The ultrasound exam all came back negative for any blood clots. Though we lost one day at the beach, the remainder of week was spent resting and enjoying family, waves, walking, and keep my feet in the sands everyday.

Dates:

1.   Oct. 4th—Sutures were removed from my scalp with good results/healing.

2.   Oct. 6th—For 4-5 hours we met the Oncology team of doctors, nurses, care providers, that briefed us on the treatment plan as well as offered a couple of clinical trials at the Duke Cancer Center. 

3.   Oct. 8th—Our Radiation Team met with us and set my next scheduled visit for a “mask”-fitting, with a similar to an hockey guard, on Oct. 14th, to use during the strategic radiation sessions beginning the week of Oct. 18th.

Treatments:

The big challenge for my journey is that the gliomablastoma grade 4 tumor is a fast growing type, thus treatment must be aggressive. My initial phase of the treatment plan will last for each day, M-F for 6 weeks until December, which includes radiation, chemotherapy, labs, MRIs, and exams to determine its Game Plan is success.

God’s Game Plan:

1. Meetings, consultations, and enrollment in 3 clinical trials were held with the team

2. MRI to strategically pinpoint radiation locations

3. Radiation sessions M-F for 6 weeks

4. Chemo with an oral pill for 42 days along with/before  each radiation session

5. Weekly exams/consults with the team at Duke Cancer Center

6. MRI results of the treatment plan during the initial phase of the Game Plan

CEF Durham currently reported its Sep.-Oct. 2021 ministry update

1. All school-based Good News Clubs and Power & Light programs are hold temporarily due to COVID restrictions from area school systems

2. Select weekly adjusted clubs in neighbors and community events are driving our outreach ministries, including distribution of food and supplies to city kids and families

3. CEF has engaged in prayer initiatives locally and beyond: Pastors w/ministers, Judges/Courthouse, RDU Prays, Transformation NC, Ekklesia Excelerator #2 (international course unrolled until 2022, and 1000s others praying for John Blake/CEF

4. Prison ministry and discipleship has been restricted in the jail due to COVID

We have access to The Quiet Space at the Duke Cancer Center for prayer, meditation, and peace.

Faith Perspective and Medical Prognosis

Many times my faith and my medical prognosis are beautifully functioning together, sometimes when a path surprises or doubted, yet any path uses it brings be back to the place I needed: FAITH. One another way to say it, following a plain glass vs stain glass perspective of a lifestyle and for making decisions can become a stronghold within a one’s life or living the victorious life through God’s wisdom and freedom. I’ve found breakthrough with contemplation, medication, praying, and walking a labyrinth, using steps of faith at each day while treatments at my appoints at Duke.

I walk this type of a Labyrinth, while at Duke Cancer Center, often as I walk, pray, and contemplation my treatments that day.

A labyrinth is a path, which leads a circuitous route, to the center of an intricate design and back out again. Words of biblical hope, faith, and healing are circled within the labyrinth which focuses as you pray as you walk. A prayer labyrinth is used to facilitate prayer, meditation on words found, and is to seek spiritual transformation. This helps develop my own daily rhythm of experiencing the Manifold Presence of Christ. I incorporate both prayer, listening, keep believing realistic expectations from the Holy Spirit, as which also allows me to walk the labyrinth when I’m visited at the Duke Cancer Center (accessed on the ground floor). I listen to our doctors and the cancer tumor team and the Holy Spirit. I’m using everything that I’m learning from the plain glass and stain glass perspectives, ask for wisdom from above, know that my challenge before me, I’m on a journey, but I have the right treatments or game plan: God’s Game Plan.


Footnote Disclaimer: As a result of my brain surgery (Sep.17, 2021) my speech and writing have been affected. During future blogs, I’ll try for others to edit my drafts to provide clarity and understand for my message. Thank you for your patience. Subscribe: johneblake.blog (button)

“God’s Game Plan”

Back quickly in July 2021, during CEF summer ministries and our Camps for City Kids, I suffered multiple seizures during two individual weeks and separated two visits to a hospital. But in September 17th, a team of Duke Neurologists, removed a brain tumor, now recovering, and will be followup treatment at the Duke Cancer Center in October 2021.

The surgery was success to incisive an “inch-size” tumor, yet some of the tumor cells in blood vessels, which Dr. Cook could not remove all. The pathology confirm a 4 grade glioma tumor. Follow up with chemo and radiation will before during the months. In the meantime, I’m in eating nutritionally (more calories than I’m use), take lots of meds, walking Scout, my wife (Carolyn: CHAMPION) caring me daily, getting much rest (naps: never my not then) and get my strength for the “God’s Game Plan”.

Recovery is day by day, progressively, slowly, and some days really strong, however still I’m missing my workouts and the fitness program I developed 4-months ago. Yet, the “Journey” is the same and I have the best “God’s Game Plan” to manage me. See below. Doctors, as mentioned, will have the ready to have the sutures removed in 2 weeks and treatments begins. I’m so happy I’ll to be allowed to travel to a needed family beach trip this coming week at OIB Kahuna, which we love so much!!!

Well… now there will a “new challenge” for me, for our various ministries, but the mission will be fulfilled. Our CEF Board and Advisory, which have taking up to lead and sustain ministry will the Durham area for city kids. Thankful that God gave me a huge special opportunity in CEF for 30 years to serve the Lord! We together see it’s a “Journey” beginning, new challenges on the way, an exciting experience, and walking continue into each day, each year.

Highlight of various ministries in the Durham area

Updates and information from the sites. Leadership board and advisory members listed:

Jan Perry – Dr. Bill Allard – Paula Droege – Michael Harley – Lou Brogden – Jamison Berthold – Ruth Shepard Poole – Dr. David Johnson – Charryse Fredrick-Omari – Gloria Rentrope

“Let the Lord have His way in your life every day. There’s no rest, there’s no peace, until the Lord has His way. Place your life in His hands. Rest secure in His plan. Let the Lord, let the Lord have His way.” CEF Song Lydrics

Additional things I’m passionate and engage

That the two past months, I’m almost night 3:00-4:00 am praying for a specific people and reasons… I been praying from the Luke 10 passage, which the patterned Jesus’ instructions to disciples, when He told to go into a marketplace and/or community: Bless, Peace, being with the Manifold Fellowship with in Christ’s Presence, and lifting the needs of people, and proclaiming the Kingdom in variety ways. I’m remember past and current relationships and the sectors of our city. So much to say more on this, must here…

I’ve involved a the Ekklesia Excelerator 1 level course, now level 2, since 2020, now 2021-2022. I’m about affinity around education, we’ve meeting every 2 weeks/monthly worldwide. This has been transformation in my life and thrust can continue and grow spiritually and that my brain heals as well to fully engage.

Ekklesia: When we think of the word church, we think of it as a specific building, as a group of people, even as a long service to sit through. We hardly ever think of it as world-changing–and neither does society.

During this Excelerator courses, I’ve developed and nurtured Transformation Life Plans for my self, family, ministry, city, etc. which experiencing the God of Kingdom in the ministries, home, and neighbors.

Fitness

I’m Always Here to Help! These are more than words. This is a promise. Always here, means by whatever means available. To Help, means to leverage any resource of scientific knowledge, coaching experience, and tools appropriate for everyone of my fitness clients to get into the best shape of their lives. Well… fitness clients will have to give hold for a while and my ballistic workouts will be weak, but… docjohnblake

If you have not heard and for those who have already heard: This is an update from the Blake home about John’s condition as he recovers from multiple seizures he experienced back in July. We hope and pray this will only be a short-term leave from all activities, especially related to CEF ministries. In the meantime, we ask for your prayers and support towards his recovery and also for the continued work of Child Evangelism Fellowship in the Durham area. Together, with a great team of volunteers and the Durham Board of Directors, all Good News Clubs, the Power & Light program in schools, Camps for City Kids, and various PrayDurham efforts will continue. We trust that we will have more years to come with our grandchildren, which are pictured above, as well as another one is due on John’s birthday in November. We’re thankful for the many years you’ve supported us and this ministry. Please continue to stand with us during this challenge as well.  Matthew 19:14John & Carolyn

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