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What better way to celebrate and teach your kids about Black History Month than with some great children’s books? The Flying Pig Books in Shelburne, Vt., Read with Me in Raleigh, N.C., and Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Ga. are kid-friendly bookshops across the country asked to offer their favorite titles that families should be reading for Black History Month – and beyond. I don’t recommend all of these 17 suggested books (link below), but I do like and use these books pictured:

  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (96 pages) Recommended reader age: Middle grade, ages 8 to 12 years
  • Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present, by Jamia Wilson, Illustrated by Andrea Pippins, Quarto (64 pages) Recommended reader age: Middle grade ages 8 to 12 years
  • Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, Dial (144 pages) Recommended reader age: Middle grade ages 8 to 12 years

What is Camps for City Kids?

What’s up guys? It’s been exciting to team-back-up with Coach Parrish and Emily Biggs, both friends and fellow Jordan High Falcons, to make a greater impact on the city kids we see all year via CEF Durham. Our ministry work is with kids 4-14 years old using a variety of programs, but sports and camps have been most effective in reaching city kids in the Durham area.

So, Camps for City Kids typically includes sports, character development, Bible teaching with life skills and social etiquette, as well as helping all campers understand their God-given value, power, and destiny. These camps are held for 4 consecutive days during summer months and school holiday sessions.  Every camp will 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 are used on demand when collaborating with other groups. Sports camps, clinics, and tennis academies are held in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, 2020 camps were drastically altered, yet we engaged city kids virtually with reading, etiquette, Bible, life skills and Power & Light character education. We’re excited and ready for 2021.

Child Evangelism Fellowship® of North Carolina in Durham presented its 2020 Ministry Briefing and COVID-Relief Update on Wed. Dec. 16th via Zoom for CEF supporters and friends. The Board members of the CEF Durham Area Chapter and its Director shared an exciting year-end report and update on how over 7,000 children were reached even during the restrictive COVID pandemic since March 2020.

See January-March 2020 began with strong ministry – April-December everything was adjusted = 7,000+ city kids reached!

Hear the recorded meeting of testimonies and a Christmas Greeting from the board members. The year-end report was given by me, the director. Here is the LINK for the meeting (use this 7k^c4fx$ to view). To read a more detailed report with graphics and pictures click on NEWSLETTERS and look for 2020 Ministry Report. I’ve posted, below, the graphics for my 2020 ministry report.

We have always followed a simple, but profound threefold purpose: evangelism, discipleship, and connecting local churches to unchurched children and families across our area, which is in concert with the mission statement of Child Evangelism Fellowship for 83 years. For 27 years, Child Evangelism Fellowship staff and volunteers have reached city kids in the surrounding Durham area. Through our Good News Clubs, sports camps, and collaborative events with dozens of ministry partners, we’ve been able to share the gospel with children of all ages. Thousands have accepted Christ as their Savior over those 27 years and many lives, families, and communities have been changed. Biblical discipleship and character development are happening weekly in schools and neighborhoods. Prayer Evangelism integrates everything we do.

Prayer Retreat at St. Francis Springs Center in North Carolina

So, after a great start with direct ministry with kids, training volunteers, preaching in the jail, and completing character development classes in schools, everything came to a screeching halt. There were new realities and soon to follow a New Normal. Despite the current situation and changing circumstances across the nation and our state, we simply did what we have been doing, but made some dramatic adjustments and became more innovative and creative. To reach 7,000+ in 2020 here are the adjustments we made and ministries we pushed forward with the help of our volunteers and our CEF Education and Creative departments.

  • Connections, ideas, and access of communication sources we could leverage for all teachers, kids, and families to use in finishing up the already started ministries before summer began.
  • Created, mobilized, and ramped up our prayer networks across the area via prayer walking, PrayDurham and RDU Prays initiatives, engaged in Prayer Walks for Justice & Peace, as well as enrolled in the Ekklesia Excelerator course with other Kingdom-building friends, leaders, and CEF volunteers.
  • Conducted summer camps (reading, 5-Day Club, etiquette, life skills, and character development, but no sports) via Zoom with close to 80% attendance daily for six weeks.
  • Weekly visits in communities, where we minister regularly, with breakfast, care packages, Wonder Why? booklets distributed, singing, and prayer with city kids and their families (per current COVID guidelines)
  • Bike distributions, with a helmet, vest, and bike light for all city kids attending Good News Club in one downtown community (see picture below)
  • COVID-Relief supplies, food, and devotional books were distributed for all city kids and families in another public housing community where we have weekly outreach and clubs. This was accomplished by the community’s CEF ministry team, a financial grant from the Duke-Durham Fund, local churches, food banks, and residents collaboratively meeting the expressed needs of this community throughout the summer and fall. (see picture below)
  • Continued to engage conversations and study with others locally about Race and Justice issues via Christianity Deconstructs Racism and Together We Stand.
  • Team leaders connected Good News Club TV and other learning resources to their students.
  • Drive-thru Back-to-School and Christmas events with our ministry partners as we distributed Christian books, Bibles, and Gospel-centered literature (seen in the video below and see picture below).

Graphics and pictures of ministry adjustments in 2020 and ministry outreach history of the CEF Durham Area Chapter

After 44 years of coaching: Coach Parrish has a challenge

Hey! I’m reaching out to all of my former players from Githens Junior School to JHS, SHS, RHS, and JHS again as well as all JPS and PS campers. I’m thanking all of you for all of my GREAT MEMORIES from the start – 1968 – to the end – 2012 – of my coaching journey. On behalf of one of our guys, John “Doc” Blake, a JHS ‘73 student and sport trainer, who went on to become a Sport Medicine and strength coach caring for East Carolina athletes, then at SHS, RHS, JPS and PS athletes.

Today “doc” is the director of CEF in the Durham area. I’ve served on the CEF Board of Directors and led summer sports camps with CEF until Andy’s accident. So, Andy and I, along with Emily and “doc” are challenging each of you to sponsor kids to attend the next camps, which doc Blake and CEF will be offering this Fall and next Spring. This will be a great opportunity to give back from your athletic experiences to a young kid that needs direction during their early development. 

I still love all of you who ran those suicides, which helped in developing your physical and mental toughness to win. Today’s city kids need this same challenge and opportunity more than ever. Finally, I would love the opportunity to reconnect with you.  Just use any of the many media means to contact with me.
Coach Larry Parrish

Summer training via CEF Ministries of North Carolina Durham Area Chapter and Camps for City Kids are underway (virtually for now) #Zoom #GoogleMeet #teens #interns #dns_readingcamp #citykids #cityreach cyiatraining #summermissions

Reading and academic sessions, Bible (CEF 5-Day Clubs), etiquette classes, life skills, character development (Power & Light), and some health & wellness mixed in weekly provides a full schedule of relevant and helpful opportunities for students who will be starting a new school year in grades 4-8th in August. These camps run for 6-weeks June 15th-July 23rd.

Sponsorships are still needed for kids to attend our summer and fall camps. Tax-deductible donations are received at Camps for City Kids.

Camps for City Kids will be held for 4 consecutive days during the 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.

As with everyone, almost, COVID-19 has thrust uncertainty and even cancellation into many great events, vacations, and efforts for kids this summer. However, we are still planning and preparing for these camps in the event we can keep our schedule of 6-weeks June 15-July 23, 2020. If we have to alter and adjust the schedule, then we will still be ready for the kids. So, please sponsor-a-city kid to attend a camp this summer using any of the donate buttons on the CEF Durham site or via our Facebook Fundraiser.

It needs unique strategies and truthful answers to children’s tough questions.

Since all clubs, schools, and camps are cancelled addressing care and prevention of COVID-19, CEF Durham, as many other organizations and agencies, is praying, brainstorming, and planning in many venues and modes of communication. Thus, we are innovating and adjusting how we minister to children and families. Some brief and direct contact with families has occurred to bring supplies, helps, breakfast, and the “Do You Wonder Why?” booklets to each home and child enrolled in CEF clubs.

Though we cannot be directly with the children in our clubs and camps, we are continuing to teach and love the kids in our weekly outreach and discipleship meetings via Zoom calls, web-based teaching, and prayer. Here are other FREE Resources CEF is providing for children, families, and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do not fear and be encouraged.

For 26 years, Child Evangelism Fellowship in the Durham Area has reached city kids primarily within their neighborhoods, community programs, and sometimes in their schools.  Through our Good News Clubs, sports camps, and collaborative events with dozens of ministry partners, we’ve been able to share the Gospel with children of all ages.  During these 26 years, thousands have accepted Christ as their Savior and their lives have been changed.  Hundreds of children and youth are enrolled in weekly discipleship each year.

We are also asking for 500 sponsorships of $100/each to send city kids to one or more of our camps this summer – 500/100. Some of our camps include the following:

In order to continue these efforts, we need your help more than ever. Thank you for supporting this mission in order to expand the outreach to unchurched children and families in our local area!

Building solid athletic skills and strong christian character!

Ministry Vision for City Kids: CEF Durham Area Chapter in North Carolina

The vision for City Kids is simple – to visit under resourced and marginalized communities 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?

For the past 10 years (2008-2018) 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 12, sometimes 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.

Recently re-published in IMPACT magazine

CEF Durham along with partnering ministries and local Christians have developed an Urban Missions Network for listening to each other, developing new strategies and strengthening best efforts, which will focus on each identified community for the next 10 years (2019-2029). A simple strategy of biblical, holistic discipleship will be used. Our vision is to see city kids and families transformed by the Gospel. Indigenous residents will be enabled to lead their own communities in biblical transformation and Christian community development. This would include, but not limited to, evangelism, discipleship, academic tutoring, creative arts, sports/recreation, medical services, life skills, and economic/job training.  

Questions / Comments / Help?
Contact CEF Durham / John Blake
919.630.9434 c / 919.399.1979 o

Coaching football, basketball, wrestling and camps for over 45 years

I mentioned around Christmas that I would be letting the public know, as we enter 2020, how you can join me in HONORING Coach Larry Parrish and his family for 45+ years coaching and developing many student-athletes, coaches, and maybe even you. Coach Parrish said several times to me, “Doc, tell my players to Sponsor a City Kid for your CEF sports camps and character development.” So, here goes — that’s a $100 donation/camper to sponsor a local city kid to attend one or more of our More Than Gold sports, Power & Light reading, character-building, and academic camps which will be offered this spring, summer, and fall of 2020.

For over 45 years Coach Parrish‘s goal has been developing young athletes into good players and even better people. During those 45 years of coaching, he coached football, basketball, and wrestling at these Durham schools – Githens, Jordan, Southern, Riverside Pirates as well as directing the Prep Stars, Junior Prep Stars, and More Than Gold basketball camps.

Many who know of Coach Parrish, think of him only as a basketball coach, however, when I first met Coach P, he was extremely passionate about football. He said recently, “Doc, I never thought of coaching basketball back (1968) when you were in my typing class at Githens Middle School. Football was my sport.” Coach Parrish would soon become the most successful football coach in Jordan High School history until recent gridiron success of the Falcons. He also coached the first wrestling team at Jordan in 1972.

Today, Coach has his toughest coaching task of his life… and he loves it! Andy Parrish — Coach’s son, that many of you know, suffered a debilitating head injury back in 2012 while Coach Parrish was working hard to reach city kids with summer basketball camps. Since that day Larry & Alana Parrish have cared for Andy, everyday — all day. Andy has made some progress over the past 7 years, but it’s still a full time job of L.P.T. (Larry Parrish Training aka physical therapy).

Coach Parrish made a promise to Andy, very much like he made to his former players — “I’m here for you. I’ll do whatever I can and whatever you will allow me towards you becoming the best athlete and person possible.” Andy is being coached by his dad, just like an athlete, to achieve an incredible mental and physical goal. We’re calling this The Parrish Promise. CEF and myself are making the same promise to hundreds of city kids in our area. We’re teaming up with Coach and continuing his promise.

Since Coach is unable to be on the court, field, or mat doing what he loved for 45 years, he is asking for your support to send 500 city kids to camps in 2020. If you were one of Coach Parrish’s players, campers, students, fellow coaches, or just someone who cares about city kids, here’s how you can help Coach fulfill his Parrish Promise.

Reply now by making a donation at this link so that city kids can attend one or more of our sports camps in 2020. https://gospeltokids.org/share-good-news-campaign/ This is the organization, CEF Durham Area, which John Blake is Executive Director and camp founder.

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