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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!!!

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. 

Doc Blake’s Challenge / Journey

My fitness journey has detoured somewhat, but I am still helping people learn about fitness, and working with kids. My main focus now is centered on therapy and recovery as noted below.

January 4-5, 2022 – MRI analysis (re: tumor) and oncology consult at Duke Cancer Center. John’s recent scan marker shows the tumor is a “good” one and responds great to chemo. “God’s Game Plan” is to begin a higher dose of chemo for 5 days, then 23 days off. Next recheck of the tumor is Feb. 9th. What is determined there will give doctors an idea on whether we go through another year of every 2 months of MRI/recheck, or if the plan needs to be adjusted. The “Challenge / Journey” is 2022…

Expertise and Experience is Key

John Blake has degrees in Public Health Education and Sports Medicine: Human Performance, Strength & Conditioning, and Athletic Training from East Carolina University and the American College of Sports Medicine. He developed and implemented sports medicine care and educational programs in Washington, DC and Durham, NC. He is the founder of More Than Gold Sports camps, academies, fitness boot camps and programs strengthening youth as well as adults of all ages.  Allow “doc Blake” to help you reach your fitness goals. 

My Partners and I Demonstrate Commitment to You

My partners take your fitness goals seriously. We all understand that losing weight and gaining muscle can be challenging, and our goal is to always help you overcome hurdles and reach your goals. We analyze your body metrics and factor in your real-life to create your individualized fitness plan.

Your Success is My Goal

With 45 years of success and experience, we are capable of analyzing your body and creating a fitness plan that will help you reach your goals. Most plans include healthy eating and exercise to ensure the best results for most clients. Our goal is to change your view on fitness, so that it becomes part of who you are and your lifestyle. We strongly believe that if you practice healthy habits, you will be able to obtain a healthy lifestyle.  We will work with you to keep you on track and motivated to reach your goals. 

Why they call me “doc”?

As a Certified Athletic Trainer (1977-1996) I provided prevention, care, and rehabilitation for elite, college, and high school athletes. They called me doc Blake and I was committed to their success. My degrees are in Public Health, School & Community Health Education, and PhD post grad studies in Human Performance.

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.


New website, purpose, and mission

Purpose & Mission

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.

Prayer Evangelism

Based on Luke 10 and Matthew 16 we follow the Words of Jesus for expressing the Kingdom of God in our city through prayer and service. The 10 Keys of the Kingdom guides how we engage the social, educational, and government sectors of Durham.

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

City Kids should and can reach their own families, schools, and communities for Christ. Don’t neglect mission-centered discipleship.

Thousands of people are dying every day without knowing Jesus as their Savior. How will they be reached? Romans 10:14-15 reminds us that in order for people to hear about Jesus, someone must be sent. That’s why God calls missionaries to go! The children of today, which includes city kids, should be missionaries now and the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is essential that you and I understand our role in challenging saved children regarding the need for missionaries in their schools and communities.

Teachers should expect to intentionally incorporate a mission’s emphasis as an integral part of Good News Clubs, church-based youth classes, or even when hanging out, using practical ideas to share a missionary vision.

What are the reasons, aspects, and impact of teaching youth about missions?

Missions originates in the heart of God (John 3:16)

  • Teach children about missions to help them develop a heart for missions like God
  • Cultivate a heart of compassion for lost people globally and in their own city and neighborhood
  • Challenge children to reach their own generation/peers for Christ
  • Equip children with the foundational tools for sharing and living the Good News, the Gospel message

Missions is the responsibility of every believer (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20) – City kids can be involved in missions by:

  • Knowing: Give them information about missionaries, different types of missions, countries, and cultures, etc.
  • Praying: Specifically for the needs of select missionaries, their country, the salvation of its people, etc.
  • Giving: Challenge children to give money, time, and encouragement to missionaries so that others can hear about the Lord Jesus.
  • Going: Challenge saved children to participate in planned missions outreach events, mission trips, or efforts regularly.

Statistics show that exposure to missions is one way God calls people into full time Christian service as a personal lifestyle or with an organization or church

  • 21% were called to missions as a result of a missions education provided in their local church
  • 20% felt God calling them after listening to missionary speakers
  • 19% were called because of their own family’s missions vision, experiences, and conversations
  • 10% heard God’s call through reading books, watching movies, and listening to stories about missionaries and missions work
Always include PRAYER as a powerful aspect of teaching missions

The impact of teaching missions to children is that each generation will be informed and inspired (Psalm 78:7, 8). If we are intentional and take serious our responsibility, young lives will be dedicated to the Lord for missionary service, fulfilling the Great Commission. If more reasons are needed than this, of course, there are other impacts on children taught about missions, which by the way, will impact their world.

  • Children will have a vision and burden for those who are lost in sin and who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ
  • Children will begin now to share the message of salvation with others
  • Children will grow spiritually through involvement in missions
  • Children will desire to engage local missions efforts regularly

Reality Checks: Before you make adjustments in your missions teaching

#1 – People are hungering for an experience of God, not just more information about God.

There is no doubt that teaching children about missions is vitally important because thousands of people are dying every day without Christ. How will the saved children you teach get a burden for missions and desire to be involved if you don’t make time for missions in your class or when hanging out? But how is this truth being applied to lives of children (anyone)? Thus, have children learn by doing missions work as well as hearing.

#2 – Presenting content about missions alone is a teaching short-fall and no longer the greatest need in an age where content fills the internet.

So what does this mean? Content used to fill a church auditorium or classroom because content was scarce and pastors/teachers were the authority or experts on the biblical content we needed to understand. You had to attend to hear a message or a Bible study or even children’s Christian education. However podcasts, YouTube and multiple social media platforms have changed that dramatically and permanently from what I am able to understand. As a result, you no longer have to be in the room to listen.

#3 – So many leaders talk about reaching the next generation but never include the next generation.

It’s going to take the leadership of the next generation to reach the next generation. Perhaps you, as the teacher, will have to make some changes and adjust your classroom or the time you spend with the city kids, to empower your students to reach their generation. Leading people to Jesus in a world that’s moving away from Jesus is an increasingly difficult challenge… and increasingly, it’s a larger opportunity. Who will I send… and who will go?

“City Project” summer interns help CEF and others

Traditionally, our summer missions team would have just returned from Christian Youth in Action® training and have begun 6-8 weeks of 5-Day Club® ministry at random sites across the Durham area.  Urban workers from around the country would have already departed Durham surviving another urban boot camp.   However, this summer a very strategic decision was made to focus on what God has put before us rather than for us to add to the plate He gave us.

IMG_5069 (2)

What does this mean?  It means, that CEF and its friends, who minister in Durham, are committed to all necessary strategies and tactics available to us for kingdom building.  It means, our yearly calendar and schedules may not match God’s, so what should we do?

God’s Calendar for us in Durham

During the early summer God scheduled CEF staff and ministers to continue its work in 10 under-resourced communities of Durham where the indigenous are being discipled to lead the outreach.  There are so many wonderful things happening through these efforts that, unfortunately, there is not enough space here to describe.  God allowed me to recruit and engage others from Durham to attend the Duke Summer Institute where we grappled with current and historical issues in Durham as well as navigating a course of biblical reconciliation for our city.  The PrayDurham initiative has taken me to the State Capitol in Raleigh, NC to meet with the NC Call to Prayer caucus.  I will be meeting with leaders of PrayNewark in their city during early July to learn how they mobilized their city to pray through a street adoption strategy as we are doing in Durham.

We’re enjoying breakthrough with several projects

God has also placed before us eight intelligent and committed interns from The City Project, a Campus Outreach effort of the Summit Church in Durham.  They serve on 4 teams focused on 4 projects, which CEF, BlessDurham, and World Relief are engaging.  They are helping us break new ground in ministry by (1) revamping our sports outreach—setting up camps and clinics for this summer thru next spring 2012, (2) reformatting and building our data bases for the blessdurham.org web site, which will impact PrayDurham and connecting the churches/ministries of Durham, (3) are doing research and development of a business plan for operating food and ice cream trucks for ministry to inner city communities and to refuges, and (4) joining the Butteflz team (Bible club/tutoring) to teach and administrate its summer programs.  All have provided needed breakthrough this summer, which will propel us into 2012 on a solid foundation for sustainable ministry.

The traditional mission of CEF in the Durham area continues in mid-July and August with club ministry, sports camps, community block parties, and teachers being trained. What a great summer not being bullied by my own calendar and agenda.

The urban missions BREAKOUT! (boot camp) will allow you to develop your heart for the people of urban America; move beyond missions trip rhetoric with diverse practical ideas; build bridges to urban communities with the Gospel; grow spiritually and worship together; create and daily adjust your mission team’s plan as you work in one community from 4-8 PM each day Monday-Friday; embrace your fears; and use your talents/interest as you minister.

Connect with Breakout! missions this Summer

Local teens with their mentors, who serve as club teachers year-round,
together at a “Blacktop Games” events during the early Spring.
Training and ministry planning to be prepared for Bible teaching and everything.
Missionary cohorts are there to support and encourage you.
Meaningful conversations abound during clubs and special events.
Prayer is essential and an intentional practice before and after missions work.

Registration DEADLINE is May 1st
Additional information about CEF, the Urban Center of Light, and Breakout! can be found at the following sites: CEF Durham and Facebook.  Contact by mail at CEF Durham 801 Gilbert St. Suite #101 Durham, NC 27701

We are ready to help you make a difference in the lives of city kids world-wide.  Visit CEF Durham downloads for ideas and resources.  Become a fan of CEF Ministries – Durham on Facebook for ministry updates, mission opportunities with an urban perspective, and links to resources for urban ministry and other organizations that are making an impact on city kids across America.

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