Winter 2023 Newsletter

Winter 2023-2024 News and Prayer Letter for CEF of Greater Buffalo

 

Hello, Friends and Supporters!

In this newsletter you will read updates and testimonies from our public school Good News Clubs, our fall fundraiser, a “Super Saturday” training event, and our CEF of GBA committee.

As usual, prayer requests are listed throughout, and to the left.

Thank you for your support, CEF of GBA

Good News Clubs

Thank you for prayers towards our GNC efforts this year. We have six active clubs, and a seventh starting soon (maybe by the time you read this!):

AJ Schmidt Elementary (Lake Shore District) – 6 students registered

Big Tree Elementary (Frontier District) – 1 student registered

Cloverbank Elementary (Frontier District) – 6 students registered

Highgate Heights (Buffalo) – 11 students registered

Highland Elementary (Lake Shore District) – 12 students registered

JT Waugh Elementary (Lake Shore District) – 10 students registered

We have already seen four children put their faith in Christ this year!

Please pray for the children to be faithful and to learn more of God and His Word. Pray for more to attend.

 

Blasdell Elementary (Frontier District) – 0 students registered. We request fervent prayer for this Club. The teachers are so dedicated to this school but we have not found an effective way to let the parents and students know we are here. Our GNC teachers have offered to move to a different school/district.

Please pray for the GNC teachers of Blasdell to not be discouraged. Pray we will find a way to invite children, or that God will clearly show us that this door is closed, and where we should go next.

Eden Elementary (Eden District) –  Club starts on January 16! This is our first time back in this school since Covid. Praise the Lord for this re-open door.

Please pray for students to sign up, and for God to bless and work in Eden Elementary. 

 

If you know any children in these schools, please let them know they are welcome at Good News Club!

A Christmas Testimony

The Bible lesson was on the shepherds in the Christmas story. The teacher spent some time describing shepherds in Bible times: dirty, stinky, poor, thieves, liars, low class. Then with a giant smile, she told how God entrusted these “inferior” citizens to be the first human bearers of the Good News of the Messiah’s birth.

Nine-year-old Kelsey listened intently, the wheels in her brain processing the lesson she was hearing. She did not live in a religious home, and the concept of God’s love was new to her.

During the review game later, the question was asked “Though people looked down on the shepherds, what did God think about them?” Kelsey raised her hand. “He thought they were important,” she answered.

The teacher asked a follow up question: “And no matter what anyone else says, what does God think about YOU?” Kelsey thought for a few seconds then said in a whisper, “He thinks I’m important, too.”

Please pray for Kelsey and the many, many, many children in our schools who do not understand how precious they are to Jesus.

Chicken BBQ Fundraiser

On Saturday, September 30, we held our second bbq fundraiser of the year. This time we were given permission to use the parking lot of an empty business on Route 5 in Angola. This location gave us better visibility to those driving by, and we made a stronger profit this time around. Of course, the beautiful weather helped, too! Thanks to Hilltop Baptist Church for again allowing us the use of their supplies and providing workers to help serve the food.

Please pray for the finances we need to continue spreading the gospel to children in WNY.

Teacher Training

We were encouraged to have fourteen people attend our “Super Saturday” training seminar on November 11. A few of these were current teachers looking for a refresher course. A few came because they want to join an existing club. The rest were new to CEF and have an interest in starting a new Good News Club in the future.

Those who attended learned how to teach a gospel lesson based on the CEF curriculum, “IPEAR” a memory verse (Introduce, Present, Explain, Apply, Repeat), sing instructional but fun songs, and play review games that reinforce all that has been taught. There was a definite excitement as the attenders learned more about the incredible opportunities – yes, it’s legal! – to teach the Bible inside of our public schools.

Thank you to the Revive Wesleyan Church for allowing us the use of their facilities for the day.

Please pray for opportunities for our newest trainees to use the knowledge they learned.

Pray for more open doors into schools.

Stump the Teacher

Student: “Did Jesus have any brothers or sisters?”

Teacher: “Yes, He did! The Bible tells us that Mary had four more boys, and at least two girls.”

Student: “How old was Jesus when He became a big brother?”

Teacher: “…..Wow….I don’t know….and I’ve never thought of that before….”

Our Committee

We praise the Lord for the interest some have shown recently in joining our committee! Hopefully in our next email we will have concrete news to share with you.

We are always in need of fresh ideas, and help in implementing our vision to reach the children of Erie County. Contact us if you’re interested.

Our Current Staff & Committee
Craig Durham
Dave Hastie
Torry Jones
Joan Lindsey
Jim Maloney
Larry Nephews
Dennis Piwowarczyk
Rebekah Tablante

Fall 2023 Newsletter

Hello, Friends and Supporters!

In this newsletter you will read a testimony from a summer “5-Day Club”, updates on our Good News Clubs, an invitation to our Chicken Barbeque fundraiser, an invitation to a Super Saturday training seminar, and an appeal for Prayer Partners.

Prayer requests are listed throughout, and at the end.

Thank you for your support, CEF of GBA

5-Day Club Testimony

This July we were contacted by a lady named Debbie who wanted to hold a children’s Bible club at her house. She used to host CEF “5-Day Clubs” when her now-grown children were young, and wanted to get back at it. She has a burden for the children in her neighborhood, and sees their great need for Jesus. We quickly provided her with curriculum and about 2 weeks later she had a club up and running.

Debbie recruited her neighbor Maryann to help her, and together they invited their community kids. Nine different children came for games, crafts, prizes, Bible lessons, and – of course – the Gospel. Four children put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation…and three of them were Maryann’s grandchildren! Praise the Lord!

Are there children in YOUR neighborhood that need Jesus? What about YOUR kids or grandkids? Let Debbie and Maryann be an inspiration to you! You don’t have to be a pastor or teacher or someone with extensive training. You just need to step out in faith and do something. We would be glad to provide you with lesson plans and ideas. You can do it!

Praise the Lord for the precious children saved during this year’s summer ministry, and pray for their growth. 

Pray for more people to see the need in their own circle of influence.

 

Good News Clubs

School is back in session, and our GNC teachers are gearing up for another fun-filled year of public school ministry!

Re-Starting this October:

  • AJ Schmidt Elementary (Lake Shore District)
  • Blasdell Elementary (Frontier District)
  • Cloverbank Elementary (Frontier District)
  • Highgate Heights Elementary (Buffalo)
  • Highland Elementary (Lake Shore District)
  • JT Waugh Elementary (Lake Shore District)

Please pray for many students to sign up and attend. Pray for our teachers to be spiritually ready for this year. Ask God to bless these schools and their administrations.

Opportunities Abound 

There are 30 school districts in Erie County. We have clubs in three of them.* If you live in or around these areas, would you prayerfully consider the need?

o Akron

o Alden

o Amherst

o Buffalo*

o Cheektowaga

o Cheektowaga-Maryvale

o Cheektowaga-Sloan

o Clarence

o Cleveland Hill

o Depew

o East Aurora

o Eden

o Grand Island

o Hamburg

o Holland

o Iroquois

o Kenmore-Tonawanda

o Lackawanna

o Lancaster

o North Collins

o North Tonawanda

o Orchard Park

o Springville

o Sweet Home

o Tonawanda City

o West Seneca

o Williamsville

*There are 35 elementary schools in the Buffalo school district, and we have a club in just one of them.

Please pray for God to open the doors into these districts, and His people to walk through them.

Teacher Training

You are invited to a “Super Saturday Seminar” on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 9:30am-3:00pm. It’s free and lunch is provided, but registration is required. It will be held at the facilities of Revive Wesleyan Church, 4999 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg NY.

Sessions will cover various aspects of teaching the Bible to children and sharing the gospel with them. This course is required for anyone who wants to teach or assist in a Good News Club, but is great for anyone who wants to effectively communicate Biblical truths with children.

Pastors and church leaders – would you please let your people know about this? Someone in your congregation might benefit from it. There is no obligation to you.

Please pray for more GNC teachers in Western New York, so we can make a greater impact for the Kingdom of God!

Prayer Partners Needed

It is no secret that Satan’s army is well-funded, well-organized, and extremely powerful. Our God is greater, but He moves on the prayers of His people. Satan does not want us sharing Christ with children in the public schools. If we are going to succeed in this spiritual battle, we must have an invincible army of prayer warriors.

Would you partner with us in prayer? In the near future we plan to send out weekly or bi-weekly emails with very specific requests, so those on our Prayer Team can bring them before God’s throne. Will you join? There is no requirement except a desire to pray. Contact information is listed below.

Please pray for CEF of GBA to have power and victory in our fight for the souls of children!

Prayer Requests

  • For the growth of the kids saved at 5-Day Clubs.
  • For the GNCs starting in October – for the students, teachers, and the schools that host us.
  • For the 27 districts (and 108 schools) that still need Good News Clubs.
  • For the Teacher Training seminar Nov. 11 to be effective.

Summer 2023 Newsletter

Hello, Friends and Supporters!

In this newsletter you will find year-end stats from our Good News Clubs,  a report on our Chicken BBQ fundraiser, and an invitation to a Super Saturday training seminar. Prayer requests are listed throughout, and to the left.

Please continue to pray for us this summer. Our ministry does not stop, just because school has! We have 5-Day Clubs, Vacation Bible Schools, teacher trainings, and preparation for the next school year.

Thank you for your support,

CEF of GBA

Good News Clubs

Our GNCs have come to an end, along with the 2022-23 school year. Here are some facts from this year:

3  School Districts open to Good News Clubs – Buffalo, Frontier (Hamburg), and Lake Shore (Evans)

 Public elementary schools served through GNCs

23  Teachers and helpers in these clubs

63  Children who attended a GNC during the 2022-23 school year

10  Students put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation

Though many challenges presented themselves this year, we rejoice at what God has done in our public schools!

Please praise the Lord for what He has done, and pray that these numbers will all greatly increase next year!  

 

A note about our teachers: 

Twenty-three different people taught or helped in a Good News Club this school year. These include teenagers, senior citizens, parents, men, women, school employees, people who have done this for many years, and people who have done this for the first time. Some are retired, and some squeezed this around a full-time job. Several teachers this year had serious health problems or physical limitations. The one thing they all have in common is a love for children, and desire to see them know Jesus. We appreciate each one of them.

Thank you, Teachers! 

Club Testimony

by some of our GNC teachers

This was our first year back in the school since Covid, and most of the kids who signed up for GNC were brand new. We had only 3 returning students. These three had attended when in Kindergarten or 1st grade. Now they were in 3rd and 4th grade.

All school year we prayed that our students would come to know Jesus as Savior, and praise the Lord some of the new kids did! The three returning kids were a concern though. None of them talked to a teacher during an invitation time, although all three participated in the other aspects of the club.

Finally during one of the last meetings of the year, one of our teachers bluntly asked the entire class “Who here has asked Jesus to save them?” (note that this is not recommended! A one-on-one approach is better when dealing with children and salvation 😉 ) Thankfully the kids were all honest in answering. A few said they had not, and still had questions. A few answered that they had done so in a recent club.

Then one of the 4th graders spoke up: “I did that before, in the other club.”

The third grader chimed in: “Yeah, me too.”

When the teacher asked them to explain, they both told how they had accepted Christ during our pre-Covid GNC, when they were younger. Even though we had not seen them in three years, they still remembered their salvation experience, and were holding on to it for their assurance of salvation! We were so thrilled that the Lord had saved AND sealed these sweet girls. Please pray for the third student, a boy, who is still unsaved.

Please pray for this boy, and all the other students who attended a GNC but for various reasons have not yet put their faith in Christ. 

Chicken Barbeque

On Saturday, April 22, we held a chicken barbeque fundraiser at the Hilltop Baptist Church in Angola. The weather did not cooperate and the day was cold and rainy. In spite of this, we did still manage to make a small profit, and introduce our ministry to some people in the community. We are grateful to the pastor and staff of Hilltop Baptist for allowing us to use their facilities. We are also very grateful to the teachers of the Highland Elementary Good News Club for their help in serving the food.

We may have another fundraiser like this towards the end of summer. Hopefully the weather will be better. We’ll let you know!

Please pray for the finances needed to continue spreading the gospel to children in WNY. 

Teacher Training

A “Super Saturday Seminar” is planned for this August in Buffalo. If you would like to be trained to work in a Good News Club, or if you are a pastor/church leader and would like your people trained, please reach out to us. We’ll be glad to give you more details about this FREE training day, or set up a time that works for you.

Topics will include:

  • Why the emphasis on children
  • Presenting the Gospel to children
  • How to teach a memory verse
  • How to teach songs
  • Giving a gospel invitation
  • How to lead a review game
  • and more!

Please pray for more GNC teachers in WNY, so we can make a greater impact for the Kingdom of God!

A note to Pastors and Church Leaders:

This free teacher training is not just for those who will teach in GNC. It will help Sunday School teachers, Wednesday program leaders, VBS helpers, Missions trip volunteers, and even moms and dads who influence their children at home! We exist to help YOUR CHURCH further the gospel among the children of your community.

Spring 2023 News and Prayer Letter

Hello, Friends and Supporters!

In this newsletter you will read updates from all of our public school Good News Clubs, and a Salvation Testimony from a recent GNC. We also invite you to our Chicken Barbeque on April 22! Information on the front page of our website.

Thank you for your time and prayer, as you read through this update.

Sincerely,

CEF of GBA

Good News Clubs

We currently have five afterschool “Good News Clubs” up and running in WNY public elementary schools.

Highgate Heights (Buffalo School District). They consistently have 8 students in their club. Before Covid and the bussing issues they had a lot more coming, but we are grateful for these precious souls.

JT Waugh Elementary (Lake Shore District). Some of the students in this class came knowing absolutely nothing about God, Jesus, or the Bible. It is exciting but also challenging to have such blank slates to work with. Please pray for their understanding and salvation. They have had 12 students attend this club.

Highland Elementary (Lake Shore District). They have had five children trust in Christ as Savior since they started! Some of these have attended church and shown real growth too.

AJ Schmidt Elementary
 (Lake Shore District). They have 7 students enrolled, and one has trusted in Christ for salvation this year.

Cloverbank Elementary (Frontier District). Though they had to overcome many obstacles, we rejoice that this club is up and running! Pray for the faithfulness of these students, as they have to leave the school at dismissal time, then have someone drive them back to the school. They have had 10 different students attend this club.

Please pray that these students will come to know Jesus in a real and personal way (f they don’t already), and we will see changed lives!    

More GNC Reports

Blasdell Elementary (Frontier School District) – In spite of the dedication and willingness of the teachers each week, this club has proven too difficult to sustain. Due to bussing and security issues, the students were required to leave the building at dismissal time, then be brought back by a parent or guardian to the school for GNC. This has shown itself to be a greater challenge than expected, and the club has closed for this year. THANK YOU to our dedicated teachers for doing your best!

Lovejoy Discovery School (Buffalo School District) -There is still nothing to report. We truly need God to touch the hearts of the school administration, that they will let us back in, and we can restart this club.

West Seneca School District – Despite the enthusiasm of the superintendent to start a Club in their district, we have not been able to secure a location or time that works for both the school and our GNC teachers. Please pray that – even if we have to wait till next school year – we WILL get Good News Clubs running in this district.

Please pray that each of these doors would stay open, and that the teachers would not be discouraged by the waiting and uncertainties. 

A Salvation Testimony

From one of our JT Waugh teachers

The Good News Club of Highland Elementary School in Derby, NY has seen wonderful fruit since beginning this past fall of 2022. On February 7, 2023 during one of our classes, we had 2 children accept the Lord as their personal Savior. (They are just 2 of 5 who have come to know the Lord since we began!).

During the class, the children were learning about Bartimaeus and how his faith made him whole. The Bible verse that day was John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”. Our verse of the week and the story both made heavy conviction on the children. Multiple children raised their hands to be dealt with, and 2 of the children made a profession of faith- Mason D. and Neveah S.! Other children had the opportunity to pray with an adult about other things that may have been upsetting them, while others learned more about the Lord but were not ready yet.

Seeing this fruit has been a blessing to all of the workers, and we continue to pray that more in the class of 11 will come to know the Lord.

Please pray especially for the children who have heard but have not believed on Jesus. 

Prayer Requests

  • For the current GNCs to be full of Spirit-led teachers, and students eager to learn about God. For increased attendances and salvations.
  • For the GNCs that haven’t started yet to do so soon.
  • For more pastors and churches to see the need and join the battle.
  • For a new director for CEF of GBA

Winter Newsletter 2022

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support this 2022. We appreciate each one of you.

In this newsletter you will read updates on our public school Good News Clubs, a Salvation Testimony from a recent GNC, a note about teacher training, and some ways that you can get involved in our front-line battle! 

Sincerely,

CEF of GBA

Good News Clubs

We currently have five afterschool “Good News Clubs” up and running in WNY public elementary schools:

Highgate Heights (Buffalo School District). This was our first club to reopen in person. The lead GNC teacher there also teaches in the school, so she was able to begin easily. There are 12 students enrolled in this club.

Blasdell Elementary (Frontier District). We have had some miscommunications, obstacles, and sicknesses to overcome in restarting the 3 clubs we used to have in the Frontier school district. Thankfully, the Blasdell GNC was finally able to start again in November. There are 3 students enrolled.

JT Waugh Elementary (Lake Shore District). We are grateful for a cooperative and supportive administration in Lake Shore. They have welcomed us back into all three of their elementary schools with open arms! JT Waugh was the first to restart, and there are 10 students enrolled. (See testimony below.)

Highland Elementary (Lake Shore District). This GNC was adopted just this year by the Hilltop Baptist Church of Evans. Seven people from their church were trained in all aspects of a Good News Club, and they have excitedly jumped into this opportunity! They have 12 students enrolled. Two of these children also attend their church.

AJ Schmidt Elementary (Lake Shore District). Our newest GNC had one meeting so far – A Christmas party club on Dec. 22 – and is looking forward to a great 2023. They already have 6 students enrolled.

Please pray that these students will come to know Jesus in a real and personal way (f they don’t already), and we will see changed lives!  

We are also working to begin these Good News Clubs: 

Cloverbank and Big Tree Elementary Schools (Frontier School District) – these two clubs have been active for several years, but as mentioned, there are obstacles in restarting them this year. The teachers are ready to go, we just need wisdom in how exactly to move forward.

Lovejoy Discovery School (Buffalo School District) – As with the two Frontier schools, we have teachers in place and ready to go, we just need God to remove the barriers that are holding them back.

West Seneca School District -The superintendent of this district has enthusiastically welcomed us to start clubs in their schools. We have a church sponsor, and trained teachers trained ready to go! We are working with the school administration to figure out which school would be the best fit for us, and plan to begin by the end of January. Stay tuned!

Pray that each of these clubs would start soon, and that the teachers would not be discouraged by the waiting and uncertainties. 

A Salvation Testimony

by one of our JT Waugh teachers

The week’s lesson was on King David and Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s disabled son (2 Samuel 4 and 9). Mephibosheth had been living in poverty, until King David extended an invitation for Mephibosheth to join David’s family, and live in the palace. The comparison was made to how poor and hopeless we are, in a spiritual sense, yet the King of Kings offers us the same opportunity – come be part of My family, and someday live in my heavenly home! The choice was Mephibosheth’s.. He could accept or refuse King David’s offer. We have the same choice. God does not force us to choose Him, but lovingly waits for us to make our decision.

At the close of the lesson, the children were given the chance to accept the invitation, and let Jesus come into their lives. One girl in particular was hanging on every word. When the other kids bowed their head and closed their eyes, she indicated that she wanted to speak to a teacher privately.

During that counselling time, she said she really wanted to join God’s family, but didn’t want to give up her own family! 🙂 The teacher explained that accepting Christ actually means you then have TWO families, and this 3rd grader gladly put her faith in Jesus as her Savior.

Please pray for more children to understand the gospel and be converted.

   Teacher Training

Our teacher-trainer-extraordinaire has been hopping this fall, travelling to several churches and even someone’s home, preparing teenagers and adults to teach in CEF Good News Clubs. Over the past 3 months she has led 14 different people through the classes and process of becoming certified GNC teachers. Some of these new teachers have already started in clubs, others are just waiting on the sidelines for the paperwork and administrative details to be finalized before they too join the work.

For information how you can be trained (or have your congregation trained) to work with CEF, please email our teacher trainer, tlklindsey@gmail.com , call/text us 716-394-7820, or click the volunteer link button below. We especially welcome pastors and church leaders to contact us, and let us explain how we can benefit your church!

Please pray for more churches and individuals to see the need, and take the first steps to reach the children in public schools. 

Join Us!

We are on the front lines of a battle for the children of Western New York. Every week our teachers report some form of spiritual battle as they engage in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We need…

* prayer partners

* financial supporters

* teachers to lead clubs in schools

* assistants to help in school clubs

* pastors and church leaders to see the potential, and encourage their people to enlist.

Visit cefbuffalo.org and click on our “Volunteer Form” button to get started!

Our Staff & Committee
D. Hastie, Chairman
C. Durham, Vice Chairman
T. Jones, Treasurer
J. Lindsey, Secretary
J. Maloney, Prayer Chair
L. Nephew, Member
J. Peters, Member
D. Piwowarczyk, Member
R. Tablante, Admin. Asst.