Excited to Grow!

J became a follower of Jesus at Good News Club. When her mom came to pick her up, J ran up to her and said, “I decided today that I’m going to follow Jesus for the rest of my life. We need to go to church on Sunday!” She was so excited to share with her mom about becoming a Christian and now is going to continue trying to get her mom to take her to church. Praise the Lord!

News & Prayer Letter- Winter 2021

Merry Christmas, dear friends and supporters!
Thank you for your faithfulness in giving and praying for us during this last year. We couldn’t have done it without you. In this quarterly newsletter, you will read about the four Good News Clubs that happen every week, an invitation to view our new website, and a letter from my heart. Please continue to pray for us as we finish this year and head into the next. Sincerely, Brian Ide, CEF of Greater Buffalo

Good News Clubs
Since our last letter, school has started again across Erie County. All of our county schools are now back to in-person learning, which means some of our in-person clubs have restarted, too. We even started a brand new club! That’s not to say there haven’t been any obstacles. Every club this year seems to have its own unique challenges, and the theme this year seems to be “Adapt and Adjust!”

Eden School District. The Eden club was our smallest last year, with just two students attending online. Unfortunately those children moved out of state, and this year we don’t currently have any children attending from Eden. One of the major problems is transportation. All the children must leave the school at dismissal (this is partly due to Covid restrictions, and partly due to the bus driver shortage), so any children that want to come to GNC would have to be driven back to the school an hour after they left. Please pray that the Lord will touch the hearts of the parents and students, and we will get some kids interested. We would hate to lose this opportunity.

Frontier School District. We restarted two in-person clubs in the Frontier district – one in the Big Tree Elementary School, a second in the Cloverbank Elementary School. Both of these were run by wonderful volunteers from the Old Time Baptist Church. Like the Eden GNC, students who wish to attend Club have to leave the building at dismissal time, then get a ride back. The Cloverbank GNC is doing well, and about 10 children attend each week. We had just one precious child register for Big Tree, however, so we have combined those two into one club, held at Cloverbank.

Lakeshore School District. There are no in-person after school programs happening in any of the Lakeshore schools right now; all after school events must take place off-site. After a few closed doors, we were so thankful that Angola Wesleyan Church graciously opened their doors to us, and let us use their building. We were optimistic that students from the elementary schools would merge into this one club, but about a month into the program, our teachers realized that – due to busing issues and Covid concerns – an online club would work better. They switched to an online format, and immediately doubled their attendance.

Blasdell School District. Our newest club! We are so grateful to Blasdell Gospel Chapel for partnering with us and engaging with the students of Blasdell Elementary School. They had five children register at the beginning of the school year (all boys, which is very rare!) and have now built up to eight students.

Buffalo School District. The Buffalo schools have been the most challenging. Like Lakeshore, they are not offering in-house afterschool programs. We have opened up an online club to them, but since the remote learning phase ended, the students had to give back the electronic tablets the school loaned them. Many have no internet access even if they wanted to attend an online club.

Praise! This may sound disheartening, but there are blessings all around! The school administrators have been kind to us, even though this is such a confusing time for them. The parents of our students have been flexible and understanding. The students are excited to come. The teachers are dedicated and doing the best they can in crazy situations. God is still in control, and we thank and praise Him for every opportunity He gives us to shine His light.

A Compassionate Plea from Brian Ide
I am writing to you about the times we live in. If anyone has noticed storms, tsunamis and earthquakes have gotten more prevalent these days. Some would say the cause is climate change or even bad luck. But if anyone would look into God’s word and, in particular, Jesus’ words, they will discover these are the beginnings of birth pains.
The time is approaching, and this is what I’ve noted in society today. People, even believers, are abandoning the Churches. Churches are abandoning God’s Word. In these times we need the Truth, and more unity if the Church is to prevail.

Our ministry, Child Evangelism Fellowship, works to serve Churches. We partner with local Churches and help them get the Gospel out to their local communities. This may be done through Good News Clubs (school year) or 5-Day Clubs (summer). We train these volunteers from these local churches then they are sent out, just like missionaries, to schools, back yards, parks or wherever children can be reached.

We are working to get the Good News of our Great Savior out into the public, but we are running into snags. The first is the number of Churches that have not “compromised” the Word of God, and the second is financial support.
First let’s look at the problem of having so few Bible-believing, and Bible-teaching Churches. CEF Greater Buffalo staff takes time to “vet” Churches in our area. We check their websites, view sermons and even visit in some cases. In our estimation there are seventy Churches that still haven’t compromised the Truth in Erie County alone. Sadly, this number is diminishing. And yet, we have around 120 elementary schools to reach in Erie County alone. The vision of our chapter is to have a Good News Club in each of these schools, but as a you can see by simple math, we need the help of every Bible-believing church in our area. We need them to make a commitment to get the Gospel out. But we are in prayer continually that God will supply this need.

Second snag is finances. We are in the “front lines” doing God’s work. It is said armies run on beans, bullets and band aids. These are our workers. If CEF of Greater Buffalo is to reach the children of Western New York we will need more staff. We need a Summer Coordinator and Trainer. The current staff needs the funds to increase hours of their work.
God used me to start this ministry in August 2015. It has been an “uphill” battle from the start. If you read these newsletters from the start of the chapter to now you will know many “great stories,” but for every great story, there are hardships that have been encountered. I see them as battles. I try to limit the mention of these battles because it may discourage some. But that doesn’t eliminate them. Through all these battles the hardest one for me is the battle of discouragement.

I get discouraged because of the things I mentioned above, but most of all because of the amount of those in need. I realize I can’t do this alone. I pray every day that God would meet our needs and we would reach the children. Please join with me in this battle by praying, volunteering, and supporting.

Thank You. As we close out 2021 and head into 2022, we thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support. We need you. Please continue to partner with us in 2022.

Fall 2021 Prayer & Newsletter

September 2021 News & Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter about what is happening in CEF of Greater Buffalo. In this newsletter you will read reports from our summer “Five-Day Clubs”, and an update on our public school “Good News Clubs”.

Sincerely,  Brian Ide, CEF of Greater Buffalo

“Five-Day Club” Report #1

We were so excited to be able to have a Bible club in our own backyard! This was our fourth summer living in our current home, and we want our neighbors to know who we are and what we stand for. We were praying that a dozen children would come, but God went above that, and gave us 20! Some of these were from nearby churches, including our own, but we did in fact have some of our neighborhood kids show up.

This year’s curriculum had a detective theme, and each day the kids would discover a new “clue” about who Jesus is. Each lesson also presented the gospel very clearly, and we were so thrilled to hear some of our neighbor kids pray to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. 

Another cool answer to prayer was the weather – all reports said it was going to rain all week long. It did pour the Sunday before we started, so we had club in the driveway that Monday, but there was no more rain the rest of the week, praise the Lord.

We had so much fun, too! There were parachutes and beach balls and bean bags, new songs, lots of snacks, fun prizes, missionary stories, and the Bible lessons that taught about Jesus. We look forward to making this an annual event at our home! 

– Calvin & Rebekah (Club in Angola)

Five-Day Club Report #2

My daughter, Rebekah [no relation to the Rebekah of the previous report], and I had an opportunity to do two Five-Day Clubs in August.  Rebekah had the privilege of giving the Bible lessons and presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had the privilege of telling what God did through a missionary named Mary Slessor. 

God taught me many things through studying Mary Slessor’s life and seeing all that God did through her. Mary wanted to do big things for God, but the reality was that God did big things through Mary. 

God also taught me many things by actually doing CEF. The biggest thing was: “GOD IS ABLE!” I am willing to be used by God but my full reliance should be and is, on Him to do it, because I know I cannot do it without Him. I have always felt like a Moses, unable to speak well (Exodus 4:10). I can talk one-on-one or one-on-two, but anymore and I get too nervous and mess my words up. 

Over the past couple of months, God has put me into a few different teaching positions, one of them being CEF. “Wow!” is all I can say because I know for fact that it is God who does it not me. I do not have it in myself to do any of those things. God is able to do all things (Ephesians 3:20), including teaching through me. If God can use a donkey to speak to Baalam (Numbers 22), He can use me to teach children.  

I am very thankful to God and to CEF for allowing me to help with these Five-Day clubs. 

– Nancy (Clubs in Derby & Frewsburg)

Five-Day Club Report #3 (Pre-school!)

“I’m Not Too Little!” That defiant statement has been echoed many times as little children try to do big people “stuff!” When it comes to knowing God they are absolutely right!  Jesus said in Matthew 19:14…”Suffer (allow) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Little Kids Can Know God® is a wonderful teaching tool designed by CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship) to assist teachers of preschool children in teaching of wonderful Bible truths. 

These teaching tools enable the teacher to effectively teach children 2-8 years and those with differential abilities, to know and understand God, the gospel, sin and many life lessons.

This summer I had the privilege of teaching preschool Bible classes to little ones at a faith- based daycare center in Western New York.  On day 1 the children were reluctant to come to be with the stranger on the Bible Time rug.  By day 3 they were running to the rug with happy, expectant faces! The songs, motions and colorful Bible stories taught with love, prayer and purpose made the difference.  In 2 days they were taught that GOD made everything out of nothing, God loves me, God made me, I have sinned and that Jesus died and rose again, (“came back to life” in “Childreneze”). 

My prayer is that I will be able to teach these preschool children and many others on a weekly basis.  I also pray that more volunteers will answer the call to make a difference in the lives of children in the tender years.  Not only do we at CEF have wonderful, colorful Bible based curriculum but we also have free training to equip YOU to serve in this needful, foundational ministry.  There is an open door in your churches, schools, neighborhoods and some day care centers to reach the “Little Ones” during their tender years.  We at CEF of Greater Buffalo, NY are ready to partner with you, help you and train you, to serve in this needed ministry. 

C.H. Spurgeon said, “A child of five, if properly instructed, can as truly believe, and be regenerated, as an adult.”  We don’t wait until the child is five years old to teach them to hold a spoon or wash their hands. We need to start teaching children the Word of God at a very early age.  They are NOT Too Little!  

– Joan Lindsey, IOT, Certified Preschool Bible Teacher-Trainer

(Clubs in Buffalo)

P.S. To contact Joan directly about training for preschool ministry, send her an email at tlklindsey@gmail.com. Or visit cefbuffalo.com and click on the “Volunteer’s First Step” button.

Good News Clubs

With school in session across the county, we look forward to resuming our after-school “Good News Clubs” soon. We are planning to have all in-person clubs this year in Buffalo, Hamburg, Eden, Lakeshore, and Amherst. Some of these clubs will be in the schools, and other will have to be offsite. (Pray for the school administrators who have to make difficult decisions about things like this.)

If you would like to register your child for Good News Clubs, visit our website or contact Brian directly. We will contact you with the exact details as soon as we know them.

Help Wanted

If you are considering volunteering with CEF of Greater Buffalo Area, please visit our website: cefbuffalo.com.  Click on the “Volunteer’s First Step” button and you will be asked some basic questions about yourself, and the area(s) you would like to help. We will contact you about what you can do to further help!

You can also donate easily online. Your gifts are always appreciated.

Summer 2021 Newsletter

Dear Friends,
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter about what is happening in CEF of Greater Buffalo. In this newsletter you will read two reports from our “Good News Clubs” teachers, a report on our annual Chicken BBQ fundraiser, and see what I’ve been up to lately!
God is still working here in Western New York! Thank you for your part in making this possible.
Sincerely, Brian Ide, CEF of Greater Buffalo.

Count It All Joy!
We have been living for more than a year with Covid-19 looming over our heads. This has certainly been a time of challenges, uncertainty, and sometimes trials. In the midst of social distancing, masks and quarantine there was a bright ray of sunshine: the online Good News Clubs.
Most clubs used the CEF Power Point CD which includes everything needed for a fun and informative Bible lesson and club. What fun! The lessons, memory verses and Gospel Spotlight are colorful, interactive and easy to understand. The review games are so “cool!”
There was one little glitch, however – singing songs! The teacher would sing the song, but it was not received by each student at the same time. As the children repeated the song, they were heard at different times by everyone. It sounded like an orchestra during warm-up! We learned to ask the students to mute their mics to sing along, and do the hand motions. Much better!
So many businesses, programs and projects were paused or abandoned altogether during this Covid trial, but the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is still reaching our students, their siblings, and sometimes even parents.
We thank the Lord that we can still “Count it all Joy” ( James 1:2) – J. Lindsey
(Buffalo Public Schools)

The Positives
This year was definitely a year of challenges for our afterschool “Good News Clubs.” Meeting online instead of in-person was not the best way to build personal relationships and teach students, but instead of focusing on everything we didn’t like about this past year, here were some positives:
More schools represented. Usually we drive to one school, teach a class to whoever can attend from that school, and then move on. This year our virtual club was attended by students from three different schools plus a homeschool family!
Kids moving wasn’t a problem. Halfway through the school year, one of our students moved into a different school district. In a normal year, we would have said good-bye to her, then prayed that there was a club in her new school. This year she was able to keep attending without any problem.
Time was flexible. If a child logged on late or had to log out early, there was minimal disruption to the rest of the class.
Location was flexible. It became a fun game for us to try and guess where the kids were when they logged in. One week a mom apologized that her daughter was in the car while they were picking up groceries J We were just glad she was there!
This was also nice for us because we were able to teach from wherever we found ourselves – our home, our parents’ home, our church office…and the only thing the kids could see was the wall behind us. (Another side perk was that our one-year-old daughter could crawl all around our feet and not distract a single child: an impossibility in person haha!)
Visuals were very visual. Having the kids sit in front of screens may not be ideal, but it was nice to put up a picture and know that everyone would be able to see it, and there would be no arguments about who’s head was in the way!
We got to see children in their “natural habitat” J. Each week we could see inside the kids homes, see parents and siblings floating through the background, even meet pets! It gave us a nice connection that we can’t get when we meet in a school setting.
Better communication with parents. Each week we had to send an email or text out to the parents, with that week’s login information. It was just a little thing, but as the year went on, that small contact helped build a connection.
We still got to teach the Bible to children. The goal of our afterschool clubs is to teach God’s Word to children, and see them grow in the knowledge of Him. It was a different style this year, but we trust the goal was still accomplished.
But…we hope we won’t have to teach this way again next year! 🙂 – The Tablantes
(Lakeshore Public Schools)

Chiavetta’s Fundraiser
For the second year in a row, we held a chicken barbecue drive-through in West Seneca. May 15 was a beautiful day, and we had many people stop in to purchase a barbecued half-chicken with potato salad and cole slaw diner. This was a great opportunity to get the CEF ministry out and more visible to the public. Over 450 chicken dinners were sold. And, with each dinner, information about CEF was given. Over $2,000 was made and many new contacts.

On April 24, I graduated from Carolina University with an earned master’s degree in ministry. I enjoyed learning and the growth in my spiritual walk. I was asked by someone what was my one big take away for my time in learning. Well it is very difficult to narrow down my experience in learning to one item, I’ll keep it to keep it as it applies to the ministry and my walk with the Lord.
First, I tried to select my electives for my degree so they would apply to the CEF ministry. This would improve my ability to lead CEF Greater Buffalo. The courses that I selected were Evangelism, Mentored Internship, and Leadership/ Vision Casting.
The course that benefitted the ministry the most was Leadership and Vision Casting. The most important thing that I learned about leadership is to lead as Jesus led. Jesus said, “ Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28. In the book of John it is recorded that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. In the same way we need to be willing to “wash other’s feet.”
The most significant course I took in regards to my spiritual walk was Apologetics. In this course I learned how to answer some important questions that most people have. I grew from taking this class. This is not because I can now answer some questions, but I understand how research and find the answers I seek.

Summer/Future Plans
We hope to have some summer outreaches in the next few months, maybe some “Backyard Bible Clubs” in the areas where we had Good News Clubs this past school year. Please pray about this with us.
I am looking forward to next school year. I have been working to get new school systems and schools started with Good News Clubs. Among these are Buffalo public school 93, Pinehurst Elementary, and the entire Orchard Park School district. I also will be working to reopen the school districts where we have had Good News Clubs established. These are: Lake Shore Central School District, Eden Central School District, Frontier Central School District, and Buffalo School 43 and School 83. Please be in prayer that these schools and districts will be open for in-person Good News Club this coming fall.