www.countycorrectionsgospelmission.org

The Contender

"It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude 1:3 

October 2017

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January 2017

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

Sagacious

On January 20th, approximately 30 minutes before the “Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States”, I phoned a precious pastor/teacher concerning his immediate thoughts related to the new administration. I’ve spoken often with this 85 year old, spiritual sage throughout the most recent eight years. As always, he had been musing on God’s word. His words were hopeful concerning our nation, yet, he was very forcible when addressing Hosea’s theme noted in the opening of this letter. Shallow words of ‘God and Country’ will be meaningless apart from a spiritual awakening in the church, itself.

My gracious, wise mentor turned my mind to a rarely used word in the English language: sagacious ("having or showing sound judgment and keen perception: wise") and a longing to see an awakened, repentant and glorious church that would be so obedient in faith as to provoke a perishing world to jealousy. The cautious-hope expressed by my spiritual mentor only confirms the necessity of Paul’s wise confession to King Agrippa: Acts 26:20b (paraphrased) “that I should repent and turn to God, and do works fitting of repentance.” How will the church, no less, the nation respond in this ‘hour’ of God’s continuing mercy.

Untimely Deaths

Our hearts have been deeply broken since the week of Christmas. Tragic deaths of 4 young people, known and loved by us, have occurred. Suicides, overdose, and cancer have stolen away children and a young father (ages 18, 21,34 and 44). In every circumstance we’ve been able to represent our great hope in Jesus Christ, yet, the spiritual warfare is intensely real. We need your prayers, daily!

New Office Systems

The lateness of this letter is primarily due to our needed focus on replacing, and learning new office systems. I shared this with many of you who have already received your end-of-year fiscal reports.

Though January’s been full of tragedy and necessary installation of improved operations, we’ve also continued to embrace the constant stewardship of Chaplaincy at Chester County Prison and the manifest cries of families in the community-at-large.

Programs at Chester County Prison

Here are just a few of the initiatives which have been ongoing in the life of our prison: “Malachi Dads” (an intensive mentoring program based on Malachi 4:6 ‘turning the heart of the fathers to their children’); “ReTURNing Hearts” (a maturing theme that both honors the prison’s “Mission Statement” and seeks to inspire the turning of every heart to God and family); and the fullest effort to encourage staff and administration towards “Principle Based Leadership” through the efforts and support of Pointman Leadership Institute.

Undergirding so much of our peace within the prison is the daily presence of spiritual counselors, volunteer mentors, and constant teaching. “Behold Your God” is a major, intensive study affecting several sections of our male population. The great need before us is for willing hearts who might fund ‘daily, personal devotional resources’ for our prisoners.

Providence Church of Coatesville

Joshua and Jordan Crans are spending themselves in every way to embrace the children, youth and families in the ‘City of Coatesville.’  Joshua’s been leading in the planting of a new church under the faithful auspices of the Providence Church of West Chester and with the support of many interested and committed churches and praying friends.

County Corrections Gospel Mission stands ready and faithful to pour into this needed work and I ask you personally to contact Joshua for more information concerning your own involvement and participation. Here is Joshua’s email: josh.crans@gmail.com. The initial meetings are being hosted at the ‘Bridge Academy Community Center’ (BACC) at Olive & Virginia Avenues in Coatesville. The work of evangelism, no matter how effective, will never be complete without the effective work of a local, Bible-believing church. God is in the details! PRAY and engage with us!

Prayer Room at the Prayer Breakfast

By the time you receive this letter, I’ll be nearing my role in once again hosting the official ‘Prayer Room’ for the National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Wednesday February 1st (10:00 a.m. thru 3:00 p.m.) Thursday, February 2nd.

I’d be both honored and relieved to have you join me for any portion of these long and strategic hours of intercession. Contact me using the details provided below. I admit to needing you right next to me!

Important Dates for Prayer

The following dates are of particular importance, especially for your prayers on our behalf:

• February 1st and 2nd: National Prayer Breakfast (DC)  

• February 10th – 12th: Pointman Leadership Institute “Youth Initiative” Training @ Camp at Old Mill with selected youth

• February 13th – 19th: “Youth Initiative Training” Scotland. Jack and Sue with European/African Trainers (PLI)

• April 23rd-27th:     Fusion Conference’ Heart Cry for Revival     at ‘The Cove’, Ashville, North Carolina. We want some of you to join us, for sure...

In closing, I remind you of my recent letter that announced our theme for 2017: “Fervent Prayer.”  Prayer must be intentional, and must be continual. If you have read this far in my letter into my letter, you are best informed to pray for us! It is our continued privilege to pray for you. This was the testimony of the 1st Century Church and it must be ours, as well.

Overwhelmed, Yet, ‘Resting’ in Christ!

Jack Crans, Hebrews 2:3-18

Can You Pray?

In this final thought, I want to ask something very special of you. I am hosting the ‘prayer room’ for the National Prayer Breakfast in the Washington Hilton Hotel from 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 1st to Thursday, February 2nd at 3:30 pm. Would you consider praying with me, either in person or from where you live? (Note the contact details below)

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