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 

November 2018

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“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

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PRV News

Dear Reentry and Prison Volunteers...You are receiving this newsletter either because you are a registered, Professional Religious Volunteer (aka "PRV") at Chester County Prison or because of your involvement in prison and/or reentry ministry.

First of all...THANK YOU for your commitment and the sacrifices you make to minister faithfully at Chester County Prison. May God Bless you richly.

Here are a few VERY IMPORTANT developments:

• The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA):

Due to regulations/law in corrections for all staff/visitors, every person entering the prison facilities for any purpose need to have regular background checks done. These checks will be valid for 3 years only, since all approved applications should include the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards.

The implication for the chaplaincy department at Chester County Prison is that all those currently registered with the chaplain’s office as religious volunteers/visitors will need to add the PREA standards to their application package by the end of October 2018.

This also impacts all background checks that do not have at least the same 3 year time frame. They will be deemed expired and names of all outdated registered religious volunteers/visitors will, unfortunately, have to be removed from the maintained database/lists until a new application is approved.

We have several options available to us which will be communicated from the Chaplain’s office directly with each registered member. Please assist us by responding to this requirement at your earliest convenience to avoid delays and break in service delivery. Send an email to office@countycorrectionsgospelmission.org for more information about your specific situation.

• Training in Prison & Reentry Ministry: I am happy to announce that the ReTURNing Hearts Basic Training for Prison and Reentry Volunteers is now ready. This 4 hour training was developed by experienced CCP religious volunteers and refined after several "test runs". All newly approved Professional Religious Volunteers will be required to attend this training before interacting with CCP inmates in prison or after their release. Training sessions will be presented on a regular basis at the ReTURNing Hearts Center in Coatesville. Other venues may be considered depending on numbers of volunteers and the training facilities. Contact Michelle Manthey for information: rht@countycorrectionsgospelmission.org

• Program Schedule: Minor adjustments were made to the Chaplaincy Schedule to standardize start and end times and also to give the different blocks fair opportunities to attend chapel services. These changes will most likely be implemented in November 2018. Contact Assistant-Chaplain Heinrich Botes for more details: hbotes@chesco.org

• Fund for Bibles & Books: Several PRV's asked how they could contribute to the Chaplaincy ministry at Chester County Prison. PLEASE don't bring/send books to the prison without communicating with Assistant-Chaplain Heinrich Botes...rather make a tax-deductible donation to the CCP Chaplaincy Fund from which we purchase approved books, Bibles and teaching material. Read more about this procedure here.

• Mail Room: Due to recent security incidents at other Pennsylvania prisons, the CCP Mail Room and Front Desk will no longer accept any packets, bags, boxes or any other container containing books, tracts meant for the Chaplaincy.

• Literature Shelve in Chapel: Kindly note that only Chaplaincy staff may place literature including tracts and books on the shelve in the back of the chapel. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated.

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Evangelical But Not Evangelistic

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, was an apologist and member of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministry team. Nabeel went home to be with the Savior in September 2017 at the age of 34. Ravi said of him in a Washington Post article on September 17, 2017

“He was not just an evangelical; he was passionately evangelistic.”

I not only commend the reading of his book(s) to you but also the passion of his life. In the Washington Post Article, written as a tribute to Nabeel, Ravi quoted this brief poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Life if real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal.

Dust thou art, to dost returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.” 

Nabeel in the most exemplary way lived a life clearly identified as ‘in Christ!’ His clear passion for the Gospel and his zeal for communicating the Gospel deeply inspired me in the most recent two years. With great cost to himself, his family and his brief life; Nabeel evidenced the crucified life spoken of in Galatians 2:20.

Very early in his brief ministry he said the following while addressing interested students of the University of Georgia Tech (paraphrased)

“When it comes to one’s ‘faith’ most people like what they were raised with and are content to never examine it; but, tend to embrace it nominally, watered-down and with little adherence.”

How greatly I was again encouraged just days ago when studying a great sermon of Dr. G. Campbell Morgan titled A First Century Message to A Twentieth Century Church - The Church of Laodicea

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would rather thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth….As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door; I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:15-16; 19-22

Dr. Campbell charged that there was no sense of the ‘cross’ in the Laodicea Church; he actually wrote these words again: ‘the church was evangelical, but, not evangelistic.’

One great concern that Dr. Morgan charged the church with was ‘no willingness to suffer and serve’ the Savior’s call to ‘take up the Cross.’ Citing this text, my uncle, Donald Grey Fredericks gave his entire lifetime to both the message of the Gospel and the costly proclamation of the Gospel. He often wept over the ‘lukewarmness’ of the Church.

“O behold the man of sorrows,

O behold Him in plain view,

Lo! He is the mighty conqueror,

Since He rent the veil in two,

Lo! He is the mighty conqueror,

Since He rent the veil in two.”

(from The Unveiled Christ)

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Prayer Points

As I close this brief letter for September of 2018, I want to just write a few more thoughts from my heart that I’m asking you to take daily into your place-of-prayer.

• I constantly ask you to pray for us as we are experiencing a constant warfare from spiritual realms.

• The way forward for anyone of us who takes the Cross seriously will not be easy. Just days ago I was speaking with a well-known Bible teacher who is currently writing a study on ‘crucifixion’ and I know it’s going to be published with unparalleled impact for each one of us. Pray that we not be among those who have been satisfied with a ‘watered-down-nominal-religion.’ Pray personally that it can be truly spoken of anyone of us: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but, Christ liveth in me.”

• Pray for our faithful staff families: Jason Jarvis (Kari), Joshua Crans (Jordan), Leon Brubaker (Mary), Grant Wise, Heinrich Botes (Susan), Jack (Sue), and the hundreds of partnering friends, volunteers and fellow-helpers-to-the-truth at Chester County Prison, Camp at the Old Mill, Bridge Academy and Community Center, Providence Church of Coatesville and extending concerns of the prisoner, the correctional staff and our nation’s law enforcers. Alyson Leaman has been an exceptional encouragement!

• Pray for the grieved hearts of our prison’s staff in the recent suicide of one of our precious and faithful correctional officers. The horrific impact of this tragedy continues to call us to vigilance concerning a much-needed theme: “Broken Hearts - Unbroken Hope”

• Opioid-deaths, suicides, and our nation’s present, dangerous moral and spiritual decline threaten our own region’s peace from day-to-day.

• We want you to praise God for his continual providing for this mission’s work and I’m very blessed to share with you that we need less than $4,000 of the match-gift needed for another gift of $22,000.

• God’s been working in very willing hearts and we have undertaken to commence needful improvements at Camp at Old Mill in the fast approaching weeks of November and December. Pray for Seth Windle as he leads this undertaking.

 

In closing...

 

• Pray…that we serve the LORD with gladness!

• Pray… for our hearts and families that we do not “grow weary’ and ‘faint’.

I beg you, dear ones, PRAY for us!

 

In Christ Alone, My Hope is found!

 

Jack Crans, 

Chaplain: CCP

CEO: CCGM   

Philippians 3:7-11; Psalms 100; Acts 20:17-38

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