volume 1 number 1
Welcome to the first edition of the Mesa County Jail Ministry Newsletter!
This ministry was started by Grand Valley Christians and is overseen locally. Nearing the completion of the first year, we thank God for His provision and direction.
God has provided : Mesa County Jail Chaplain Doug Winter, Faithful volunteers (old and new), Prayer and financial support of Churches and individuals, A dedicated Board of Directors, and a good working relationship with the Sheriff’s Office.
The First Annual Banquet held in March was a great success with about 250 in attendance; the Delta Correctional Facility Men’s Choir presented the Gospel in song and donations exceeded $10,000. Including monthly support with the funds provided from the Banquet, the Jail Ministry is currently covering about twenty percent of our annual budgeted needs (table 1).
Bobby Telford is a Boston native and a 24-year resident of the Grand Valley. A veteran of the Fruita Police Department Bobby has seen people’s lives in distress in every conceivable way. Having been through his own struggles, Bobby finally discovered the answer: surrender to Jesus Christ at the foot of the cross. Now he has the privilege to be part of a team that gets this message to the hurting in our midst. “………..whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Testimony of God working on the inside: On any given day there are 300 to 400 inmates in the jail. Reaching these inmates with the Gospel of Christ and discipling inmates in their faith is our primary mission. The following is an example of how the Lord is changing lives inside the jail. About 17 months ago, an inmate, let’s call him Joe (not his real name), entered the jail with an attitude that he was in charge of his life and that he was going to beat the charges against him. Regularly attending Bible study, Joe came to commit his life to Christ. As the months passed, he studied the Bible and grew in grace and love. Waiting for his court date, his attitude changed from arrogance to contrition. He decided to admit his guilt and take whatever punishment given by the Court. Sentenced to 17 years he expressed no regrets. Joe is devoted to his relationship with Christ. During his time in jail he hopes to grow in Christ and work toward being a counselor when he is released. Please pray for this Brother in Christ.
Summary of the work going on inside: Through June 2015, about 230 bibles and over 230 pairs of reading glasses have been distributed. There are 51 biblical studies per week; varying from studies on how to study your bible to specific studies on individual books of the bible. Volunteers are in the jail daily teaching the inmates. Inmates request individual counseling sessions with the volunteers and Chaplain Winter. These counseling sessions help the inmate deal with many issues from loss of a family member to marital issues. Some counseling sessions allow inmates to vent and relieve some of the stress resulting from their life on the inside.
One way of ministering the Gospel is to show religious movies to inmates. Recently, Chaplain Winter used the visual book of Matthew to help with his study group. The visual presentation of the bible helps inmates that have difficulty reading to participate in the studies.
Chaplain Winter works alongside Religious Volunteers to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the inmates and staff. The ministry needs prayer for the spiritual battle; paper-backed Christian books; volunteers to teach and counsel the inmates; and funds to support the Chaplains position, purchase Bibles, reading glasses, and other materials for ministering to the inmates. Chaplain Winter would be glad to visit with you and your Church leadership regarding the Mesa County Jail Ministry. You can contact Chaplain Winter at 970-712-2568 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may donate funds via the website http://www.mesacountyjailministry.org/ or by sending donations to Mesa County Jail Ministry 2536 Rimrock Avenue Suite 400-171 Grand Junction, CO 81505.
Table 1 - 2015 budget
|Salaries and Wages||42,000|
(Bibles, Books, Bible Studies,
Film Licenses, Reading Glasses,