Chaplain Ethan Maynard will be joining us at CCF on Sunday, August 18. The following items are needed for the ministry at Geauga Safety Center. Please bring your donations to the church by August 18.
1) Paperback Bible dictionary/concordances in English or Spanish (you’d be surprised how often I get requests for these)
2) Discovery Series booklets (same publisher as Daily Bread) on any topic
3) Blank Christmas and Easter cards so inmates can write to their families.
4) Soft Cover King James Bibles or Reina Valera Spanish Bibles. I get ESV through Gideons, but I’m sometimes light on these other good translations that are frequently requested.
5) Tall floor lamps (family need)
Highlights & Moments in the Jail
Thanks to all who have chosen to partner in the jail ministry. This vital ministry would not be possible without your support. It’s amazing to see God answer your prayers day to day. For example, our former landlord had not given us our security deposit back after nearly a month. I asked several of our dear supporters if they would pray about the situation and that very day my wife received the check in the mail for the full amount! Does God answer prayer? Yes, He does!
This past month has exemplified how ministry as a chaplain can be an emotional roller coaster. Recently, there have been two drug related deaths. One man was an inmate I counseled on numerous occasions. He had some struggles with mental illness, but he was a very likable person. His downfall was drug abuse. Ironically, he was actually clean from drugs when he died, but the residual effects of drug usage had caused his internal organs to fail. The other was a family member closely related to a current inmate who overdosed. It was very sad dealing with these situations, and seeing the unnecessary destruction of lives. The devil truly does want to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10a).
Yet, there has also been tremendously heartening news: A former inmate who went through recovery at the Salvation Army home in Akron texted me about his baptism. He has been completely clean now for 13 months! He is excited about what the Lord is doing in his life. I also met another former inmate who was released from prison. He placed his faith in Christ in the Geauga County Jail, but then he served out his sentence in a prison in another county. As he attested himself, “My time in incarceration was pivotal for [my] spiritual growth.” Currently, he is doing very well and is walking with the Lord. Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).
The bad situations always give me a sense of urgency. A person’s relationship with Christ is the only thing they can take with them into eternity. We can’t take any of the world’s riches with us when we go. The special projects and priorities we find so pressing won’t be remembered in 50 years. The Lord is calling us to a deeper relationship – one based on love, faith, time spent together, and the desire to do His will. Therefore, I want to preach to the perishing that they may have this relationship. However, I also want to encourage those on the path to live their life fully for Jesus. It is always better to be rich towards God (Luke 12:16-21; Isaiah 55:2).
Counseling and mentoring former inmates has become an increasing part of my ministry these last few months. Relationship building takes time and effort, but it is a key part of discipleship. I thank God for these opportunities to mentor these men and help them stay in the Word and on God’s path. One young man I’ve been mentoring said that, “my time in jail was the first time I really studied and understood Scripture on a deeper level,” and as a result “my understanding of God and His peace is that much greater.” The Holy Spirit works powerfully through the Word to change hearts and minds. It is for this reason that I’m constantly encouraging the inmates to work daily Bible reading plans, memorize and meditate on Scripture, become more familiar with the overarching themes of Scripture (Psalm 119:11; 105).
1. Pray that men and women in the jail would surrender their lives to Christ. Also, please pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with the corrections officers.
2. Pray for the inmates who have made commitments to be able to stand in the strength of Christ against persecution, peer-pressure, temptation, backsliding, etc.
3. Please pray for the continued success of the RU program. Pray that God would have victory in the lives of those who struggle with addictions and that God would protect them from temptation and against spiritual attack, especially following their release.
4.Please pray for God’s spiritual protection over those who volunteer in the jail. Also, please pray for the spiritual battle that surrounds the inmates and officers. We know that the battle raging in hearts and minds is spiritual. Please pray that God’s Truth would prevail.
Blessings in our Savior,
Chaplain Ethan Maynard