Your giving makes it all possible
“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (New International Version 1984, Philippians 4:10-13).
Christmas is a time of giving! It originates with God’s precious gift of His Son through the incarnation and spreads to the smallest package under the Christmas tree.
If you are reading this article it is because you are a part of the OJPM family. You probably give your prayers or time or finances to make it possible to reach thousands of Oklahoma inmates with the transformative power of the gospel.
December is a time of end-of-year gifts! It originates with the fiscal calendar in January and spreads to the twelfth month for accounting and reporting purposes.
OJPM follows best practice accounting principles and takes seriously our stewardship to the Lord and to our volunteers, friends and supporters.
Because this is a time of accounting and giving I want to report to you the significant steps that our board of directors has taken so that you will have clear information as you consider your end-of-year giving.
Because of expanded ministry opportunities, OJPM has run monthly deficits for several years. Since I arrived in November of last year I have trimmed expenses where possible and worked closely with Bill Farley, board president, on fundraising. We are still running monthly deficits.
It is now time to cut salaries to eliminate the shortfalls. Effective February 1, 2016, one full-time chaplain position will be defunded. Effective January 1, 2016, the stipends to our self-funded chaplains will end and the rest of our full-time staff will take a five percent cut in salary.
OJPM is impacting as many inmates with the gospel as ever. There is much to praise the Lord about, but these are difficult financial times in our state and our staff is making sacrifices like many other people.
If you are suffering financial sacrifices, my prayers are with you. I experienced the pain of job loss in 2014 and now face this financial cutback and that makes these decisions even more personal and difficult.
If you are experiencing financial blessings, my prayer is that after you have tithed to your local church, you would remember our ministry with a gift.
I affirm what the Apostle Paul said above, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.” Paul was telling the Philippians thank you for their generosity.
Paul trusted God to provide, but he knew that God usually used His faithful servants to give the actual money and resources. While acknowledging God’s sovereignty in blessing (“content whatever the circumstances”), he was pointing out God’s vessels of blessing. I am trying to do the same.
Christmas happens everyday in our county jails as OJPM chaplains and volunteers share the gift of God through Jesus Christ. The reason for the season is the foundation for all that OJPM does.