OJPM vision moving forward
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (New International Version 1984, Matthew 28:19–20).
OJPM’s mission statement (Transforming people on both sides of the bars) is what Jesus’ Great Commission looks like personalized for our ministry.
OJPM’s vision statement (First portion – We envision a ministry providing passionate, trained chaplains and volunteers to every county jail in Oklahoma) is what our mission statement looks like as God brings it to life.
This past month, we had two new ministry sites come online. The Bryan County jail with Site Chaplain Jesse West and the Lincoln County jail with Site Chaplain Kevin Martin.
We now have ministry reaching inmates in eight Oklahoma counties (we are at two facilities in Oklahoma county) with only 69 counties to go. If you noticed that we ended 2017 with a financial surplus, rest assured that we are planning expanded ministry that will put that money and more to kingdom use.
Chaplain West is a local Bryan County pastor and has several years of hospital chaplaincy experience. He reported in January, “there were several precious souls added to the Kingdom along with the addition of six new volunteers. One lady is with Celebrate Recovery and the other three ladies are with the Gideon’s auxiliary. Two men who are with Celebrate Recovery are currently awaiting approval before restarting their ministry.”
Chaplain Martin is a local Lincoln County pastor whose church has been involved with the jail for several years. He recently reported, “in the past few weeks God has done great things in the jail house ministry. We have seven volunteers at this time. In the past two weeks seven inmates have asked Christ into their life. I was able to meet personally with one inmate and he rededicated his life to the Lord. God is giving us favor in the jail house.”
Last week I met with a prospective site chaplain and county sheriff who verbally committed to endorsing our ministry. Hopefully, I will be able to announce the beginning of our ministry in that jail in next month’s newsletter. This morning I had a phone call from a gentleman who read last month’s column about our vision to have a ministry in every county jail in Oklahoma. God has laid jail ministry on his heart and he wants to be involved in bringing OJPM into his local county jail.
The Lord is at work. The Lord has given us our commission. Join in with OJPM to bring a Christian witness to every county jail in Oklahoma through your prayers, volunteering and giving.
His vision is moving forward!
Unleashing the captives,
2017 was a year of transformation for OJPM
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (New International Version 1984, 2 Corinthians 3:18).
God is in the transformation business! OJPM staff and volunteers walk side-by-side (empowered by the Holy Spirit) with God each day in now nine county jail facilities.
OJPM chaplains (I use this term interchangeably with our staff and volunteers) move so far out of their comfort zones to serve the Lord that they cannot help but be personally transformed themselves. They also are the hands, feet and voices used by the Lord to bring the transformative message of the gospel to the men and women incarcerated in our county jails.
The Lord worked through many of you in 2017 to transform our financial support. Because of the new giving and extra giving by our extended ministry friends and family, we were able to meet the Open Hearts, Open Doors JASCO Giving Hope Foundation Matching Gift Campaign goal of $100,000 (see box on back page). This generosity has put our ministry on firmer financial footing and will allow us to expand our impact in 2018.
Looking forward to the new year in 2018 our board of directors has approved the following mission statement, vision statement and strategic initiatives.
Mission statement – Transforming people on both sides of the bars.
Vision statement – We envision a ministry providing passionate, trained chaplains and volunteers to every county jail in Oklahoma.
We envision chaplains and volunteers sharing the gospel with inmates and challenging them to turn from their self-destructive ways and to follow Jesus Christ as Lord.
We envision chaplains and volunteers praying with, encouraging and giving Bibles and Bible study materials to inmates.
We envision chaplains and volunteers being the answer to the prayers of countless mothers, fathers, children and grandparents that are asking God to send someone to intervene in their loved one’s life.
We envision transformed inmates who are reconciled with the Lord, their loved ones, their victims and their community.
We envision transformed volunteers who no longer just sit in a pew at their local church, but have discovered how God can use them as they step out of their comfort zone.
- Enlist and train site chaplains and volunteers with introductory, maturing and advanced training in prayer, personal soul-winning, spiritual discernment, personal growth, jail security, fundraising and record keeping
- Contact and enlist sheriffs and jail administrators in every county in Oklahoma to partner with OJPM to provide a site chaplain and volunteer in their county jail
- Develop OJPM website as key resource for promotion, training and fundraising
- Strengthen fundraising efforts to sustain ministry operations
This is where God is going with His transformative power. This is where OJPM is going along with the Lord. Please join us for this transformative journey in 2018 with your prayers, personal involvement and financial support.
Unleashing the captives,
It is more blessed to give than to receive
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (New International Version 1984, Acts 20:35).
December is a time to reflect and one of the most significant things in my life this past year was the passing of my dad. My dad was a banker his whole life. Bankers are known for lending but my dad was a giver.
The last several years I have thought from time to time about why my dad was generous. The Lord impressed upon me that I needed to share some thoughts when the day came that I stood at my dad’s funeral. Below are some of the thoughts I shared at his service.
The first reason I believe he was generous was because he was thankful.
He was always giving the Lord credit for his rise out of a humble beginning, not having attended college and yet reaching the levels of success and significance he achieved.
“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name” (New International Version 1984, 1 Chronicles 29:12–13).
He knew he had received much blessing from the Lord and so he knew he needed to pass it on.
The second reason I believe he was generous was because he had a clear theology of stewardship.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (New International Version 1984, Matthew 25:21).
That God owns and controls everything
That our resources come from the Lord
That God expects His children to be good stewards of His resources
That God expects His children to seek His counsel on how they use His resources
That a child of God is to be thankful to the Lord in little or in much
As a child, my dad gave me coins to put in the offering plate. As I grew older, he mentioned that part of my allowance should be given to the Lord. When I received my first official pay check he sat me down for a visit and tithing became more specific and concrete.
The third reason I believe he was generous was because of regret.
My dad was not perfect. Because I have tried to be generous as a way of making up for my short comings, I can see this in my dad. Giving was his love language and at times his way of saying, “I am sorry and I love you.”
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” God is a generous god. Generosity is one of the fruits of Jesus’ presence in a life. I am glad my dad was a generous man!
During this Christmas season of giving and receiving, I trust you will grow in your own generosity, especially as you realize how generous God has been to you through His Precious Son, Jesus Christ.
Unleashing the captives,
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name” (New International Version 1984, 1 Chronicles 29:11–13).
Thank you Lord!
2017 has been a year of God opening the windows of heaven and financially blessing our ministry. I believe I feel similar to King David in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 when he was overwhelmed with the generosity of the people as they responded to the need for resources to build the temple.
The people made the sacrifice, but David realized it was the moving of God’s hand in the lives of the people. It was the Lord who had blessed the people with their resources and it was the Lord who moved them to be obedient and to give freely to His work.
After several years of wandering through the financial desert and having to cut back in almost every area of our budget we are now in the fertile land where we can fully fund our day-to-day ministries and plan for expansion.
Thank you JASCO Giving Hope Foundation!
Steve Trice, founder and chairman of the board, JASCO Products Company, has been a faithful supporter of our ministry for several years. In his vision to help OJPM expand its donor base, he presented us with a $100,000 matching gift challenge through the JASCO Giving Hope Foundation. This challenge would match any new donor’s money or any existing donor giving more than they had in either 2015 or 2016.
In the last newsletter, our Open Hearts, Open Doors matching gift campaign total was at $83,000. This past month we reached the $100,000 goal! This is a miracle that was supplied from the Lord working directly through Steve Trice’s vision.
Thank you friends of OJPM!
It is a matching gift. That means this miracle happened as well through the friends of our ministry that gave sacrificially to turn this $100,000 into $200,000. Speaking of sacrifice, it is fitting that a donation from Carolyn Lang’s estate put us over the top in reaching this goal. Carolyn, an OJPM volunteer since 2004, passed away this past August. Carolyn had such an Open Heart to see Open Doors that she put OJPM in her will. What a legacy of faithful service!
One more note of thanksgiving. Because of our strengthened financial position, we are opening up OJPM ministry in two counties. Bryan County jail OJPM ministry started November 1st with Site Chaplain Tommy Green in place and Lincoln County jail OJPM ministry will start sometime this month.
Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name!
Unleashing the captives,