Tag Archives: Photo Album

Celebration Banquet

On November 9th, with coaches representing our athletic teams from all over the country in attendance, the Saints Prison Ministry gathered in the gym at Easton Bible Church to celebrate God’s goodness over the past year. Having a different team represented at each table allowed guests to hear stories from the front lines and we were blessed to hear a testimony and saxophone solo from Michael, an ex-offender who credits the Saints Prison Ministry – and specifically, Dr. Omar Fisher of our NJ basketball team – for making a huge impact on his life coming out of SCI Chester. The evening culminated with Pastor Dave MacMurray challenging us from the book of Nehemiah, in keeping with the ministry’s tagline of Multiple Teams…One Ministry…One Message. The most important takeaway from that celebration? God was glorified for His provision and blessing!

                              

 

2015 Volunteer of the Year

Due to some scheduling issues, recognition of these two incredible people did not make it into our previous issue.  But it gives us great pleasure nonetheless to announce to you our 2015 Volunteers of the Year.

In the Southeast Region, many functions are still taking root as we transition the leadership team, and Jimmy would not only have his hands full but be pulling his hair out if Julie Flores had not stepped up and completely embraced one of the most important tasks that we need done.  She completely took ownership of making sure not a single inmate fell through the cracks as teams from all over the region sent Inmate Response Cards to her in the mail.  Her tireless efforts to ensure every card was entered properly and quickly made Jimmy’s life that much easier as the SE Region took on entering their own response cards full time.

In the NE Region, one of our long-time Saints Prison Ministry Board members not only wore that hat again in 2015, but also took on the responsibility of chairing our Annual Charity Auction in the fall.  And take it on he did!  Robert Bartosz immersed himself in learning the nuances of running an auction, choosing the perfect venue, pushing foray auction-specific website, launching our first foray into online auctions, and even ending the experience by convincing our auction attendees that Billy the Singing Bass was worth bidding on!  While many were involved in the execution of this event, our largest Saints fundraiser of the year was successful due in great part to Bob’s tireless efforts.

Our belated thanks to both of these very special members of the Saints Prison Ministry family!

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On left: Bob Bartosz accepting the award from Executive Director, Frank Zeidler, Jr.

On right: Julie Flores accepting her award from SE Regional Director, Jimmy Cochran

12th Annual Charity Auction!

The Saints 12th Annual Charity Auction in late September was fantastic! A spectacular venue – complete with sharks watching as we ate – and The Saints family joined together to make this event truly memorable.  Thank you to all who attended, bid online, or sent in donations to help us minister to inmates around the country!  Enjoy the pictures and plan on joining us for our next gala event!

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Announcements

God’s Got This!

As the impact of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 continues to unfold before our eyes, I keep hearing the same voice in the back of my head.  A former teammate of mine, and a friend to many in the Saints family, offers the same deeply held belief every time the ministry (or he personally) must face a difficult situation… “God’s got this!”

As a child of the King, that is our reality; and those words bring comfort and peace in a plethora of situations.  Yes, this virus is nasty. Yes, we must exercise caution and be part of the solution, not the problem.  Yes, the situation is unprecedented for most of us.  But none of this changes the fact that “God’s got this”.

As I have reminded you of this before, my chief concern as the Director is guiding this ministry as God is leading it; never to force my agenda or ideas, but diligently trying not to lag behind His plans either”.  I am more committed to that than ever, and through this “crisis” I have felt God’s Spirit guiding our staff and Board at every turn.

Recently, the prisons have begun closing their doors to visitors and volunteers.  As news came out that state after state was taking this necessary step, our staff took the initiative to contact the prisons where we had softball games already scheduled.  As a result of taking this action, we were able to shift the opening of our softball season back from April 25th to June 4th.  Will the doors be open by June 4th?  I have no idea.  But clearly the Spirit was leading this decision, as evidenced by this email received from a Recreation Supervisor in IL:

Thank you for reaching out to us to reschedule.  You are the only one that has so far, and I think most are just waiting to see what happens.  Look forward to seeing you guys again sometime this summer”

Or this phone message from a Chaplain in Delaware:

“Thank you for taking the time to call me.  I just assumed we would lose the games because I didn’t think rescheduling would be an option with how busy you guys always are.”

Given the uncertainty of the next few weeks and months, it is important that you know we continue to serve those behind bars as much as we are able.  The other aspects of our ministry (birthday cards, follow up discipleship, fall scheduling, etc.) go on as always.  We have taken necessary steps to be ready for mandatory work-from-home announcements and our Board has reviewed our budget for potential modifications should the current financial uncertainty become a prolonged situation.

As partners with us in reaching men and women behind bars, you may rest assured the Saints Prison Ministry maintains committed to our mission and we value our partnership as much as ever.   For understandable reasons we will have no personal interaction with any of you soon, but there are two things you can do to continue working with us. First, include the inmates we serve in your prayers.  In grim times we all suffer from tunnel vision a little bit, so I’m going to suggest a way to be intentional about this.  Think back over the stories you’ve heard or articles you’ve read and come up with one item: a crusade, a prison name, a Missionary-Athlete’s name, a program like Birthday Cards or the Glove Exchange, maybe even an inmate’s name.  Make that single item the focus of your prayers for the ministry over the next few weeks.  Thank God for His providence and pray for His direction.

Second, if you are able, please make your regular gifts online instead of mailing in a check.  Obviously, we want to make supporting this work as easy as possible; if you are not comfortable online feel free to continue to use the US mail.  But in the interest of caution, the less mail our staff handles at this time the better.  Who knows – you may find you like it!

“God’s got this” – and He has all along.  It is the greatest comfort I can offer you and at the same time the only comfort any of us should need.

Serving Him gladly,

 

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Northeast Golf Classic
June 15, 2020 at Merchantville Country Club

Details coming soon!