What an amazing day! What a blessing to all the women of CRDF to be able to get a Thanksgiving Service. This is the first time that we were able to give a service to every housing area! Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up there morning to come and serve!
We also gave all the deputies gift bags to thank them for all that they do!
Chaplain Evans is missionary of the month! Check it out....
Calvary Chapel Downey
Saturday, October 4th at Calvary Chapel Downy we volunteered at One Night with the King. It was a great time in which over 150 women came to eat dinner together, hear amazing testimonies of what the Lord has done, and hear the gospel message! What an amazing opportunity. It was wonderful to be able to see some women from CRDF.
"I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
Standing in the gap requires absolute faithfulness. Faithfulness in serving, faithfulness in prayer, faithfulness in studying the Word, faithfulness in the pursuit of God, regardless of emotion, feelings, thoughts, or your current state of being. God desires to take faithful and obedient saints and use them to move mountains. Faithfulness and obedience is never a matter of the work of man, it is a matter of the heart, man's very allegiance. It is a matter of where his loyalty and love resides. God does not desire a perfect man, he desires a faithful man. One who is willing to be obedient at any cost. Always considering, "What is it that the Lord desires?" Never considering his own desires above God's.
Our prayer focus this month is a prayer for faithfulness. A prayer for an obedient heart. In light of all that You have done for us Lord, we beseech thee, make us faithful men and women. Dear saints who desire to obey your Word and remain faithful to your commandments regardless of our own thoughts and feelings. Help us to be praying saints, saints who are without compromise, saints that yearn for the pure milk of the Word, saints who desire to put others above ourselves. "Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you." (1 Samuel 12:24)
“You need not fight in this battle ; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:17
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This month I have truly seen the salvation of the Lord!! He never ceases to amaze me. Just when I think WOW…God WOWS me even more. It has been another amazing month that God has seen fit to use us.
Last year my Senior Spanish Chaplain moved on and we haven’t replaced her. Correction….God hasn’t. Every Sunday we do 20 English church services at one time. An hour later, we do 13 services in Spanish. We have been doing this since we moved to CRDF eight years ago. Through much prayer I have combined both Spanish and English so that both services will be going simultaneously. Instead of 20 services there will be 33. Another WOW….didn’t think it was possible. I have to remember that through Him all things are possible J. We are excited to see both ministries come together. Keep us in prayer as we move forward.
The Lord has put the desire in my heart to go to a housing area that no one goes into. There are sixteen pods that have not had any services at all since we have been here. I call those areas “No Man’s Land”. They house mentally unstable inmates. Last Friday the flood gates were opened. We set up camp for Jesus in six pods and we had our first night of worship. There was initially quite a bit of chaos with yelling and screaming but after awhile the Lord silenced the chaos and they began to praiseJ. The Lieutenant that assisted us stated that “strongholds” needed to be broken. Amen! I don’t know if he is a Christian but he was right about that one. One woman clapped and cheered after every beautiful hymn that Chaplain Dave sang. She was truly a fan. We sing a song at church, Chains be broken, lives be healed, eyes be opened as Christ is revealed. I believe that is what happened that night.
I have left the best for last. I am not sure how to tell of my most recent encounter with the providence of my awesome, sovereign God, so I will just jump in. In fact emotionally I am still reeling. Last June I met an inmate who was 7 months pregnant. She asked me to help her with an adoption so that her baby would not go into the system. I was working with a ministry through my church called House of Ruth, which deals with open adoptions. Through the process the inmate received the Lord ( the Salvation of the Lord). She was a new Christian so I would meet with her frequently for prayer, pointing her to Jesus and reading her scriptures. She had interviews with two families which both backed out. The baby was not due until Oct 10th and I was a little stressed that we were running out of time. I saw her on Friday night and told her that a family had expressed interest by email and had actually been praying for her from the beginning. On Tuesday I was expecting to meet the prospective family when they came for their first visit with the inmate when o definite time had been set. When I went to see her they said that she was at the hospital, and this is when things got crazy. I hurried downstairs to go to the hospital and happened to run into the adopting parents because I overheard them mention “House of Ruth”.WOW….We all go over to the hospital together. The inmate had had her baby and was being guarded by a deputy 24/7 with no visits (they were adamant!). Long story short, God did the impossible. I was able to sit and visit with her. When I asked her“Were you afraid?” she said “No Chaplain Evans, I was waiting, I knew that you would find me.” Makes me cry just remembering. So the family got to hold the baby and has since signed the adoption papers. WOW! God is at work and another baby will be raised in the ways of the Lord. I have attached a picture of this beautiful baby girl and the adopted mom truly a work of God. Please join me in keeping the birth mom in prayer as she remains incarcerated here until next year. Thank you body of believers for your faithful support and prayers let us continue to do the work of the Lord in these last days until He comes.
This train is bound for Glory
Here is a blog post written by a volunteer at CRDF....
For more about their ministry please visit : Ponte Trucha
She tapped my husband on the shoulder and quietly said, "Tell your wife I was broken today." The woman's words ring in my head like a song. I have been replaying those words repeatedly in my head, for several days. What a bold statement. One that required no thought, simply a reaction. A reaction to one who had just been stripped, in a matter of an hour.
Behind the walls of Century Regional Detention Center, the largest women's jail in the United States, lies a wealth of misery. Women broken by this world. Women who are cheats, liars, master manipulators, lost and unwilling to be found. And yet, in this hell, amongst the filth, lies small pockets of women whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Women who have truly been washed by the blood of Christ and who will one day, with pure hearts, will sup together at the Wedding Feast of God. Behind these unforgiving walls are women who find themselves in the midst of their own personal Hell by divine order. Women who have essentially found themselves in this place in order that they might come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Women who, by divine appointment, needed to be taken to their lowest, to be broken in order that Christ might lift them up.
"Tell your wife I was broken today," the woman said, as a result of learning about the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years in Mark 5, the paralytic who had been let down through the roof in Mark 2, and the shame and guilt the Prophet Ezra faced because of the very sins of his people, including both the religious and political leaders at that time, in Ezra 9. So ashamed Ezra said, "I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the Lord my God; and I said, O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens." (Ezra 9:5-6)
Brokenness is necessary in the life of any man or woman who desires to know God in a most intimate way. It is necessary in the life of any man or woman that desires to be used of God in such a way that men would look at the life of a Believer such as this and marvel, saying "That could only be by the hand of the Living God."
A term that is virtually unknown in this day an age. A word that is despised and rejected by the masses. A word that denotes weakness and loss in the mind of the common man. A word that very few are willing to embrace because of the heaviness that comes with it. It is a state in which a common man finds Himself before a Holy God in a helpless state of affairs. A state in which the pride of life has been stripped from him only to find himself naked and unveiled before the Lord.Brokenness is a lonely state. It is one in which the loneliness and heaviness of having a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord will be revealed. And even in a dim light, this lonely state of existence will almost be too much to bear. We find this very state in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ sweat drops of blood from the anguish and brokenness He was experiencing, "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Matthew 26:39) Brokenness is necessary for any man that desires for God to do the impossible in and through His life. Brokennesscan only be present in the absence of pride. It can only manifest itself in the presence of a Holy God.Brokenness cannot exist apart from the working of the Holy Spirit. It can only occur in the heart of a man that, even for a small instance, realizes his state in the presence of the Almighty.
Oh, how we need to be broken! "How often we bewail and bemoan the sad fact of broken lives, but find later that only broken things are used by the Lord and that only after we are broken are we our very best for God." (Broken Things, M.R. Dehaan)
God has been speaking brokenness into my life as of late. At every turn I find myself being given the same message. I need to be broken before the Lord if I desire to move mountains. I am not sure what this means. But He has been speaking so clearly. He desires to take a praying man or woman and take them into the depths of brokenness in order to reveal Himself, to reveal His very heart. It causes me to wonder why it is that God, very God, the Living God whom I serve is so broken. Not in a sense of weakness or loss, but why it is He mourns to such a degree. The answer is simple.
The sin of man and the love of God.
The overwhelming love of our Creator causes an overwhelming brokenness over the Creation. Deep love cannot exist without deep sorrow and brokenness when the relationship has been marred by sin. True brokenness is not a state of being that manifests itself through emotion, rather it is an ongoing state in which man is taken to the brink of sorrow over the sin of man and is yet brought back to life when He finds Himself in the presence of the overwhelming love of God. Was it not that Christ had to be broken, almost beyond repair, in order to save sinful man? What then is it that is calling us to brokenness?
"Tell your wife I was broken today," the woman said. The words ring so clearly in my head, much like lyrics to a well known song. Quite a bold statement for a woman who lives behind concrete walls, only able to breathe recycled air, who day in and day out witnesses the severe consequences of sin in the life of fallen man. Quite a statement from one that you would have assumed had already been broken for some time due to her state of affairs. Quite a statement. I wonder if I will ever be able to make the same, in order that I might know God in a most intimate way. He has made it very clear, I must know Him in His suffering, as this is the very place where I will begin to understand the depth of His overwhelming love.
"I come, God, I come
I return to the Lord
The one who's broken
The one who's torn me apart
You struck down to bind me up
You say You do it all in love
That I might know You in Your suffering"
"Look at the nations and watch-- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.“
God is looking for faithful men and women, those that desire to die to the flesh, as living sacrifices, whose minds are set on the things above (Colossians 3). We are in the midst, my brothers and sisters, of perilous times, where men have waxed cold and the abominations of the Lord have become that which modern man seeks after. In the midst of this great darkness, God, who is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in love, desires to do a work through faithful men and women that will bring glory and honor to His name. A work in which men are called to repentance, a work in which the Church rids itself of its pride, a work in which we are humbled before our Great and Mighty God. Bowing our knee in humility before the Lord, as broken vessels, in our last ditch effort to plead for the souls of this nation, the souls of our families and friends, the souls of those who we minister to behind the walls of CRDF, and perhaps even the souls of some that sit idly by in the pulpits. I plead with you Brethren, that during the month of September, we commit ourselves to fervent prayer. That we pray to the Lord for revival in our own hearts, for an uprooting of our souls unto humility, and for the saving of lost souls. Let us pray in one accord, for the moving of mountains. For God to begin to move in such a way that we can scarce but proclaim, “It was only by the hand of the Living God that such an act could occur.” Let us pray with great boldness and humble hearts, with repentance and fervency, for the Lord to pour out upon us, working in us, through us, and around us, that which could only be done by the hand of our Great and Terrible God. Let us acknowledge the Scripture and hold fast to the promises of God, as it is written, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.”
Hello Fellow Believers,
As the year zooms by the Gospel message has been proclaimed day after day. The message of the Cross never grows old and you have been a part of the work through your prayers and faithful support. As Paul expressed his heart to the church, I too want to express my heart to you. Thank you again for answering the call with me and letting the Lord use us as His vessels for His Glory. The ministry is huge and a mighty work has been done and will continue until He comes. So let us put our hand to the plow and not look back because there is a work to be done in these dark days. Jesus said “ I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world”. (John 9:4-5)
Coming back from the mission field was a heart changing and mind blowing experience. As I returned to what God has called me to do here I realized that it is mind blowing and heart changing on a daily basis. So many things happen daily in my life as Senior Chaplain. Doors open and shut and people come and go. Times are good and at times bad. Solomon wrote “ He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end”. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
When we trust in Him, He sees us through. As I do my “one on ones”, I see about 150 inmates in any given week. That does not include what my other chaplains are seeing. I wanted to give you a little insight into the scope of the ministry and for you to see and hear what the Lord is doing in the women’s hearts and lives. It is amazing! I was counseling and an inmate expressed how she was moved by one of our Sunday services. She said the teacher prayed that God would break them. She looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “I am in jail, lost my kids and everything I had. I thought I was broken. ” Then she lifted up her eyes and hands and said “Lord then break me some more.” WOW! God is at work!!
Last week I, Chaplain Mrotzek and a team of faithful women passed out “Angel Tree” forms to the entire jail. This is a wonderful ministry through Prison Fellowship where children receive Christmas gifts from their incarcerated parent with a gospel message. There were 1,980 forms filled out from each inmate for their child to receive a gift for Christmas. My body is still sore from this big task. Paul wrote that our body groans and mine is groaning. Praise Jesus for those that come alongside and make the load easier as I get older.
Last week I had a call from one of the floors, in which an inmate had received some troubling news. When I had finished with her, I was asked by a Senior to talk to an inmate who was on suicide watch. As I approached she was crying and overwhelmed. I prayed with her and then returned to my office. When my assistant arrived to work, God place it on my heart to go back. Earlier I had heard this song “The King is Here”. I grabbed my boom box and off Rayna and I went. We approached her cell and when I called her over, she started to cry again. I said “I want to share something with you” I played the song and whispered to her...”You are not alone; the King is here in cell 5”. Tears streamed from her face as she lifted up her arms before God and genuinely began to pray and cry out to the Lord. Rayna and I were overwhelmed as the inmate felt the presence of the Lord that day.
We are on this earth for kingdom purpose. Let us honor Our King in all we do!
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you"
(1 Peter 5:6)
Humility, in this day and age, is frowned upon, a trifle state of being in which you prove yourself to be weak and spineless. And yet, as so often the case, humility is highly favored in the Scriptures. It is an attribute which the Lord Himself exemplified and exercised in His 33 years of ministry on earth. It is an attribute, as you read throughout the Old Testament, that is seen through the abundant mercy and grace that God pours out upon His people. As we find ourselves at the end of the summer months, as our year is already half removed, let us reflect on all that the Lord has done thus far. Let us make a plea, in one accord, to our Great and Terrible God (Nehemiah 9:32), begging Him for the very attribute that marked His life on earth and His very existence in Heaven. Humility, lowliness of mind and absence of self, an inward lowliness that results in an outward ability to serve others far beyond our own capacities.
Father, we beseech Thee by your mercy and grace, to strip us of ourselves. To remove from us the very burden of self and to build us up to be lowly and forgetful of our own flesh. We pray thee O Lord, help us to see ourselves as nothing and You as everything. Help us Lord to think of others above ourselves and to take on the very mind of Christ (Philippians 2).
We acknowledge Lord, that we will one day stand before you and give an account of that which we lived out on this earth in light of your Scripture. I beg Thee O Lord, that I would stand before Thee weak and lowly, humble and of a contrite Spirit. So let it be written Lord, so let it be done.
In Jesus name, Amen.