“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In times like these, we must trust the words of Jesus. As the world is filled with panic, fear, confusion and uncertainty, we can find peace in the words of God. All the world is affected by Covid-19; so many have died, there are many in hospitals and social distancing is not just trending language, it is the reality for many of us. We are praying for the nations of this world, that we all may have good health, but most of all we are praying that the gospel of Jesus Christ will be spread and that God will be glorified.
Things have clearly changed for us at CPO, these changes bring us both sadness and joy. We are saddened that we are unable to provide our in person ministry at Cook County Jail, Westville Correctional Facility and River Valley Juvenile Detention Center. We are saddened that Covid-19 has infiltrated Cook County Jail. We are praying for the health of the staff and the 5000+ detainees. We give God thanks that our staff and volunteers at Cook County Jail have remained safe and healthy. We are saddened that we had to suspend our vocational training classes for both carpentry and welding. But we also have found joy in the opportunities that are before us.
Our staff is currently focused on:
1. Providing pastoral care and discipleship to ex-offenders. Now that our chaplains have additional time on their hands, we will be providing more spiritual care and discipleship to the many ex-offenders that have been released from Cook County Jail, Westville Correctional Facility and River Valley Detention Center, utilizing digital technology, conference calls and phone calls to make connections.
We realize that we have hundreds of men and women who have been released that we have been unable to connect with because of our heightened focus on those in the jail, so we are taking this time to provide spiritual care and discipleship to those individuals.
2.Providing encouraging correspondence to those who are serving time in far-away prisons. Much of CPO’s letter writing is done by volunteers. During this time our staff is writing personal letters to the many prisoners that have engaged in our programming.
3. Providing spiritual and natural care to families of the incarcerated. With the help of our many volunteers, we are supplying food to the families of inmates and are providing prayer and support, using this time to encourage them through the word of God.
We believe prayer is critical to our lives, especially in this season. We are praying for you and we ask that you continue to pray for us.
1. For the men, women, boys and girls who are incarcerated, especially the youth at River Valley.
2. Pray for the health of our staff and volunteers who continue to serve in safe, cautious ways.
3. Pray that we are able to procure enough food to distribute to our families in need.
Corey Buchanan, Executive Director