Redemption | newsletter from Bethel Ministries – 10/11

October 2011

Bethel Ministries
A Ministry of Reconciliation

This Newsletter is the 10th for Bethel Ministries (Bethel). The newsletter is sent out regularly to contributors, churches, and interested public.

Bethel, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and faith-based program in Boise, Idaho, was established to help men leaving incarceration change their lives to become law-abiding, productive members of society. Bethel provides transitional homes where the men reside in a family-type setting. During their six to twelve month stay, the men are matched with mentors, obtain employment, attend a structured program of life-skill classes, and participate in group and individual counseling.

Bethel provides an invaluable service to Treasure Valley families and all Idaho by providing many newly released prisoners the necessary services to successfully transition back into society. Bethel’s success in providing the needed life-skills and supervision during this vulnerable transition period strengthens community safety and reduces re-offences that save Idaho taxpayer dollars.

News from Bethel
Due to the untimely death of his son Charlie in April, Rob Lee, Executive Director, took an extended leave of absence from his full-time position. Chris Roberts took over supervising Operations on an interim basis. Initially, Rob transitioned back by coordinating Invitations; then on September 2nd, Rob resumed his full-time duties over Operations. The Board recognizes and appreciates Chris’s dedication over the last several months. On a very happy note, Rob announced that he and his wife are expecting a “new arrival” in March.

Although 2011 started off with financial challenges, the Lord has ensured Bethel’s needs are continually met. Please continue to pray that God will provide the necessary funds for Bethel’s operations.

Bethel residents continue to struggle finding employment. Please pray for jobs for the Bethel men during these difficult economic times for Idaho and our nation.

Each year we honor Bethel residents who complete the Bethel Ministries discipleship program’s requirements for graduation. At the September 22nd Board meeting, the Board scheduled the Bethel Graduation and Banquet for 6PM Friday, November 18, 2011 at the Mountain View Church of the Brethren, 2823 N. Cole Road, Boise. We are pleased to have Mark Hubbell, Executive Director for Prison Fellowship Northwest, as this year’s special guest speaker.

Bethel Presentations
For a Bethel Ministries presentation at your local church or civic organization, please contact Rob Lee at the e-mail address or phone number listed below.

Erasing the Bars

The Community Information and Resource Fair.

Churches, state agencies, and community help and support groups came together On September 21, 2011 for the first Annual Community Information and Resource Fair at the Vineyard Church in Garden City.  Participants highlighted the community resources they offer and learned about one another. The day opened with speakers: State Senator Denton Darrington; Brent Reinke, Director, Idaho Department of Correction; and Rogelio (Roy) Valdez, Deputy Director, Idaho Department of Labor.

State prison wardens and parole officers attended the group’s meeting and visited with various booth participants. Fair goers visited over 90 different tables where they received information about the different participant services.

In addition, a statewide information web page has been established listing different churches, agencies and organizations. The site will inform counselors, pastors, and serving agencies of available community services. (http://www.offenderresourcesidaho.org) This valuable resource helps all who work with men and women in prison, and their families, identify needed resources.

The Fair was a huge success and similar events are being considered in other Idaho locations.

By  David McKellip, Idaho Restorative Justice Committee, Facilitator

How to help
You may donate through PayPal or send checks made payable to Bethel Ministries, PO Box 44106, Boise, Idaho 83711-0106. Your support is always greatly appreciated.

Additional ways to donate
In addition to your prayers and monetary donations, Bethel is seeking all types of household items such as kitchen ware and appliances, draperies, furniture — such as beds, chests, washers, dryers, freezers, tables and chairs, and also men’s clothing. Bethel can always use donated food. Please contact Rob Lee or call 208-724-1734 to have your donated items picked up, or where you may deliver them.