July 2017 Newsletter

Our Dear Ministry Partners,

At one of the facilities we go to, the moment the men walk in the room, Elizabeth is asked, “You gonna do my song tonight?” That song is, “Love You So Much”. There are at least two inmates who request it on a regular basis here. One of them is a young man we would guess to be in mid 20’s. The other is an older man we would guess to be in his late 60’s to early 70’s. The older one was sentenced to a single life term and has served over 38 years of that sentence. There is one particular line of the song that says, “Love You so much Jesus, Love You so much…” and this is the line the men love to sing out. The older inmate, no matter how many times he hears it – cries. He wells up with so much gratitude for what Jesus has done in his life that he cannot contain the tears of joy. What a blessing it was to hear from him just last week letting us know that he received a letter stating that he was approved for parole in just three months from now! Life will completely change for him, but we know that our awesome God who has walked with him through his life in prison will be faithful to continue to walk with him out here.

The Lord opened up an exciting opportunity to go back to a facility that we have only been to one time before. He led Jay to preach on what it really means to “believe” in or on Jesus. It’s not about saying some “magic” prayer but having a relationship with Him. At invitation time five men raised their hand that they needed salvation. However, seven men raised their hand that they prayed along with Jay for salvation. Praise The Lord!!!

One more quick story….last year we told you about the Lord opening the door for us to start going to another facility on a monthly basis and we were excited to see what He wanted to do here. It is a slow process, but the men are ever so gradually warming up to us. This month, Jay preached on the two stories of the disciples in the boat during horrific storms and how they reacted to Jesus in each one. (Matthew 8:23-27 & 14:22-33) In the second story, Jesus comes to the disciples walking on the thing they feared the most – the water. Many times the very thing we fear the most is the very thing Jesus will come to us on, assuring us that what seems to be over our heads is still under His feet. Afterwards, he was approached by many men saying it was exactly what they needed that night.

Before we go into a prison, we always ask the Lord to show us what the men need. We may have ideas or an outline of what we intend on sharing, but it is the Lord alone Who knows what they have need of. He sees and knows every situation they are facing, we do not. The Lord has been faithful to answer those prayers. It is the Lord Who does the work in hearts and lives. We are blessed to have the privilege to go and be His representatives. We thank you for helping us go!

For God’s Glory Alone!

Jay & Elizabeth

June 2017 newsletter

Our Dear Ministry Partners,

We love telling you stories of what God has done and is doing in the hearts and lives of the men we come in contact with in our prisons. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 says, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised (which means: branded and held in contempt), hath God chosen…” Inmates are definitely a segment of our society who are despised, branded, and held in contempt. But God is so rich in mercy, full of compassion and eager to forgive. We have the wonderful privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with exactly the type of people referred to here, in this passage.

DG is such an inmate. The Lord has graciously allowed us the opportunity to be there for him in way of encouragement and discipleship for the last 7 or 8 years. He told Elizabeth, just recently, “It’s scary! Really scary! When I was on the outside, I thought I knew what Christianity was and thought for the most part I lived it. But it wasn’t until I ended up here and got into the Word that I truly realized what it means to be a Christian. It took this dark place for me to see how self deceived I was.”

DG is serving a 17 year prison sentence with 27 months to go. He was born again in prison and has utilized his time very wisely in the study of God’s Word. He is now leading a Bible study in his pod, doing discipleship with younger believers, and sharing the Truth of God’s Word with those who are seeking. Though he has been abandoned by friends and family on the outside, he is so thankful and grateful for God loving him, choosing him, and walking with him!

We cannot thank you enough, our prayer partners and supporters, for the behind the scenes work you do in partnering with us in reaching the despised, the branded and those held in contempt, for Jesus sake. None of us will ever know this side of eternity, all that God accomplished through our collective efforts. Teamwork! And all…..

For God’s Glory Alone!

Jay & Elizabeth


May 2017 newsletter

Our Dear Ministry Partners,

What a month it has been! The Lord placed a very special message on our hearts then opened many doors for us to share this message from Him to the people.

What was this message? Relationship! Relationship! Relationship!

Psalm 73:25 “…there is none (no-one or no-thing) upon earth that I desire besides thee.”

John 3: 15-18 with the emphasis on“believeth on Him” and what exactly that means – not just accepting facts about Jesus but to “cling to or embrace wholly and completely; to trust totally in;and rely on Him just like we rely on food and water to sustain our life”

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him….” This is to be our goal – to become more intimately acquainted with Jesus and the wonders of His person.

1 Peter 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love….yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable…” When we know and love Jesus, we get excited over Him. When was the last time you got excited over Jesus?

Jude 24 “(He will one day)….present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” Jesus gets excited over His people.

Again, Relationship! It is all about having a relationship with Jesus.

And what, you may ask, was the result of all these open doors? All the services combined, somewhere between 35 and 40 men raised their hand for salvation! In addition, many indicated that they needed to return to their first Love. One of them telling us that the message made him stop, examine himself, and ask himself, “Why am I serving the Lord? Is it to present myself as something to the others? Is it to earn points to get me out of here sooner? Or is it because I really love Him?” He said that after much soul searching and praying, he came to the conclusion that he served the Lord because he truly loves Him. He then thanked us for making him stop and re-evaluate why he does what he does for the Lord. God is SO amazing!

We thank you for your prayer and / or financial support. Our team work together with the Lord is yielding a harvest of souls.

For God’s Glory Alone!

Jay& Elizabeth

April 2017 newsletter

Dear Ministry Partners,

In Genesis 39:20-23, we read about Joseph being thrown into prison. “But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” God still does this today, as shown in the following two stories…..

Tyrone is an inmate we were blessed to have met over 16 years ago. While he was at a facility that we went to on a regular basis, we stayed in continual contact with him (through letters) to encourage him in his walk with the Lord as well as encouraging him in his ministering to his fellow inmates. When he was transferred to another prison, our correspondence with him slowed way down. The Lord has opened the door for us to go to the prison he is currently at on May 7th. We are so excited! Not only will we get to see him again, but we also will get to see other inmates we have ministered over the years that also have been transferred to this facility. We have received letters from them asking us to come. In talking with the chaplain, setting up the date, he told us that Tyrone will be released 4 days after we are there. This is where we see Genesis 39:21 coming in. Tyrone has been such a blessing and godly example to the other inmates that the chaplain keeps asking him, “Are you sure you don’t want to stay longer?” The chaplain told Jay on the phone that he knows Tyrone want to go home but he keeps trying to convince him that he is still needed and needs to stay. What a blessing!

George is another inmate God is using on the inside. He heads up the prayer team and is a strong godly leader to other inmates at the facility he is at. God opened the door for us to go to the facility he was transferred to on April 30th. It was a blessing to see him again after 4 years and observing how the other inmates look up to him for spiritual guidance. Genesis 39:21 comes in again here…..for when one of the higher ranking officers took the job as warden at another facility, he asked George,“Why don’t you come along with me?” To which he replied, “Noooo….I like it here just fine.” We just can’t help but smile!

We praise the Lord for the wonderful privilege it is to serve Him in the prisons. Jesus said in Matthew 25:36 “…I was in prison, and ye came to me.”Going into our prisons to share Jesus with the lost and encourage the believers there is such a joy. We thank you for your partnering with us. Whether in prayer and/or financial support, we as a team – you sending and us going – are together fulfilling the very words of our Lord. Thank you!

For God’s Glory Alone!

Jay& Elizabeth

March 2017 Newsletter

Dear Ministry Partners,

Thank you for your many prayers on behalf of Jay and the ministry team from Foundation For Hope. The Lord used the whole team to reach out to so many with the love of Christ. Though there are many stories that could be shared, we want to share three of them.

1. “Our team was divided for ministry in two villages. I was amongst the team ministering in the gypsy village Andrid – a Hungarian speaking gypsy village in Romania. It was the first time FFH had been to Andrid. We had scarcely gotten off the bus to meet with the gypsy pastor, guides, and others who would be helping when a man stated that I looked familiar. Through the aid of interpreter, he proceeded to ask if I had ever been in the Oradea, Romania jail. It so happens that this man had been in the prison last year when I was there and he remembered me. I recognized him as one of two incarcerated men who had fallen to their knees, tears streaming down their faces, surrendering to Jesus as Lord. We were happily reunited in the common bond of Christ! He had been out of prison only 4 months and God was using him in the complex task of interpreting. I was speaking English, Pastor Cosmin was translating into Romanian, and the ex-offender was translating from Romanian to Hungarian. What a blessing from the Lord.”

2. “I was invited, March 10th, to minister to El Sedai Ministries to which I had been for the first time last year. El Sedai is primarily a half way house for adult orphans. When orphans reach the age of 18, if they are not continuing formal education, they must leave the facilities which have been home to them. El Sedai Ministries helps provide shelter, clothing, medical care, assists with finding jobs, teaches them to handle their own finances, and acclimating into society. The ministry also assists some ex-offenders with finding jobs.

Sorin was my interpreter. Nicolae leads worship in the prison services and also teaches guitar to not only the residents at El Sedai but to many Romanian youth and gypsy kids. Sergio, is an ex-offender I met with last year to talk with him about the most important thing he needed to do in his life – giving his life completely to the Lord Jesus. He was stiff-necked and not ready to make that commitment, saying he first needed to make money. After ministry that evening, when we

were on our way back, I once again point-blank asked Sergio (thru Sorin) if he had thought anymore about making the commitment to follow Christ. He said yes, that he had made that choice. What joy we all felt at that very moment. Sorin said that he had noticed a change but had never come right out and asked him. Sergio gave testimony of how the Lord had been changing his heart since making the commitment to follow Christ. He said that he use to fight with his next door neighbor all the time, but now when his neighbor says cruel things to him and his family, he goes on without retaliating. One night his neighbor’s house caught on fire and did much damage to the roof of his house. Sergio said because the Lord had been changing his heart, he helped his neighbor financially (with what he could) and when a team of people gathered to fix the roof, he was the first one up the ladder.”

Some plant the seeds of the gospel. Some water the seeds that have been planted. But it is God Who gives the increase. Sergio is a good example of this. His wife is not a believer and is mocking him in his new life with Christ. We are praying that she (along with their daughter) will also make the decision to give their lives to Christ and follow Him.

3. “In Cighid (you can Google documentaries on this place), I was looking for the little man who loved the song Hallelujah. He was nowhere in sight, so I started inquiring about him. A worker said there was one small man in the upstairs of one of the buildings so they went and got him. They told me that his name is Dorel (not sure of the spelling). It was him! Through an interpreter I was able to tell him that he was special to me because of his love for the song and I wanted to share it especially for him. He nodded when asked if he understood. As in previous years, his whole being came alive as I played and sang it. We are not permitted to share photographs from Cighid but a photo given to me with the two of us is priceless to me.”

In a few short weeks, we will celebrate the greatest event in all of history – the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are told multiple times in Scripture that we are to live with purpose. We have been bought with a price. We are not our own anymore. We are to become more and more like Him while walking out what He has called each of us to do. We are so blessed to do what He has called us to.

Our precious ministry partners, though you may be “unseen” to the prisoners, to those in Romania, or to the others in our community that the Lord has called us to, you are seen by the Lord. You are a vital part of this ministry. We thank you…..the prisoners thank you…..the Romanians thank you….the people in our community that the Lord has called us to thank you. We are teammates and co-laborers together in the Lord. May we each live our lives…..

For God’s Glory Alone!

Jay & Elizabeth

PS-If you wish to read more testimonials of this trip not only from Jay but other team members, you can go to: http://www.foundationforhoperomania.org/category/march-2017-trip/ )

​February 2017 Newsletter

Dear Ministry Partners,

It has been another month filled with God’s goodness! We are so excited to tell you what He did. 2 Corinthians 12:9&10, “...My strength is made perfect in weakness…” We saw this in action!

The Lord opened the door for us to go to a facility that we had never been to before. The day before we were to be there, Elizabeth woke up and had completely lost her voice. She could not get anything out above a whisper. We had no idea what was going on because she felt fine – she just simply had no voice. Even as we were driving to this facility,the following day, she still had no voice. We were concerned that she would be turned away and not allowed to come in with not being able to speak. BUT, God did an amazing work!!! The moment we walked through the door of the prison, her voice returned! She was able to greet the guards, answer questions, talk to the inmates before the service, was able to sing, and talked with the men,chaplain, and guards after the service. The moment we got back in the vehicle to drive home, her voice was completely gone again. Even though she again had no voice, we were praising God for what He had done!

The following day, she went to the see our nurse practitioner (a fellow believer) and found that she had Laryngitis. When Jay told him what had happened at the prison the night before, even he said,“Wow”, and was praising the Lord with us.

However!! This was not the greatest work God did that night. The greatest work He did that night was drawing 5 men into a relationship with Him!! God is so awesome!! He works through our weaknesses to show Himself as the Mighty God and draw precious souls to Jesus.

Another opportunity coming up very quickly is March 6 – 18. Jay will once again be going to Romania, where he will be allowed to go to the Oradea jail (with an interpreter), as well as several gypsy villages, an orphanage, an abandoned elderly facility, a transitional housing facility for former inmates and orphans, as well as a pastor’s conference. Your prayers are much appreciated for him and the team.

God is so good! We thank you for partnership with us in reaching out to the prisoners. It is truly a field that is white unto harvest. The Lord continues to send us and with your help, we continue to go. Thank you!

For God’s Glory Alone,

Jay& Elizabeth

January 2017 Newsletter

Our Dear Ministry Partners in the Lord,

As we sit here typing this update and reflecting on what the Lord did this month, we are filled with awe. You, our prayer partners and supports have a part in all that He did.

First, we want to update you on two previous prayer requests…..

1. Thank you for your prayers regarding Jay’s arm. The doctor was very pleased with his recovery and officially released him on January 9th. So, Lord willing, Jay will once again be able to go with the ministry team to Romania, March 6 – 18.

2. We also have completed what was needed to be recognized as a non-profit 508-c1a. We are recognized as a “mobile” church. This means that instead of us meeting like other churches with weekly services, congregations and building facilities; we are going out into the community (individual’s homes, hospitals,nursing facilities, etc) with prison ministry still our main focus, taking church to them. As a 508-c1a, we are now able to receive donations directly without going through another source. We praise the Lord for this because it will enable us to be more mobile and flexible in our Master’s hand. Thank you for your prayers.

We were recently re-assigned from one prison to another. What is so wonderful about this transition is that in the months leading up to this change, the Lord kept placing a particular prison on our hearts. When we were asked about the possibility of being re-assigned to it,we jumped at the opportunity. We are now in the beginning stages of building relationships with the men there. There is great excitement because we know the Lord has gone before us, opened this door unto us, and we are looking forward to what He has in store.

In the days leading up to our last two prison services this month, the Lord was so blessing and refreshing us with His Word that we headed out with a renewed excitement to share His precious Word with the men. At the first of the two services, the Lord knew who needed to hear it,for He drew a record number of men out for the service. The majority of them were singing out with us and drinking in the pure Water of Life as the Word was being preached. During the invitation, three men raised their hand for salvation. One young man approached us afterward, so excited, wanting to tell us how he recently gave his heart to Jesus and was so blown away that everything Jay had just preached because it was exactly what the Lord had been showing him in his quiet time that week.

In the last service, the spiritual warfare was raging. The men at this facility are being taught that most of the Bible is dead; that it doesn’t matter how you live because it’s all under grace; and you don’t even have to ask for forgiveness. Throughout the entire service a small group of men continued to talk with no regard for the Word or anyone else in the room. Whenever Jay would read a Scripture or expound on the verses read, they would express their opinions with each other, not caring who heard them, and adamantly denied the Truth being spoken. Though the enemy was feverishly working, God had put a guard on Jay’s ears so that he never heard them. He also gave him a boldness to proclaim that the Bible is very much alive, that it does matter how we live, and we are to glorify Jesus in everything we say or do.

When the invitation of the Lord went out, three men raised their hand to indicate they were in need of salvation.BUT, look what God did!!!!! Jay led the men in a prayer, and even though he said they could pray silently in their hearts to God, you could hear men allover the room repeating the prayer after him. With heads still bowed and eyes still closed, Jay asked for a show of hands of those who prayed for salvation. Hands went up all over the room! They were going up so fast that after 10, Jay lost count. The enemy worked hard to distract and disrupt; but God over-ruled and brought a bountiful harvest!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Afterwards, though there are many stories we could tell you about, one in particular was such a blessing. One inmate asked Jay quietly if he could talk with him privately. Once almost all of the others had left, Jay was able to step to the side with him. The inmate told him that he had been coming to the services for a long time. He shared with him the sin that he had been struggling with and told him that he had actually been fasting that week begging God for deliverance. He went on to tell Jay that he was one of the men who prayed to receive Christ. The guard was rushing the rest of the inmates out, so Jay quickly gave him a few things to encourage him before he left. GOD IS SO AMAZING!!!

In closing, Philippians 1:3&5 reflects what we would like to say to you. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you….For your fellowship in the gospel…” Thank you!

For God’s Glory Alone,

Jay& Elizabeth