Team 60 begins and an update on Checo

Kairos family,

Today is a big day!John1516

Right about now (Thursday, November 5th at 4:00pm), Team 60 is about to depart from the team hotel for Angola.

Introductions will begin as will the cookie diet!

Please be in prayer this weekend and remember that there is still time to sign up on the prayer chain.

We know God has the team right where He needs them and wants them and we are confident the Holy Spirit will pierce the roof of Camp D and nestle alongside the residents of Angola.


While we have your attention, a quick update on Checo.

Checo is doing quite well after his heart surgery. He is still in the hospital, but is recovering quite nicely.

He wanted to thank everyone for the prayers and is asking for the prayers to continue!

As we sat and visited with him, he couldn’t stop asking all of us to share the good news of Christ with those inside Angola. If he told us once, he told us 5 or 6 times

“Please let them know Jesus loves them!”

“Make sure they listen to Friendship with God”.

Checo has such a big heart for Kairos – it’s no wonder God didn’t want it to stop!

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYERS! 

 

Advertisements

Prayers for Checo Yancy

Kairos family,

Please be in prayer this weekend for Checo Yancy, former Kairos leader and advisory council member. 

Checo was recently admitted to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital here in Baton Rouge with chest pains. The doctors decided to do a stent procedure and before we knew it, Checo was having bypass surgery on his Christ-filled heart.  

 He is still recovering and is now facing a week long stay in the hospital with a two month recovery. 

If you’ve ever been through open heart surgery, or know of a loved one who has gone through it, you know the road ahead for our friend Checo. 

Please pray for strength, patience and healing. 

As Checo is known to say, “We love you and there’s nothing you can do about it!”

LORD HEAR OUR PRAYERS! 

 

A Political Victory

There’s no denying it – we are surrounded by political fighting.

From attack ads on television, robo calls at home and Facebook posts from our friends – everywhere we turn, we see one side of the aisle trying to destroy the other side.

It’s easy to sit back and wonder if the political system can ever pause and reflect on the good things happening in society.

Council

From L-R, Councilwoman Banks, Mike Ryan, Kathy Michael, Gregory Handy, Mark Lubbock, Checo Yancey, Archie Corder

For that to happen, and for it to happen for Kairos, is a truly a blessing!

This past week, members of the Advisory Council attended an East Baton Rouge Parish metro council meeting where they happily accepted acknowledgement from the Council and specifically from  Councilwoman Chauna Banks, a past Kairos volunteer herself.

You might be wondering how this happened. It happened when Angola Kairos volunteer Kathy Michael did what we are all called to do for Kairos, recruit and ask for volunteers, prayer warriors, cookie bakers or even money.

Kathy sent a mass email petitioning for assistance and what she received was an invitation to honor Angola Kairos for its 60th team and to recognize the good work we do on behalf of God and through the Holy Spirit.

Councilwoman Banks also added the recognition to her Facebook page.

Kathy’s example should be a model for all of us in the Kairos community – ask, you’ll never know what you’ll receive!

Closing Ceremony Form & FAQ’s

If you’ve ever been on a Kairos retreat, you know how special the closing ceremony is.

You also know how the ceremony itself can be a perfect opportunity to recruit someone into the Kairos community.

If you would like to attend the closing ceremony or you would like to invite someone to the ceremony, the attending person must submit their information to the prison and the Department of Corrections.

This is accomplished by filling out the following form and submitting it to the retreat leader, Archie Corder.

This information must be submitted by October 24.

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the closing ceremony:

What time does the ceremony begin?

You should arrive at the prison for 1:45pm. This will give you enough time to get checked in, go through a quick orientation and make your way to the chapel.

The closing ceremony itself lasts as long as the Holy Spirit deems it to last. 🙂 Normally, the event runs from 3:00 – 4:30pm.

After the ceremony, you can join the team just outside the camp for a closing prayer.

Where should we meet?

Please meet at the front gate of Angola, no later than 2:00pm

A caravan of folks will leave from the team hotel around 1:00pm.

If you would like to join this caravan of folks, please meet at the team hotel, which is either the Hotel Magnuson or the Best Western(For Team 60, it is Hotel Magnuson)

The contact person for the group caravan is Kathy Michael and her cell phone is: 225-301-9582

If you would prefer to just meet at the prison, please drive to the front gate and inform security you are there for the Kairos closing ceremony. Again, arrive between 1:45 and 2:00pm.

Where is the prison located?

It’s located just north of St. Francisville. It’s about an hours drive from downtown Baton Rouge.

The address is: Louisiana State Penitentiary, 17544 Tunica Trace, Angola, LA

What happens after I check in with security at Angola? 

You will be escorted into the security shed where you will be sniffed by a drug dog. (It’s harmless – you will never actually see the dog. However, if you have drugs on you – well, it’s not gong to be a good afternoon for you – pretty good chance you’ll stay there)

After this, you will be allowed to drive your vehicle to the chapel where the closing ceremony will be held. Don’t worry – they’ll give you directions. Plus, it’s a gated community – you can’t get lost.

Do I need to clean out my car?

Yes. You are entering a maximum security prison. By “clean”, the prison means – no tools, weapons, money or maps.

Can I bring my cell phone with me?

Absolutely not. In fact, you will be required to hand check your cell phone at the security gate – this is mandatory. You may retrieve it upon leaving.

What should I wear?

Great question and thanks for asking. No blue jeans – period. For the most part, wear what you would wear to church or for an important business meeting.

Under no circumstances should you wear anything tight fitting or provocative; such as short skirts.

Additionally, the following are prohibited: short shorts, athletic shorts, tank tops, strapless or spaghetti strap tops, low cut/halter tops, see-through clothing, bare midriffs, bare feet, leggings.

Skirts and shorts may not be any shorter than slightly above the knee. No sleeveless or cap sleeve shirts or dresses will be permitted.

Can I bring anything into the prison?

Yes. You will need to bring your ID.

If you are driving, you can bring your keys. We also suggest a sweater or a jacket as it might be chilly in the sanctuary.

What will happen at the closing ceremony?

You will see Jesus.

Kairos Spiritual Formation Retreat

The state chapter of Kairos Louisiana has passed along this invitation to everyone involved with Kairos:

Kairos Louisiana is hosting a spiritual retreat for all Kairos volunteers from Inside, Outside, and Torch at no cost.

This will be a time of healing, drawing closer to God and reigniting our passion.

Location
Rocky Creek Camp of the Nazarene
908 Maryhill Road
Pineville, Louisiana

Date & Time
October 2-3, 2015
Friday, 7 PM – Saturday, 3 PM

Agenda
Friday
7:00 PM Fellowship & Light Refreshments
8:30 PM Message from coordinator and presenter Elizabeth Foy

Saturday
8:00  AM Breakfast and Fellowship
9:30  AM Morning Meeting
12:00 PM Lunch
1:30  PM Afternoon Session
2:45 PM Prayer & Blessing
3:00 PM Dismissal

*Cost is free.  Donations are accepted and strictly voluntary.*

#60

Yes, it’s July, but it’s never too early to start clearing your calendar for the November Kairos team.

Will you join us?

Will you invite a newcomer?november-calendar

Team 60 will head to Angola November 5 – 8, 2015.

The team formation dates are:

  • October 3
  • October 10
  • October 17
  • October 24
  • October 31

Times and locations are yet to be determined.

Archie Corder is the team leader and would love to hear from you. To contact Archie, please email him.

You can download a team application here.

Thanks for considering this team and answering God’s call for this Ministry.

 

New Leadership, Same Mission

Kairos Family,

At the last Kairos Angola Council meeting, several items were up for discussion, including the election of new Council members and Council positions.

As Todd Rossnagel vacates the Chairman position, the Council elected a new Chairman, Mike Ryan.

While leadership at the Council level always changes, one thing remains – our commitment to Christ and our love of Kairos.

Here’s a message from Mike to the entire Kairos community:

Dear Kairos family,
Times are changing and some roles on the council have changed. In addition to myself, there are several new faces on the Council, including
  • Richard Saxer
  • Ashanti Witherspoon
  • Joel Bajat
  • Lane Leger
  • Archie Corder
My first request is that we, as a Kairos community, be in season of fasting and prayer for next forty days.
Please pray for the council and community so that we ‘stay the course’ and that we not just say how to do things, but rather, “I will come with you’, I will show you, I will pray for you’.
Pray for the entire Kairos family to increase commitment overall as we need more folks to be at reunions.
Pray that we can reach out and  ask others to join us in this ministry, you are the best recruiters we have.
Pray for our own members as we have several going through medical issues.
Pray that we remember – this is GOD’s ministry, and we are just helpers.
As you pray, I have asked next camp leader to push for 15 thousand dozen cookies.
Yes, it is a little high, but it is a goal to try for.
Why so many? During the last few retreats, we had enough ‘leftover’ cookies at Camps C and D to give to every man there… Just imagine, if you will, what it would be like to be able to give every man at Angola a gift of grace (cookies)! Please continue to pray for green agape gift$ as we don’t have to wait for retreats.
I love each and everyone of you, and there is nothing you can do about it!
Michael Ryan , YBIC
Here is a list of the entire council position by position.
  •     Chairman: Mike Ryan, Todd Rossnagel vacates
  •     Vice-Chair: Terry Fitzgerald
  •     Recruiting Coordinator, Lane Leger, Terry Fitzgerald vacates
  •     Communications Coordinator, Todd Rossnagel
  •     State Chapter Representative, Freddie Sanders
  •     Secretary, Cynthia Varisco
  •     Financial Secretary, John Dixon
  •     Treasurer, Duane Denham
  •     Institutional Liaison, Checo Yancey
  •     Agape Coordinator, Kathy Michael

Kairos Angola Council Meeting

The Kairos Angola Advisory Council will meet Saturday, June 13th at 9:00am at First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

At this meeting, we will be approving the list of council members and electing new officers in the positions that are open as well as other items up for discussion.

As with every council meeting, everyone is invited. Only those serving on the Council are allowed to vote on matters requiring a vote.

If you have any questions, please email Todd Rossnagel.

Kairos 59, A Huge Success

Team 59 just completed inside Camp C at Angola.

To no one’s surprise, the weekend was fantastic, all thanks to God.

Here’s a letter team leader Bob Leitner recently sent to the team and would like to share with the entire Kairos community.

Wow!  My mind is still spinning, however; I want to try to capture a few thoughts and thank you as a team.  Yes, I believe I am in the riverbanks to give each of you a hearty thank you at this point in time as we look back.

I could not have asked more of you.

Illness, impending back surgery, fatigue; nothing stood in our way as we were truly empowered by God to carry out His Kairos ministry to Camp C.  We accepted thirty-six (36) guests and did not lose one.  Thirty-six crosses were accepted last Sunday and I believe thirty-six lives were impacted.  In addition, real transformation has occurred on our team during the training and the weekend of this ministry. John1516

God has been very good to us!

By God’s grace, the ripples from Team 59 spread far beyond the team and our guests.  We have been blessed by a host of “angels” in our Christian communities and congregations.  The prayer support was awesome – the prayer chain overflowed – the agape received from other Kairos communities knit us together with the bonds of God’s love.

As usual, we had beautiful and touching placemats and letters from children.

The congregation of First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge engaged members to write agape letters offering affirmation and blessing; over five hundred of these were written and incorporated into the guests agape letter bags.

So, the blessings flowed out to the engaged members far beyond the team or the guests.  The prayer support was the foundation of this Kairos.  We experienced numerous guests requesting clergy time on Friday and Saturday.  This time, for prayer or for the  unpacking of yearnings and questions, is not always requested to the extent we experienced it.  The prayer box was actively used throughout the weekend.

Now, as a past leader, I look back and realize this has not been and never was about me.  I, we, have just showed up!  God has been present and active in each small detail of the planning and weekend.  It has truly amazed me to look with hindsight at the selection of speakers, meditations, and Instructional talks.  God was actively in all these selections far beyond my human capacity.

God’s imprint was indeed on the selection of our team; WE WERE CALLED BY NAME!

During the weekend we experienced barriers being broken down, hope being left where there had previously been no hope, and the peace of God prevailing where there had been no peace.  Ethnic, racial, religious and cultural barriers were removed at the tables and we experienced God’s Kingdom made present on Earth, NOW!

I would like to convey a few stories that were experienced on Saturday afternoon.  The agape letters were being opened at the tables.  The Chaplain was sitting with one guest and reading letters to this individual incapable of reading his own. Many of our guests were quietly crying and shaking their heads in disbelief and a deep sense of wonder.

I noticed the Correctional Officer, yes the Guard, moving slowing from table to table.  He placed a hand on the men’s shoulders to gently remind them that he was there and that he loved them too.  He told me that these men were “his family” after 26 years at Angola.  He sang with them, ate with them and prayed with them during the course of the weekend.

Small cakes, decorated with each guests name, were distributed at dinner Saturday.  As they were passed out, we realized that one cake had inadvertently been misplaced or lost, leaving one resident without a cake. Before we had time to come up with a game plan on how to handle this embarrassment, another guest (with the same first name) stepped up and offered his cake.  They embraced and split the cake!  Grace upon grace was given.

Our team was blessed with a balance of Kairos veterans and twelve members that were new to the Kairos ministry.  They each committed to return and three individuals stepped up to accept the challenge and blessings of future leadership.

The ministry of Kairos Angola is in good hands with a bright future.  “Jesus, name above all names” continues to carry me forward into the new day.

Blessings and thanks to each of you, I love you!