CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Oklahoma Celebrate Recovery Inside One Day, May 12, 2012

By Gloria Nunn - Oklahoma Sr. State Rep. Women

I started planning this event in October of 2011 and started asking churches to host the event. I mentioned it to Peg Choate, Ministry Leader at Fresh Start Community Church (and newest CR Inside State Rep, Ed.), and their staff graciously approved the event. Peg and I started praying every Tuesday evening before CR about the team we would need for this event and for the ones we needed for testimonies and just for God’s guidance in every detail.

By December we had a team of six CR members and assigned tasks such as purchase of food, preparation of food, setup/cleanup, music, and registration. We met regularly each month to pray together. The testimonies were solicited from all State Reps and after reviewing each testimony we selected five all of which were either recently released inmates or currently incarcerated.

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Hector’s Story

by Ashley Gorka MI State Rep

Our visit to the Waseca FCC was not a normal visit as many of them are not when the Holy Spirit changes another life. It was so appropriate that CR Inside National Director Hector Lozano shared his story in front of 80 step graduates and 40 leaders that he took through Advanced Leadership Training. Their lives have been forever changed as they were filled with the hope and victory that comes from a changed life. Hector shared a true to the DNA testimony highlighting the following areas:

  • the old me
  • experiences and changes working through Celebrate Recovery
  • the new me
  • outreach

Hector shared deeply and honestly of a troubled childhood in Mexico. He held nothing back including the tears. It started with the death of his mother at an early age. Left behind were his brothers and sisters. His father was dealing with the loss of his wife and mother of his children, and his own pile of hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Hector was bounced around from place to place and suffered abuse from someone that he trusted. Hector spoke of being so terribly hungry that he would hide the precious little food he bought from the meager job he struggled to get. His father eventually remarried and slowly things got a little better. Hector remembers going to school for the first time with a sack lunch and telling all the other kids that his “mother” made it for him. You never know the deepness of someone’s pain until they share the most intimate parts of their past.

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Why in the world would you go to an Inside One Day?

From the Editor

Why indeed? In this issue, we’ll explore some experiences of those who’ve attended, or participated in Celebrate Recovery Inside (CRI) One Days. If you’re asking what exactly is an Inside One Day, and what distinguishes it from “community” One Days, read on.

As the name implies, this is a one-day seminar that deals generally with the aspects of prison ministry; and specifically, as it relates to Celebrate Recovery. Not all are called to go “inside”, but for each of us, there exists the opportunity to serve “the least of these” in one form or another.

So what takes place at a CRI One Day? As at any One Day, it begins with registration, fellowship, breakfast snacks, welcome, prayer and worship. The first half of the day deals with the challenges (and blessings), of starting an Inside ministry, with testimonies from incarcerated, or previously incarcerated folks, interspersed with a break, and Q & A. The second half of the day is directed towards the various aspects of Inside Out, or release. As Hector (Lozano, National Director) states, “If we can’t provide direction and support upon release, and they fail, then we’ve failed” Or, "if we don't succeed in effective re-entry, from a recidivism perspective, we don't succeed!"

Also, as always, more stories of graduations, inmate leader trainings, and new video. I regret to say, that part two of our interview with Heather Layne was lost somehow, but the good news is that I’ll be visiting with her again in the Fall and will follow up on our interview. Be looking for interviews with other interesting people, including our National Director, and Carol Mathews, Executive Producer of Home Run. Please keep this film in your prayers, there are many who pray at 9:00 PM nightly, will you join?

David Jones


Standing Room Only at One Day Lunch

For those who were interested in learning about prison ministry, or learning more, the One Day Lunch this past October in Tulsa Oklahoma provided a great opportunity. Given the limited time for lunch during a One Day, it nevertheless succeeded in presenting the aspects of taking Celebrate Recovery into prisons and jails with status reports, testimonials, photo and video presentations, and goals for the future.

There were 160 seated while another 30 or so stood around the perimeter of the room designated for the lunch. “This is everything we hoped for, considering there are empty tables in the next room” said Cyndi Clark, CR Inside Team Leader, who organized and emceed the lunch. After welcoming the attendees, Cyndi introduced Hector Lozano, National Director, who in turn introduced Oklahoma State Reps, and briefly addressed the group; wanting instead to give time to those who are “in the trenches”, volunteers who are giving back after incarceration, and those inside who are helping to carry the message of hope and healing through Celebrate Recovery and a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

The first two mini-testimonies were delivered by Debra and Lea Ann, two inmates (yes, inmates!) who received special permission to attend. They are both at a work-release facility, which allows them to be picked up, along with other women, to attend CR at Southern Hills Baptist Church (SHBC) and First United Methodist Church (FUMC), both in Tulsa. Lea Ann and Debra attend regularly, have completed a step study at their facility, and are demonstrating growth by taking part in leadership modules and monthly leadership trainings at SHBC. Lea Ann leads a step study inside, and open share at FUMC, while Debra will be leading the next step study.

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