August 2022 Magic Valley Chaplains Newsletter

Twin Falls County: Kathy Steinmetz

We have really seen God at work this summer at the Twin Falls County Jail! Despite the challenges of covering for summer vacations, chaplains are providing three services per week (Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday) with few exceptions. Saturday afternoon service for the female inmates has been switched to Saturday mornings with the same good turnout. We are excited to see many inmates come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and to witness inmates growing spiritually. We continue to make 1:1 chaplain visits several times per week that bring God’s hope and encouragement to the struggling. God has also blessed us with applications for new volunteer chaplains. Twin Falls conducted refresher rules and procedure training for approximately 25 chaplains August 18th to keep the iron sharpened.

Twin Falls Juvenile Detention: Zach Ivey

The chaplain ministry at Snake River Juvenile Detention Center is going well. There are always participants. At present, we are witnessing a hunger for a personal understanding of God. Be praying that this increases as we approach this new season. We are also praying for more chaplains to meet the current needs of the location. The Detention Center is full at this time. PREA training/volunteers training was held on June 6th. The expanded Juvenile training is required to volunteer at Juvenile Detention at County West.    

Mini-Cassia: Jed Thomas

Mini-Cassia will not be opening for group church services anytime soon. One-on-one visits are being provided 4 times per week on average.  

We received the following message from the management:

“In regards to group Bible studies the sheriff has decided that we will not re-start the support groups.  Covid is still an issue at the jail, but the main reason is the fentanyl epidemic.  We have had 2 overdoses at our facility in the past few months.  Only due to the quick reaction of jail staff were both those inmates’ lives saved.  Once drugs are smuggled into the facility, they are easily distributed to all the housing units via support group meetings.  We do not have sufficient staff to monitor the support groups and we cannot place that burden on volunteers.  Fentanyl is a game changer because it is much more dangerous than other drugs and kills easily.  It is readily available in our community. The sheriff has also elected not to restart the work release program for the same reason.  I do not see this changing for the foreseeable future because the fentanyl problem is not going away.  We all have to adapt to this new threat.”

Mini-Cassia Juvenile Detention: Barry Knoblich

Barry met with the director, Trent Bodily, in June to discuss remote services equipment and Chaplain services. Tammy Zimmerman is heading the weekly church services for the juveniles.

Gooding County: Dutch Zuiderveld

Live church services are offered each Tuesday evening with ladies and men. Spanish-language services are provided.  Remote options for services are provided as needed. We have a new lady chaplain assigned to Gooding, and there is an opening for another.

Jerome County: Barry Knoblich

The Jerome facility has weekly services for men, ladies, and Spanish-language inmates. We have been given another time for the men inmates on Sunday evenings. The new service schedule is:  Men Thursdays 7-9:30 PM & Sundays 7PM-9:30PM, Ladies Sundays 2-4:30 PM, Spanish Saturdays 3-5:30 PM. We need more help to fill the men’s schedule. The demand for church in this facility is heavy and we are allowed to go into the locked blocks at times to cover the requests for Chaplain visits. We are offering the Gospel Echo’s Bible study course in Jerome under the direction of Chaplain Phil Gerrish.   

IDOC Reentry Center: Barry Knoblich  

The Reentry Center opened for in-person volunteers May 1st. Chaplain services are scheduled for every Wed. evening at 7-8PM. The Center was closed for two weeks in Aug. due to COVID cases at the Reentry Center. Remote equipment supplied by MVC is in place and the process to complete the procedures to operate remotely should be fully functioning in September. 

Aftercare Update

Most of the Aftercare homes are full or nearly full. Our remodeled MVC website gives a full listing of the homes we support and a brief description of the services provided. 

Adult & Teen Challenge Update

We currently have 10 students and 1 infant.  We have 12 beds available. We have hired a drug and alcohol counselor and our drug and alcohol treatment part of the program will start on August 15. This year we have graduated 4 ladies so far and two more ladies will graduate in August.

Fund Raising 

Our 501C3 Magic Valley Chaplains was blessed with major donations from the Twin Falls Reformed Church and the Believers Church. Both churches provided the opportunity to speak about our ministry at their fellowships. 

Goals and Growth for 2022

Leadership approved exploring Ministry needs for- Mountain Home, Blaine County, Camas County and Lincoln County jail facilities. We are seeking God’s will regarding these potential opportunities.

Inmate Book Drive

In July Barry delivered over 500 donated used paperback reading books to all the jail facilities we serve. Most of the paperback books came from the Buhl Senior Center and the Buhl thrift store. Thank you, Sharon Avila.

Chaplain Materials

Twin Falls County has resumed approved materials delivery direct to inmates during scheduled services by the chaplains. All other facilities are supplied in bulk orders requested by the staff and make distribution by inmate requests. New, approved materials are a prayer booklet and a New Testament for juveniles. We now have all our materials in Spanish.

MVC Presentations

MVC Banners and materials have been updated for church presentations and meetings. Contact Barry for the materials. MVC Presentation scheduled for September 11th at Amazing Grace.

MVC Website 

The website update is now completed with a new look and new sections for approved Aftercare providers, newsletter distribution, and “user-friendly” new look for MVC information. Mail Monkey is now our primary method to communicate and distribute information to our members and supporters. Check it out. Thank you, Rinard Media.

New MVC Chaplains 

We welcome Sheryl Koning, Carol Nielsen, Kathy Blamires, Kristi Ivey, Patrice Powers, Josue Medina and Stan Bell. Thank you all for your hearts to serve the incarcerated. 


Do not forget to RSVP Chaplain Family Picnic!
MVC BBQ Potluck Family Picnic