October 2023 Magic Valley Chaplains Newsletter

What’s Happening in our Ministry: Site Updates

Jerome County Jail (Bruce Venable): The ministry in Jerome continues to provide services for men and women inmates. There has been some chaplain turnover this summer, but the program remains strong with chaplains filling in holes until new chaplains were on-boarded. 

Snake River Juvenile Detention (Zach Ivey): Serving at the Snake River Juvenile Detention center as a chaplain, we see ongoing favor with both the staff and the detainees. The juveniles continue to be inquisitive and courteous. They respond well to the gospel and challenges for greater change. As we serve and minister to the juveniles, there is ongoing collaboration and mutual trust between the chaplains and the detention center. The number of juveniles in the facility at any time varies tremendously, making it difficult to know if there will be a single group (1 hr. lesson) or two groups (two 30 minutes lessons). Recently, the facility was at full capacity. God is good and on the move in the hearts of the young persons.

Mini-Cassia Jail (Jed Thomas): Mini-Cassia has been seeing more requests for one-on-one visits. We are averaging 5-8 requests weekly. Only one-on-one has been offered since COVID, but we are in discussions with the Mini Cassia Criminal Justice Facility management to resume live Bible studies inside the facility as early as November.  With resumption of these services, we are in need of more chaplains, so please pray for God to send more laborers to the Harvest! 

Twin Falls Couty Jail (Kathy Steinmetz): Twin Falls County jail remains at or above capacity, and due to overcrowding and a lack of meeting room availability, we continue the need to stagger the men’s and women’s services. None-the-less, we continue to provide services three times per week. The program attendance is high and there is much enthusiasm among the inmates for the group services as well as for one-to-one chaplain requests.  It is a blessing to watch God work in the lives of the inmates through this ministry.

Aftercare (Tim Wood): Both houses (Lazarus House for men and Serenity House for women) are doing great! We have residents completing their treatment programs and learning to live life as good citizens in our community. We always ask for continued prayers for all our residents as their journey continues in sobriety and for their relationship with the Lord to flourish.

Gooding County Jail: (Dutch Zvuederveld): Going well! God is working in Gooding through weekly in-person services provided to the inmates by Magic Valley Chaplains. 

IDOC CRC Reentry Center (Barry Knoblich): The Reentry Center Chaplain services are scheduled for every Wed. evening at 7:30-8:45PM. Monthly concerts (pictured below) for the residents are well attended and changing lives. We are grateful for the hearts of the talented performers sharing God’s love with the CRC residents through their music. MVC supplied a large number of reading books for their library. The CRC Director, Pam McCaroll, retired and we are waiting for her replacement. Chaplain Michael Tuchton has been approved to serve at the CRC. He currently serves at the Jerome facility. 


New MVC Chaplains: Answering the Call

Welcome to John Doherty, Michael Michelucci and Tim Yenne (pictured below).

All three are currently based primarily in Jerome. John also serves in Twin Falls. We are blessed to have you on board!

MVC Materials Updates

  • We have added Anxious for Nothing. This is an outstanding book by bestselling author, John Macarthur.  Thank you, Magic Valley Bible Church for supplying this resource for our ministry!
  • New booklet, 13 Reasons Why You Should Not Commit Suicide, has been ordered for our stock. 
  • We are not able to get the Pray Booklet Guides at this time so it has been removed from the list.
  • We also supply a special Illustrated Bible [New Testament] just for the Juvenile Detention locations we serve.
  • Gospel Echoes Course Books 1-8 Supervised Study -The Bible Study program lessons are by request and we have a designated chaplain who can assist the inmates in this program. If they complete the first four lessons, they will receive a Bible with their name on it from the Gospel Echoes Ministry.
  • We also do book drives for general reading material for the inmates. If the facility reading library is low on inventory let Barry know and we will do a book drive for your facility. 
  • We are still offering remote ministry equipment for any facility that we have not already equipped.
  • Communion is offered at the facilities where it is approved.  We have communion supplies.

Pictured Above (left to right): Adding more Spanish literature to our MVC supplies. Pete Shetler, keeping MVC supplied with Gideon Materials. Thank you, Pete!

But Wait-There’s More!!

We have digitized our logo,  MVChaplains. If you want it on a hat, shirt or other items it can be ordered from Threads, 355 Addison Ave West in Twin Falls at your cost. 

Chaplains, do you want another way to witness. ASK Me can be a conversation starter. We are stocking 2” ASK Me pins if you want one, contact Barry. ASK ME is also digitized. 

Download ASK ME Flier

Fund Raising

Thank you, Amazing Grace, for the opportunity to tell our story to your Fellowship.

Committee Members Needed

Chaplains and Supporters of MVC: Your input and ideas are needed. Please consider helping on one or more of the new committees forming below: 

  1. MVC Banquet Planning: Contact Brent Reinke 208 989-6700. 
  2. Planning for the Future-Your MVC Board has approved the following areas to explore for this ministry. Several committees will be formed to work out an action plan for the following areas. If interested, contact Zach Ivey.

Chaplain ID Cards

While MVC ID cards are not required we have many chaplains who would like one. Barry needs that list soon so he can have them ready for the Banquet. Send the requests to Barry with a new head shot if you want the picture updated. They will be $10.

SAVE THE DATE! Our third annual MVC Banquet is 12/2/2023, 7PM at Amazing Grace Fellowship. See attached flyer for full details.

2023 MVC Ministry Site Leaders, Board of Directors, & Coordinators

Facility Site Leaders -Inmate Ministry

  • Rick Martingt – Gooding County Jail
  • Kathy Steinmetz- Twin Falls County jail
  • Zach Ivey – Twin Falls Snake River Juvenile Detention
  • Barry Knoblich- Jerome County Jail
  • Jed Thomas- Mini Cassia
  • Barry Knoblich- IDOC Reentry Center

Magic Valley Chaplains Inc. 501C3 Board

  • MVC President-Barry Knoblich
  • MVC Vice President – Brent Reinke
  • MVC Treasurer- Susie Jones (through 2023) *
  • MVC Secretary- Kathy Steinmetz
  • MVC Board Member-Tim Wood
  • Strategy, Planning & Goals-open

Ministry Coordinators

  • Barry Knoblich- MVC materials ordering & facility restocking, MVC Website, Funding, Inmate Christmas card project, Jail Staff appreciation project, chaplain recruiting, Inmate book drive project and Chaplain I.D. cards
  • Ruben Trujillo-Spanish Coordinator
  • Tim Wood- Inmate Aftercare
  • Open-Chaplain Summer Family Picnic and Dec. Appreciation Banquet
  • Kathy Steinmetz -Quarterly Newsletter

* Treasurer position will be open in 2024. Applications are currently being accepted by Barry Knoblich.