Chelan County Jail Chaplaincy: Rocket 4

Chelan County Jail Chaplaincy

Lift Off Mission Update by Pastor Josh McPherson

Note: this is a transcript of the April 24, 2022 Lift Off Mission Update
Pastor Josh: We launched the Chelan County Jail Chaplaincy last year, and it was a crazy, crazy story. Here to tell us more about it is your favorite nine-time felon and mine, Chaplain Chris Neuberger. Help welcome him to the stage. Come on, give it up. Give it up. Woo. There he is. Come on in, my man. Gosh, they make felons big these days. I love you. I love you. So give us an update, my man. What's going on?
Chaplain Chris: Thank you. Thank you. Lot of stuffs going on. It's great. One year ago, March 21st was our first nights of one-on-ones. Just to fill you in, a one-on-one is a visit with an incarcerated adult behind glass on a phone like this. And it's not the best way to visit people, but it's a way for us to meet people where they're at. Definitely doesn't stop Jesus. He can get right through that glass real quick. And some of the people we visited with was Brandon who was actually one of the first people we visited with that night back in March of 2021. And Brandon was at the fair on Sunday and he was with his son. And I've never seen Brandon so happy in my life. So a super good story.

Prayer over Brandon and County Jail Chaplaincy, March 2021

There's another girl named Courtney. One of our chaplains, female chaplain Sheila, visited with her October 13th, and we got her out and accepted to the Grace House.

Thank you Jesus for the Grace House and what they're doing.

And yeah, she's been loving Jesus. She has a job at Costco. The other day I saw her giving out samples. I was so happy to see her smiling and doing good. And she wrote me a little letter saying how she was restoring relationships and doing good with her DOC stuff and just it's awesome.
Pastor Josh: Wow. Wow. So this is Chris Sharp who runs the jail. Chris, wave your hand. Chris Sharp was a strategic part of getting you back into the jail, advocating for you with Sheriff Burnett before the commissioners. Tell us a bit about that story and why that's unique, and how you use that out to tell guys about Jesus and what he can do.
Chaplain Chris: Yes. So thank you Jesus for Chris and Jeremy. I’d been trying to get into the jail ever since I moved back to Wenatchee. Back in 2016, I went there and applied with Ray Jackson and he said, "Come back in next year." So I came back in a year and said, "Okay, I'm here. Here's my application." He said, "Come back in two years." So I came back in two years. They said, "Come back in three years." And one day some guys said, "You're not ever getting in here, bud. Don't even. Just quit trying." And so I kind of gave up and I would volunteer at other places, a rehab center and stuff like that.
And then one day God came through and just some things happened. We did a sermon on it (link HERE). It was one of the rocket sermons. And yeah, so I got in there. And when I'm doing a one-on-one with someone I will tell them like, "Hey, bro, I was here when I was 19. I was sitting where you're sitting visiting with my family. I have nine felony convictions. I was in prison for eight years." And then I pulled the keys out my pocket and I said, "Now I got the keys to the jail." And 9 times out of 10, they look at me like this, "What?

So it's very powerful. It's very powerful. And it is pretty nice coming out of the jail. Every time I leave I'm like, “Chris [Sharp] isn't chasing me. It's great.”

Prayer Needs for County Jail Mission

Pastor Josh: How could we be praying for you and your heart for what you want to do next? I know things have been slower with all the COVID restrictions that are just frustrating for everybody. You're stuck with things you want to do. How could we be praying for you, for your new bride that you're married to? How can we support you guys in prayer?
Chaplain Chris: Yes.  

First of all, pray for the seeds that we're planting, myself and my team, for the gentlemen and the women in the jail.

Just that the seeds get watered by the Lord. It's real tough. It's a tough road to overcome debt, court fines. It's hard to get a job. It's hard to get an apartment. I mean, even if you're working and doing well, it's like people won't rent you an apartment just because of your past. So pray for those guys, first of all. Pray for the staff at the jail. These guys are going against…the enemy is trying to stop us whether it's the governor's office or the health department or whatever it is, they're trying to stop what we're trying to do. So pray for that. And then just pray for me and my beautiful wife who's at home online watching. Hey, babe.
Pastor Josh: Thank you for marrying him. On behalf of all of us here, we love you and we're praying for you.

Chaplain Chris: So yeah, just having wisdom. It's a volunteer position. It's wisdom for me to lead my wife and hopefully someday a family and just how to navigate income and stuff like that. So I wish I could be there seven days a week, five days a week. And every time I go there, I'm there for a few hours. And every time I leave I'm like, "Man, I got so much more stuff to do." Really I love being there. I feel it's my calling. So being able to go there more and more is what I want.
Pastor Josh: How can people connect to you if they got a heart for what you're doing and want to either support you, pray for you, join you?

Chaplain Chris: Yeah, that'd be great. We're trying to build my team. So prayer for that. And if you want to join the team, you can always email me. Come up to me and talk to me whenever you see me. The email is super easy. It's Jesusinthejail@gracecitychurch.com. You can also reach out to the church. Send the church an email at info@gracecitychurch.com. It's real easy to get connected to me on Facebook. However you want. But yeah, I'd love to meet you and see how you could help everyone else in jail.

Pastor Josh: Yep. I love you, Chris.

Chaplain Chris: Love you, too.
Pastor Josh: You did a great job. Oh Man. Give it up. Buddy, good job. Good job. Can you thank Chris? Hey and too real quick, Neuberger, run over there and give Chris Sharp a hug because that guy's a good man. Go give him a hug. He told me one of his favorite things is hugs in front of 800 people. So give him a big hug. Give it up for the director of the jail right there, Chris Sharp. Come on. Thank the Lord for that. Yeah. Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Chris.

It so fun to hear Chris Sharp and Jeremy's vision for these guys. They truly love these men and these women. They really do. And they want to see these men and women succeed on the outside. And they're working to programs to allow it to happen because they're like, "Hey, look, we don't want to keep seeing them here. That's not success. Success for us isn't keeping them here the rest of their life. We want to keep the town safe. We want to do our job. We also want to figure out how to get these men and women back out into society, as productive members and seeing stories of redemption." So Chris Neuberger embodies what they're trying to target, but the system wouldn't let someone like him come back in until men and women said,

"No, we need to do things a little differently."

So for your vision, courage, boldness, leadership, Chris, thank you very much. We're very grateful for you in this valley. Yep, good stuff. Good stuff."

Learn more about Jail Ministry from Chaplain Chris Neuberger