We thank God for His provision through 2012. We also thank all those who have supported this ministry prayerfully and financially, and all who have sacrificed their time, gifts and resources to volunteer. Without you we wouldn’t be able to do what God has called us to do—lead people to Jesus Christ!
- The main objective of this ministry is to make sure the inmates we minister to know Jesus Christ—not just about Him, but know Him personally. In 2012 we helped lead over 200 inmates to the Cross to receive salvation and several hundred made re-commitments. This year we’ve ministered to over 5,000 inmates. Praise God!
- We have tried our best to correspond with and disciple those who wish to stay in contact through writing.
- Currently volunteers from five different churches make up the prison ministry.
- We were in the prisons for 136 church services a year! We lead worship in Philadelphia Prisons every Tuesday evening and the first, third and fifth Wednesday evenings each month. We also lead a Spanish service in Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution every Wednesday evening.
- In 2012 we had over 25 guests visit the prison. Some have shared with the inmates and others have witnessed what we do as a ministry inside the walls. A few of those guests have become current volunteers with CLPRM.
- Musical guests have performed for the inmates during our church service. Most notably was Liz Collins from the Christian blues band HeavenBound.
- Some of our volunteers have grown into greater roles of responsibility, and now share the message. Discipleship is happening in the ministry which is exciting and very important.
- We meet with prison volunteer services and all ministries in the Philadelphia Prison System on a quarterly basis.
As we move into 2013, we can only expect God to continue to move as He has in the past, so we expect great things next year.
Recovery Ministry: Road to Recovery
Road to Recovery has been one of the most important parts of CLPRM’s ministry. This objective of this outreach is to help those who are struggling with addiction to know Jesus in a personal way. So many try to get better on their own, but we know it is only through the power of God that they can receive deliverance from their battle.
Road to Recovery meets every Friday night at Christian Life Center in Bensalem, PA at 7pm.
- In 2012 we started a NEW Road to Recovery meeting at the Keystone AA Clubhouse at 4511 Leiper Street in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. This meeting takes place every Thursday night at 7:30pm and is led by Rick and Brenda Cartagena who teach from the 12-Step Life Recovery Bible. In one week we raised $2,200 to purchase 175 Life Recovery Bibles for this group. God has been doing a mighty work at this meeting and several people have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of Rick and Brenda.
- We have an average of 20 to 25 men and women attending both meetings. There are at least a dozen of attendees who have powerfully been affected by this ministry by staying clean and getting some parts of their lives back together.
- We had four Recovery Luncheons in 2012, sponsored by Woodside Church 1667 Edgewood Rd. Yardley, PA. Woodside opened their doors to the recovery community to offer a service with powerful worship and testimonies, and a buffet luncheon. Thank you Woodside!
- We helped over 20 people into treatment (detox, rehabs, and recovery houses) in 2012, sticking with them through the entire process. Six of those have benefited from our new Scholarship Fund (for those newly released from prison and those in addiction.) We used $3,710 of that fund in 2012 to help get these six men and women into local Christ- centered treatment and begin to get their lives back on track.
- This ministry has been much more than our Road to Recovery meetings. We’ve made ourselves available almost 24 hours a day at times for those who are struggling with addiction. We’ve spent countless hours on the phone and meeting with families, encouraging those who are reaching out for help. We’ve fielded over 200 crisis calls and have helped over 20 families through the process of treatment and recovery for their loved ones. It can be exhausting at times, but worth every minute when we can see lives changing by the power of God.
- We continue to work closely with a few local recovery houses and recovery programs including Calvary Chapel Alternatives to Addiction, Addictions Victorious, House of Adonai, Guiding Light, Turning Point, Trinity House, Self-Redemption House, South Philly Prayer Community and recovery houses in Levittown, Croydon and Langhorne.
- We welcomed several musical guests who really blessed our time of worship at Friday night meetings, most notably: Brian Bivens, Dave Quinn, Jeff Lyons, Liz Collins, Sojourn, Darlene Van Dyke-Sofronski and Brenda Cartagena.
- We hosted a Christmas party at Road To Recovery, an Angel Tree type event where Woodside Church in Yardley helped provide gifts for over 40 children of parents in recovery, in prison or out, and those less fortunate. Darlene and Brenda provided music for the night. The kids were so overjoyed and it was a great night of God’s blessing.
- In 2012 we also distributed over 300 pieces of clothing in our Road to Recovery Program.
Here are two of the life-changing testimonies we’ve received this year:
Matt Tomlinson is one of our favorite stories. He was homeless and addicted to crack when he was approached by Carrie, from Woodside Church. She shared God’s love with Matt and he started to listen. After much love and convincing, Matt decided to let us help him into treatment at New Life Lodge in Tennessee. He spent about 25 days there. Then, through our Scholarship Fund we helped him enter Turning Point Recovery Home where he spent the next two months. Matt was tough to talk to. He always had something negative to say, and mocked God and the very program that was helping him—CLPRM. But we continued to love him through his situation. Recently He has received Jesus as his Savior and is currently residing at the South Philly Prayer Community. Matt is a testimony of the persistence and love of this ministry.
Nick Lion made a complete turnaround. Here’s his story: Not long after getting involved with dealing narcotics, I found myself using them which gradually led me through a whirlwind of heavy addiction, destroying everything and everyone around me. I started using cocaine and ecstasy for the “upper” party high I needed to fuel to stay in the game constantly. I made a transition to pain killers, such as Percocet and Oxycontin. That’s where things got even worse. I found myself heavily using pills daily. They enslaved me. I ended up looking for a stronger, cheaper high. I found heroin. Quickly, crime and violence became my driving force to get what I wanted, what I needed, no matter what the risk or who I hurt. I didn’t care; I couldn’t care. My family stuck by me this entire time—for what ended up being almost seven years of addiction. I lost everything and everyone I loved. My family was destroyed emotionally and financially. I was out of control with no hope. I faced either death or jail as my endgame, but I wanted neither. In April of 2012, I reluctantly started going to meetings at Calvary Chapel and my parents got in touch with Bob Sofronski through Timmy Patrick. The very next day Bob came to my house for an “intevention” with my family! Reluctantly, I agreed and came downstairs to “talk to him.” I hated Bob that day! Remarkably, Bob persisted and I believe he saved my life that day. He wouldn’t give up. He made arrangements with my parents and Timmy to get me help. Now, I love him for saving my life! With the help of the Conquering Life Prison Recovery Ministry, and through the love and support of my family and now this amazing group of individuals who united to pray and pull me from the fires, I found hope. The best thing I could have done for myself was to live in a Christian recovery house (through the CLPRM Scholarship Fund). They showed me the strength I needed, but I never knew I had, to find my Lord, my Creator on my own. It has been a struggle to keep my focus on God, but through Him I am drug free. My friendships have been mended and reformed. I have an entirely new outlook on life. I have built relationships with people who truly love me and will always be there to help guide me through any hardships I may face. I am truly blessed today. My future seems brighter, my soul is most definitely stronger and my heart is finally happy and peaceful. Thank you Jesus! “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:4-5
Nick is now serving in our ministry in various areas with commitment, confidence and integrity.
Conquering Grounds Café: Coffee House Ministry
Conquering Grounds Café, our monthly coffee house ministry, reaches out to individuals and families who have been affected by substance abuse. In 2012 we averaged 125 people attending this FREE event held on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 7pm in The Edge Building at Christian Life Center, 3100 Galloway Rd., Bensalem, PA.
- Since we launched Conquering Grounds Café in January 2011, it has become a powerful ministry to those in the recovery community. God has blessed us with MANY gifted musicians who have shared their time, talent and testimony. Through the testimonies that are shared at intermission not only have audiences been entertained, they’ve heard about the victory that comes from following Christ. We’ve featured outstanding Christian bands like Obadiah, Heaven Bound, Right to Become, Narda Shirley, Reggie MaGee, Created for Worship and award-winning World Vision recording artist, Dave Pettigrew.
- Each month a dedicated team of volunteers sets up, cleans up, serves food and beverages, runs sound, and does whatever it takes to make the coffeehouse run smoothly. Thanks to each of you! You are a tremendous blessing!
- We’ve been blessed by donations that allow us to continue offering Conquering Grounds FREE every month. To continue we need your help. If you’d like to make a donation, please go to www.clprm.org and click on the PayPal link or send a check to the address below.
- As we begin our third year of Conquering Grounds Cafe, we thank God for what He’s done so far and are excited to see what’s in store for 2013. And we re-commit to reaching out to the recovery community by offering a safe, uplifting and entertaining place to hear exceptional Christian artists who proclaim the gospel with truth and power.
- The Conquering Grounds Café Committee meets once a quarter to discuss the concerns and direction of the coffee house ministry.
- Our updated website www.clprm.org offers plenty of information on the ministry of CLPRM, coffee house updates and resources that may be able to help someone you know who is struggling with addiction.
- We had our first fundraising event in November 2012 featuring Dave Pettigrew. This concert raised money for our Inmate Release and Recovery Scholarship Fund which help place scholarship recipients into local Christ-centered recovery homes. We sold 290 tickets raising $3,700 for the fund. This event was sponsored by and held at Woodside Church in Yardley.
- We held an outreach in November 2012 at the Eliza Shirley House (a shelter for women and children) in Philadelphia. We shared music and the Gospel. Six women gave their hearts to Jesus. We also gave out over 200 pieces of winter clothing.
- The ministry of CLPRM meets every month to pray for vision and direction of the ministry, and the needs and the concerns of the people we minister to.
- Board of Directors: Bob Sofronski, Chairman/Director; Michael Howard, Assistant Director; Royce McKelvey, Director of Follow-up, Rick Cartagena, Director of Evangelism, Scott Burgess, Treasurer; Kelli Regan, Secretary.
Our Mission: Conquering Life Prison and Recovery Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to helping those incarcerated and to stop substance abuse in the community by offering support to those actively struggling with addiction, as well as to their families. We offer recovery meetings, resources, counseling, and referral services to those who wish to seek treatment.