Monday, March 7, 2011

Truly Reaching You Ministries: Setting the Captives Free

 “...and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him (Jesus).  Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.'  
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”    Luke 4:17-24 NIV   
Truly Reaching You Ministries (T.R.Y.) is a Christ Community Chapel local ministry partner engaged in vital Kingdom work in the Akron area. The Local Outreach Committee at CCC recently shared a pizza supper with those associated with and being helped by T.R.Y. Ministries.  T.R.Y. is a relationship-based reentry organization that reaches out to men who have served their sentence and are returning to their communities. Through relationships, mentorship, Bible study, training and education, T.R.Y. provides a healthy support system for those who have made the commitment to surrender their old lifestyle, gain self-respect and renew their outlook on life. 

Perry Clark, the founder of T.R.Y., has a huge heart for God, and for the captives that Jesus Christ came to set free. Recognizing that about 2/3 of the men who served time in correctional facilities ended up back in prison as repeat offenders, he set out to search for answers to what factors contributed to this high rate of recidivism. God led Perry to understand the roadbocks to  men  building successful new lives on the outside:

                                     *The need for healthy relationships
                                     *The need for a safe living environment
                            *The need for employment

T.R.Y. looks for men who are ready to commit to a new way of living, and helps them realize the old way only robs them of the dignity they should have as men created in the image of God. This attitude is expressed by one man whose life was transformed by Christ through T.R.Y. 

“I came to see the penitentiary not as a punishment, but as God saving my life.”

T.R.Y. offers these men godly, healthy relationships, a safe place to live, and an opportunity to learn skills that will help them eventually become employed.  During their time with T.R.Y., the men agree to submit to a set of house rules that provide loving structure to their lives, to coaching and counseling, to productive activities and to job training that will help to restore their sense of dignity and hope. 

At the T.R.Y. houses, the men experience a family environment that is relationship oriented and focused on mutual help.  They also find restoration, forgiveness and healing, in sharp contrast to the addiction, rejection and condemnation they experienced before.  They learn to live out the truth that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

By giving men a hand up, not a hand out, T.R.Y. acts as a channel for God’s restoring love seen in the Gospel. The supernatural transformation God works through Truly Reaching You Ministries is evident in several ways:

·       *Instead of the usual 66% recidivism, only one in 55 men that completed the T.R.Y.  transition went back to prison.

·       *In learning to trust T.R.Y. and obey the house rules, the men learn the benefits of also trusting and obeying God. Said one T.R.Y.  alumni: “I heard you…now I understand what you were talking about.”

·       *Captives are being set free, finding gainful employment, rebuilding relationships, getting married and buying homes.

The stories of the men of T.R.Y.  are amazing testimonies to the life-changing love of Christ, and to the dedicated people at T.R.Y., who faithfully endeavor to "get out of the way", and let God work on men’s hearts. Another T.R.Y.  alumni stated, “the constant in all this is God.”

Do you feel God’s call to help set the captives free, as Perry Clark has? If so, prayerfully consider the following opportunities to serve at Truly Reaching You Ministries:

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Event Set Up
  • Manage event registration table
  • Support the National Night Out Against Crime Event
  • Mail out Christmas cards
  • Volunteer support in employment training

For more information on Truly Reaching You Ministries serving opportunities, please contact:

Michael Ammirati, 330-650-9533 x340
Barbara Ammirati, 3390573-5951
Lisa Kibler, 330-650-9533 x339
T.R.Y.  website: 
 For more details, click this link:  Christ Community Chapel 


Rebecca said...

The "success" rate speaks for itself! The goals and vision of this ministry are stellar. God bless Perry Clark and those who minister alongside him - and all the men currently in the "house"!

Jacquelyn Stager said...

Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. Having met some of these men in person, I can testify to the amazing grace of God in this ministry!

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