Chayah Ministries of Arizona: Serving Arizona’s Incarcerated Youth
To teach and demonstrate unconditional love to the incarcerated youth of Arizona in such a way that God is manifested through Jesus Christ.
- Three-day volunteer run retreats at Black Canyon and Adobe Mountain juvenile secure schools in North Phoenix.
- Group reunions twice monthly for girls and boys—reunions are held separately for boys and girls.
- Mentors for youth upon their release from the facilities if a youth requests one.
What is a Chayah Weekend?
Each Chayah weekend starts on a Thursday morning, and ends on Saturday night. Scheduling the retreats this way leaves Sundays open for visitation for the few youth who receives visits from family members.
Based on this schedule, candlelight services are on Fridays at 7 pm, and closing services are on Saturdays at 5 pm. The youth are blown away by the community’s efforts to come out to hold a candle and sing to them, and to hear their testimonies at the end of the retreat. If you would like to support the Chayah youth by attending these services, please do the following:
At least 2 weeks before the weekend, contact the lay director (or any team member) for the weekend and provide the following information:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Full telephone number
Arrive 30 minutes before the event at the facility gate. Staff will buzz you in (girls’ side), or roll back the gate for you (boys’ side).
Tell the staff member you are there for the Chayah service. They will check you off the list that they got from the lay director.
The candlelight service is followed by communion in the parking lot of the juvenile secure schools. It just takes a few minutes. You will be ready to leave at or before 8 pm. The closing service is over at about 7 pm.
Shoulders and toes must be covered and shorts must be at least fingertip length for both men and women. Please do not wear any suggestive clothing or clothing that has logos on it. Women should not wear long flowing skirts. Jeans are not permitted. The only things you should carry into the juvenile secure school are your keys and your driver’s license.
Both facilities are located just to the west of I-17 between Pinnacle Peak and Happy Valley Roads. You access the boys’ juvenile secure school (Adobe Mountain) off of Pinnacle Peak and the girls’ juvenile secure school (Black Canyon) off of 29th Avenue.
Unconditional Love ~ Agape ~ Palanca ~
However you say it, we need LOTS of it!
Imagine how it would have felt if you had never received so much as a birthday card … ever … and then you received a bag of ‘love’ from total strangers. You’re invited and encouraged to share your love with the youth of Chayah. Below are some school approved guidelines:
Use paper or cardstock.
Greeting—Dear Sister or Brother in Christ. Salutation—Your Sister or Brother in Christ and your first name.
Please be sure to print—many youth can’t read cursive.
Copied materials are fine, but it’s good to print a short message and sign your name.
Children’s Sunday School paper creations are welcome.
We need some generic Spanish pieces to copy.
Candy is fine, but nothing wrapped in foil.
No gum, nuts in the shell, magnets, beads, lapel pins, metal, glass, hard plastic, staples or paperclips—use Scotch tape.
Please provide 37 pieces for girls and 50 for boys. The adult team does not expect nor do they want to receive agape—the focus is sharing God’s love with the youth.