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Good morning. This is Bill Nixon with Kingdom Pursuits. I'm sure all of you were expecting that wonderful voice, Robbie Dilmore, but he is down with the COVID. And a few days ago, he called and said, would you be willing, Bill, to step in for me? So it has been a fun time trying to put together this wonderful show for you this morning.
I've got two great gifts. I've got Mark Hogsett, who's the executive director of Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry, which is an unbelievably neat organization and a very unique one for North Carolina. And we've got Jessica Nguyen, CEO and co-founder of Bright Light Technologies, a company dedicated to protecting people from COVID and other diseases. Jessica, say good morning.
Good morning, everyone. What a pleasure to be on the show with you. Well, thank you so much for being on. You're located in Raleigh, aren't you? We are located one hour south of Raleigh near Campbell University in a town called Buies Creek.
Oh, I've heard of Buies Creek. We appreciate you being on. Mark's our new director at the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry. I've had the pleasure of working with them for at least 15 years, and we had a gentleman that was running the place that could keep 12 plates spinning at the same time better than anybody I ever knew. And Rodney kept going and going and going, and they brought somebody in to fill his shoes.
I'm not sure. I think it's going to take about six pair of shoes to do the job right. But all of us, everybody I've talked to, has just been unbelievably impressed with Mark. Mark, thank you so much for being here. Thank you, Bill. I really appreciate the opportunity.
Looking forward to talking to you, and good morning to your audience as well. Well, I got suckered into joining something called the Gideons. I was in charge of Christian Action for a church, and they said, go to this meeting.
And I'm going, why can't I just send a check? And I get there, and it's a new members meeting. And I mean, I was just fit to be tied.
And one miracle after another, God made it absolutely clear I had no choice to join. And then they said that part of this is going into the jail and doing Bible studies. And I said, you know, my check already cleared?
You didn't tell me anything about this before? See, my mother worked at Polk Youth Center, which is central prison for anybody under 22. And there were these three great big tall fences with great big barrel rolls of razor wire at the top. And I never could fathom how in the world she went in there and talked. And the idea of going into a jail cell at our detention center in a room and sharing anything was just absolutely beyond me. So I went in just antsy as I can.
And by the end of the hour and a half, it was just absolute joy. I knew this was a place I wanted to go and spend time and work with folks. And we've got a wonderful staff here. How many chaplains do we have now? We have three chaplains on staff right now. And how big is staff? Now one staff, I know one staff person that is worth at least five people and another staff person that's worth at least four staff people.
But how many actual belly buttons do we have? We have seven full time staff and one part time staff, yes. Now we had, Rodney used to love to tell a story about they brought in a gentleman from Texas to run our detention center. And Rodney said it took a year to convince that man that we actually had 200 volunteers going into his facility. You got any idea how many volunteers, just for the jail, that were on the rolls before all this COVID stuff yet? Just for the jail, well over 300.
And then at the prison, same amount, well over 300 as well. Now we're a call-in show and the number is 866-348-7884. 866-348-7884. And you know, if you've known anybody that's gone through the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry as a volunteer, or been one of the inmates touched, or one of the family members, and you'd like to share a story, we'd love for you to call in. We do a lot for the families. You want to share a little bit about what we do with the families?
We do. Our ministry is, obviously we're ministering to inmates and offenders every day. Our chaplains are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but we don't stop there. We minister to their families as well as the need arises and as the help is requested. Not only that, Bill, we also minister to those officers working at the jail and at the prison as well. You know, this has been a really difficult time. COVID has been very difficult for those officers and those staff working at both facilities also.
And we found that there's some need for ministry opportunity there also. Now, I've got a dear friend who works over in High Point in their facility. She's stuck in an elevator for almost 12 hours.
There's not enough help to rescue somebody. The facilities are very, very short-handed, and I know that's extremely stressful for everybody involved. And then on top of that, they're doing their very level best so that this mess doesn't get spread around within the facility.
That's exactly right. Certainly short-handed, but I will say the staff at the jail and the staff at the prison, they're incredible. They just do a wonderful job. They're very professional. They do their jobs with honor and dignity, and we're so proud to work alongside them.
But yes, you're right. They're doing their best to contain COVID and make sure it doesn't enter the facilities. And again, they're doing a wonderful job of that as well and taking care of those inmates that are at the jail and at the prison. Now, people don't realize it. They don't give you a bar of soap or deodorant or shampoo or toothpaste when you go to the jail.
If you don't have the money to buy it, you don't get it. And it's, you know, personally, if I was a guard there, I might contribute to the fund for the toothpaste. There are a lot of facilities across the state. I have heard of chaplains in other counties that had signs on their door and signs on their desk that say, do not embarrass either of us by asking for personal hygiene items.
Our county is unique. There are very, very, very few counties that have chaplains that are going into the facilities that are not state employees. We have chaplains that are supported by the churches in our area, not only Forsyth County, but all the surrounding counties. You got an idea how many churches are helping the? Over 120, 120 to 130 or so, a great number of churches, very, very faithful, faithful supporting churches. And honestly, we could not do this ministry without them.
They're just so dedicated and so faithful. It just makes a huge difference when, in addition to a Bible, and I promise you, there's nobody in the facility, if they say I would like to have a King James Bible or I would like a study Bible or I would like an NIV Bible, the Gideons and other organizations make sure, at least in Forsyth County, that that material's there. We also, the Forsyth County, the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry did a big book drive and stocked up the different floors with all kinds of reading material, which was unusual.
I mean, for a long, long, long time, there was almost no reading material in there. But the COVID did allow the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry to make sure that there was good, healthy, wonderful stuff that the guys could pick up and read. You might consider sticking a box by your church office and publishing a list in your church newsletter and say toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, underarm, deodorant. What else are we always looking for? Socks and other shampoo, basic hygiene items as well. We can always use it.
We have, like I said, such a faithful supporting group of churches, donors, volunteers that help keep us stocked so that we can provide not only the reading materials and the Bibles like you mentioned, but also just the personal hygiene items as well. So it's very important and critical that we have those supplies. And you know, we really want to be thought of as sheep instead of goats. One day that's going to make a really big difference.
I hope you catch the reference. We will be right back, right back after this break. Remember, we're a call in show. We'd love for you to call in and share what you've got for us. We want to welcome you back and we want to encourage you to remember 866-348-7884, 336-348-7884. We were talking just a little bit before about what a big change COVID has made in our jail and in our, we hadn't talked about the prison yet, but in the prison. And I was excited to have a guest on whose career is to help fight this bug and make our lives safer.
And I want Jessica Wins to talk to us a little bit about her company and how it got started. You're not only the CEO, you're the co-founder? Yes.
Yes, sir. Well, how did that happen? I mean, you just walk in the wrong door and they said, okay. Well, talking as a believer, I don't think there's ever a coincidence and I firmly believe that simple obedience changes history and you have to be in touch with Jesus.
And when he says do something, you've got to do it. And so my husband and I, we have been working with government entities and school districts, higher ed for over a decade, integrating technology into facilities for a long time. And when the pandemic hit, we knew we had an understanding. I believe the Lord gave us just insight that this is something that we were going to have to deal with long term and relying on human effort to clean a virus that you can't see was absolutely impossible. But the Lord just really led us to look into just the most powerful biodefense technologies in the industry to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and infectious disease as a whole. And we actually specialize in integrating those technologies into facilities. So the technology is what is doing the work.
It's ongoing in the background, taking care of the virus in real time, even while people are in the room. Now, there are two main systems that you utilize. What are those two systems that you utilize? Well, we actually have several different technologies that we integrate into facilities. But one of the powerful technologies that we integrate is a technology called Bright Light Air. Bright Light Air is a corona discharge bipolar ionization technology.
I know that was probably a big mouthful and probably like, what in the world is that? But just the nuts and bolts of it is, is that, you know, God created the way he created air to clean itself outside in nature. So through the sun, geothermal energy outdoors, there's the way it cleans itself is through positive and negatively charged oxygen ions that continually deactivate pathogens, mold, things of that nature that's in the air out there.
And so what this technology is, it is a bio mimicking technology that takes that same natural process that happens in nature. But now we're able to do it indoors and do it safely indoors so that we can produce that same outcome of clean, purified air 24-7, ongoing 365 in your home or in your business. You know, in lots of various different applications. You use ultraviolet light too? We have technologies that use ultraviolet light, but the Bright Light Air is not a UV based technology. It is a bipolar ionization technology. Okay, so they're two totally different things.
Correct. How long have you been doing using these particular tools? So the technologies that we utilize, they have actually the Bright Light Air has been in testing since 2002, has had over 100,000 installations in facilities here in the United States. And we began integrating this technology and offering this to our clients for over a year, almost a year and a half now. So the way I picture it is the air passes through a box and in that box you add an extra electron to certain molecules and that overstimulated molecule then encourages the things you want to get out of the air to be heavier.
And they started being attracted to things other than our face mask. Sure. So this technology gets installed and integrated into your air conditioning system, your existing air handler in your facility or in your home. We install this technology in the air handler. So as the air is dispersed, as it passes through our technology, our technology produces the highest amount of ions in the industry. So there are different ionization technologies out there. Ours produces 1,000 times more ions than the technology that is out there. So our technology produces one trillion ions per second. And those ions, as they go through your air handler, through the ductwork, everything, once they're in your home, we produce the highest ion concentration in real world environments. So those ions are seeking and destroying pathogens continually and they provide an active layer of defense. So while me and you are in the room, if someone is actively expelling COVID, there is something mitigating that risk in real time.
And that is something that passive technologies like HEPA filtration or even UV lighting in air handlers, they cannot do that part, that active cleaning in real time. Now, I understand you're near Campbell University and you've set up some programs for the college students. You've got a campus ministry. Sure. So, you know, sometimes you have to do business to fund your ministry outreach. I understand that.
Right. So about six years ago, the Lord, you know, we just really began praying with believers in this region, in this area, just to see God transform and bring revival to our region. And we are a mile away from a college campus, so we began praying for that college campus.
But you know how the Lord is, is when you get in the place of prayer and you begin to hear His heart for a people that you're praying for, immediately something can also happen is when He says, now you go be the answer to this prayer. And so we opened up our home to disciple college students. We started with three students. We wanted to disciple them into wholehearted love and obedience to the Lord. And that community has grown into about 75 college students that come to our home every Tuesday night and we do Bible study. And our goal is to disciple them into wholehearted love and obedience to Jesus.
And we get to have them for four years and then send them off into the marketplace or send them off into the mission field. And we just get to envision, encourage and equip students to be salt and light everywhere they go. Well, I know you've got a great passion for both your student ministry and the work. It's just wonderful to hear. I sit there thinking, I'm not sure Mark, I want Mark to hear this, but my mother always told me, go get a really good job that pays well and do your ministry on the side.
You'll be able to do a whole lot more fun things. But it's just wonderful that we've got people that are willing to go into ministry and make that their career and be dedicated to what they do. We've got an organization in town called City with Dwellings with the most wonderful staff I've ever seen that work with our homeless. And a lot of the homeless, we've got this beltway in our area and it's in a lot of areas. We've got somebody with a little bit of mental illness and they spend some time in the jail and the jail lets them out and they spend a little bit of time in the hospital. Then they spend a little bit of time in the mental health facility.
Then they spend a little bit of time back in the jail and then they're in the homeless and they just run that carousel round and round and round. We've got so many wonderful volunteers in our community working, trying to make that a smaller problem. It amazes me how many folks we've got that pitch in and help go to classes, do what they got to do, to be allowed to go into the jail, to be allowed to go into the prison, especially when we've got to worry about the possibility of getting sick. I know the last time that we had a training set up, because this new variant popped up, we had to cancel the training. The COVID is just a pain in the... Tell us about the training and what we've got to do. What's a volunteer got to do to be able to get involved?
Sure. We do have, typically in a non-COVID year, we'll have four separate trainings at various local churches for our jail volunteers. Like you mentioned, we were supposed to have a training this past Sunday.
COVID and the weather, it kind of caused us to postpone that. We will have future trainings going forward, assuming everything works out with COVID. So anybody that wants to volunteer at the jail can reach out to our office. You can call our office or reach us by email, info at ForsythJPM.org. And if you want to volunteer at the prison, of course, we have a process for that as well. Some paperwork and different things we need to do to make sure that the staff at the prison authorizes community volunteers to come and help us at the prison. Now, let me mention, like you said, Bill, right now we can't have, unfortunately, any volunteers come to either facility just because of COVID.
And it's been that way since March of 2020 when all of this kind of kicked up. So we are prayerfully looking forward to the day when our volunteers can come back. I know they miss it. The inmates at both facilities miss being with those volunteers. The ministry that they provide is second to none and can't wait until the day when that happens once again. I will say, ministry is happening every day, even without our volunteers. It'll just be a great day when our volunteers can return. Because our chaplains are filling in for those 300 volunteers we had going into the jail and all the volunteers we had going into the prison. A lot of those programs are up and running, but they're running with folks that are burning the candle on each end right now.
Right, yes. Our chaplains, of course, work very hard. Like I said, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a chaplain is on call.
They're there full-time throughout the week. They're doing worship services at the prison on Sundays. We're thankful for technology that has allowed us to do some Zoom classes at the prison as part of our Transition to Work program. We actually have two weekly Bible studies going on right now through Zoom as well. So technology has allowed us to continue to increase our ministry through the use of volunteers working remotely. So that's been a real blessing and a real wonderful thing. The one thing I want you to take from this is on your prayer list, on your daily prayer list, I want you to have the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry and the chaplains on that list. These are folks that are really doing exactly what God calls us to do.
Sometimes, sometimes they need a lot of extra prayer, and now's that time. We'll be back in just a minute. Thank you. Well, we want to thank you for coming back. We want to remind you that we're a call-in show. We want Jessica to come back and talk to us a little bit more about what she does.
Jessica, there are other points you wanted to make sure we understood. Can you help us understand what are some of the different installations you've put in? What size business should consider your services?
And do you have a model for homes? Yes, so primarily our company has been working in commercial applications, the highest risk commercial applications, ranging from health departments across the state to hospitals, health clinics, protecting public school systems, universities, corporate buildings. But a lot of people in conversation, we tell them that we have some powerful technologies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in real time, and that was the big differentiator. So if you clean, spray, whatever, the next time somebody walks in the room with COVID, it's infected again. When you have passive technologies like filtration or UV, you have to wait for the air to go into the air handler to clean it, but then there's nothing in the air that's protecting between us.
So our company has bright light air. We also have other technologies, depending on the risk level of that space, that are active and can really mitigate that risk in real time. And COVID is mainly transmitted through the air, so it really brings a solution. So when people would ask us, well, can I get this in my home? We said, you know what, let's make this commercial-level technology available for homes, because you honestly can't overdo it when it comes to COVID, and we see this variant, the transmissibility just increase and double and triple every time.
We're going, you know what, we're going to make this commercial-level technology available for homes. And so at brightlightair.com, you can just go and order your unit, and we can just have it installed in your home. So the phone number, if you have any questions, is 833- Give them the webpage.
They're more likely to remember the webpage. Brightlightair.com, and it's 833-44-27328. So it's 833-44-Brief. That is the phone number. And you can call the phone number, or easiest thing to do is just go onto our website, brightlightair.com, and order your unit.
You need one per air handler at your home. I hope they can get on the phone and talk to somebody about what their options are, but that's wonderful. Beautiful website, enjoyed looking at it. I'm glad we're finding tools to fight this bug that's coming at us. I remember when I was, well, it didn't matter. In college, I did a little stuff with trying to kill germs and using ultraviolet light.
Yes, UV is a great tool as well, and our company for commercial applications, we have definitely different types of solutions for commercial applications of UV. Okay, commercial. That's what I was trying to figure out.
Two different systems, two different ways to do it. And I was thinking here, Mark, tell us a little bit more about what people can do. If we can't get into the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry, what can we do to be helpful? Sure, I think the number one thing folks can do right now is pray. We try to remind, through our chaplains, we try to remind the inmates that are incarcerated in our community that they're not forgotten, and praying for these individuals at a time like this is so helpful.
So, yeah, certainly make sure you're praying. And then also, Bill, you had mentioned it earlier, we were always in need of donations of hygiene supplies, Bibles, various reading materials for these inmates as well. So you could organize some type of drive to collect some donations and bring them by our office, or we can come and pick those up. And then prayerfully consider signing up to be a volunteer or going through our training to be a volunteer when volunteers can come back in our facilities. It's going to be a great need.
We already know that. So, yeah, please consider doing that as well. Can you share a little bit about what you think Yoke Fellows will look like when we get it back up and running?
Right. Yoke Fellows has been such a cornerstone program of the jail and prison ministry for so long, and we've had some discussions with the state leaders at Yoke Fellows and how we can, you know, one of the things this COVID has done is it allowed us to step back and evaluate all of our programs and see where we can tweak things and make things better, and that's what we're doing for Yoke Fellows as well. So we'll have some more information coming out on that, but we look forward to the day when Yoke Fellows can come back and, you know, start those conversations up with the inmates there at the prison on a weekly basis. We are internally having conversations about the best ways to do that and times and the process for that.
So certainly more information to come as we come out of COVID on those programs. Now, if you're not in Forsyth County, most of the counties have a prison, a jail system, and they've got chaplains there, and they don't have the Bibles that Forsyth County does. So if you're living in areas other than Forsyth County and your small group, your church, would like to provide Bibles, I highly recommend you call and you talk to the chaplain, have them call you. In some cases, you've got to have them sent directly from the publisher.
In other cases, if they're unopened box, you can drop them by, but I know in a lot of areas across the state, there's a big need to have some reading material. And in a lot of those areas, those chaplains don't have any resources to share with the inmates, and it's even more important that they've got an opportunity to have some hygiene items or some other provisions that they can provide the inmates. It makes a really big difference in their ministries. One of the things that I used to do, I did not do it very much, is that you've got inmates that have been in for a very long time, and when it looks like it's time for them to get out, it looks scary. They don't know the way the world's changed. They don't understand what it's like to be out. There's a different way they have to learn how to communicate with people.
They've got to stop using a lot of words. They've got to accept the truth that if you walk in one way, nobody pays you any attention. Not everybody knows that you were in jail or prison.
And if you walk in another way, you're going to draw the wrong attention to you. So there's a process for you to take an inmate and let them experience a little bit of what it's like to go to a restaurant, to go to a church service, to be out of the facility for a short period of time, and to be in a much better position to have the right mindset so that they don't go back in. And that's one of the things our Yoke Fellows used to do, and I know that they're going to have at least that part of the program back up and running again.
There are other programs. Are we doing anything currently with the ex-offenders? Do we have Bible studies or any resources available for ex-offenders now, Mark?
Sure. We're working with ex-offenders continually. Our Transition to Work program, as you know, we help guys that are at the prison somewhere around 12 to 18 months from being released from prison. They can go through our program while they're still in prison, take some classes that teach financial responsibility, and we have a class, Human Resource Development, that we work with Forsyth Tech on.
Project Reentry comes and does a class as well, who your previous guest was talking about. So the whole goal of that program is to help these men transition out effectively and not return to prison to reduce that recidivism rate. So then we support those ex-offenders as well. Everybody needs something different, but some of the most basic needs like transportation or help with housing or help finding a job or help getting plugged into a local church, we're helping them with all of that.
So we're working with dozens and dozens of ex-offenders right now, if not more. Well, we really appreciate you tuning in. We want you to keep Robbie in your prayers.
He gets over the COVID quickly. We want you to remember that we're a call-in show and that you can call in to 866-348-7884 and share what you'd like to share. We'll be back. Thank you for being in our audience.
We've just got a few minutes left. Jessica, was there anything else you wanted to make sure that we covered? Well, I just wanted to just say thank you to everybody that had an opportunity to hear. We would love to help your organization if you want to integrate this technology in your home.
Really, the impact is a safe environment where you don't have to be afraid because you know that you have something that is protecting you in real time. And so if you want to go onto our website, BrightLightAir.com is a great place to get all sorts of information about our technology, BrightLightAir.com. And if you want to give us a call, 833-44-Breathe is the number you can call. Thank you so much for being on the show with us this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day.
Thank you so much. Mark, we were talking about the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry in the break. You've got some wonderful staff people. There are occasions when you need a speaker for a different event, for a Sunday school class, for Kiwanis or some other group. Do you have some speakers that can go out and talk about Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry?
Sure, we do. We have our staff, and our chaplains are always willing to come out and speak about our ministry, speak to your group, whether that be your church or your small group or community group, whatever that may look like. We would love to come out and share a little bit about the ministry. You can reach out to us online, info at ForsythJPM.org. You can call our office, 336-759-0063, and we'd be glad to set that up with you.
He asked if it was a problem if he asked you directly for money, and I told him I didn't care if he came over and checked your sofa for change. This is a great organization. If you've got some money, you're trying to figure out who needs, who really needs a little bit of God's providence that God bestowed on you, I highly recommend that you go to ForsythJPM, jailprisonministry.org, and look at what they do and pray if that's one of the organizations that you should share your largesse with.
Another one I'd encourage you to look up is citywithdwellings.org. I had a gentleman that I was talking to just the other day, a real great guy. I mean, he was really pitching in and helping and clear-eyed and doing well. It amazed me that he'd been in the federal prison system, and they had just let him go here in Forsyth County. He was incarcerated in Florida. When people are let out of jail and prison, they're given almost nothing except for a list of requirements. You've got to show up here.
You've got to check in there. You've got to have a job. And if you don't do everything you're supposed to, we're going to stick you back in.
And when you're in, you're building up charges that you've got to come up and pay back. Now, I'm not against all of that, but it just makes no sense to me at all that we don't build in a way to help them find some success because I would much rather them, and I tell them in the jail, people want you to have a good job. They want you to have a happy family.
We want you to have two cars. We want you to complain about the amount of taxes you've got to pay. We don't want to pay for you to be in the jail and the prison. One of the things City with Dwellings does is it makes sure that the homeless have a place to spend a night instead of walking to Samaritan and then finding out they didn't have a space.
Then what do you do? Everybody that we keep off the streets, we keep out of the jails, and we save a small fortune. Everybody that goes through the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry programs that feels like that there are people out there that care for them, that there's jobs for them, that we help them figure a path from where they are to success, saves us a small fortune as a community. That takes volunteers, that takes prayers, that takes some financial assistance.
So, number one, I hope that you write down somewhere where you will find it to pray for the Forsyth Jail and Prison Ministry. If you're healthy and happy and you're waking up saying, God, what is it you want me to do? And prison ministry pops in your head, I'm sorry. There's nothing in that Bible that says you're only supposed to do those comfortable things that make you happy and safe. God sent people to do some really wild things. Fox's Book of Martyrs pops in my mind. Every time somebody says, only good things are supposed to happen to Christians.
That's not how it works. We need you to get plugged into your community, wherever you are. You need to find ways as a Christian, as a believer, with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to find out where God wants you to make a difference in the lives of others that might not be working with the homeless, that might not be working with people incarcerated. But I promise you that God's got a place for you to be, and he's got a group of people that he needs you to talk to. And if you're like me and you had a drug and alcohol problem and you were able to get beyond it, you're in a position to communicate and talk with people that other folks can't. And those things that some folks are scared about, they're folks that have had mental problems that they've overcome, there's an audience out there that needs you to hug them and encourage them and let them know that Jesus and you and your congregation and your small group and your Sunday school class cares about them. Pray about how you'll make a difference in your community and those people that God puts in your path, and pray for these ministries. Thank you for being with us.
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