REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS
Believe in the Lord always. We got a call from a pastor who
said he would like to get his church involved in our ministry. Amen!
We got a call from a retired pastor’s wife wanting a Pen Friend. She
said her husband would join later. And yet another pastor’s wife
called saying they were involved and wanted more names. We had
a stack of a little more than one hundred names and in a heartbeat
they were gone. Amen! Being as there are few positive things in
prison, every time one inmate gets a letter they share it. There are
inmates a that will try to take advantage of you. We and you should
not let them. If you are not sure please ask us.
THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE
It is really difficult to define “those kind of people” as prisons
are full of all kinds of people. 30% are hard core and will never
change. A whole lot should not be in prison as their only crime is
ignorance and being uneducated. Another large bunch should be in
a mental hospital, not prison. When we started this ministry prison
was different. You might have gone to school or had a job. This is
not so in most prisons anymore. They are overcrowded and
understaffed which means most are locked down twenty-four hours
a day. The food is terrible. Inmates reach out for a Pen Friend and
get one. But they can’t answer because they don’t have paper, pen,
or note even a stamp. Many of you write but don’t get an answer.
Please write a second letter. If
you still do not receive an
answer, return all the inmates
contact information to us. If you
are matched with someone you
don’t like, once again return the
inmate’s information to us we
will rematch you. For those
folks whom you return, we will
try to work with them. So many
Pen Friends have written and
gotten no answer and just quit.
We are so glad Jesus did not
give up on us. We have a video
of an interview on a gang leader.
He told a recruit to take a loaf of
bread and make a peanut butter
sandwich with little peanut
butter. He had a list of cells with
inmates he knew had money on
their books. He told him to sell
the sandwiches for two dollars.
The reporter asked what if the
inmate didn’t want the
sandwich. “I’d cut their throat!”
was the gang leaders reply.
Last month we asked for and
are praying for a few large
donations. We have been able
to video record a lot of
interviews and things about this
ministry. We converted some to
video but now we need to put it
on DVD. We have a lot of
poems and letters we need to
publish. I need to get around to
writing a book. Using
computers and e-mails is a bit
expensive. As big as we are
getting we are going to have to
hire someone. Pray for us
LETTER FROM ANGELS
Many years ago a young man on death row joined our Pen
Friend Program. He has been a blessing to many and we asked him
to share his feelings.
Prison is a desolate place, gray and cold, filled with violence
and hatred. So here you are alone, ripped from all normal reality.
You are depressed, many kill themselves. You are faced with two
roads. The important one is to reach for a Bible. Change does not
happen at once but slowly. The other road leads to prison ways and
total desperation. But someone cares. You receive your first letter.
Is the person to be trusted, will they be a true friend? The system
tells you not to trust anyone. Deep down you see this may be your
only chance. You see they don’t share the same thoughts as you.
How can they? You want a friend and they want to talk relation. It
does not matter and you look forward to the next letter. Then you
find your new friend is real. Now the hellish world you live in has a
little light. You get another letter and a little more strength to face the
day. It is still a terrible place to live but now there is some joy. For
you in the real world, you will never know how important it is to be
someone who cares. My cell is cleaner, my thinking has a smile
once in awhile. I have shared this with others here and they now
have friends who care. If you care, take time to write. God asked
BECAUSE YOU CARE, SHARE
My name is Joyce. Over the years I have written a whole lot
of inmates. Here is how I do it. When I get a name I go to the
computer to find out about the prison and in some cases the inmate.
I start and index card to keep track. If I am not sure about something
I contact the McClures or call the prison. I write. If no answer I
write again. If still no answer I return the name to Don. It takes
awhile to get into religion with my friend. I do let them know to me
this is a ministry started by my best friend Jesus on the cross. My
sister started with them 40 years ago and kept it up until she died.
She said she would meet many of her Pen Friends in Heaven. I
keep total control not by rejection but correction. Don & Yvonne
have worked very hard and with little help have gone a long way. If
you can’t write, support this great, productive ministry. If you can’t
afford that, pray for them.
MY NAME IS RUDY
I met the two of you many years ago when Yvonne popped
up at my cell. I must admit I was stunned as my cell was in San
Quentin’s infamous “C” section. Don, your wife is attractive. She
introduced herself and said she was a volunteer! “Why here in one
of the worst section of any prison,” I asked. “Why not?” she threw
back at me. “Lady, the men are the worst of the worst and most
would kill at the drop of a hat.” She told me God has sent his angels
with her and her husband is here also. She gave me a book and a
couple of other items. Later they got me a Pen Friend and
introduced me to Jesus. I saw them often and may have still been in
prison if not for them and the several Pen Friends. Yesterday (I’m
out of Prison) I was eating breakfast at McDonalds and I heard a
couple talking about Someone Cares. One of the ladies had your
newsletter. The other said, “Oh I could never do that. Who wants
those kind of people?” I turned and said I’m one of those kind of
people. Without them I would still be in prison. We chatted a bit and she
gave me your newsletter. Folks I can say these two and those
connected with them are the real deal.
I’m sorry. I tried to get my pastor and my friends involved but
no one seemed to care.
Jesus cares and that is so important. When I first became a
Christian many folks, because of my background, had doubts. Forty
years later that has changed. We look at the condition of the world
today. And because of our non-profit status we are silent. The
wasted cost and expense of incarnation is terrible. The ignorance of
politics is stupid. The Bible says “Rebuke publicly. On that hill far
away, on that old rugged cross, Jesus stopped dying to save a
convict - like many in prison but not guilty. All we are asking is take
time - a very little - to write an inmate and just maybe we will hear
that trumpet sound.
Reprinted from our
September, 2013 newsletter.
Just imagine no cell
phone, no computer, no
letters, no communication
with anyone! No birthday
or Christmas cards, no
shopping, no getting out.
Just sitting on a cot all day
long or walking around a
space the size of your
bathroom. Very boring. If
you were in that situation,
you would want someone
to write to you, and so
would I. Well, that is what
prison is like, and most are
at maximum capacity.
Your heart must be in it
to write or send a card.
Inmates need good news
from the outside world,
since all they usually hear
are other inmates complaining.
They need to
know that someone cares
and to hear the good
things in your life. They
really need to know that
Jesus loves them, but that
will take time. We thank
God for each one of you
and hope more will want to
share Paper Sunshine.
RELIGION IN PRISON
Sounds like a good thing, but it
can be a nightmare. At one of the
prisons that Yvonne worked at
almost thirty years ago, we turned
the Chapel into an All Faiths
Chapel. This bunched the doctrines
of some churches together. The
Muslim religion takes a bad rap
since often black gang members
use it as a meeting place. We have
a lot of inmate friends that are true
Muslims who must deal with that
I am reminded once of a
challenge I received, which was to
preach a sermon without using the
name of Jesus. I could not do it,
and when I failed the head Chaplain
cautioned me; however, six
members of the Muslim faith said,
“Let the brother speak. We know
who Jesus is.” Amen.
SPREAD THE NEWS ABOUT PAPER SUNSHINE
We are asking that
everyone give a copy of
this newsletter to their
Pastor, asking them to read
it to their congregations
and tell them about this
Ministry and Paper Sunshine.
Our program has
done a massive amount of
good for those involved,
even those who are free. Christians have been commissioned to
do much by God’s word, including feeding, clothing, and visiting
those in prison. God blesses us for doing what He tells us to do
and puts out a severe penalty for not. Many will go to Heaven
because of this Ministry. If your Pastor will help organize a
program in your church, God will grant the increase.
In working with Voice of Prophecy (VOP), Someone Cares
Paper Sunshine has led one million inmates to complete Bible
Studies. Amen! It has also prompted many groups to go into
prisons to teach the Bible. Please remember VOP in your prayers.
Here is how the Pen Friend (aka Paper Sunshine)
program works. When you contact us we match you with an
inmate pen friend. You then receive an application and a letter
from him or her. You respond to their letter and we pray that a
blessing is received by all. You do not ever use your own address,
but all mail is funneled through Someone Cares. As an
added protection, we can assign you with a “pen name.” When
the inmate writes to you (at our address) we read their letter for
your protection (but we never read the letters you write), then
send it to you.
Since writing letters has become a lost art, we have
started a new email program. You can type your letter to the
inmate and email it to us, we will then “snail mail” your printed
letter (with the top cut off so your email address does not show)
to the inmate. When the inmate sends their reply, we scan it and
email it to you.
UNITED WE STAND
We would like to work with
other Prison Ministries. If your
church does any type of ministry
in any U.S. prison (not jail),
please have them email us with
their contact information, at
firstname.lastname@example.org . By
the way, visit our new web page
www.someonecares.org and go
to archived newsletters for a real
trip through time.
At this time we wish to thank
all those who for 87 cents and up
have supported this non-profit
organization for so long. We sure
have needed your help in these
THANK THE LITTLE CHILDREN
We received this letter a couple of weeks ago: “My two
boys know my husband and I write several inmates and send
something every month to you, their Ministry. Without us knowing
it they gathered up a lot of stuff and had a rummage sale. Here is
$97.17 from John and James.”