March 2018 Newsletter - PDF File
THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE
Many years ago we were invited to put on a program on
prison ministry. We arrived at the church dressed like street people.
The greeters did not greet us. When we sat down, folks moved.
When the time come for me to speak, I took my Bible and went
forward. Yvonne sat at the piano and played. We explained that the
church was open to all. Jesus said remember those in prison as if
chained with them. Then he reminded all HE was in prison and no
one visited. Read all of Matthew 25.
FORTY YEARS AGO
When I was led from my old life to a new one with Jesus I had
a lot to learn. Not only had I been led to Yvonne, she had led me to
Jesus. Our Lord then put me into prison ministry. Amen.
MINISTRY IN PRISON
Ministry in prison is where you or several of you go to prison
to preach or teach. You are not allowed to have one-to-one with the
inmate. Prison Ministry is what we do. We go to school, attend staff
meetings and are well trained. Yvonne and I were made staff
chaplains and worked for $1.00 a year. We formed Someone Cares
and became the “God Squad.” We attend staff meetings and other
prison training. There are plenty of volunteers so we worked with
them. We are an “All Faiths Ministry.” Do not let your doctrine be a
barrier but rather a bridge to Jesus. Then we started other
programs. First was a remedial reading program using the bible.
Then a two care program which is a visitation program once a month
with an assigned inmate in the visiting room.
This provides decent clothes
for inmates when they are
released. This also stops them
from using release money to
buy the clothes they are
wearing. Helps a lot if you use
THE PEN FRIEND
We are not totally sure of the
number but well over a million
inmates have been a part of
this program, half of those
completing Bible studies. This
is how this works. Inmates hear
of the program and fill out a
complete application. We
explain to them this is a ministry
and not pen pal program. It is
Christian. The inmate sends the
application and letter to us. It
goes in a pile. You inquire about
writing and your name goes in
another pile. The inmates write
you at our address and we
forward to you. You write the
inmate, seal it and put it in an
envelope to us. We mail it from
EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW,
EVERY TONGUE CONFESS
Many of those in prison are guilty of not having an attorney.
Many have done more than what they are charged with. Many will
try to use anything to get something. With us controlling the mail
this does not happen a lot. When we match you with an inmate, we
ask you to write a letter. If there is no response write a second letter.
Keep a record of your writing. If you still do not receive an answer
return the inmate’s information to us and we will rematch you.
Most people use a pen name. Make it two names, a first and
middle name. Someone cares should not be on the envelope
addressed to the inmate. All will be explained in the paperwork we
send. A problem area we are working on is that inmates often can’t
get paper, pen, pencil or stamps. They will ask you for things. If you
can, give. If not explain.
Most are rated from 1 to 6 or Death Row. Prisons have a lot of
gang activity. Writing through us protects you. If you are not sure
ask, e-mail or call us. If you get a packet and are not comfortable
with your match, please return everything to us. Many folks have
joined, gotten a letter but are not comfortable with the inmate and
never write again or return the inmate’s information.
WHERE THEY LIVE
Most inmates live in
a cell with two bunks and a
There is little storage. They
can spend up to 23 hours a
day in their cell. If allowed
out it may be to another
cage or outdoors. Good
can be a hot meal of????
And a bag lunch. No
money, no radio or TV. We have seen gyms used as cell blocks and
chapels also. Most chaplains have no budget to speak of. Gangs
are a large problem and they prey on inmates with money on their
books. We have a video of a gang leader selling two pieces of
bread and a little peanut butter for $4.00. The reporter asked what if
he didn’t pay. The answer he would pay. JESUS PAID ALSO ON
THE CROSS FOR ALL OF US. SOME WILL BE IN HEAVEN
BECAUSE OF THIS MINISTRY
DON’T LET YOUR DOCTRINE BE A BARRIER
BUT RATHER A BRIDGE TO JESUS
Chaplains have a tough time. Yvonne and I have both been
there. They have no budget and not much help. The Pen Friend
programs lets you go into prison but not go in. We spend a lot of
time on the yard, in the cell blocks, on death row and in the visiting
room. God drew us to start this ministry and has kept it going for a
long time. We have served as full-time staff chaplains in five prisons
over eighteen years, part of the time on a dollar a year. That is why
we formed a 501 C3 non-profit ministry. We are so proud of all the
Pen Friends and supporters. It is you who are Someone Who Cares.
With our country and its prison system in trouble and laws changing
we are looking for $500 a month supporters. A little or a lot more will
If you use a pen name make it a first and last name. On
the envelope to inmate use your name or pen name and our
address. The inmates name, number and address does not go
on this at all. Seal it and mail it to us. We do not read your
letters. The inmate will write you at our address and we will
forward it to you. Ask inmates to print as some have sloppy
hand writing. If you have a computer go to Someonecares.org
and click on the radio icon. You can listen to the twenty-six
radio shows we have done. Share these with your church and
friends. Inmates will ask you for things. Be sure before you
send. Look prisons and even inmate.
DO YOU KNOW?
If you know anyone in prison ministry please give us their
information. Our doctor says we will live long enough to keep on
keeping on. We are receiving and average of twenty requests a day
for Pen Friends. There are two million, five hundred thousand peope
in prison. That is bunch of stamps! God Bless You and yours.The God Squad
Donations are gladly
through our website:
Don and Yvonne have sent
me a lot of names – sixty - that
someone else had rejected. I
took them all, got rid of
eighteen. Three are out of
prison and are now pastors, two
are teachers, and most are
church members. None have
gone back to prison.
IN MEMORY OF
We write this in memory of
Chaplain Bill Moors He spent a
lifetime in prison ministry and
chaplain of Vacaville Prison. We
learned a lot from Bill and he
helped Someone Cares.
It seems like yesterday that
we were called to this ministry. I
cannot believe that over forty
years a little or a lot of every day
had been sent because Someone
Cares. Yvonne’s Birthday is
tomorrow, 78 and mine in June,
85. I plan to try to beat Jake,
our grandson, at golf bowling,
tennis, and table tennis while
TO MAKE IT
Reprinted from our
March, 2008 newsletter.
This is an election year and
our votes count. No, we are not
going to tell you who to vote for
(though some pastors have
done so), shame on them!
The cost of prisons is
terrible; the graft is terrible; and
men who are sent to prison as
punishment, not for punishment,
deserve a chance. Cutting costs
in prisons could eliminate the
80% of those in prison are
getting out some day. Will they
be better off for their time
If Jesus had not lifted me,
where would I be?
In a cell somewhere is a man
or woman, boy or girl. From the
comfort and safety of your
home, you might help change
Our God Is An Awesome
God. Paper Sunshine has
entered many a cell to bring the
Light of Jesus to many. Please
let your light shine.
RELIGION IN PRISON
This article is reprinted from our March, 2008 newsletter.
This can be a very confusing topic. When we first started it
was very challenging. Most inmates have had a little religion as they
were growing up. Some had learned just enough to be dangerous.
We always had a plan and God directed it.
I had a rule that we would take any question on the topic we
were studying. The answers would be revealed the following week,
giving me time to make sure of the answer. Most inmates can get a
Bible; mostly just the New Testament . Some had study Bibles with
notes, giving someone else’s idea of what is said. This is why we
taught not to let our doctrine be a barrier, but a bridge to Jesus.
Doing a lot with prayer helps control the way a ministry in
We also established an All-Faiths Chapel and have kept that
idea over the years. Since chapels (if there is one) are shared, and
we are careful in what we allow. (Writing an inmate who is trying to
go slow, get help; do not push “religion,” but Jesus.)
I learned the Bible as I taught it and learned well. We have found the
Message easy to teach from. Message reads: in Hebrews 13:3:
Remember the prisoner as if in prison with them.”
Ask lots of questions and be careful of the answer. I love to
preach and teach, but Yvonne and I spent most of our time in prison;
on the yard; in the cell blocks; and as much as we can in the visiting
room. One-to-one is why Paper Sunshine really works. Getting into
prison, due to severe over-crowding and gang problems, make
Paper Sunshine letter writing a total package. The best preacher
going into prison to preach will minister to tough men and women.
But when they are gone, then what? The best teacher, even if going
into prison weekly, will teach men and women.
The greatest problem with ministry in prison is that you are
not allowed to spend private, one-to-one time with those in attendance.
We know many good Chaplains whose hands are tied with
paperwork, and the system wants them to play policeman. Often,
like pastors on the street, the Chaplain’s Doctrine will be the base of
most programs. We also know a lot of good Christian inmates who
do services in prison, but they are also limited. Like all the Christian
inmates he has to be in a constant survival mode. We often get
notes telling us some inmates are trying to use our programs for one
scam or another. That is why writing through us is a safety net.
Soon there will be 2.5 million inmates in prison. Rehabilitation
instead of warehousing would be neat. Overcrowded and understaffed
is rough. Keep in mind that you can get almost anything in
prison that you can outside, often from staff.