|Vol. 2001 No. 6 June 2001
HE TALKS WITH USSomeone Cares Home Page
God's word is full of promises if we claim them in HIS name. We did just that when we made this move, and HE kept HIS word. We have several prisons open to us, no pay but no Chaplains. We have many churches at our fingertips, and the party is going to blow out Satan’s lights.
Each time we moved has been a real learning experience. We always hate leaving friends behind, especially our friends in California, but the joy of meeting new ones is a real blessing. Many inmates will meet Jesus because of this move. Many of you will grow in your walk with the Lord
HE WALKS WITH US
The presence of Jesus in our ministry really keeps us on our toes. Jesus said it, we believe it, that’s good enough for us. We attempt to keep the entire scope of Someone Cares Christ-centered. When things seem to go wrong, we ask ourselves first if we’re the cause. Financially, March and April were disastrous. After years and years of no summer slump, one hit this spring that set us back. But Praise God, someone else needed it more. Now we do have to play catch up and you all know we hate to ask, but in the name of Jesus, if you can, will you? A quality used economy car would be neat. Also we need a home for our R.V. so do we have a deal for you! A 1979 Tioga 25-foot Motor Home, sleeps six, brand new 350 engine, new refrigerator, almost-new tires, muffler, and septic system. It has a very large generator, stove, microwave, bathroom, shower, and tow dolly for the 1989 Ford Festiva that gets 46 miles per gallon! All for only $7250. The unit is in California. We had to leave it behind with our friends when we moved.
IF IT ISN’T BROKE... DONT FIX IT
The Pen Friend Program has been flowing along too well and lulled me into a relaxed comfort zone. When our funding dipped, I went to our computer to take a look at where, and found over 250 Christians who, for reasons we will try to explain later, quit writing their inmates and never told us!!! Folks, if you were or are matched with a Pen Friend and something goes wrong, send the paperwork back! Also, when you’re writing your inmate, it’s a good idea for you to keep the paperwork and some record of your correspondence. Don’t, please don’t, write a letter, get no answer, and say “this is not for me.” Also in all mail to us, put your real name, not your Pen Name. Lots of inmates get moved and we can’t keep up with them, if yours is, call the State’s capital ask for the Department Of Corrections. With the inmate’s name and number you should be able find them.
Everything God expects of us comes out of those two words. Two of the most important things for us as Christians to do is Bible Study and Prayer. One thing we should not do is criticize the way others may do those two things. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, a day is coming where we all will have to stand in judgment. I pray that none of you has to hear "You were assigned, IN MY NAME, a Pen Friend. This was a commitment to the inmate, to Someone Cares, and TO ME. You found you didn’t have time and forgot to tell anyone, except of course I found out. An inmate was waiting for your friendship IN MY NAME, and you dropped the ball without returning it for someone else to pick up. I’m sorry, I don’t know you.”
A little drastic, but communication is a bit of time well spent. If we assigned you a Pen Friend and it did not work out, let us know.
Please. If your husband drops extra change in the couch, send it our way; God will put it to work.
AS OLD AS HIS TONGUE AND A LITTLE YOUNGER THAN HIS TEETH
Don has a birthday this Month and he told me that one gift God has given him is the move to Indiana. We have the chance to Chaplain two prisons, and help Pastor a church in our spare time. God Is so good.
IS THE CAPITAL OF FLORIDA A SAFE PLACE FOR HISPANIC PEOPLE?
Last February 22 the Hispanic inmate, Angel, was sexually assaulted and raped by two inmates in Leon County Jail in Tallahassee City Florida. He had been ridiculed for his poor English by a couple of inmates, and also two officers in the jail.
The bureaucracy of the system has raped the inmate because he has not received any medical care or psycho-logical attention in his own language.
In all this time his family has asked, via the Internet, for Spanish-speaking counselors to try to help the inmate by phone.
Since February 22 the jail authorities have him isolated from the general population 24 hours a day in an area called “suicide watch” because a few months ago another inmate killed himself. In this area they don't have TV, radio, news-papers, vision outside or any other activity, It’s like a hole.
The doctor of the jail recommended that he read but the Leon County Jail doesn't have any books in Spanish.
The inmate’s lawyer, Howard Srebnik from the office of Black, Srebnik and Kornspan in Miami City, released a legal petition to transfer the inmate to another jail in South Florida in the Hispanic community and near to his family, but that petition to the court has been denied by Judge John Crusoe, who offered the inmate a transfer to Wakulla Jail, a city farther south in Florida that has even fewer Hispanics.
Angel, (who has no prior criminal record), has been the only Hispanic in his detention area for more than 6 months before the rape. His poor English made it impossible to communicate with other inmates.
While the bureaucracy of the state makes its way, this rape victim waits without adequate medical care, losing more than 10 Kilograms from several health problems.
Now that the judge denied the petition, the family and more than 100 associations around the country are asking for an investigation to the office of the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush.
Ann B. Connell from the U.S. Attorney’s office, and Tena Pate form the Office of the Governor are investigating the case.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, American Civil Liberties Union, National Legal Aid and Defense Assoc-iation, Florida Immigrant Advo-cacy, Men Stopping Rape, Stop Prisoners Rape, National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, The Justice Project, and many more organizations have given their support to the family of the victim.
Priscilla Barnes, from the Refuge House, in collaboration with Cassandra Collins from FAIR are trying to find a Spanish specialist in the Tallahassee area, but they haven't yet found one.
The State of Florida has a big population of Hispanics, the Hispanic vote was important for the last presidential election, but now a Hispanic inmate in Tallahassee is very sick, alone in a hole, far away from his family and without adequate medical care.
If you can offer Spanish-speaking counsel, legal help, or other assistance to this family, please contact one of the following:Maria Serrano (Angel Brioso’s mother) 305 551 6593
Howard Srebnick (Angel’s lawyer) 305 371 6421
Priscilla Barnes (Refuge House) 850 922 6062
Cassandra Collins (FAIR) 850 350 0341
SECOND PEN FRIEND
Hello again. I have signed up for the Pen Friend Program and have been matched up with one inmate. He is at the Kentucky State Prison. I have written David and will continue to do so, but would like a 2nd Pen Friend. I am very excited about your ministry and plan to make a presentation in my church ASAP. Is there any additional info that I will need?
I have received my first newsletter. I am also interested in the Mite Monthly Donation Program, so please let me know how I can get involved in that. I understand it is $10 per month? Please let me know.
Again, please match me up with a second Pen Friend. I look forward to hearing from you. May God bless you in your wonderful ministry.
Julie Schaub, SJC
GIVE US A HAND
Folks, all mail from you to us must have your real name. If you have written your inmate and used a Pen Name and not told us, write again and tell us. We have a stack of mail we have no idea who it goes to. Any of you who received a new name and have not yet written—shame, shame! Please ask your Pen Fried to not send Chapel tracts and cartoon pages. It costs us a lot.
I got a call from Mickey that made my heart leap with joy. First, he reminded me how we met (very common). Yvonne was walking across the prison yard and Mickey was swearing. Yvonne told him God's last name was not Damn. He was flippant at first, but soon changed and both Yvonne and I got to know him well. He did become a Christian and became part of an inmate cell ministry, which was later broken up as not good. But he and others kept on keeping on, talking about Jesus.
Mickey was serving a double life sentence, so the call was a shock because he was out! It seems he be-friended an inmate whose dad had a little influence, and a good lawyer turned everything around. It does get detailed, with trumped-up charges, plus a convict witness, or snitch. But when he called on the name of the Lord, all was well. His mom and dad were so thankful and again, Jesus lets us take the credit for what He does. Not Fair. All Praise to Him Who Reigns on High!
WHAT MAKES SOMEONE CARES WORK?
We are a total Faith Ministry supported by the Love offerings of many. We receive nothing from the Church, nothing from the Prison, and nothing from the Government.
This newsletter generates 60 % of our funding, being on Voice of Prophecy another 10%, and speaking in churches the rest. We thank God that plenty believe in prison ministry, and us. We have programs that work and keep on working. We also concentrate on the Widow's Mite. Once we got a donation of $10,000, our largest ever, and that put us into every prison in the United States.
One thing the Federal Government did was help us by making donations tax deductible; little else is. We get on our knees often if funds are slow but God comes through.
We have received notices of being included in some Living Wills. Please, if you do so, let your families know.
I was asked about retire-ment. Believe me, we can't afford to retire, and even if we could, God invited us to serve HIM in prison. Remember, If ever asked to do anything in the name of Jesus, say “I'll be happy to.” We get tired working all week and then on weekends speaking in churches. I hope I can play golf in Heaven; I sure can’t find time to here. Yvonne and I do bowl one night a week. Might even take a vacation some day, when they close all the prisons. Besides, we will have an eternity to rest and enjoy our friends. Amen.
Here is a story you’ll enjoy from an old buddy of my pastor cousin, via Email. Caution: Tissue Warning!
Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
Inside the house, his mother was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her little son as loudly as she could.
He heard her voice, became alarmed, and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.
From the long dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.
A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.
Remarkably, after many weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms were the deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy, after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn't let go."
You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But, the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.
Scripture teaches that God loves you. If you have Christ in your life, you have become a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins; and if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful.
He did not - and will not - let you go.
Submitted by Opie Truss
Thought for the week: We must change our way of thinking before we can change our behavior.
What an exciting time to be watching this ministry grow! Isn’t Julie just bubbling over with Christian joy? I know she’s brightening the corners of her Pen Friend’s cell with paper sunshine.
On a more serious note, our Hispanic brother in Florida is in need of our prayers for healing, and that God will send him a counselor and comforter.
Don has matched, at last, all the requests for Pen Friends from their recent week of radio broadcasts, and is full of praise for the wonderful way God provides for Someone Cares.
Our God is an Awesome God, as the song goes. He just takes our breath away with His generosity, His leading, His incredible love and patience. It’s no wonder He refers to us as His sheep. (You’d have to be a shepherd for awhile to gain an appreciation of that.)
Recently Mich. was to have a third day of severe storms. With a leaky roof (120 gallons in two days) and a heart having a pity party, I stayed home from our ladies’ study group to mop up the overflow off the floor. They promised to join me in prayer, and God’s peace came over me, along with the dissipation of the storm cells. What a great God we serve!