Quietly Changing Lives
WE HAD A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS:
Every time something comes up affecting Someone Cares Ministry we talk with Jesus. When change is involved we make a list of reasons to do, or not to do something.
Returning to California, if only for the winter months, is just not practical.
It seems like every Chaplain we know there wants us. We just had a call from Chaplain Harry Howard at San Quentin saying he needs us there. Got a Mobile Home to donate? Someone Cares by next year will double in size, and if we find a way to return to California it may triple. God will choose for us.
WHISPER A PRAYER:
We sure did that, then louder, finally shouting to all our Prayer groups world wide.
When Yvonne went to the doctor we knew she was very sick - but both Liver and Kidney were a bit much. As her illness was treated, we had a lot of doctors and nurses pointing toward Heaven.
The smiles were great to see. Your prayers, cards, e-mails all really helped. How Much? Today we received a 98 % clean bill of health on all.
VICTORY IN JESUS:
This Ministry has exploded since we moved to Indiana. It looks like its continued growth is secure. It was a great idea that Yvonne had and God blessed it. We do not like having so many inmates waiting for a Pen Friend but that will change. We have increased our budget and plan Christian ads well-placed in over load areas - the whole United States.
PUT YOUR HAND IN THE HAND:
Paper Sunshine works and there is no excuse not to do it. From the comfort and safety of your home you can share the AMAZING GRACE of Jesus.
No, it is not easy writing a person in prison who may have done a terrible crime. Being a Pen Friend means sharing with a stranger. We as Christians should never meet a stranger, so Pen Friendship should slide in.
HAPPINESS IS THE LORD:
My friends, we have seen so many in prison completely change just meeting the Lord through a simple gesture made by some of you. Men and women, boys and girls have thrown away prison knives for the Sword of The Lord “HIS Word”.
Yvonne and I can walk the yards and cell blocks of many prisons seeing first hand the changed lives caused by so many of you. THANK YOU LORD, for using so very many to change so very many and help them look to GLORY.
I’LL FLY AWAY:
One of the first songs I learned as a Christian. It will be such a joy to meet so many of you on “God’s celestial shore”. Also we will meet the many you have brought or sent from many prisons around the world.
When I look at the news, walking a prison yard is easier and safer; we see wars, rumors of wars, storms, many forms of plagues all told in HIS word. Times are tough for many and we can tell you many inmates are praying for you.
THE OLD RUGGGED CROSS:
We have stood at the base of that cross so very often. From that cross so many of us were seen by Jesus, not as we were, not as we are, but as we could be - through HIM. Can you see him looking at you with a smile in HIS eye. We know He told us to go forth but often Pastors don’t give directions. “I was in Prison and YOU visited me not? “
WHERE HE LEADS ME:
The future of this Ministry, as the past depends on you. The plan God has given us is as follows.
We will produce a video detailing each step we have taken over the years. Thanks to Michelle Johnson this is started. We will do it here or in California. It will cover: The Pen Friend Program in detail so your Church can start its own; The Dress out Program, providing free clothes for inmates when released; Bible Study - this is vital. As in prison it is not as easy as it is outside; Two Care Program - this is a visitation program that is vital to prepare for re-entry; and finally, Fund-Raising.
We are sure we can have the video completed early next year.
PEN FRIEND PROGRAM:
Paper sunshine has gotten a little damp. We need to again correct some problems.
On the envelope to the inmate, the return portion has your name or Pen Name and our address. It is addressed to the inmate with name, number, and address. Please make your Pen Name two names. Please make them real names.
THE INMATES NUMBER IS ON ALL LETTERS.
We have a pile of letters we do not know who gets them. Many are addressed to Someone Cares. The list is too long. Please e-mail us if you are missing mail.
Sometimes inmates get addresses from friends - we do not allow that.
It is not good to write two inmates in the same prison.
Please remember even though this is a Ministry your mail goes to a prison. Do not use your personal address.
E-MAIL PEN FRIEND:
Start e-mail with name, number and address. Sign with full name or Pen Name (we will cut off e-mail address.) We snail mail these to inmates and their answer to you. Try not to use attachments. Also hold to two pages. Many of you are sending pages of religious material which hasn’t been requested.OH HOW I LOVE JESUS:
That is great but they may not know HIM at all. Talk about Jesus a bit until you establish a friendship.
Ask questions - NOT TOO PERSONAL, BUT QUESTIONS TO BUILD TRUST.
Do not ask about the crime but be honored if they trust you enough to tell you.
Do not promise things you may not be able to give. If you are not sure, contact us or the prison. They have little and often ask for a lot. If you can, send a little money once in awhile. No CASH. Find out the policy of the Prison.
Phone calls are nice but can be very expensive as they are collect. If married, talk to your husband or wife if you are not comfortable with person writing return information. We will write them and send you a new name.
STACK OF MAIL:
Please make it easier for us. On your letter to inmates: Someone Cares should not appear on envelope to them. Return Address your name or Pen Name, with our address.
Many of you have written using a Pen Name forgetting to tell us.
Here are some more problems. Inmates will ask for things. If uncomfortable say “no”. Writing direct puts your address and location inside a prison and that is not good.
Canadian writers - do not put postage on letter to inmate. We will handle as Canadian postage will not work here.
Seal letters to inmates - we will not read them.
Do not send used books. All books must come from a vendor book store.
Canadian donors - It is easier with rate of exchange to send cash.
ASK IN MY NAME:
We have done that so very many times. This time we ask for those once involved with this Ministry to try again. It is easy to get discouraged when you write and get no answer, write again. If still no answer, let us take that one and give you another. Yes they ask for money as they have nothing. Say “no” if you can not do it. Oh yes they fall in love.
MY NAME IS BETTY
I got to writing inmates when Don & Yvonne held a Prison seminar at our Church.
I have received hundreds of names, but can tell you of 71. Even though 22 are released we still write. Yvonne told me to get a dictionary and look up friend and pal - big difference.
When I learned to establish a friendship and say “no”, this became so easy. Now, I might add, because of these 71, over a hundred are being written to by friends and family. I learned to look up the prison they were in. I checked out subjects they talked about and detailed my interests. Also my husband put a P.S on every letter. Friends, a lot of prayer “In HIS Name” helped me through some tough times. I have a card file on every letter and can refer to problems. Now I’m writing via e-mail with the McClures snail mailing that to inmate.
And their answer to me, “we help with postage.”
THANK YOU JESUS:
My son went to prison and I could not handle the embarrassment. His stepfather never wanted to see him again. Rodney went to a church service where the McClure’s were Chaplains. I could go on for ever.
My son changed and took a VOP Bible study and enrolled us. We got a call from Don and it was a verbal spanking full of love. We went to visit Rod, met the McClures, and had group prayer in the visiting room. Rod is out and married and we all go to the same Church. A re- directed family.
DO THE CRIME, DO THE TIME:
Yvonne and I do not like crime. We also do not like the ignorance so many have on giving a second chance. There are those in prison that will never change. Yeah I was one of them. Never give up if you have a chance to change someone. If you do, give us their name. We have a pretty neat success rate going.
WE CAN USE:
Inmate poetry and art. There is a lot of talent in prison and we would like to share it but we need permission to use it.
Ask about the religious programs they have - Christian and others.
Ask your friend if in a lock down unit how do they spend their time. What programs are they able to take advantage of. Most important what does the prison do about helping on re-entry.
Also ask about over- crowding and gangs. Not all questions will be answered but with the systems changing Double Trouble (Yvonne} is wanting a few new challenges. Also we will deal with much of this in both radio and video tape.
Prisons all over are locked down because of trouble. Someone owes a debt and steals to pay, and then the war starts. Two men of a different race get into a fight and all races are locked down. What is a lock down?
You are kept in a cell 24/7. Three meals a day some times are all served at once. They may get a shower once or twice a week. Clean linen or clothes? No radio or TV and very little to read. Try this. Go into your bath room, turn off the lights and see how stable you are after an hour or so? We try to bring a little light “Paper Sunshine”. So we ask all of you to let “Your Light Shine”. Be a Pen Friend, Prayer Partner, Faith Partner. God will grant you an increase!
Love is of Earth and Heaven, It’s home is everywhere,
It’s a gift to give of freely,
for though given, it’s never really gone.
Love will always return to us Each time we pass it on.
I’M HAPPY TODAY:
We received an e-mail that really hit us between the eyes. We often tell stories about what God has made possible for us to do, with your support.
A friend asked if he could help her friend and we just could not. We called a Pastor and asked, and he said “sure”. I asked a lay person to visit an inmate family as he had not heard from them. He never visited. Did I ask “In Jesus name”?
Might you be willing to visit an inmate in a prison near you?
Might you be willing to visit an inmate family at a secure place?
PUT YOUR TRUST IN JESUS:
Quietly alone in the corner of the exercise yard I sat pondering how fortunate I was to be filled with so much life, even embedded in the circumstances of being on death row.
How ironic to have been imprisoned for almost two decades, yet, daily growing evermore alive and joyful.
Natural and spiritual struggles experienced over the years seemed to vanish into a forgotten realm as I realized how precious and giving Jesus has continually been - hearing in my soul, "Its because I love you."
GOD BLESS MICRO TECH AND LAURA:
Over the years I have been corrected in my grammar in newsletters. Dear Jean helped for years, now again we have help. Thanks
SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS:
Your donations through Someone Cares will help lead men, women, boys, and girls to Christ. Prison Ministry is crime prevention. Your donations are tax deductible. The real rewards are out of this world.
Thanks to each and every one of you for all the prayers and encouragement, cards, e-mails, and calls.
When you are in the hospital and getting better, you have a lot of time to think. I wondered what I would be able to do for God? Could I ever go to prison again, could I ever play the piano for the prisoners so they might sing?
I had faith that God would let me know in time, but I can’t begin to tell you the joy and excitement that filled my heart as I heard Chaplain Howard’s voice on the telephone saying that we would be welcomed back and are needed badly. God’s will be done; however, at that moment I realized how much Prison Ministry runs through my veins. It is something you do not just for God but for the inmates and employees also. Let God lead. I’m happy here.
JESUS ON THE MAINLINE:
The cards and messages from inmates all over was a real blessing. We are going to restructure the whole Corporation to assure Someone Cares will always be there for Someone.
Things got a little sloppy as we did not prepare for what happened. That will not happen again.
I assure you the fun is just starting and we know Satan is really mad but it sure feels good on this Mountain TOP.
Don & Yvonne and You