Quietly Changing Lives
NOT THE TEN MOST WANTED:
We were picked to be a part of the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. An honor. The local theme was to have a court, Judge, mug shots Jail, jail food and the bail would be the amount we would give or try to raise. We sent an e-mail out explaining the mock arrest and many thought we had been arrested. We are glad they offer to help. Our mock bail is $1600.00 which we need help raising - not for Someone Cares but for Jerry’s Kids and MDA. Make checks payable to MDA and we will turn them over to the Judge. Or, if you prefer credit cards, use our safe room on our website, www.someonecares.org. Again, make sure you mark for MDA.
Going into prisons for over 30 years gives us knowledge, and MD is like a prison sentence - often a death sentence. We can make a difference. Many are making this donation in their inmate’s (Pen Friend’s) name.
This is for Muscular Dystrophy, not Someone Cares.
Visit WWW.REDWEBZ0NE.ORG for a feature on Someone Cares
A CHRISTIAN IS AS A CHRISTIAN DOES.
This is a very personal Ministry and as such lets us get to know both Church member and inmate - two different worlds. While preaching and holding seminars in many churches we have really had to bite our tongues at times. God’s wish for us to go forth to the whole world is quite a job. One thing nice about asking questions in church is you get honest answers, well almost always. Is being a Christian just going to church? When Jesus said in Hebrews 13:3, “remember the Prisoner as if chained with them,” what did he mean? Was this just a reference to persecuted believers? When Jesus said, “I was in prison and you visited me not,“ are we to visit prisoners? Is being a Christian trying to make others believe as we do, or should we lead them to Jesus and let HIM do the directing? I was an atheist until a met Yvonne, Euell and Daryl. I learned the Bible by reading and listening to what others told me. Like many inmates I got confused by the do’s and don’ts of some doctrines.
The Bible says study and that I did. Do I teach what I think it said or what it really said? Yvonne laughed when after I accepted Christ I tried to get a bush to burn! It did not burn in my back yard but is still burning in my heart. To help those in prison, attempt to be a friend not a pal. Before you load them with your knowledge of the Bible, attempt to find out where they are. If they are not at all interested in being a Christian attempt to be a friend anyway or turn them back over to us.
I often look back on when I first became a Christian. I did not know what one was, Christian, now I are one! The very first thing I learned is I did not belong. Even though I gave up all my bad habits they were a part of me. I just did not fit in a Church, never being in one. But I stumbled, I fell and, thank God, someone picked me up. I think back to a time when I was asked to preach in a very special Conference Church. I really worked on a sermon dotting i’s and crossing t’s.
After starting I really felt good as it was coming out good. I looked out and 500 folks had changed my mind - they looked bored. Yvonne was smiling so I had not done anything wrong? A silent Prayer and I laid my Bible down and asked the folks if they would mind standing. Funny when you’re in a pulpit folks will do almost anything. I then said I had worked hard to prepare, but something was wrong. The sermon was to honor Jesus. I said, “Please let’s give Jesus a hand,” and I started clapping slowly, soon they almost all joined in. The rest of the sermon went well. In prison if you’re happy and you know it, say Amen.
Another time I told a story of a minor miracle. Being rushed I stopped to pick up some cooked chicken, got home and ate it. It was later because, Yvonne, a vegetarian had already eaten. I got a chicken bone caught in my throat. I was rushed to emergency (I think we still have the x ray). There was the bone! The doctor said, “We will have to call in a specialist. It is late and it will be expensive. If the bone is secure, can you come back in the morning and our regular doctor will remove it. Yes said I. I went back to the doctor after a peaceful night.
The doctor said what bone? To me a miracle. A voice from the crowd - you should not eat chicken!
Working in prison we have to make choices that deal with problems not make them worse. We might have a group of inmates from a doctor’s degree to a grammar school drop out. We try to find the middle ground.
There are too many different versions of the Bible in prison, but we play the ball where the monkey drops it. Try to let your Pen Friend lead, you may be their only chance.
THE SAVIOR’S DEATH BETWEEN TWO THIEVES ENABLES US TO SEE THAT HE COMES TO US RIGHT WHERE WE ARE, NOT WHERE WE WOULD LIKE TO BE.
IF YOU DO NOT ASK WE WILL NOT GET:
We are in a bit of a fix and the only way to get out is ask. Someone Cares has become a very successful Ministry. Our growth even surprises me. Every time we match one inmate two more ask for a Pen Friend. Other Ministries feeling the financial crunch just send inmates our way. With postage going up and the massive amount of e-mailers we need help. We have two groups, (wish all were the same way) writing a bunch of inmates via e-mail; we then forward the letters to inmates and the inmates’ letters to the e-mailers. A lot of these are from Canada, Australia and France. These groups also pay the postage, amen. We can start saying no, or write them ourselves or increase our funding. Saying no is not an option. So if you are interested in helping us continue to grow, ask a friend to give $5.00 a month for two years. If we can get 500 folks to do that we can handle the increase. Hopefully the video will be finished soon and we can help others start their own group. If there is a computer expert we need a program that will track all our folks, the inmates they write, when they write, Pen Names they use and funds donated. We are using an old Church program that burps every now and then. We ask this in Jesus name as with out HIS Blessing this program could not be so successful. Without most of you!?NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND?
Not only are many of our youth being left behind they are being ignored. We conducted a survey of programs for young people in churches during the summer and found none. An old set of statistics I found said 70% of youth in the church at 12 leave by 20?
What if this was the year when Jesus comes?
The year we have been waiting for so long.
We’d have so little time to get our children won,
if this was the year Jesus comes.
Years have come and years have gone since HE went away,
leaving us a promise that he’ll come again,
What if this was the day?
We read in the paper and hear on the air
of killing and stealing and crime everywhere.
We sigh and we say, as we notice the trend,
this younger generation, where will it end?
Can we be sure that it’s their fault alone,
That maybe a part is not our own?
Kid’s don’t make the movies, they don’t write the books,
that paint those pictures of gangsters and crooks.
They don’t make the liquor, they don’t run the bars,
they don’t make the laws, they don’t buy the cars.
They don’t peddle the drugs, that addle the brain,
that’s done by older folks for profit or gain.
Delinquent teenagers, oh how we condemn;
the sins of a nation, we do blame on them.
By laws of the blameless The Saviour made known;
who is there among us to cast the first stone?
For in so many cases, It is sad, but so true;
the title delinquent fits older folks, too.
I can remember when I saw the first 16 year old go to prison. It could have been me. The calls, letters, and e-mails we get from folks, often unnamed, are growing monthly. The thinking is - do not talk about it, maybe it will go away. How many know how to search your kid’s or grandkid’s computers to see where they have been? Try a teen chat room sometime - but be prepared.
Yvonne and I were talking of a large Youth Convention we were invited to. After we got rid of Pastors and parents we found out who the youth went to for help - their teen friends. If I could start over I’d be a youth leader.
Many of us are familiar with the Miranda Act which instructs all peace officers to give the arrested party a review of their rights as a United States citizen. Often we hear these famous lines on television or portrayed over the radio. The one most of us can remember the best is “You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law...” The first time you hear these words spoken in person, you realize the gravity of the situation.
In a somewhat different way, the believer is asked a different sort of question by the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We are questioned about our faith and trust in God for our eternal salvation on a daily basis by the world, and commanded to witness for the Lord in His word. As a recent song writer wrote: “you don’t have the right to remain silent about our faith if you have been arrested by God’s grace.” So how will you witness? You’re not suppose to talk during church, so that gives you six days to witness to people you come in contact with every day. Now that is going to take some action on your part and you can’t do that sitting in a pew in the church. (1 Peter 3:15) tells us that we are to share how we have been pardoned for our sins. Something to think about, God Bless!
AMEN AND AMEN:
Answered prayer is so great. With all of you praying for Yvonne and her recovery from an illness that was near fatal - her cure is 99%. Her two doctors from India kept looking up. God is so good and we are thankful for each of you.
THE RICH GET RICHER THE POOR GET PRISON:
Someone asked where does most of your support come from. We are blessed to have many who live in shelters, or on the street. We have some groups who even though they have nothing they manage to give. Mary and her kids live in a trailer park on welfare. In a motor home with a blown engine. she was writing an inmate when their troubles started. She writes her Pen Friend once a month and every letter has a dollar for us. The last letter from her Pen Friend The Paper Sunshine went her way. He raised $18 from friends and sent it to her.
Steve contacted us and he lives in a large tent and a group got together and they share everything. The tent is near a service station and the owner lets them use it if they keep it clean. Steve just sent us his last $15, but know God will grant the increase 100%.
Ladies and 6 kids live in a very run down home. They lost all in Katrina. They all write inmates and we provide for the postage both ways. I will always remember the Million dollar sermon I preached at Soledad after less than a dollar in change from a women who wanted me to use all her money to save a soul.
The alter call brought many inmates forward. Of that group 5 are out - all Pen Friends and supporters. We breathe a special prayer I do admit when we get a large amount but we have been a “widow’s mite” Ministry.
VOICE OF PROPHECY:
We again will be blessed being featured on the oldest Christian radio show. We already know how much of a blessing we will receive. It would be nice if all of you who joined us send a thank you note to them, and also have your inmate send a note to us for them to show what this all really means.
I was reading news from other Ministries and was shocked. They will provide a Pen Pal for $4.00 – shame, shame.
We learned a long time ago the more we worked with other ministries the more we grew. In these times when things are tough many give up, we just asked God and received HIS blessings - all of YOU. Learning from those in prison can help a lot and we are going to share soon the cause and prevention of crime. I thank God for this Ministry and pray we grow so big that the crowd going to Glory will pop out of prison worldwide, and when we get to heaven what a party! God Bless all of you.
ADDRESSING AN ENVELOPE:
Your letter to us should have your name and address on the envelope or e-mail. Your letter to an inmate should have the inmate’s full name, number and address. The return address should have your name, pen name and our address.They are writing through Someone Cares to you – not to Someone Cares. The following people have written to Someone Cares with no real person’s name - please claim them:
E M Frazier
and several dozen more.
Most are because the free person never returned the Blue Form, the rest are due to bad spelling or nick names we do not have.
MANY HAVE ASKED WHY NOT WRITE DIRECT? DO YOU WANT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS INSIDE A PRISON?