Quietly Changing Lives
GOD SAID “GO FORTH’:
We are trying to get out from under the wonderful and massive ending of 2008.
The blessings were many and almost daily. The growth of the Ministry was pretty neat. Many times we were asked if the conditions of the country were affecting us. In a way the answer was yes. We did have some larger donors with us and we started making plans to cut back where necessary.
Then a new wonder of God happened - lots of small donors joined or started giving. Someone Cares again ended the year in the black.
Our plans for 2009 are many and we will need your help and guidance as we are going to make a big attempt to move west. Returning to California would be best as the help we need is there. Our second choice is Arizona. To do either one we must sell our home in Indiana. Information for this is on the last page.
FUTURE OF SOMEONECARES:
God seems to be pleased with what we are doing and has blessed us. You seem to be pleased also as you have blessed us too - like Jesus just carried us. I am getting older and I’m starting to make some minor mistakes. The last two years have taken its toll on Yvonne and she needs some rest - just a bit.
Getting volunteers to do the work of the Pen Friend Program and helping us establish direction and fund raising seems to be God’s will. Finishing several Videos to go where we cannot will generate funding. Training folks to do what we do and have done will not be easy, but is badly needed. With the conditions of Prisons and the economy as it is we could again start:
PRE RELEASE AND RE ENTRY PROGRAMS:
These programs prepare inmates to re-enter society by getting them prepared for all needed areas when they do.
Long-term inmates suffer prison brain washing.
The programs help prepare those who have families to rejoin them as adjustments can be difficult. Even Churches need training to accept those from Prison as well as those in prison. The programs help by working with employers as well as the inmate as employee. Getting a G.E.D while in prison will save hours of time when released. This is an area retired teachers could volunteer time teaching and assist in preparations for testing?
Remedial Reading - We hear about no child left behind, yet see inmates who finished school that can not read or write properly. Using inmate talent, an EACH ONE TEACH ONE Program can be started with permission of the prison.
THE DRESS OUT PROGRAM:
This program provides quality used clothes for release and work when released, for inmates without funds, which is most of them. We constantly work with Prisons and Churches to interface ideas.
THE TWO CARE PROGRAM:
A one to one or couple to one visitation again to prepare for release and Re-entry. This may take a bit of work as so many inmates come from dysfunctional backgrounds. Most have drug or alcoholic problems in their past, and many of these problems are brought into prison as getting drugs in prison is easy.
So, matching free folks with inmates takes a real talent. A talent Yvonne has shown was established at Soledad, the first prison with the M2 program which is matching free folks with inmates for a monthly visit.
This program is the most important of all “reach in” programs. It is the only area where an inmate can get off their chests all they are forced to deal with. Helping inmates to re-establish self-esteem is great. Here and in the Pen Friend Program, we will share some of our many experiences and the results they brought. Through this we have been able to take inmates out of prison and to schools to try to help. It is nice to say, “Say no to Drugs” - but then what? Too many youngsters are going to prison because of ignorance of family and school and even the Church.
THE PEN FRIEND PROGRAM:
This really is a one of a kind Ministry. To be able to write a free person as a friend is a new experience to most. To be able to follow God’s commission “I was in Prison and you visited me not”. Or, “remember the inmate as if chained with them”. To write from the comfort and safety of your home to an inmate does what God has asked of us. To write through us so the only address the inmate has is ours protects you while pleasing God.
Now the size of Program has gotten out of hand a bit, but help is on the way. We Asked God for it! On New Year’s Day we handled 537 letters, and only one had to have a bit of a correction made.
There will be times when we cannot read inmate mail and we just forward it. If anything is said out of line, we will correct it. Many of you are writing inmates that you need to drop. We will take them on request and match you with another inmate. Many have inmates that write only a little, please add another name. If all the bits and pieces are correct over 5,000 inmates that have been released are attending a Church - many still writing.
Prison Ministry Is Crime Prevention.
We both have shed a tear or two over Christmas Cards from family members of inmates that have changed because of this Ministry. We get the credit for work you all do. We also get notes from guards, Wardens, Chaplains, again, thanks to you.
A LITTLE ADVICE:
This Ministry is about leading men, women, boys and girls to Jesus. If they join our Church, that’s neat; or another Church, that’s great. I have Faith that when God is in control great things Happen.
We have a Pen Friend Program trying to establish a friendship with us and Jesus. If we do both Satan loses, if only one it is a big step.
There are very bad people in prison. Believe me I was one of them. Love lifted me, Gods love. When inmates sign up for this program they are looking for something - maybe the wrong things. We then help you help them. But we are mostly set in our ways. We write a letter and expect an answer. They may not have pen, paper, envelope or stamp. If you do not get an answer, contact us please. I have gotten dozens of letters back because many of you use only one name and prisons are rejecting these. We have lots of letters where we cannot read the inmate’s name. Please send us your phone number as we are updating our records.
Please, on your letter to us, use your real name. On letters to the inmate use your Pen name, our address; but not Someone Cares anywhere. Maybe we matched but you forgot to return the blue form. I just received a call from a woman who sent cash to an inmate - that is a “no, no”. If you write to inmates via computer, we cut off your info and snail mail the letter to the inmates. They do not have computers so we send your e-mail this way and then their letter back to you.BROTHER, SISTER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?
We wish to thank all who are Faith Partners for a great year. I really do not like asking for money, yet, we do it with much humility as this is a proven results Ministry. Your donations are tax deductible. The newsletters contain receipts so please check them.
In the middle of last year an old program crashed and we had to rebuild all for deposit slips to transfer to a new program. I am not a computer expert, you know that!
If God has blessed you and you would like to jump start this year, please do. If you have stamps lying around especially older ones send them.
It is through your donations all this gets done. V.O.P, God bless them, has changed programming, so we do not yet know if we will be on as often. Also, if we are moving we are asking God’s direction, it will be expensive. We wish to send a special thanks to the unknown donors who sent us funds last year. God Bless!
Several years ago, when I was a child our family every summer would go to a camp meeting in the mountains of Soquel, California. Every year I wanted a Bible. I was always told when you’re older. Well finally when I was ten years old my Grandmother bought me one along with a book mark. I still have that old Bible and it is very precious to me. Recently while looking at it the old book mark fell out and I read it once again. I realized the importance of it and how it had helped so very much to shape my life. It was all about giving of yourself, and how it had to be from the heart that we give willingly or it means nothing. I am so thankful for a supportive Christian family, but I am also so thankful for each one of you who give of your time and money so that we are all able to have a chance to help change a life of someone in or out of prison. Also, I miss so many friends in California and pray God’s will is for us to return this Ministry and us there. May God Bless!
NOW ABOUT OUR HOUSE:
We own a three bedroom, bath-and-a-half, two story, 2,000 sq ft home on a large fenced lot.
It has a Sun Room, new roof, new furnace, a fire place in the family room, a living room/dining room. It has Air conditioning and has beautiful gardens.
You could not buy better neighbors. It is in an Association with walking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, a club house, racquet ball courts and a neat nine-hole golf course. Blessed by Holy Spirit - $135,000.00.
We started off with a double-wide mobile home and would love another one in a small dog adult park
With Yvonne having a new knee, we need one floor with no stairs. We need about 1500 sq feet, long-term rental until Jesus returns, or a Home or Condo donated to be returned to donor if we sleep before Jesus returns. Because of arm and knee problems we will move anywhere in U.S with warmer climate
KEEP ON KEEPING ON:
We know God has a lot for us to do. The growth of this Ministry is a daily experience and we already see the massive increase in crime due to our nation’s economic woes. We see Pastor’s, Women’s and Men’s group’s wishing to write. The most impressive is family groups writing. We need to keep this growing as that is God’s commission to us.
I would love to preach in a different Church every other weekend until HE returns.
Mabel wrote: I am 92 and have been writing inmates through you for 20 years. What a “Joy Devine”. Rocky tells us, “I would still be in prison if it were not for you two and Jesus. I have been out for 12 years. My husband and three children 9,11 and 14 each got a Pen Friend about a year ago. We now have 10. We all write a bit to each. We have had to exchange two at Don’s advice and he is writing them. We also now have Prayer every evening and read a chapter of the Bible every night. This has brought our family much closer and made it easier to talk to our kids about certain things.
This we do not provide. We ask those of you who are connected with Bible Schools, Church’s or just in a position to do so - do not send us an inmate’s name and ask us to get a Pen Pal. If you go onto the computer and hit inmate Pen Pals be shocked at what you will see. With years of establishing this Friendship Ministry, we have learned and made mistakes. Inmates may write us for a Pen Friend application which puts the word Christian up front. Many of you have family members in prison and we would love to help them, but they must write us for information. Of the last 50 requests sent us by other than the inmate, only six were returned. We try so hard to protect the free person and yet make this Ministry open to all. We do fail every now and then. To err is human, to forgive - Devine.
WHAT IF THE ANSWER IS NO:
If Gods plan is for us to stay here then things will go on as they have.
We have been talking to a bunch of folks as we want to make sure if something happens to us, Someone Cares will continue. The joy of having God take me from who I was and what I was to become a child of HIS is great. Then to have HIM provide a Helpmate and wife in Yvonne was perfect. When HE sent Euell, Darryl, John, Jim, Lee, Dan & Lonnie, it took a bunch and V.O.P and made it all wonderful. He did add all their wives. Amen.
Being a grammar school drop out and an atheist it also took a small book, “Steps To Christ”, to open up what these men were telling me and what God’s word was saying. I’m sure I drove them all nuts asking so many questions, but I needed all the answers. A special thanks to Dick Cadavero who at a time I slipped ran interference.
All together along with YOU helped us put the “Many Broken Pieces” together.
In a cell somewhere may be a person one of you will lead to Christ just before HE comes to get us.
What a Pot Luck we will have in Heaven as we all get together with Jesus.
LEAN ON ME!
We want all of you to know that we do not know what the future holds but we, like you, know who holds the future. The State of the Nation and the World is bad. We as Christians need to claim the Promise of God, over 6,000 of them.
We got a note from a lady saying she did not know how she was going to make it and prayed God would help. Believe me folks God listened. It took me awhile to learn the Power of Prayers. We all need to be Praying for the leaders of this nation and the other nations of the world.
Remember, God told Satan “The Heavens were His”. Then HE told us HE was preparing a place for us. Satan may rule in many parts of this world but every Prayer we send up will pierce Satan’s efforts.
We have a Home on Glory Land that outshines the Sun and the Bible tells us Soon and Very Soon. If we join Hand in Hand we Stand keeping God’s command - we are bound for the Top. Pray we see you soon.