Quietly Changing Lives
June 8th was my birthday–I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. My three presents were free: 1) Jesus, who changed me and set me free; 2) Yvonne, who led me to Jesus and has loved me and been my helpmate for years; and 3) Someone Cares Prison Ministry.
Our ministry (and that includes all of you reading this) is headed by Jesus, and with His help it has grown considerably with no signs of letting up. Now, each birthday I get a little older and some day someone is going to have to take over this ministry. One of our daughters, Ronna, and her son, Jake, have fallen on hard times. Ronna lost her job just after we moved away from Indiana. She is talented and a hard worker, and Jake is a gifted youth who needs a bit of direction, but he is also very talented. Both have worked in this ministry and know it well, so we would like to find a place for them to live here, get them moved before Jake starts school again, and have them start working for Someone Cares to help us with all the work there is to do.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
This will be an expensive undertaking, so we are asking in Jesus’ name that all who are able to please give a sacrificial offering to help make this happen. We are also going to need two used computers (theirs were stolen), and a quality used car. This is asking a lot, but it will provide the help this ministry so desperately needs.
We have faith that this move will take place. Our plan is that Yvonne and Ronna will handle the mail and Jake will handle record keeping as well as matching pen friends with inmates. I will continue to train men and women for working inside the prisons. Everyone else (you) can help a great deal by spreading the word about this ministry wherever you can, at Church, schools, work, etc. This could potentially secure the future of Someone Cares for a long time to come.
Moving Ronna and Jake here, and all the changes that need to be made to accommodate this growing ministry for Jesus’ sake, will initially cost about $5,000 — a small price to pay for leading men and women in prison to Jesus. Supporting this ministry provides a blessing for many, and a tax deduction for the supporter!
THE GLORY OF THE FATHER
Our goal is to reach into every prison we possibly can, for the honor of HIS name. Each day something Someone CareS PriSon miniStry July 2009 great happens in this work–God is opening up doors all around us.
Recently we received a call from an older couple who have been writing to inmates in prison for years, but they wanted to help out more. Due to an accident, both are home-bound except for being taken to Church, and they have chosen to “work” full-time for God by writing to prisoners. We sent them 150 inmate’s names and a whole bunch of prayer.
Another day we went to breakfast with new friends and neighbors. As we chatted about Someone Cares, a young couple overheard our discussion (I guess I tell a lot of stories), stopped by our table and told us they wanted to get involved. Amen!
PEOPLE OF THE LORD
God talks to us all in different ways. We get little notes, loose stamps and loose change. More and more we hear stories about how “people need the Lord.” Yes, every one of us needs Him, don’t we?
Have you ever had helpless relatives ask you for help? Since I was once pulled out from the gutter, perhaps it is easier for me to reach out to others in need. I can remember the hurt both Yvonne and I felt when Church members said, “We don’t want those kind of people in our Church.” Well, I was one of those people, and those people especially need Jesus who died on the cross for their sins, as well as those sins of mine.
In fact, HE stopped dying to save that guilty convict who was hanging on the cross next to Him, then HE looked into the future at all the sinners yet to come. Was HE looking at me? Was HE looking at you or yours?
But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
THE BELLY OF THE WHALE
Is the Bible speaking to all of us? Jesus spoke to all when He said, “Go forth…” He did not say, “Oh, I don’t mean you have to go into those prisons.” On the contrary he said, “I was in prison and you visited me NOT!” Matthew 25:43, and in Hebrews 13:3 we are told, “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
A lady once told us that she couldn’t believe that these instructions were meant for her! My Bible, word for word, includes all of us. When we don’t follow God’s instructions for our lives, we may become “lost at sea” and find ourselves like Jonah in the “belly of the whale” so to speak. Thanks to all of you who are following God’s instructions by reaching out to those less fortunate. As for me, I’m going to keep on praying and never stop, in the hope that one day this newsletter will touch everyone out there.
ARE YOU AN INMATE'S LIGHTHOUSE?
We hear from guards, staff, wardens and some of you that many convicts see the light. Praise God! This makes all our efforts worthwhile.
These inmates are in a very dark place, either literally or spiritually, and usually both. But you have the opportunity to let your light shine on them. (We don’t call it “Paper Sunshine” for nothing!)
How many of you were once adrift and saw the light from a “lighthouse” to help guide you along the way? Has anyone ever thrown you a life-line and pulled you to safety? Have you been that light to someone? Let us hear from you–we love to hear your stories, good or bad. (If you do have any bad stories or problems, let us know so we can help.)
“… Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
HE WAS THERE ALL THE TIME
As many of you may you know, Yvonne had knee replacement surgery six months ago. Two weeks ago another daughter and her husband came to visit us. We went to Tonto Park where there is a natural bridge. You can climb the mountain to walk across the bridge, or walk down a long steep trail and back up; we chose the latter. Yvonne walked down and up, which was a tough climb, but we made it and it was good for us. The kids loved it here. Maybe they will also want to move here and then this ministry will follow God’s direction for us all.
WHAT A REAL BlESSING
We just received a letter from Voice Of Prophecy regarding a Death Row inmate in Africa, and so we took him. Then Focus On The Family contacted us with another inmate request, which we took. Another request came from Billy Graham Crusade, and naturally we took it. Then another 39 requests from all over the United States.
Why us? Because it is risk free and no one else wants to spend all the necessary hours it takes reading, checking, and preparing. Here is something else that no one wants – when a letter is emailed to us we print it, address an envelope, stamp it and mail it. Then when we receive the inmate’s response we mail it to you. The cost for postage is 88 cents, plus paper and envelope. We are not complaining! Just sharing the realities of this work. The upside is, the more time and money we are spending means that more and more people are being blessed as a result!
Here’s a letter we just received last week: “Dear Don & Yvonne McClure, My name is Sandra Gordon and I am here in Gatesville, Crain Unit. I have had your address for two years, I have tried to do this on my own, but God in His grace spoke to my heart about your ministry, Someone Cares. I am here for the use of drugs. A lady gave me this address, I did not know what to say. But I can do all things through Christ so here I am. I prayed for someone to talk to me about my new life in Christ. She told me about the pen friend. I have nowhere to go when I go from here, but the Lord will make a way. I trust Him to guide you to help me. To God be the glory, in Jesus name amen. P.S. Jesus is Lord. I am teachable; I am ready to learn if someone is willing to teach me. May God bless you all!”
How could any Christian say no to that soul who is longing for help? This is why we so desperately need help. Both our daughter and grandson will be happy to help with the work of this ministry, and they are familiar with it and with working with us. Don might be able to catch a big fish near here, as the rest of us, you included, are fishers of men and women.
Speaking of Don, did we tell you he just turned 76! He played golf on his birthday, reading mail as he went along. He still bowls, plays tennis and ping pong, and of course reads mail.
OUR DEAR FRIEND
Darrell Ferree has been our bookkeeper for years. He was in an auto accident that hurt him badly and he and Julia lost their son. Darrell has suffered from the accident physically, and it has caught up with him, so he will no longer be able to work with us. The time and effort he has donated over the years has kept this work growing, and is very much appreciated. He will be missed, but will still be an advisor and board member. We ask that you pray for him and his family.INSTRUCTIONS FOR PEN FRIENDS
Please follow these important guidelines every time you write. Pass on the information that applies to the inmate to be assured their letters reach you. We cannot stress the importance of this enough! We have stacks of mail that we cannot match, mostly because full names are not used.
First of all: Please take a moment to mail or email us a reminder of who you are writing to, with their full name, number and address, and your full name plus your pen name if used. Thank you!
EXCEPTION: we do not expect those writing to dozens (or even hundreds—see “The Glory of the Father” above) to send us this information.
YOUR LETTER TO US: Should have your REAL full
name and address (or email address) in the return section.
THE INMATE'S LETTER TO YOU: Should have their full name & # and return address, addressed to your FULL name (First & last, NO NICKNAMES) with our address.Example:
Thanks to everyone for making our job easier by following these instructions!
God Bless, Don & Yvonne