Quietly Changing Lives
Starting in Genesis, and all the way through Revelation, He continues telling us what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. We all read it a bit different, and that is why there are so many opinions. It’s also why we have often said, “Do not let your doctrine be a barrier but a bridge to Jesus.”
God’s word has directed us and this Ministry for many, many years. We listen and act on what we believe God is telling us. At 78 years of age (me) and 71 (Yvonne), retirement sounds pretty great. Having a honeymoon or a vacation would sure be nice. But nicer still will be sitting under the Tree of Life near the Sea of Glass with many faces that are there because of you, us and HIM - what a blessing that will be.
Our grandson, Jake, is now a young man and has joined us in our work, as well as his mom and our daughter, Ronna. A half dozen others have also joined our team, and you can rest assured that the future of Someone Cares is secure for a long time to come. Those of you new to us, we warmly welcome you, and to those of you who have been with us for years, God bless and AMEN!
PRAYER IS THE ANSWER - I WORKED IN A LOCAL PRISON FOR THREE YEARS
I found that prayer before classes was the answer to a peaceful day; much better than shanking (being stabbed with prison knife). I’ve seen older men’s smiles as they’ve learned multiplication for the first time. Life is a challenge in prison. I still write many of my students, but most are released. I am hoping you can find me a few more names to write. (Amen!) Marie
WE DO WANT THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE
I write this letter with a sad heart. I am a Pastor who was one of those not wanting those from prison. I had blinders on for years. I asked some of our members to help with a rummage sale. They asked, “If we help, could the funds go to Someone Cares?”
I said, “Of course it will go to some one who cares.”
“No! We mean the Ministry (Someone Cares) that we all are part of.” So am I now (a part of this Ministry) – what a lesson to learn! Enclosed is a check for $537, and I challenge other Pastors to do the same. I have also learned that after all these years you two have been on the front lines, but the Church has ignored you. Thanks for the education, and I will be doing all I can to help.
I TRADED MY LIFE FOR A NEW ONE
My life growing up was very bad. I did anything I could to get ahead, no matter who I hurt. This put me in and out of prison and jail. I met the McClures at San Quentin “C”. They came to my cell door. My cell was like my life – really a mess. They did not see the dirt or smell the smell. I was in my underwear and asked to put on pants, and they turned around. With gun rails behind them, hate all around them, the stench of the sewer everywhere, they told me about Jesus. Yeah, sure, HE would take me in!
After several trips they bought me an easy reading Bible and a simple Bible Study. It took lots of visits, sometimes with both or sometimes with either. They visited every one of the 250 inmates in this sewer I chose as home. I was told that the black gang members made the McClures honorary “blacks”! Because one thing about this Ministry, they are here for everyone. If an inmate did not want to hear about Jesus, the McClures offered their friendship anyway. In my case I scrubbed my cell and kept it clean. I learned God’s plan and planned HIS work for me.
My parole date came up, but no one is released on their first date. I am free! Oh, yes, Jesus, I am set free on my first hearing! If you want to hook up with neat people and Jesus, meet the McClures.
WHO HELPED JESUS CARRY THE CROSS?
Knowing of his impending death, Jesus did receive help carrying the cross by … a black man?
I got a phone call from a lady who was upset. “I’m a Christian and have been one all my life,” she wrote. “I asked for a Pen Friend and you matched me with a black person. I just cannot do that!”
We then matched her with someone else and the person she turned down, James, was also re-matched. James ended up being matched with another white person who accepted the match and both prospered. The son of James’ new pen friend later ended up in prison. James used some of his connections and both were blessed.
How Folks Are Matched: I need to explain again that we have two piles – one consisting of free folks, the other inmates. When two names get to the top of the pile we match them together. This has worked for years.
COMMENTS FROM INMATES WHO TOOK V.O.P. BIBLE STUDIES
Joe in New York – I learned so much, and want to learn more. This also started a bunch of us studying together.
Tammie in Florida – I loved these studies so much! I have been in a cell so long. One of the things is it has taken away the hate I have carried so very long. I accept God’s peace and look forward to his freedom.
Jason from Georgia – religion in prison is very difficult. The volunteers come and teach what their Church believes, not what the Bible says. I pray I can get more studies, as the Bible is hard without help.
Beatrice in Texas – I came from a religious family. The Chaplain here really has too much to do to teach God’s word. We took your studies and formed a group. They are good and kept us all digging. All the time we spent in the Bible helps us form better lives.
Jack, John and Robert in California – We are locked down and cannot go to Church. Someone Cares got us into these studies. We all had a little Church background and found out if you don’t learn from the Bible, learning from a Pastor’s interpretation can be wrong.
Paul from Oklahoma – I think a guard dropped these studies in my cell. Not having a Bible, it was difficult until Someone Cares sent a Bible. The more I studied the more hate left me. We don’t have a Chaplain or volunteers so six of us put all the things we learned passing around one Bible. I also got a Pen Friend who got all of us Bibles. Meeting Don & Yvonne we now know the peace that passes all understanding.
Chris – With a Christian background I was reminded to pick up my cross daily. Bible study taught me that a day was coming when this earth will burn up. If so, no one will be here. Then I learned of a New Jerusalem after the earth will be cleansed. Can I get more studies? (He got a Pen Friend.)
There is much to learn about living on faith. Do you think from day to day that you know you will receive a paycheck every two weeks, or once a month, and a certain amount? It is not that way. You pray and do what God has called you to do, and pray that there might be something in the mail.
After all these years I have truly learned to trust God for everything and not worry how the bills get paid. God will truly supply all your needs. He knows before we even pray what our needs are and is just waiting to supply them. God is so great! Keep the faith! Yes, it takes funds to pay postage, equipment, miscellaneous expenses, gas, all the bills we have, including help. We would like to thank each of you who do support this Ministry – or maybe you have in the past but can’t help out right now. We do need your prayers, and also your support. May God bless each of you!
When this all started I asked Don when he quit his high paying job, who will pay the bills? The Bible says HE will provide! We have the cattle on a thousand hills (and we are both vegetarians!).
Maybe one of your companies would give to the Lord’s work. In years past Don would preach and teach every week and we had no problems. We also were not faced with the problems of today, which are massive. With all this election stuff going on at least one thing is still okay, which is that donations to religious organizations are still a tax write off.
WE WANT YOUR STORIES!
Send us your stories – whatever you’ve experienced as a pen friend. We would love to share your thoughts, insights and experiences with others in our newsletter. Thank you!
Donations are gladly accepted online through our website: www.someonecares.org
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES
Those of you new to us, please listen; those who’ve been around for awhile, continue to learn. We have some basic rules that have worked for years, and if you read our newsletter monthly, you will learn what they are.
One continuing problem we have is the amount of time it takes to go through the mail process, mainly due to incorrectly addressed envelopes. So, let’s go over it again:
Your letter to your inmate pen friend should be placed in an envelope, stamped, and then sealed shut. (We do not read the letters that you write.) It should be addressed as follows:
Return Address – your name, but our address.
Addressed to – the inmate’s name, their prison number, and the prison’s address.
That letter should then be placed inside another envelope that is addressed to Someone Cares. The return address on the envelope to us should have your name and real address.
We recently received three very nice letters with no inmate name, number or address, and no name or address from the sender!
No More Emailing Pen Friends, Please
Unfortunately, we must request that you stop sending your pen friend letters via email through us. In the past we have accepted letters emailed to us, then have cut off the email address and “snailmailed” it to the inmate (as well as then mailing the inmate’s letter to you). Besides costing 84 cents for us it has been too much extra work. We thank you for your understanding.
We hope you know that much time is spent trying to keep this system risk free. The mail intake and process is massive, but it’s all worthwhile as the Lord blesses each letter that might lead someone to HIM!
We sing “Sweet Hour of Prayers” but are content with just minutes a day. We sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” and wait to be drafted in His service. We sing, “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues” and don’t use the one we have. We sing, “There Will Be Showers of Blessings” but we don’t come in from the rain. We sing, “Marching to Zion” but fail to march to Church. We sing, “I Love to Tell the Story” but never mention it at all. We sing, “Cast Our Burdens On The Lord” and worry ourselves to pieces. We sing, “Throw Out the Lifeline” and then we throw out the fishing.
Join us in singing “There is Victory in Jesus” or “Power in the Blood” or “Happiness Is to Know the Savior.” My friends, I am sent to the back of the pack, my voice is so bad. Our Lord promised me a new body, and I may not sing lead with the choir in Heaven but I’ll be there!
FEMALE INMATES NEEDED
If any of you are writing female inmates, ask them if they have a friend who would like a Pen Friend.SENDING PACKAGES
Christmas is coming up . . . Before you ship anything to your friend, check with us or the prison to find out what is allowed.