Quietly Changing Lives
Yvonne and I sat and chatted a bit about this newsletter. Each year we are headed into new territory and challenges. With our grandson, Jake, handling the mail and Yvonne checking it we are keeping up. My eyes are not as good as they were, so a variety of magnifying glasses are nearby.
Last year was a miracle year for Someone Cares. With the state of the nation in a state of confusion, month by month we made it through. We ended up barely in the black without any reserve. We will pray in the coming New Year that all our supporters are in better shape, and that conditions for our friends will be better than before. Satan is losing still, yet he continues to make it difficult on Christian Ministries.
In this month’s newsletter we are going to ask for sacrificial giving from all of you. Then, we are claiming that God hears our request so we do not have to bring it up again for the rest of the year. We are confident that we are doing God’s work, and it is gratifying to know that we have become a resource tool for pastors, chaplains, parents and grandparents.
We lost a lot of friends along the way, which is to be expected since we have been around so long. Too often we have received mail back with “deceased” written across the envelope. We pray that we will see all of them again soon, when we have a big “potluck” in Heaven.
We have received several gifts, and pray that we remembered to thank all the givers, but if not please consider this your “Thanks.” One of the gifts received has made working this Ministry more enjoyable. Usually we would listen to the news (which is not good any more) while we worked. Now, with the donation of a stereo record player and a lot of DVDs and cassettes we can listen to quality music.
Another gift we received was from a friend who sold a bunch of Barbie dolls through the internet, and then gave Someone Cares the money. This allowed us to buy a lot of postage stamps before the increase. We also received an envelope with 113 dollar bills in it, but no name. Most important, we received over 700 letters from inmates or pen friends telling us they had accepted Christ. Amen! We received over 2,000 prayer requests and know each was honored. An inmate serving a double life sentence sent a request that he be released from prison. I reminded him of God’s three answers to prayer: “Yes”, “No”, or “Not Now.”
Hearing from so many of you via phone, email and letters really has brought more joy and purpose to all this work. We may have made a few errors in sending letters to wrong folks, but now with Jake’s help and a new computer we pray this will be minimized in the New Year.
The Pen Friend Program will continue to be our base. With the Voice of Prophecy radio program, Bible studies for inmates will be our second focus. Getting our video footage completed onto DVD is a priority, since traveling to speak is not as easy for us as it used to be. Another project I would like to get finished is my book, “Broken Pieces.”
Jake’s father, Mike, who has been in prison for a long time, may be getting out down the line. His re-dedication to Jesus has given us the thought to have him help us a bit while still in prison, and then help us a lot after he’s released. Having someone with a background of prison helps answer so many questions. As a non-profit organization we cannot get into areas we would love to, as it would put our tax- exempt status in trouble, so having someone on the “inside” is very helpful.
No matter what party you belong to, please vote. Prison cut backs are a priority in almost every State. Some prisons have cut back to two meals a day! Some states are considering early release for inmates. This will be difficult and can cause further problems, as with no money, no place to live and no jobs, it perpetuates the “revolving door” policy faced by inmates for years. Years ago we helped develop a re-entry program that was badly needed. This worked and helped many an inmate get a job while still in prison.
The Post Office is making massive changes, and postage is going up again - that really hurts us. If you’ve got any stamps lying around, we could really use them.
My father, Mike, is a good man who has been through a lot of stuff and done even more. He was locked up when I was 6 years old, and found his way back to the Lord. Me personally, I think that is a wonderful thing, how everyone has another chance. God said all sins can be forgiven, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness.
I have been involved in the ministry for about 4 or 5 months now and let me tell you it is a load of work! But I know that every name I run across is someone like my Dad needing help or someone trying to help someone like Dad. I have a lot of faith in this ministry because I have seen who and how it helps. We touch the hearts and souls of the people who we thought had no heart, people who we thought had no soul, no feeling. Everyone is a person who needs to be loved and that is why I wanted to be involved with this ministry.
My vision for this ministry is to help run it for about 4 to 5 years until my dad gets out. By that time I will have finished my 2 year business degree and my 2 year mechanic degree. I just finished my GED classes and got my GED and now I am going to sign up for my mechanic degree at a college named Ivy Tech. In that time I intend to go through old emails and write everyone to ask them if they are writing if they would like to write to another inmate.
We are an enormous ministry who helps people. The way I think of it is, why not get bigger? Why not help more people than we have ever imagined? Let’s bring this world to peace. All we have to do is trust in God.
We have gotten notes, emails, cards, and phone calls over the years, but the tone of these letters has changed! Now they are about getting more involved. We pray that this involvement is total family. Jesus is patiently waiting to take us all home. The last act HE did was to save a convict on the Cross. He extended that offer to the other but that was turned down.
I got a call from a lady who needed help. She had been writing 6 inmates for two years and doing a fine job. Her husband, not a Christian, found out and was pretty mad. He called me to give me a piece of his mind. I asked why HE was afraid of Jesus. He stated he feared nothing. Did he think his wife had sinned against his marriage doing what her Christian upbringing taught her? No, was his answer. I asked if his wife was a Christian when they married. No. I asked if he knew why she became one. He was in the service and she found an end to loneliness and peace of mind in his absence. I asked if he went to battle with an empty gun. Never. Had he tried church, and if not why? He had not, but didn’t know why. Came to found out, his wife never asked him. The conversation was long, but ended with the three of us having prayer. He started going to church and spending time with his wife studying the Bible.
NO ONE ASKED! Jesus asks in every page of HIS word. The Lord is our Shepherd (RELATIONSHIP) I shall not want (SUPPLY), lying down in green pastures (REST). You might read the rest for yourself (Psalm 23). Not only is that man now a church member, but they both write to inmates.
These will be sent with February’s newsletter. You can make a donation on our web page to get it in this year, and all are tax deductible.
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