Quietly Changing Lives
That is the start and finish of God’s Word. To be a part of all that really did only take a minute. “HE” took my sins away and at 40 years of age I was born again.
We read in God’s Word that the earth will burn up. We learn that we are to “sin not,” but what if (when) we still do? The Bible tells us that Jesus carried our sins to Calvary with the cross.
As he carried that cross he dropped it along the way, as it was so very heavy. Who helped him with it? I remember the old me, if I had been on the cross at that time along with Jesus, I would have been the one who rejected him. No chance of Glory. Well, like so many of us, including those men and women in prison that we work with, I was given another chance. I praise God for my paid ticket to heaven, and I realize that so many others who used to be just like I had been will be there in Glory with me when HE returns, thanks in large part to the efforts of all of you who help support this Ministry. Thank you - Yvonne and I praise God for all of you.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10
LETTER FROM A FRIEND
Like several others, I have hit a point at 79 years old where I have to quit writing inmates. All my “boys” have been released. I want you to know that I have left this wonderful Ministry in my will, a very small amount, but having no other family you will put it to God’s use.
WHEN WE ALL WORK TOGETHER
What a blessing it is that quite a few ministries and some churches have joined with us, realizing that letter writing is our Ministry. We welcome Final Cry Ministries and Heaven Bound Ministries. Recently seven churches have gotten quite a few of their members writing to inmates and also sharing with others about Someone Cares. Amen!
We are planning some growth changes to our Board, and will be adding some new folks. Please pray for Larry, Daryl, and Willard, our current board members. Especially Willard, an 84 year old physician who just had major surgery.
A VERY BIG BOX OF MAIL!
One day when Jake was not in school, he brought us a large box of mail from the post office. I divided it into piles: one pile for letters going to the inmates, one pile of letters going to you, and the last pile for us. Forty five of those letters to us were requests for pen friends. Jake handled the mail going to you.
We often think back to when this Ministry first started, with that one man asking that someone write him a letter, and from there it has just kept going and going with no rest in sight!
Many people have good intentions regarding continuing to support this Ministry as their “charitable organization”, but sadly that usually becomes another case of “I’ll get around to it.” Gifts of donations are greatly appreciated and will keep Someone Cares going and growing long after Yvonne and I are gone.
Rumor has it that inmates will soon be able to receive and send emails in order to save money. On our end, this will create a need for one more computer and a fax machine, so if anyone has those items they can donate, they will be put to good use. If you have any quality Christian movies on DVD or VHS we can also use them. We received a whole lot of Christian cassettes and CDs, and can always use more of those as they are very popular in prison.
As you know, we have really grown and this
economy has cut into our budget quite a bit.
Please remember that your donations are tax
deductible and 100% goes towards the Ministry.
We had to use up all of our savings a long time
ago when this recession first started. But praise
God we have HIM and all of you to draw on.
HELPMATE BY MY SIDE
I knew that I was called to Prison Ministry, but Yvonne was not. I had a good job and went to the prison two nights a week. Then the door was opened for me to work full time, so I quit the good job I had for full time ministry. I was a full time Chaplain, unpaid but under God’s direction.
When I first started there was an inmate who had once been a pastor of a black church who was able to lead our Chapel song service. We had a piano at the time, but no piano player. One very dreary night I convinced Yvonne to come down and play. She did, and God took over. It was a very formal song service, quite long, but also a good one, and I also delivered a good message.
By the time it was over, we were in the midst of a real bad rain storm, which made for quite a walk to our car - we got soaked. I started the car, turned the lights on, and there was the entire group of men who had attended the service standing outside in the storm, waving good bye. Yvonne asked, “Why are they doing that?” I said, “Because they enjoyed what we did for them.”
After that night Yvonne joined with me in the Ministry and has been by my side in prison ever since. She became the Chaplain of Soledad South with 800 men, and her only training was being a pastor’s daughter, raised in the Church.
This month I would like to talk about a big problem that is happening in schools throughout the United States – bullying. Bullying is a problem for children mentally, physically and emotionally. Kids that are being bullied are more than likely quiet and shy, not very athletic or don’t have many friends. That leaves them with school. Their parents force them to go because it is against the law for a child not to go to school. Parents, principles, teachers, ministers and counselors are not fully prepared for what bullying can bring them.
There was a school massacre where a young boy went into his school with a gun and started shooting; he admitted that he had no target. So what lead him to killing six of his peers? BULLYING! I am 100% sure that child was a victim of a bully at that school, being tortured mentally and emotionally every day by this bully, making him feel as if he had nothing in this life.
There are all kinds of bullies. A couple examples are those that are in gangs who physically bully people, and popular people who bully the unpopular people mentally and emotionally. Which ones are worse? That’s a personal opinion, but my point is you can never tell who is a bully and who isn’t.
Not many of you have ever met nor seen me, but if you did see me you would not assume that I am the grandson of a minister, nor would you assume that I was raised in a Christian family. My last year in high school was my sophomore year. My favorite teacher was my English teacher, Mrs. Whitman. On my last day of school, I went to her class and told her that I admired her the most out of every teacher because she really influenced me and made an impact on my life regarding how I looked at things. Mrs. Whitman said that when I first walked into her class she wanted to have a cop in the room at all times because I looked intimidating. She then told me that once she got to know me she felt safe when I was in her class. She has been a teacher for 39 years. That right there goes to show you that you just don’t know who bullies are and who aren’t.
I have made a promise to myself that I will try my best to bring God into the lives of teens because teens are this nation’s future. We as teens need to know and understand the evil that is out in this world, and with God by our side we can do anything, there are no limits. I have experienced things in life at a very early age that most people never experience. At 10 years old I held a knife to a man’s throat for hitting my mom. My first time getting arrested was at age 13, and by that age I was involved with a gang and did not care what anyone had to say about it. At 15 I was a drug dealer, providing drugs to a whole apartment complex.
That’s when God came back into my life. I met a girl named Brittany who is a Christian. I started dating her and slowly but surely all the drugs went away. My grandparents had moved away but were now back. Now at the age of 18 I am in college and have a part time job helping in this ministry because I told my grandpa that I wanted to bring young people like me to God. I want to see their lives change like mine has.
Next month I will be talking about young people in prison.
I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful Christian family and parents who were living examples for all of us. We are so blessed now that we have our grandson Jake on board, his girlfriend Brittany, Jake’s mother (our daughter), Ronna, and soon his father, Mike, who will be joining us as soon as he is able. You can be sure that Someone Cares will be around for a long time. These folks all have a lot of experience, and will keep this Ministry going for as long as God allows. We feel very blessed that they were all willing to take over this Ministry, and of course we are still around if they have questions. Not everyone is qualified to do this, but they certainly are, as you will find out. May God bless them!
Jake is 18 years old. We had the pleasure, most of the time, of having baby-sat for him. His dad, Mike, made some serious mistakes, ending up in prison for over 20 years (he has only four more years to go). Thanks to Jake, Mike will become a part of this Ministry - a small bit while he is still in prison, and a much larger part when released. Yes, the Lord caught up with him again! In fact, he is in a Michigan prison where Yvonne and I were once chaplains of the prison ministry.
We recently attended Jake’s high school graduation, which was a tearful and proud moment. Jake will continue with his schooling as well as work with us in the Ministry, and he is still dating his Christian girlfriend, Brittany. We are blessed to have our family working together with us, where Jake and his mother will have a secure future, God willing. Something Jake has been helping me with is cleaning up all our records. Many people who were matched with inmates never wrote, and the inmates need to be re-matched. We have another stack of letters we have no idea who the inmate is writing to. Postage, as you know, has gone up and is going to continue to increase, and mail service as we know it will most likely be changing.
On the bright side, now that we have help I will be able to speak in churches again, at least those that are not too far away from us. Due to the economy, Yvonne and I have drawn a stipend. We are blessed with a nice home and two cars; however, we still have the need for one more car.
Last year I received a call from Rosa, who wanted to join Paper Sunshine. She said she wrote Spanish, so we matched her with two Mexican inmates. About a week later she called and said that her husband, who was not a Christian, did not want her to write to prisoners.
I then spoke with her husband, José, and asked if it made him angry that his wife was a Christian. He answered no, and in fact it made him happy. I told him God wished her to be active with her religion, and I convinced him to join his wife in together writing to the two inmates. About a year later I got a call from them. One on the inmates led José to Christ. Now he is a part of God’s wonderful family!
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenly
places in Christ, just as He chose
us inHim before the foundation of
the world, that we should be holy
and without blame before Him in
love.” (Ephesians 1:3-4)