Quietly Changing Lives
As Godís blessings continue to embrace us, we thank you all. Those who pray for us, those who write inmates and those who support the Ministry financially are all a blessing. No matter what you do for Someone Cares, we thank you.
Recently we were asked how many total inmates have been involved in our program, but I have no idea. We know that over the past forty years more than a million have completed some form of Bible study. Some of you who write have picked up additional pen friends not in our system that your inmate referred. We do know that God knows. We are getting more inmate names from a lot of other ministries asking that we find pen friends for them, and we continue to pray that we can handle the load. We ask all of you to pray for all who are in some way connected with this Ministry. We know a lot of inmatesí prayers have been answered through Paper Sunshine.
A special thanks for all the birthday cards Iíve received. Can you believe I am 81 years young!
I just want to remind everyone that when you request a new pen friend we send you a Blue Form that must be filled out and sent back to us. When we receive your Blue Form back I enter your assigned inmateís name under your information in our computer. So PLEASE, this is very important!! Thank you.
I want to share a letter I received from an inmate on Death Row.
As things start to quiet down, my mind plays over valued memories of my children - what once was and will never be again. The memories of happiness that we once shared bring tears of grief to my eyes. My tear soaked pillow witnesses to how deeply my heart is broken. Please God, I pray, help my children to know that I love them. Grant me my desire to see them again, to tell them how very sorry I am, and how I love them with all my broken heart. Dear God, please protect them from all harm, and grant them great blessings all the days of their lives. Moreover place all their hurt, pain and anger upon me to bear. Start them out in life afresh and anew. In Jesus name, Amen!
I no longer have a name, for I am now a number, 178476.
When the memory of the night that brought me here floods me,
swelling to the brink, it is hard to keep the storm at bay. They tell me
that it was the drugs, but that does not begin to justify the truth. Even
if drugs played a part, I must accept responsibility for choosing to do
those drugs. That choice led to the destruction of a life. I chose
wrongly, not rightly, but what is done is done. I cannot take it back.
Would I choose differently if I could? YES, a thousand times over! If I
had chosen good over evil, there would be one more life on earth. I
say to all who hear -please forgive me! I earnestly pray for restoration
and ease to all whom I have hurt. I cannot answer prayer, but my
journey here on death row has taught me to know someone who can.
I praise God for what I do have, and most of all, I praise Him that in
coming to death row I have become a prisoner of Jesus Christ. This
prison may hold the key to my cell door, but God holds my life and
ultimately I shall be with him forever.
Jonathan is a new member of Someone Cares who is writing to a bunch of inmates with great success. We have been surprised that so many of you also write to a bunch. One couple called and we were overjoyed with what they had to say. When they started they each wrote to one inmate. Now they are each writing twenty! Both work, and in the past when they came home from work they watched the news while having dinner, and then watched more TV. They got tired of so many bad programs on TV and decided to use their time more wisely in service to the Lord by beginning their writing ministry. Both claim to be more than blessed with the increase as a result.
Hi my name is Don and when you read this I will have been executed. I committed a terrible crime and do deserve this punishment. My life growing up was not good and I did nothing to make it better; I am dead because I took a life.
My stay here was long and not good until I heard about a couple of folks who really tried to change us and make this ride a little more comfortable. These two, Don and Yvonne, became like the parents I wish I had. They treated me like a person and helped me get an education. Wanting to be like Don we had a long distance Bible Study lasting eleven years. I accepted Christ and devoured the Bible, living on and in Godís Word. My life became better even though I knew where it was going; I knew I would be dying for killing and that would lead to eternal Godís promise. I would spend eternity with Jesus, Don and Yvonne, and my many Pen Friends. And I pray the person I killed will be there. The many folks I have tried to help will be there; what a time that will be.
We are all living under borrowed time. We are living in a world that has many problems and are led by some who have other serious problems. With many elections coming up it is our job to get it right with people who care about things important to us all. No matter what your party is please vote. If someone who you vote for is accused of something, contact them and ask them about it. We listen to the news while doing mail and it scares me to hear what some are saying. Pray for our leaders and vote.
Ronna does need a laptop and soon we will need a late model used car.
Something important to let your Pen Friend know is that you may still write them after they are released.
Make sure if your Pen Friend says or does anything out of line to let us know, as we will deal with it. (Sometimes we do miss things in their letters to you.)
Some very good news - weíve arranged for advertisements in nine different magazines, which will reach over 600,000 Christians!
My wife and I went to one of your programs years ago. We have written and donated, even gathered clothes for the Dress Out Programs. We had become unhappy with our Church and we started worshipping with Satellite. Several friends joined us and we started a roving group. We all decided to join your Pen Friend Program and share letters weekly. I am glad to say you matched us with sixty inmates. Of the sixty, sixteen never answered our letters. You replaced them. Three were looking for a mate, you replaced them. We have grown a lot and most of us agree that our pastors never developed anything for us to do. Doing things the Lord asks is neat. It was there in the Bible all the time.
Praying for God to answer my calls.
Iím scared and lonely sitting in this cell.
ďYou are never alone,Ē is what I hear God call.
ďIíll guide you from darkness into the light,
Holding your hand each day and night.Ē
I know He is with me and I know He is true.
He is my hope and joy when Iím lonely and blue.
He gives me strength and keeps me strong
On this painful journey that seems so long.
Every day a struggle as I weather this storm
With tears of sadness from a family torn.
Our love stands strong no matter the price,
And our Faith in Jesus.
But the goodness of God will soon be shown
In the days to come before He sends me home.
A day of joy and answered prayer.
I was never alone, HE was always there.
We became a non-profit Organization many years ago and set things up as follows: The Ministry would pay for our housing, medical expenses, all postage and travel pertaining to Ministry. We then would draw a $1500.00 stipend per month.
We have from time to time drawn from our personal funds. We do believe we have been good stewards of the Lordís money. We have worn out six donated cars. We have lost two ministry members to illness, and also Willard died. If our growth continues we will start setting up Care Groups in as many states as we can. It is no secret that we are older but still functioning. If anyone has questions about how we run this Ministry, please call.
VACATION AND HONEYMOON
We finally are able to do both, thanks to special
gifts from some of you. Ronna will run the Ministry
while we are away.
I just want to thank each and every one of you for participating in this Ministry. I would like to share something that my Grandmother put in my Bible when I was a child:
Life is a like a journey taken on a train With a pair of travelers at each window pane. I may sit beside you all the journey through, Or I may sit elsewhere, never knowing you. But if fate should mark me to sit at your side, Letís be pleasant travelers Ė itís so short a ride!
As I have gotten older I understand. We will be keeping you in all our prayers!