Quietly Changing Lives
The year 2014 kept the Heavenly Choir and the Lordís blessings kept this Ministry singing. Never in our many years have we had so much mail. We provided many Christmas cards to prisons so inmates could send Christmas greetings to their friends and family.
We received many cards from the families of those who have gone to rest, and also from many who have helped this Ministry. Our New Yearsí prayer is for many more of you to write an inmate (or another one) and become a Faith Partner to help support this Ministry.
Postage is going up. Remember that all donations are tax deductible. Unfortunately weíve had a computer malfunction, so if you were expecting a donation receipt that you did not get, please email us with the amount and your address and we will rush it to you.
Prisons are really filling up everywhere and requests for Pen Friends continue to grow. We talked to God about some requests we have and, bingo! He has provided an answer that can make this Ministry very big. Next we are hoping for an answer about where to settle down, as we need to somehow move to a warmer climate.
We received a call for information on Paper Sunshine (aka Pen Friend Program), and they were interested in joining our Ministry.
Paper Sunshine is when an inmate receives letters from a person we have arranged. When an inmate sends us a request for a Pen Friend we send him/ her an application form to provide all kinds of information about themselves such as their length of prison sentence, age, race, religious preference, etc. We also request they write an introduction letter. And we inform them that we are not a dating or matrimonial service.
I have an idea for sending letters via email to groups who want to join this Ministry, but we need a scanner to make this work. When we receive the inmateís application and letter, we could scan it and email it to the group leader. The leader distributes the inmateís information to Pen Friends, who would then write to their inmate via email to us, using a Pen Name. Security is always solid as the inmate will never know the location of the Pen Friend.
My Name is Paul. Twenty years ago I met Don and Yvonne at
San Quentin. Life changing indeed. San Quentin is a place to fear.
Some gang members wanted to take my stuff. Yvonne came by my
cell and we chatted, and getting up nearer I asked if she could help.
Bingo, I was sent to Soledad. Don connected me with a group of
Christian inmates and all was well with my soul. Prisonís biggest
problem is not having a person to talk to. Paper Sunshine, I joined
their Pen Friend Program and was matched with a neat couple. Then
I took a Bible Study class from VOP. A couple of years later Don &
Yvonne provided dress outs. Don in his sermons taught us how to
deal with our problems. Yvonne did the same in her classes and she
played a great piano and also the organ. The dress out program got
too big, Yvonne took it over delivering clothes to wear when released.
What can you do? ďI was in prison and you visited me.Ē
My Only Friends. Donít pray much but am starting now. As you can see I am in prison and you two are well known. I have been here two years with twenty more to go. Have lost all my friends and family, in fact even though I donít know you two you may be my only friends I am interested in, your Pen Friend program, to learn about the Christian walk.
Many Years Ago. I joined the God Squad. I think he called himself ďsoul fisher.Ē He was released to a half way house. It was a very interesting experience. I sure hope he gained as I did. I would like to try again. Please send information.
Back Again. Writing this is the toughest thing I have ever done.
I know you told us how difficult it might be, but oh boy, I could not
get a job. Slept in all kinds of places and got hungry. I broke into a
restaurant to eat and it was warm, I went to sleep. I do not deserve a
second chance but you told me. Jesus gives all the second chances
we ask for. I only got a year.
Thanks to Christians. I listened to a couple of Christians
talking about the Bible every night. I joined in and Heaven came down
and glory filled my soul. Soon all three of us got back on main line.We
met and soon had three groups of three. Now have six months to
release and Iím going home. My family had abandoned me, has
visited and I am welcome home. Don, thousands of inmates have
gotten set free by Jesus and you two. As soon a s I get a job Iíll be a
Doing the work that I do here I read a LOT of the letters! So there are always the ones that really touch my heart, and I do like to share them with you. And then there are some great testimonies. This is a testimony from Arthur:
Dear Someone Cares,
God has blessed us recently with some new pen friends. Two groups of Christians in two different States wrote, requesting names of inmates to write to. These groups both consist of people who could not find a church to join, so they joined with each other, and I am sure in the future they will become churches. They have taken a whole bunch of names and promise to get more folks to write. Pray for them as they need it.
Jesus is the Way, and God gave us the tools to know the Way when He sent us the Savior.
We have been a non-profit organization for a long time. Your donations are tax deductible, and there are not many others ways to receive that benefit. If there is anyone out there who could help us out, we are still in need of another computer and a quality used car.
If you would like to be on our prayer list, contact us. If you need special prayer, call us. We wish Godís blessing on you and yours.
If I had a second chance Iíd stop looking and start seeing.
Just imagine no cell phone, no computer, no letters, no communication with anyone! No birthday or Christmas cards, no shopping, no getting out. Just sitting on a cot all day long or walking around a space the size of your bathroom. Very boring. If you were in that situation, you would want someone to write to you, and so would I. Well, that is what prison is like, and most are at maximum capacity.
Your heart must be in it to write or send a card. Inmates need good news from the outside world, since all they usually hear are other inmates complaining. They need to know that someone cares and to hear the good things in your life. They really need to know that Jesus loves them, but that will take time. We thank God for each one of you and hope more will want to share Paper Sunshine.
Reprinted from our September, 2013 newsletter.
Notes from inmates in prisons throughout the country who have accepted Jesus as their Savior!
Texas: In a Texas prison serving 22 years. Not only did I accept Christ I quit the gang life.
California: I met and accepted Jesus on Death Row. The peace it gave me was knowing I would join many of my friends and family when Jesus returns.
Georgia: I went to prison for terrible things. I was a child of Satan until I got a Pen Friend. I tried to use them but they turned my heart to Jesus. Praise the Lord!
Florida: I killed two people and was sent to prison. I was stabbed in prison and put in a hospital. A guard got me in touch with Someone Cares. The Pen Friend family led me to Christ. It is the real thing. I deserve to be here but now have freedom coming.
Another Prison: I went to a prison that was like going to hell. One day Yvonne came to my cell and gave me some stuff to read, a book called Steps to Christ led me to the Bible and to a Pen Friend. To be free in Jesus is to be free indeed. I still have 50 years to serve, but Iíll stand with Jesus.
From A Prison Chaplain: Someone Cares Prison Ministry came to our prison through Bibles, tracts, Bible studies, and Pen Friends. It sure changed many a life and blessed many an inmate.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
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