Quietly Changing Lives
We are more than excited at the results of our efforts - with your help. Here is a reminder of the difference between prison ministry, which we do, and ministry in prison. The latter is giving a Bible study or preaching a little, one-to-one, which is vital. Yvonne and I do preach and teach. We also go into all parts of the prison including the yard and death row. We are well trained having attended three different police academies. We draw keys and move around a lot. You, from the comfort and safety of your home, can do what Jesus asked us to do - risk free.
We do not receive any pay from prisons, states or our church. For years we did receive a dollar a year salary. We have never had a year in the red - AMEN. We are in dire need of supporters as we are receiving an average of thirty requests a day. Listen to preachers making appeals saying you will get thus, and so with us you will know someone in prison will hear about Jesus. When released they will be a new person prayerfully. We love it when we are on radio - not often enough - and we hear from an inmate who has been touched by this ministry or one of you may write inmates when released.
The inmates in today’s prisons are in a real mess. Most are lock in their cells twenty-three hours a day, maybe a shower once a week. Since there is little effort to rehabilitate we must try to share the love and power of Jesus. Trying to be a friend to a stranger is not easy but the reward is great. Overcrowding is a massive problem. Gangs are the biggest problem. When we started almost forty years ago prisons had schools, some jobs and a bit of a chance. But men and women in prison are looking for???? Stay in control, don’t be preachy. Work on friendship and bring the love of Christ in slowly. This is not the love they are used to. Paper stamps are tough but they will get them. Send them if their application says they can have them. The application explains who we are, but you might have to remind them more than once. Do not write two inmates in the same prison. Do not write the friend of the inmate you are matched with. If you are not sure call us. Book must come from a vendor. Tell them they don’t have to give up but five in.
Many have signed up for this program and not written or returned the information, to us. Also, we have a lot of mail from inmates that need claiming. If not sure ask. Prison rules are changing rapidly and we need to update. Again, if not sure ask us by e-mail or phone. If you use a pen name, please use both a first and last name. Read the application carefully. Keep a record of your writing. Do not send anything unless you are sure. It is vital that you put the inmate’s number on everything. Your Pen Friend may be moved. Call the Department of Corrections in the state they are in with name and number and they will locate them.
Ronna, Jake and one other member have had accidents that totaled their two cars and a truck. When we all get to heaven movement will be easy. Donations toward replacement of a used vehicle will sure help. My eyes are getting older and not working as well so I don’t drive anymore. But I still hope to beat Jake at golf and bowling. If its Christians we need it. It would be nice to be in a warm climate again. Never had snow or ice in California or fires and mud slides. We pray for all hurt or having property damage everywhere. We also pray for those effected by the confusion in Washington. We could say more but.!
We received a gift of old stamps, all brand new with a value of $1,347.00. We could use them as postage but a collector may want them.
online through our website:
We are getting an average of thirty requests a day from inmates for Pen Friends. That my friends will increase a lot. Jesus asked for a visit in prison. You can fulfill that from the comfort and safety of your home. So many of you are so faithful. A few large donations will help us advertise. If all would ask pastor to support or let you make an appeal. $5.00 a month from a lot will help so much. Religion in prison is difficult to explain. The men and women, boys and girls locked up are given few choices. A Bible study may be arranged and an inmate stabs another. The prison is locked down. The chaplain may be over worked as believe. Thirty-eight years ago we striated All Faiths Chapel. Then we taught what Jesus is all about. The Bible says every knee will bow. Not might bow. The Bible tells of a better life not in prison. To be free in Jesus is to be free indeed. When we go cell to cell in the lock down units we carry tracts Bibles, magazines, pens, pencils and might even have a rosary. We teach what I learned. You don’t have to give up but give in. All of the answers to all of the problems are in the Bible. Marcel had never read the bible, and we got an easy reading one for him. He read three pages every day. In three weeks he accepted Christ. If you become a Pen Friend walk slowly. Don’t let your doctrine be a barrier but a bridge to Christ. Many will try to use us but they can’t. It still amazes me…I was led to Christ. An atheist, a terrible back ground, I smoked, drank and did drugs. At forty I became a Christian and have worked for Jesus since then. I did not give up. I gave in each time I claimed a Bible promise. Sure is a bunch. of them. Now well over 300,000 inmates have accepted Christ. Some joined churches I have never heard of but thy go to church.
We have been blessed by doing a few shows on Life Talk. You can hear them on your computer by going to our web page, SomeoneCares.org, clicking on the radio icon and then listen. Please share these with friends. If you are aware of anyone doing prison ministry give us info. As I near 85, I would, with your help, have one million inmates complete Bible studies. We may have already done that. Yvonne and I both are working on long life ideas if Jesus tarries. If he does not maybe an inmate will be the last knee that bows before HE returns.
We are so pleased that this ministry is so successful, thanks to you. If each one world reaches one Amen. We have also lost quite a few friends last year and send love and prayers to the families.
The basic idea of this ministry was to establish a friend for any inmate. This is something many have never had, since they come from all walks of life. Your friend is chosen by a two-pile experience. When an inmate sends an application, we put it on the bottom of Pile 1. When you request an inmate, your application goes under Pile 2. This is very scientific, as God does the matching. When the names reach the top, a packet is sent to the inmate with the Pen Friend’s information, in care of Someone Cares, of course.
A problem we have is a problem I had many years ago. Every Christian told me the “don’t-do’s.” I already really knew that drinking, drugs, etc., were not good for me. But could dancing really keep me out of Heaven?
Well, when you accept Christ and start learning HIS Word, all the broken pieces come together. We had a Grandma who did it right. She wrote, asking questions about the inmate’s past, not his crime. She told about her life, and what Jesus meant to her. It took two years and a lot of time, but they established a friendship. After that he took a Bible study and the Lord took over.
Then there are inmates who know the Bible very well, and can give you a run for your money. We have had a pastor or two stonewalled. I’m lucky to have a bunch friends who help me if I get stuck.
I was born in Canada and came to the United States after the deaths of my father and sister, 38 days apart.
My mother moved to California thinking her father would take us in. Not so. My mom had to work and I was headed for reform school. I learned to hate at a very early age. My mom met and married a man who had lost a son he loved very much, and he was not about to let me take his place. At thirteen, I beat him up and ran. The running took me to the inner cities of the U.S. ... Gangs and trouble. ... Busted so many times I still don’t know how God put the pieces together. But He did! Prison or jail was not a problem. I made big bucks and lived a high life on Satan’s fast track.
When I was seventeen, a judge said to me, “I should send you to prison but I’m going to give you one more chance, if you join the service (military). I did and my problems now took me to a military jail and prison. Somehow I got an honorable discharge and went right back to the fast track of life.
I met Yvonne, a preacher’s daughter, and things really changed.
She had gone through a bad marriage and divorce. Her church blamed her. Out of her secure world and into the world of mine, was a fantasy trip. I lost everything, through drinking and drugs. We ended up in a dump of an apartment with no furniture, no job, and no friends. I remember contacting a friend for help during this time. He said, “Sorry, Don, I can’t help you. You’re not far enough down.”
It was from there that Yvonne went back to her roots and tried to being me to Jesus. Then an army of her family and friends tried to help me. They told me what not to do. They told me what Jesus wanted me to be. But no one thought that there were people like me who knew nothing about Jesus.
Thanks to Euell Atchley and Darryl Retzer, my final plunge was into a baptismal tank. I came up out of the water higher than I had ever been, but a new kind of high. To be free in Jesus is so sweet!
I mentioned a few months ago, when I was locked up in reform school, a man came by where I was sitting on the yard. He tried to tell me about Jesus, but I would not listen. As he left, he said, “God Bless You.”
If only he had come back again. My prayer is that some day I’ll meet him in Heaven and let him know that God did bless me.
Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for preaching Jesus, after being severely beaten, but they stayed in when they had the chance to escape. You can read the whole story in Acts, chapter 16. The part I like best is when the jailer asks them, “What must I do to be saved?” They respond, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household.” This story demonstrates the power Christians can have when they show Jesus by just being Christian.