Quietly Changing Lives
We look back over the past forty years in amazement. I travel through life with Yvonne at my side, in front of me or way ahead. Yvonne led me to a pastor who lead me to Christ. At 50 I became a Christian. I went to church for the first time. With a lot of help I studied Godís word. Being an atheist was easy. Becoming a Christian a was lot of work. I was actively working on learning the Bible. I did not fit into the Church. I listened one day to a man who was in prison ministry. Amen! I called Chaplain Reed at Soledad Prison and asked if I could teach Bible. To my great surprise he accepted me. Two days later I was at Soledad teaching the Bible. I was still learning. I had to let the inmates know that I was new, and if they asked a question I could not answer I would answer it next time. On our web page are a bunch of newsletters to bring you up to date. While there you will also see a radio icon. Click on it and you can hear a bunch of miniature radio shows. Visit us at www.SomeoneCares.Org.
Yvonne had been going to minister with me, playing the piano and also teaching. I quit my very good job and decided to do this work full time. I answered the question with Godís saying that we have the cattle on a thousand hills. She has been with me all the way. We were both made full time chaplains and went to the police academy for training and we also attended staff meetings. Chaplain Reed gave Yvonne the South Facility at Soledad with its 800 inmates. I worked with him on the rest. We were now both ordained but thatís a story for another time. We became a 501C3 and Someone Cares Prison Ministry was formed. Again, the archieved newsletters on our web page will bring you up to date.
The Bible says a lot about prison and prisoners. HE tell us to go there and to treat them as if you were chained with them. Some are called, some are sent, some just got up and went. We give you a chance to go as Jesus asks from the comfort and safety of your home. We have more than one way to have you go. We also will be there to help. Will it be easy? Will it be dangerous? NO!
Sitting in cells are two million, five hundred thousand inmates. When we started so many years ago an inmate had a chance to work or go to school. They were allowed on the yard, could play handball, lift weights and play basketball. Now they spend most of their time locked up, as much as twenty-three hours a day. Most are estranged from family and friends. There is little rehabilitation. There are gangs who prey on all.
If you choose to use a pen name, make it have both a first and a last name. We are swamped and cannot read inmateís letters. Do not promise anything unless sure. Books must be soft back. If their app says they can have stamps, send a couple. When you write wait thirty days and write again if no answer. Call us or return all and we will send a new name. The packet we send will include much. You may write as many as you can. We are swamped. If you get information and are not comfortable return all. Some do not. It is important that you remember in prison are some very bad people. Many are not guilty of any crime but did not have an attorney.
This newsletter has a new address. A post office was put in much closer to us. Do not worry as letters to the old PO Box will be forwarded for a year.
Each of us belongs to a church. Each church has different doctrines. The confusion of doctrines really affects prisons. We believe that you should not let your doctrine be a barrier but a bridge to Jesus. I will use a very unfortunate example. A group going into a prison for a long time had a new member. The new members were asked to lead out in prayer. He asked for prayer requests and there were several. One young man stood up and said his mother just died and is in heaven and for them to please pray for her. I would have had prayer but instead he gave a lesson on the state of the dead. Being told his mother was not in heaven he later committed suicide. If you write an inmate, please do remember this. I have never spoken in tongues but have friends that have. All we do starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. Most prisons have one chaplain and often their doctrine rules. If asked a question by an inmate or your Pen Friend we pray answer as you believe.
We need to be in touch with other prison ministies and prison workers. Prison are now over crowed and withWashington having no idea what they are doing we need to unite.
If someone has a home in warm climate and they arenít using it, that would be neat!
This is a flaw you writers can help with. If you use a pen name makes it have both a first and last name. Here they are, pen name first and inmateís name second:
Tony Benton V Darmello/ Kathy McBride Ruby Lavoi Lyn ShawnShugart Shirley Defoss Nat Barnes Delia Lee D McurryD Lee Rbt Piirk Netty Lost Ronrosale Chad Kline Wm WardBlue Jay Geo Wilder Andrew Jab Phillip Moore Paul James Doug Eddie G Gee R Moss Eva M Reeder Grandma Betty Kelley Greenwell Ruth Weaver Cynthia Hotfic Sherry Lynn L vega Acro mac Dale Jones Lyn Prier Prosper Delia lee Dexter McCurry TJ Friend L Butler Shirley G Math Barnes Hannah Evans Wynona Ellen J Mary Shelton Linda Daisy Banks Mary Buchanan Brian sturgeon Shirley Dawn D Curtis Jen Carlsom Mike WarringJ Carlson Frank Teri D James Garcia Blue jay Simmons Blue Jay Geo Wilder Evans Lucy
My name you know and I want to thank you and Yvonne for
thirty years of enjoyment. I have probably written to fifty inmates and
not one problem I could not handle. I have five a friend has taken. I
wanted you to be aware I have left your ministry in my will. In a day I
pray is not far off I will see you both again. You have been a blessing
to me as has your ministry. You might tell this to others who
have no family.
We had Dorcus or Community Service. We had jail bands. We had all kinds of things. We are so often told that your Pastor was not interested or ďWe do not want those kind of people on our church.Ē Jesus does!
We would like working with a lot of folks to make a video or CDís on each program. We all want to end up in Heaven. It takes a Church. Donors who are interested in making a large donation, please call us.
As we have grown and will keep growing our expenses are also growing. If everyone receiving this newsletter gave $5.00 a month that would do it. Our grandson Jake is joining us and he needs a good computer. For your information we do not receive a dime in any form of pay and never have. It is all done with free-will love offerings. The computer and the programs we use are very old.
Yes, I will be 85 in June and am still in great health. I need to beat Jake at golf, bowling and ping pong.
All donations are tax deductible. If you did not get a receipt for last year, contact us. We had an attempted hack of our computer.
We are in prisons all over the United States, maybe a prison near your church. We could start a visitation program. Ask your pastor. What a draw to your church if everyone was involved. Sabbath and Sunday schools could write or visit. Your church coule have the Two Care Program. Once a month a member or couple could visit an inmate in the visiting room. How about all the churches in your are getting together and providing Free Dress Outs to the released inmate. Yvonne and I did this and provided Dress Outs for 100,000.
WALK THE WALK
Many, especially in prison talk a lot about Jesus and the Bible. Many have put their own spin on what the Bible says. Many tell others what they think the Bible says. What says the Bible, the Bible to me? Words of men so often deceive us, what says the Bible to me. Both in prison and in many churches, self integration is confusing. The Bible says do not SIN but if we do we still have a Savior. Living a Christian life in prison is tough and there is little help. Teaching Godís word and doing wordily things send out a very poor message. We knew a Chaplain who went through the motions of his job. Too often he was drunk or near it. How could he say Jesus says and does what Jesus said not to do. Many in prison know the only chance they have of getting out is Devine intervention. They know that as Godís word says - to be Free in Jesus is to be free indeed.
Most of you are like I was when God called Don back to Prison to Minister! God had not called me but I went to see. What could some Bible Study two nights a week lead to? Soon Don told me he wanted to go into fulltime Prison Ministry. He quit a very high paying job and did just that. My background as a Pastorís daughter, raised in Church schools had not prepared me for what was ahead. Donís past and his massive time spent in the Bible brought about many changes. Like once he told an inmate if he kept on interrupting the service he would take the guy outside, and then he did just that. Soon working with Chaplain Read at Soledad Donís transformation was completed. We ended up as fulltime volunteer Chaplains, unpaid by Church or State.
We both learned a whole lot. In my case it was much more difficult, but all the inmates respected us and really treated us well. They knew we were there for them. Then we started The Dress out program providing inmates with neat new clothes upon release. Remedial reading using the Bible as a text book. We worked with M2 which is a one to one visitation program. Finally we helped establish a re-entry program. I will tell a bit each newsletter as maybe you can do the same where you are. Donís conversion was a miracle and we both are happy God endorsed all our programs and made them work. A smile always when Don ran into men from his past life and said, Iím a Prison Chaplain and work for God. We do welcome all new folks and invite all to contact us if any problems should arise.