WE KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW
We have written a whole lot of newsletters over the years but
we feel this issue is the most important one. We had no idea when
Jesus who directed us into prison ministry that is was going to be a
life time experience. HIS commitment on the cross was the start.
We must take the Gospel seriously. He wants us to feed the hungry,
care for the stranger, give drink to those that thirst, clothes to those
that need them and visit the prisoner. The penalty at the end of
Matthew 25 is serious. We are told to visit the prisoner. Yvonne and I
have taken that seriously and devoted almost forty years doing
VISIT THE PRISONER
We have clothed over 100,000 inmates leaving prison with
our dress out program. There is a bit of humor here as there are
many inmates who have given Yvonne pieces of string for sizes. An
inmate stopped Yvonne on the yard saying he was getting released
and had nothing to wear. Then and in some cases now if you did
not have dress outs you bought from your meager release money
they release you in the clothes you were wearing. Visiting the prisoner,
we dealt with them in two ways. Working with other organizations,
we were part of a “Match Two” program. We would get free
people to visit inmates once a month in the prison waiting room.
This worked well. We did this
and also worked as full-time
credentialed chaplains, paid
one dollar a year. When not
doing that we raised our own
funding by starting a non-profit
VISIT THE INMATE TOO
At San Quentin, California’s most infamous prison, our
assignment was “C” section. It is five tiers high with 50 cells to a tier.
Across from that five gun rails with armed officers.
We went cell to cell, not usually together, visiting each
hard core inmate. It was here that Yvonne met a man who had not
had a visit or letter in twenty-seven years. She said she would get
someone to write to him. She told me about it on our two hour ride
home. Unknown to us this started the Pen Friend program. This one
program is the backbone of our ministry and the purpose of this
newsletter. No other ministry we know of has anything like our
program. Often without asking, inmates are refered to us. It has
gotten so large we had to enhance it some how. Some folks like
writing letters but most do not. So here is a new program. We send
the inmate an application. They return their application with a letter
of introduction. We send that letter and application to who ever is on
top of the pile of names waiting for a Pen Friend. They read
everything and do one of two things - begin writing or return
everything to us. Now you can write via e-mail. No - inmates do not
have computers. We send your e-mail (after trimming it) to the
inmate via regular mail. They respond. We scan their letter, may
add some advise and e-mail to the free person. This is super safe.
Everyone we talk to is totally impressed and approves. Our problem
is we have tons of inmates but not enough writers.
Both Yvonne and I have
been through police academies
in three states. We were fulltime
- paid dollar a year -
chaplains at Soledad, Paso
Robles, Boys School Eddyville
in Kentucky. Yvonne was fulltime
staff chaplain at Coldwater
Women’s Prison. I was the same
at Coldwater Men’s in Michigan.
Also we worked semi full-time at
Jackson Prison. We have done
part time at Corcoran, Avenal
C.M.C., We have been through
extensive police academy
training in three states. We both
have received special ordinations
and in our spare time I
have been interim pastors in five
Going into prison was a real learning experience for
me, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I was able to meet
the needs of inmates just like the Bible says. We all need that
experience of helping others and giving of ourselves. Then
you realize how much joy Christ brought to the people He
mingled with and why he left His example in Matthew 25 for
us to follow. I intend to do this ‘till the day I die if I am able.
I pray that all of you will try to follow the scriptures and
live it in your own life. Sometimes the way we live is more
important that what we say.
May God bless each one of you!
We would like all of you to send us your e-mail or
THE FAMILY OF GOD
phone numbers. We also would like the name &
address of anyone doing prison ministry.
The inmate sends us a request and we send them a form.
The form explains this is a ministry. When we get a form and letter
we add it to a pile. Next to that pile are your responses to be a Pen
Friend. We match the top of each pile. Currently the inmate pile is
big and we have about one hundred requests for a pen friend. The
other pile is empty. IF YOU GO TO OUR WEB SITE YOU WILL SEE
A RADIO. CLICK ON IT AND HEAR RADIO SHOWS WE DID. Also
there is a red application on left side. If you read it that, is what the
inmate fills out. When you request and we send a name, we expect
one of two things to happen. You write the inmate or return the
information. If you write and are not comfortable return everything to
us. Keep and file on writing. Write a letter. If no answer write again.
If there is still no answer, return all and we will start over. We deal
with the returns. Look at the word friend. When you write take your
time and slowly enter God’s word. Don’t let your doctrine be a
barrier but rather a bridge to Jesus. It is very hard to be a Christian
in prison. Also remember that a piece of paper, a pen or pencil and
stamps are not easy to get. Some join to get stuff. Do not make a
promise unless you are very sure you can keep it. Before you do
anything call us or the prison. If books, do not send any hardbacks.
And they should be sent by vendor. Grandma has written forty
inmates. She has a detailed record of each. If you have a computer
you can visit the prison they are at. If you use a pen name make it
two names. Not silly names - first and middle works. Follow mailing
instructions on the back of the yellow form. Often inmates write
themselves just to hear their name called at mail call. Years ago we
were putting on a program at a church, followed by a potluck. A
man walked up and said, “I want to thank you for leading me to
Christ!” Years earlier his Pen Friend had done that. Most of what
has been done is because of many of you and we get the credit.
SOME FOLKS SAY I CAN’T
I dropped out of school and was in and out of trouble. I ran
away, joined and started a gang. I did time, did drugs, smoked and
was an atheist. Then I met Yvonne. At forty, because of Yvonne, I
quit drugs, quit smoking, quit drinking and accepted Christ. Four
months later I was teaching Bible at Soledad Prison. To God Give
WHAT TO DO
I am 84 - Yvonne 77. This
program is spreading through
the entire United States prison
system. This does take money.
It also will be to big for us as we
are so overloaded we need lots
of people. Putting the United
States into four sections or one
couple in each state means
finding couples who are as
crazy as we are to volunteer or
to hire three couples. This
takes money. To do the
website, to advertise and to get
new equipment we nee to raise
$100,000. We also need more
dedicated monthly supporters
via Pay Pal or our website. Forty
years ago we got one hundred
folks to give $1.50 a month for
seven years. Advertising is
expensive as is revamping our
website. With our Board of
Directors and family, no matter
what we do Someone Cares will
go forth. But how large can it
Reprinted from our August, 2008 newsletter.
From the get-go, we have
grown on small donations.
Once, the head of another
ministry told us not to waste our
time on little donors. Thank
God, with a lot of help, we did
not listen. We are a non-profit
organization and your donations
We get a lot of checks from
inmates and in the past, sent
them back. But inmates
learning God’s word want to
pay God’s tithe to this ministry.
We are happy to accept. The
dollar will go a long way when
God grants the increase. You
do not have to support this
ministry to be a part of it.
(Sure helps, though.)
WHAT ABOUT US
We live in a nice manufactured home. I wish it was near a
fishing pond or river. It is paid for. The ministry pays our business
expenses, health insurance and medical expenses. Our deaths are
paid for here to go there. We draw $1000.00 each month. We
have a cash reserve of $31,000 and no debt. At 84 I can play golf,
still play tennis and ping pong. Yvonne, since the car accident,
does not do that but goes along. When she played no one hit the
ball straighter. Lots of folks say we have done it, why not relax and
enjoy life. Let me have Yvonne explain:
WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS DONE BECAUSE OF MANY OF YOU.
WHAT WILL BE DONE CAN BE DONE BECAUSE OF YOU.
WE THANK JESUS BECAUSE WITHOUT HIM NONE OF IT COULD
HAVE BEEN DONE.
We prayerfully need more of you and yours.
A CHRISTIAN IS AS
A CHRISTIAN DOES
Reprinted from our
August, 2007 newsletter.
This is a very personal ministry and as such lets us get to
know both church member and inmate - two different worlds. While
preaching and holding seminars in many churches we have really
had to bite our tongues at times. God’s wish for us to go forth to the
whole world is quite a job. One thing nice about asking questions in
church is you get honest answers, well almost always. Is being a
Christian just going to church? When Jesus said in Hebrews 13:3,
“remember the Prisoner as if chained with them,” what did he mean?
Was this just a reference to persecuted believers? When Jesus said,
“I was in prison and you visited me not,“ are we to visit prisoners? Is
being a Christian trying to make others believe as we do, or should
we lead them to Jesus and let HIM do the directing? I was an atheist
until a met Yvonne, Euell and Daryl. I learned the Bible by reading
and listening to what others told me. Like many inmates I got
confused by the do’s and don’ts of some doctrines.
The Bible says study and that I did. Do I teach what I think it
said or what it really said? Yvonne laughed when after I accepted
Christ I tried to get a bush to burn! It did not burn in my back yard
but is still burning in my heart. To help those in prison, attempt to be
a friend not a pal. Before you load them with your knowledge of the
Bible, attempt to find out where they are. If they are not at all
interested in being a Christian attempt to be a friend anyway or turn
them back over to us.
Ronna - our daughter - first
off needs prayer. She is facing
some health issues. She is a
big help to us.
Her car, donated years ago,
needs replacing before it just
dies. A quality used car and a