|Vol. 2002 No. 5 May 2002
BIBLE STUDY MATERIALSSomeone Cares Home Page
Dear Someone Cares:
A couple of the inmates I am writing to are wanting bible study materials and tapes. Where is a good source for getting these materials? And who do I address a letter to for information on what is allowed in the prison and what is not? I don't have long distance phone service so I can't call the prisons. I was hoping that the prisons have someone in a designated position that I can send a letter to. I was on the Internet looking for materials (haven't found any yet) and I found something I thought you might be interested in for your newsletter, so I have included it below. Thanks for all your help. Jeanne W.
[Someone Cares can meet all these needs for you. Just let us know if you need to sign up your inmate(s) for study material or a Bible. We’re usually current on which prison accepts other materials as well.]Treasures In Prison Cells
A “prophecy” By Bill Yount
It was late and I was tired, wanting to go to sleep, but God wanted to talk. It was about midnight, but it dawned on me that God does not sleep. His question made me restless.
"Bill, where on earth does man keep his most priceless treasures and valuables?"
I said "Lord, usually these treasures like gold, silver, diamonds and precious jewels are kept locked up somewhere out of sight, usually with guards and security to keep them under lock and key,"
God spoke. "Like man, My most valuable treasures on earth are also locked up."
I saw Jesus standing in front of seemingly thousands of prisons and jails.
The Lord said, "These souls have almost been destroyed by the enemy, but they have the greatest potential to be used, and to bring forth glory to My name. Tell My people, I am going this hour to the prisons to activate the gifts and callings that lie dormant in these lives that were given before the foundations of the earth. Out from these walls will come forth a Spiritual army that will have power to literally kick down the gates of Hell and overcome satanic powers that are holding many of My people bound in My own House.
"Tell My people that great treasure is behind these walls, in these forgotten vessels. My people must come forth and touch these lives, for a mighty anointing will be unleashed upon them for future victory in My kingdom. They must be restored."
Gold and Silver in Our Prisons
Then I saw the Lord step up to the prison doors with a key. One key fit every lock and the gates began to open. I then heard and saw great explosions which sounded like dynamite going off behind the walls. It sounded like all-out spiritual warfare.
Jesus turned and said, "Tell My people to go in now and pick up the spoil and rescue them. Jesus then began walking in and touching inmates who were thronging Him. Many, being touched, instantly began to have a golden glow come over them.
God spoke to me, "There's the gold!"
Others had a silver glow around them; God said, "There's the silver!"
Like slow motion they began to grow into what appeared to be giant knights in armor—like warriors. They had on the entire armor of God and every piece was solid and pure gold! Even golden shields! When I saw the golden shields, I heard God say to these warriors, "Now go and take what Satan has taught you and use it against him. Go and pull down the strongholds coming against My Church."
The spiritual giants then started stepping over the prison walls with no one to resist them, and they went immediately to the very front line of the battle with the enemy. I saw them walk right past the church; and big-name ministers, known for their power with God, were surpassed by the giant warriors, like David going after Goliath! They crossed the enemy's line and started delivering many of God's people from the clutches of Satan while demons trembled and fled out of sight at their presence. No one, not even the Church, seemed to know who these spiritual giants were or where they came from. All you could see was the armor, the golden armor of God, from head to foot, and the shields of gold were there. The shields were restored to God's House and there was greater victory and rejoicing.
I also saw silver, precious treasures and vessels being brought in. Beneath the gold and silver were the people that nobody knew: Rejects of society, street people, the outcasts, the poor and the despised. These were the treasures that were missing from His House.
In closing the Lord said, "If My people want to know where they are needed, tell them they are needed in the streets, the hospitals, the missions, the prisons. When they come there they will find Me, and the moving of My Spirit.
Or they will be judged by My Word in Matthew 25:42,43: "I was an hungered and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink. I was a stranger and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not."
[Let US not be found lacking in God’s eyes.]
FREE AT LAST
Twenty-six years, sixty-six days, eight hours ago I was sent to prison, a very harrowing experience. In less than a twinkle of an eye my whole life changed, and it was my fault. Like many during High School, I had gotten in with the wrong crowd, doing the wrong things. I did a little drinking, then got into drugs. Dropped out of school and started stealing to support my habit.
Of course I got caught and was taken to jail. Folks, that is an experience no one should want to do. But if you’re going to do the crime you better be able to do the time. The good old Public Defender came to my aid—what a laugh. He got me a sentence of eighteen years. Getting into a lot of trouble in prison, including stabbing a man, got me the rest of my time. I found out in jail’s school days, that if you were going to make it in Prison, hook up.
I joined a prison gang and hooked up. Doing time really is easy. Doing Hard Time is the pits. Some of the cell blocks Don & Yvonne visit are rat-infested insane asylums. Of my early years in prison, I spent more than eight in Lockdown, the real pits. The purpose of this letter is to tell you how I changed and hopefully change some of your minds.
It was a Friday afternoon and I had just come in from the yard and was waiting to shower. A shadow hit the front of my cell and there stood a man I had never seen, and the guards opened my cell and he came in. Since there was no easy way, he introduced himself and proceeded to tell me in a firm, gentle tone, that my mother had been killed in an automobile crash. A thunder bolt of anger went through me as firm hands hit my shoulder. This stranger took me in his arms and I cried, boy did I!
This was my introduction to Don, and some time later, Yvonne, equaling The God Squad. Don arranged for me to have a phone call and after the guards put me in shackles, I was taken to a room to make my call. The man that went into that room was a hardened convict, full of anger and hate for everyone.
Don stayed and we were able to talk about my mom, who I had put through so much grief, and I could not even go to her funeral. (Don & Yvonne made arrangements to video the whole service and later showed it to me in the Chapel.)
Back in my cell, I made up my mind to get high and stay high (drugs are easy to get). But a voice in my heart said “Don’t. Mom would not like it.” Don had asked before we parted if we could have prayer and I said yeah. Me! In his prayer, Don told me of my mother’s freedom and a better place she would go. He told me of a peace and love I had never known. He cared. I made a vow to kick my habit and try to make something of myself. I received in the mail an Amazing Facts Bible study, but I didn’t have a Bible. No? I went to wash up, and on my shelf was a brand new Bible from the Ministry of Someone Cares. What if someone would see me reading the Bible! Not me, hard core all the way.
That night, after lights out, I was lying in my bunk. It was dark. I heard a voice say "It is time; you are needed." No one was there! Except with Don, and later Yvonne, I had never prayed in my whole life. I sat on my bunk and asked God to forgive me; a force pushed me to my knees. Again a voice: "You are forgiven and now set free!” That was the night I gave my life to Christ...
Don & Yvonne asked me to deal with Pen Friends from a convict’s end: First of all, folks, most convicts who sign up have no idea what they are looking for. Many states that have conjugal visits, the guys are up front about looking for a visitor, even though the Ministry tries to build up a friendship (Agape) before anything.
Most of us spend all day in nothing, doing nothing, with no one. Ask us questions, simple ones about ourselves, not the crime we are in for. As your friendship builds and you see what our relationship with Jesus is, you will know how to handle our answers.
Try not to argue doctrine. If you offer a Bible study, great if they say yes. If they ask and you don’t have, the God Squad will provide. A suggestion: you might take the same course. Inmates will try to get anything they can. Don’t get angry if they ask. But if they keep asking, tell them what you may or may not do. Lastly, don’t stop writing, but send information back to Don & Yvonne. I had seven Pen Friends and had to weed out 5 to get two saints.
Does it make a difference to most? A letter is an unbelievable joy. It takes away the loneliness, fear, and provides an escape. If you write more than one inmate, personalize each letter. I can tell you that paper sunshine does work. Books should come from a vendor (book store). Any other item must be pre-approved. If you’re not sure, ask Don.
Brothers and Sisters, without Jesus I would be dead or dying. I am Free at last, have a job, a church family and soon will be married. My probation officer is a Christian and I go to his church in peace at last. If you are not a player in this game of life called Someone Cares Prison Ministry, jump in, the water’s fine. You might be matched with a real jerk, like I was, and live to see the change that being free in Jesus can bring. Send these folks a couple extra bucks if you can; we do.
Have You ever experienced a very frustrating day in just getting small details attended to? Don and I spend a lot of time reading letters, and on the computers. I have been told a computer is only as good as the person who is running it. ? That may be true, but I'm sure we have all had days when we could use a bit of patience; well I will just speak for myself.
I would like to share with you "The Office 23rd Psalm" written by an inmate from San Quentin:
The Lord is my boss, and I shall not
want. He gives me peace, when
chaos is all around me. He reminds
me to pray, before I speak in anger.
He restores my sanity. He guides
my decisions that I might honor
Him in all that I do. Even though I
face absurd amounts of e-mail,
system failures, copier jams,
back-ordered supplies, unrealistic
deadlines, staff shortages, and
whining customers, I won't give up,
for He is with me. His presence,
peace and power will see me
through. He raises me up, even
when the boss fails to promote me.
He claims me as His own, even
when the company threatens to let
me go. His loyalty and love are
better than a bonus check. His
retirement plan beats any 401K, and
when it's all said and done, I'll be
working for Him a whole lot longer!
Thanks be to God.
By: Billy J. Riggs.
(Just thought some of you might enjoy this, just in case you might have had one of those days!! We sure have!)
THERE WILL BE A DAY
Since the first of the year we have been trying to update records, and believe me it isn’t easy. When an inmate asks to be matched to a person who asks to write an inmate, we believe IT IS FINISHED. Now, we know that all these are not going to work out, but to be a “Christian” and just decide you are not going to write and don’t have the time to return the paperwork is very hard to understand. I am amazed that some of you, with the inmates you are matched with, have kept going with them. Last year we rematched over 400 Christian free folks with different inmates, and rematched over 300 of the inmates. I received a letter yesterday with a response to a letter I sent.
“I am sorry I did not return the information you sent me, now I can’t find it. I just did not have time to write an inmate.” Her first letter to us: “I was really blessed when I listened to you both on radio. I would love to write an inmate as I have nothing but time.”
Am I confused! In record checking, we have matched over 600 free folks with inmates who never wrote the inmate. We are glad that most returned the information and we got them all matched. In the last two days I spent eighteen hours sorting mail and making sure. We are forced at times to forward the mail unread, hopefully knowing that you will contact us if a problem arises. Many inmates are running scams by saying they get no medical unless paid for, or can’t eat without money. One woman “had AIDS and would die with out $500 for treatment.” This one we caught and reported, and it did get the lady a little extra time.
Our prayer warriors are working overtime to get us a bit of a raise. With postage going up 3 cents, that is a lot for this ministry. While thinking of it, we really want to thank the ministries that advertise Pen Pals Programs and give the inmates our address. Not fair, folks! We do ask each of you to ask your Pastor to advertise the program in Church bulletins, and thank those that already have. We also thank VOP for again putting us on the radio. God Bless you Dave and Lonnie!†
Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead tell your storm how big your God is. Just repeat this phrase and see how God moves!!Lord, I love you and I need you.
Come into my heart and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends.
As usual, I’m awed by God’s mighty workings. I already have three places in mind to read the prophecy on Page 1! Don’t you feel the restless urgency within the last few months, compelling us to be doing more for our dear Savior – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because we just WANT to and can’t keep from it!?!
I think our pastor is a little sly. He mentioned at an evening meeting that he’d needed to spend some extra time with one of our churches, so he let Shirley and me do the prison ministry by ourselves. He seems pleased with his decision. We want to meet with the other group as well, but need more volunteers. The inmates would like more fellowship with the volunteers at their services.
Spring seems to be reluctant about arriving, in direct proportion to our impatience to be out- of-doors. The crocus have been bravely witnessing all over the front lawn, under some difficult temperatures. We would do well to follow their example. They bloom where they’re planted, sweetly and quietly cheering up those who pass by. As the man said, who talked about how to be a Pen Friend, don’t argue doctrine. It’s to be offered very gently, when the other person is ready. Let God’s Holy Spirit do the leading, sometimes a hard lesson to learn.
Someone Cares will be on the Voice of Prophecy radio broadcast in your area May 6-10. Consult your local listings. Don and Yvonne will have lots of neat stories to tell, and you may have time to notify your Pen Friends as well!