Quietly Changing Lives
...Where would this Ministry be? We have moved past the rocks often, and taken the right road. Words cannot come to mind to express the thanks we have for so very many of you who have kept us growing. I’ve been watching some football play-offs while working from behind stacks of mail, and came across the following letter. We look forward to continued growth, thanks to a letter like this:
My mother, Frieda Jensen, was s strong supporter of Someone Cares and faithfully corresponded with inmates until her sudden death. She suffered a stroke while sitting at her desk writing to prisoners. In assisting my father William, after her death I found out she prepared letters six weeks prior to mailing. I prepared a generic letter to include with her letters informing them of her death, thinking that would end her ministry.
Little did I realize she had been writing some of these inmates for 20 years. The letters we received in return touched our hearts. It is not often enough we get to realize the impact on a ministry to the lives of others. AMEN!
Don, to make a long story short, my husband Ron and I have continued to correspond with the inmates, requesting some. We have maintained to keep Mom’s style going. Ron and I work full time, care for our elderly parents, and write 100 inmates each month. Mom started a lot and we pray you join us in keeping this wonderful Ministry alive.
When I read this I had to think of myself. No one knows the time, but God’s grace is abundant. If anything happens to Yvonne or me, this Ministry will go on as it has.
FOLLOWING THEM FOLLOWING “HIM”
I have watched with amazement as these two wonderful Christians have given all to prison ministry. A grammar school drop out and a preacher’s kid. I was more than impressed with what they did in California, which needs them again. This appeal may not be accepted by them but I pray it moves someone. They are older than I am, full of energy, and they think of what can they do next? Might someone, somewhere warm have a house they could let them have until God takes them home? Can each of us pray that with the right people and the help of Don & Yvonne and now Jake what could be possible? In prisons, a nationwide Dress out Program providing inmates free clothes when released. Remedial Reading to inmates by getting us old folks volunteering to go into prison. Talking or training those with the right background to deal with bullying in school and church; yes, church. Anyone can go into prison and preach or teach Bible. That is Ministry in Prison. Not many can walk the yards and cell blocks like the McClure’s and GET DOWN WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD.
I asked Don once what was the most important thing that ever happened to him and why. Many years ago an 87 cent donation, all the money a little Spanish lady had. She asked us to use it to lead folks in prison to Christ. I’m told a million dollar sermon followed that.
If you need prayer answered call or email Don or Yvonne. They love to pray for us.
TO TELL THE OLD STORY
My name is Hector and I want to thank you both. Don, years ago you came to my cell to inform me of the death of my dad. You also spent time teaching me that the hate that I had for my dad was not worth it. You also got me a Pen Friend. This was around the time you guys left (I found out later to Kentucky). Over the many years I have met others in here who have had life changing experiences because of Someone Cares. You might have your writers remind their inmate Pen Friends how you got together. I’m sure many like myself would like to say thank you, as well as our new friend, Jesus.
FREE AT LAST
After 18 years I finally came up for parole, and made it. I went back to my cell and thought, “Okay, stupid…what now?”
My crime was committed in a state far away from family and friends. I would be being released with a little over $100.00 with no place to live, no job and few clothes. I contacted everybody I knew with few accepting my calls, and those who did had no suggestions. I called Someone Cares, as a friend said they might help.
We usually do not accept collect calls from prison, but for some reason I did receive this one. He introduced himself as Andy and told me his problem. The best I could do was give him the name and number of the Salvation Army and Red Cross people near the prison, as well as the information for a halfway house. I had prayer with him and went on doing what we do.
About two months later I got a letter and a small money order from him. At the Salvation Army he spoke with a man who knew a person looking for a live-in handyman. Thank you, Jesus!
That was one story with a happy ending, but there are hundreds of thousands ex-convicts who are living on the streets in any town, any where. Many will commit crimes and go back to prison. Many will commit crimes in prison so that they will not get out.
Paper is something we can hold in our hands. Sunshine is something from God that warms us in the coldest places. “Paper Sunshine” is something that warms many; some we may not know, and perhaps some we may never meet until Glory.
I don’t know if any of you are aware of the darkness some of the inmates we write to are really in. The cells are small with little or no creature comforts and 24 hours a day the sounds and smells of prison assault them on a continual basis. Nothing is normal in prison, and everything they once knew is a fleeting memory.
Having spent time in prison away from family, I know the gift of Paper Sunshine. I remember standing in line for breakfast one morning. On a table was spread all the mail, which was not very much. When my name was called I had nine letters. The man in front of me asked if I had a fan club. I was one of the blessed as those at home and also friends kept in touch. I have known inmates who wrote to themselves just to hear their name called.
We are taught about the soon coming of Jesus, and we read in His Word that every knee shall bow. How can a “tongue confess” if they don’t have the knowledge of the shed blood of Jesus? If “Someone” Cares, well…is that “Someone” YOU?
We pray that you are wanting to be that “someone” and will bring Paper Sunshine as maybe no one else will. We throw open the doors to God, knowing or finding out that it is HE who has opened the door for us.SPREAD THE WORD
VOICE OF PROPHECY BROADCAST
We again will be on the Voice of Prophecy radio program next month starting on March 20 (Yvonne’s birthday), and ending the 25th. Due to the economy they have had to cut some stations, so we are once again asking for your help.
Few of you who have joined us have listened to all five days of our broadcast. Now you can listen on your computer. At anytime you can click on www.VOP.COM, go to “Daily Broadcast” and hear all five shows. You can email this information to everyone in your address book, and have your Pastor put it in the church bulletin or local paper. There is a great need for more of you to get involved as prayer partners, letter writers and donors.
Almost all states have been told to release many inmates to cut their budget. Of course this means many correctional officers will lose jobs also. In an economy with few jobs will come thousands of men, women, boys, and girls. These released inmates will have no money, no jobs and no place to live. The revolving door of a broken system will again take in these ex convicts.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
We again will be taking speaking appointments if they are within a 500 mile radius of Fort Wayne, or if we receive a paid plane ticket. Let us know if you are interested in having us come to speak to your church group.
We have ducked a problem for a long time and need your help or ideas. In prison there are many who do not speak English. We do not speak Spanish, and are looking for volunteers to take on this important ministry of reaching out to the many Spanish speaking inmates.
HELP US HELP YOU
As we continue on this challenging road, we have many rewards but also we do continue to have problems. We tried offering email writing in an attempt to get those of you who don’t like to write interested.
Well, with the postage going up again and Post Office closing we had to stop this. We would receive an email letter, cut it and snail mail it to the inmate, and then later mail the inmate’s response back to sender. That cost us two stamps.
We also often get letters and emails asking us to contact, write or call inmates. We have a practice that makes this a Christian Ministry. If the inmate wants help then they must contact us, not by phone.
We again ask you to put your name or pen name on your envelope to the inmate with our address as return. “Someone Cares” is not writing, you are. If you use a pen name make sure you tell us. One person who was writing three inmates used three different pen names forgetting to tell us, which as you can imagine was quite confusing.
With the massive interest in Paper Sunshine we have a ton of mail to handle. Sometimes we cannot read it and just forward it on to you. If we miss a problem, please let us know. If you write a letter and get no answer let us know. If an inmate quits, we really need you to write someone else.
We have been blessed by a woman who has taken all the letters sent to us but without a pen friend name. She is writing to all of them trying to find out who their pen friend is, who they should be addressed to so we can pass them along to the right person.
Another thing…try to get your pen friend to write in pen or to print, as my eyes are not as good as they used to be.
It is notes like the following that keep us all making sure inmates have Paper Sunshine:
Yesterday at church I shared my experiences that I have had writing to inmates and how I got started doing it. I was asked the night before to do so. I am not an up front person or a speaker. I prayed that God would help me. He did! Don and Yvonne McClure of Someone Cares Prison Ministry came to my church and told us about prison ministry back in 1987!! God impressed me to give them my name and address. They sent me a name and instructions, and more names later. What a blessing it has been to me to write. I have written to and writing now, I thank and praise God for helping me write letters, for I can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). We need more folks like the above. May God bless all of you in this New Year! Waiting for His Return!
Jay, Bob and Debbie,
Steve, Mona and Larry,
Carol and Wisam, Michelle,
and of course You!
Because of You,