|Vol. 2002 No. 11 November 2002
Someone Cares Home Page
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Great things HE has done! Yvonne and I have always thought it is such a shame that so many do the work of “Someone Cares" and we get the credit. Many inmates have come to know Christ, or have a better relationship with Him through your efforts. May God's glory dwell in you.
JOY TO THE WORLD
Will be hard to sing this Christmas with so much sorrow everywhere. We live in a world in turmoil and must draw more and more on THE GRACE OF JESUS. The land Jesus walked on is ready for who knows what, but are they ready for HIS return?
HAPPINESS IS TO KNOW THE SAVIOR
We are often asked how many inmates Someone Cares has really touched. We know for sure that soon almost 300,000 inmates will have COMPLETED Bible studies though one of the sources we use! We know that our Pen Friend Program goes into almost every prison in the United States. I think it would be fair to say that somehow our ministry has touched a million inmates over all these years; but the most important number is 1: the last one or the next one.
The prison where I am housed has mail call five days a week about 4 p.m. Never had I heard my name called.
I said “here,” and was handed a letter. I had forgotten I had requested a Pen Friend, as I had done it so often and never heard a thing. This started a change that has gotten me out of prison.
Prior to receiving my Pen Friends I had given up caring. Every one I cared for had given up on me. That first letter and each one after gave me cause to do something with my life. I cannot say I am as good a Christian as I should be, but am working on it. I can say, without a doubt, I am free because Someone Cared. To just have someone show an interest in me, made me show an interest in life.
AWAY IN A MANGER
It was in a Chapel at Soledad I sang that song for the very first time. The words were nice, but they had no real meaning to me. After the song, Chaplain Don spoke on how that event in a manger, that ended with the grown babe on a tree, was all done for ME. The Birth of Jesus was preparation for my salvation.
I sat amazed, hearing in a tone not familar, and a kindness never before felt, the wonderful story of Jesus, ending with "If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, now is the time. I felt strong hands lift me and guide me forward, but there was no one but me. A lot of others came forward and I received "Peace In MY Valley." Don & Yvonne really helped me and so many others.
My Christmas gift to them: I have been out of prison for five years. I have a wife and son and am a church member. I’m off parole and have the Peace that passes all under-standing. Don & Yvonne do so much for us and inmates all over. I pray we will meet again soon under the Tree Of Life.
JESUS SAID "COME TO THE WATER"
I was in and out of jail and prison all my life. Like many, I had practiced Jail House Religion (when it did something for me).
I met the McClures at San Quentin and my train took a different track. Yvonne taught a devotional class and I went to get points for the Parole Board. One morning she looked at me and said "What have you done for Jesus Today?"
I told her I was here.
“Then what has Jesus done for you today?”
I thought, “Well, rumor has it there is going to be a riot and I’m safe here in the Chapel. All I could say is, “I am alive.”
That morning, with 30 men listening, I told all, my past, my present and Yvonne gave me my future.
She taught us that Jesus was not part time. The Bible was His way of teaching us, and learning for us to talk to him. That morning my life changed and Jesus became real.
Don told me to always put myself in each lesson in the Bible. Before Jesus, I was the Jackass that talked. After that I became a New Person In Jesus.
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE COMING SEASON
In the past, Christmas has meant a whole lot of problems for us. Please remember the following:Do not mail anything to your friend unless approved by the prison.
Books that are approved must come from an approved Vendor.
If you want to send a little, a small money order saves a lot of work.
Make it to: The Account of (inmate’s name and number) and enclose it in your letter to your inmate.
The mail room at the prison will forward the money order to the accounting office, and your letter to the inmate with a notification of your gift. Do not send money to us to get money orders; we just don’t have time.
Write the prison and ask what is allowed and follow the rules. If not sure, call the prison and ask someone.
Friends, during Christmas our man hours and costs triple, especially with the postage increase. Please, if you have never supported this ministry, do; if you have extra stamps, send those; and we need prayer that every-thing gets to those to whom it was sent.
BECAUSE HE LIVES
I can face tomorrow. I accepted Christ at Eddyville Prison in Kentucky. My sentence at the time was 100 years. I had been in prison about a year and was about as low as a person could get. I was planning to take my life. I had been out on the yard and overheard a conversation between two lifers. They were talking like they were getting out that very day. I was invited to join. Both men told me they had accepted Jesus and they were content on HIS promises. What promises? They told me the Bible contained for each of us hundreds of promises, all we had to do Is claim them. They explained that if we take the hurt inside and give it to Jesus, and believe HE took it, it is gone. They invited me to a service that night, where I met Don & Yvonne.
Don preached a sermon on “Which Cross Is Mine” out of Mark 8:34,35. He told us Jesus stopped dying to save a convict. He also painted a picture in our mind’s eye of Jesus on the Cross. He told us to close our eyes and keep that picture. Then Don said now look in the eyes of Jesus. He is looking at you here in Eddyville. A warm glow crept through me and for the first time I believed. I’m still serving life but am no longer alone. _What A Friend I Have In Jesus._
SWEET, SWEET SPIRIT
As we end another year we are full of God's Grace. We are really getting settled in our new home, and Jesus has the address. The Ministry is growing so fast we are in constant prayer for assistance. It seems every prison ministry in the U.S. has given our address out for Pen Friends and the response is massive.
We ask again for all reading this to ask your pastor to post a notice Wanted:Pen Friends in your church. Please write for your copy.
We are going to start a fund to put ads in Christian Magazines for Christians to write inmates. You might want to help. If you don’t write one now, will you? If you are already writing an inmate, will you please write one more?
COME TO ME, O LORD
We are getting a huge number of calls from friends and family members, letters and e-mails to visit inmates all over. We need the inmate to write with the request. Then the problem starts.
First, we will get someone near the prison to write as a Pen Friend. When a bond is built, they can get a clearance to visit. It takes a lot of time. The request must come from the inmate, as often friends and family members want this to happen and the inmate does not.
Getting overworked Pastors with a heavy work load to do this is almost impossible. It used to be that a Pastor could visit anyone, but not any more. We have written 40 pastors in the last year asking for them to visit; we got two to go, and six others said they could not. We never heard from the rest.
Blessed Assurance --don't we all need that during the times of uncertainty that we live in? It is nice to settle into our home, and think of family and friends for the Holidays and look forward to that. But I can't help thinking of all those who won't have that, due to circumstances beyond their control. What of the inmates, the homeless, the one-parent families, the ones who are just fortunate if the food truck comes around to give them a little to eat. Those in the Middle East, and actually all around the world never know when they could be shot or blown up, and they may not know Jesus?
I look around and see so much that needs to be done, just to bring a smile to one's weary face! I ask myself what more can I do ? Then reality hits me that I am already treading water to keep up, so best not try too much more for now.
I want to thank all of you who wrote to Don Hawkins, and Governor Keating on his behalf. I talked with Don’s wife this week; she had been telling him that surely some of God's people would come to his help, but they had no idea that we had put it in our newsletter. He wrote and sent to us an article called "Ten Months to Live." It really touched my heart, although my family would tell you I cry very easily, and I did. I'm sure my Don will share more of that with you, but I couldn't help but think what if we knew just how long we had to live, and then life for us would end on this earth? what a sobering question.
Thank You for all the paper Sunshine You keep sending the inmates, and Thank You for your support. We not only need it but greatly appreciate it, May God Richly Bless You!
FAMILY OF GOD
Each year we receive Christmas Gifts from many of you A MITE will do. Also keep in prayer Dr Williard Regester and Noreen; Jean Winter (our newsletter lady); Ronna Coates; Lee and Dannie Sherwood; and all of you. Again we are in prayer to finish still another year in the black, against very tough odds. But God’s will shall be done and again, United We Stand.
Satan will be defeated. Yes, there are wars and rumors of war, earthquakes and storms and the signs God pointed us toward in HIS word.
Because of YOU Someone Cares, and because you do, you will be given the spiritual gift of encourage-ment when you pick up your pen or turn on your word processor. Won’t you be delighted when you grasp the hands of all your inmates and introduce them to Jesus? I can see Him beaming now, your crown in his hands. As He places it on your head, He says those beautiful words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matt. 25:14-23)
When We All Get To Heaven
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
“Ten Months to Live,” the article by Don Hawkins, is before me on my desk as I write this. It is the most peaceful treatise on what it means to die in the love of Jesus, and yet it wrenches my heart to read it, because I’m human and have been writing to him for several years. I’ve never met him, but his letters have been full of Christian hope. He has been my “nephew” all that time, and parting with any of our loved ones is very difficult, especially when we know in advance that unless Governor Keating converts or commutes his sentence, Don now only has about 5-1/2 months to live.
We don’t mourn as do others who have no hope, as Paul says in 1 Thessalo-nians 4, but we do grieve the absence of someone we have talked to and can no longer. Even Jesus wept at the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, so we’re entitled, too.
The cancer of sin has infected our world almost since the beginning of time, causing us grief. Satan’s war with our dear Lord and Savior is almost over now. God has said He’d wipe away all our tears; no more sin, no suffering, no more pain, disease or heartache. It’s so important to make our decision to follow God and keep His commandments; to be on the side that wins.
We plan to let Don do a guest editorial with his article so you’ll have a chance to read it, too. I think it will open all our eyes.
Please, those who haven’t written on Don’s behalf, do so now. The man who went to prison in McAlester, OK, isn’t the same one who is there now. Jesus has changed his heart from stone to flesh. I pray the Governor will be moved to convert the sentence from death to life without parole, so Don can continue his ministry.
Governor Frank Keating
3003 N. Oklahoma Ave.
Oklahoma City OK 71105
Re: Don W. Hawkins
As you drive down the road or look around you, have you ever played the game “We Won’t Have That in Heaven?” How many things can you name?
Cars and bumpy roads
Debt (houses, cars, cards)
Trains, planes, boats
Loud “music” at stop lights
Computers & E-mail