Quietly Changing Lives
This is the 31st Christmas newsletter we have written. The gift of Jesus has made this ministry grow. Along with Christians of all Faiths and members of almost every known religion around the world, we end the year with many true blessings—all a part of this ministry and all friends. We are blessed that prayers go forward around the world for this ministry and for all of us. God is so good, and we pray you and yours are bles-sed by God above.
We have a list of folks we know, all written in a book.
Every year at Christmas time, we go and take a look.
That is when we realize these names are a part,
not of the book or computer they are written in, but of our hearts.
Each name stands for someone who has crossed our path sometime,
While it sounds fantastic for us to make this claim,
We feel we are composed of each remembered name.
While you may not be aware of any special link,
just meeting you has changed our lives,
A lot more than you think..
For once we have met someone by phone, computer or in person, It has changed our lives much more than you might think.
No matter how we’ve met someone,
The years cannot erase,
The memory of a friendly voice, a pleasant word or a friendly face.
So please don’t think of a Christmas greeting as a mere routine,
Not just a name, on a list, forgotten in between.
For when we send a Christmas message, it is sent to you and yours,
Taken from a list of folks we are indebted to.
You happen to be one of those we prefer not to forget. Even if we have known you for many years or just a few,
You are a part of shaping the things we do.
The best thing in life we have is knowing folks like you.
May the spirit of Christmas that forever endures,
leave the richest of blessing to both you and yours
Christmas in prison is not a real good time for inmates.
Yvonne and I have spent 20 Christmases in prison trying to make the services very special. It’s not always easy, preaching Christmas Eve and twice Christmas day. One Christmas we spent preaching and working on a sweat lodge for Indian inmates. Our favorite was spent in Kentucky. We put on a Christmas program for Death Row inmates. We even talked the Warden into letting as many as possible of inmates’ family members, be present. The Holy Spirit blessed.
Then in Michigan, the in-mates and staff of a prison raised a lot of money. Working with the Welfare Department, we picked two families with nothing, and we mean nothing, and made a Christmas few will forget. We were allowed to bring the family to meet the inmates, and staff.
Another year we spent in a Prison for Youth in Paso Robles, California. We had a Pot Luck with home made food and gifts. Lots of tears flowed from those tough street kids, We shed a few, too. We sang Carols and I was surprised most knew the words.
One very cold winter, we spent time on several yards at Soledad, caroling. We could look up at the cell windows where we watched and heard the inmates who sang with us. We had not intended to be very long but it was several hours, and many sore throats later that we left.
I remember when I was locked up so many years ago. A man came by and gave me a packet. He asked if I wanted to pray with him, I refused rather rudely and he went his way with a “God Bless You.” Little did I know that blessing would be God putting us into this ministry and getting to know you. I pray some day to meet that person here or in Heaven.
BECAUSE OF YOU SOMEONE CARES!
We have received so many blessings all these years. We started with our first Faith Partner. Then, there were two folks from our Sunnyvale, California church who would write one inmate. I learned God’s word with the help of Yvonne and many dedicated, concerned Christians, spend-ing hours in God’s Word and calling friends at odd hours if I did not understand something. When God called me to prison to teach His word, I said, “I can’t do that!”
Then He spoke to my heart, reminding me that His Love took me away from a very sordid past. I was also reminded that if ever asked to do anything in the name of Jesus, say “I’ll be happy to.” Now we are, to the best of my knowledge, somehow in every prison in the U.S. Our support all comes from free-will offerings from all over the world.
When I was asked to preach for the first time in prison I said, “No, I don’t know how.” Again, He reminded me that HE was in control.
With no formal training, I have now preached in hundreds of churches. When I left a secure job on faith, I woke up realizing we had no income. The cattle on a thousand hills? Yes, but!? Yvonne said, “Well, put on a program and preach in a church.
Plans were made and I went to a small California church. All I remember was that one showed up. The offering: $55.00 Amen.
There was a Pot luck and an afternoon program, Yvonne and several members went door to door and we had an audience of18 and a $77.00 offering.
We started as a “Widow’s Mite ministry,” now a “Widow and Widowers” Thanks to God, with your help, we keep on growing.
One lady has given us $1.50 a month for 26 years; care to join her? As the year ends we pray your giving includes this ministry all donations are tax deductible. We mail year-end receipts in our February newsletter. With loving prayers, we pray that next year you continue helping this ministry.
From a cradle in a manger to His place in Heaven, we pray God does touch each of you. HE looks at the world we live in, and following HIS word, HIS promise to return. We pray that return is soon and that we are all ready. We know that many of you enjoy HIS Grace, and all of us need HIS love.
All my life I have been grateful for being raised a Christian. My parents, Clyde and Vera Groomer, were known by many of you and were not happy when Don and I met, and and especially that I was dating him.
Then when Don accepted Christ and we were married and then led into Prison Ministry, they were not sure how the story might end.
The fast lane of Don’s world took him and me to the very gates of Hell. From everything, we had nothing. Talk about the gutter, but in that gutter Don reached out and was led to Christ by Euell Atchley. From Crime to Christ and The foot of the Cross. Don was baptized and I was re-baptized, then God took control and HE has led us all the way. They saw the growth of Someone Cares and were blessed when Don was ordained.
We all do different jobs, one of mine is handling the Pen Friend requests. A letter we’ve received is like none we have ever received. Don usually takes the real hard core in-mates.
This man is 70 years old, and has been in prison for a long time. Now he is dying of cancer. He has served his time but has no place to parole to, so he will die in prison all alone. He is from Wisconsin, in prison in Arizona. He does not want to die alone and be buried in a Potters grave, forgotten.
He has a married son Donald Dean Krug. The inmate’s name is Lawrence Krug. His daughter, Debbora Lynn Krug, is now married but he does not know her new name.
This is a common occurrence that an inmate loses contact with family a long time ago. We ask your prayers that somehow we can find his family before he dies; better yet, before Christmas.
Might you send him a Christmas Card?Lawrence Krug 30052
Box 24406 , 3 D 14,
Tucson AZ 85734-4406
Put your name and our address as a return. Pray that somehow we can provide him a decent burial.
SICK AND IN PRISON
We are told by Jesus in Matthew, “Inasmuch as you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to me.”
Jesus stopped dying on the cross to save a convict.
In Hebrews we are told “to remember the convicts as if chained with them.”. In the prison where we minister, as well as the prisons of many addictions, are many deep in darkness. We can help, bringing them into the light. To be free in Jesus is to be free indeed.
We realize not all of you can go into prison. We also know that many of you can not help support the growth of this ministry and even the talent of Paper Sunshine for some is difficult. Our Pen Friend program has changed the lives of many a convict, male and female. Through your prayers all can give, and we ask for them.
As we do each year, may next year bring the return of Jesus. God bless each of you and yours.
MAY THE LORD BLESS THE GOD SQUAD
“When I listened to your broadcast years ago I never knew that my family and I would be so blessed. We started off with a donation because we believed in what you were doing, and believed God had a priority in Prison Ministry. We never knew how hard our family would be hit by Satan. Our son got mixed up with drugs and then got in serious trouble. We tried our Pastor and church; but instead of help, we got snubbed. I called and chatted with Yvonne and she then turned us over to you.
Don,. You gave us wise counsel and we took it. You helped Jim in prison and us out of Prison. The surprise came from a person you had visit our son. They led him to Christ. This got us back in the church—a different one! Last Christmas we all got together, with Jim released. Jim, my husband and I, and Randy and June are all members of the God Squad. If others are looking for a ministry to support, Someone Cares and Voice Of Prophecy are spots to check out.
LEARNING HOW TO SERVE GOD
Before I came to prison I didn’t know much about God. I didn’t know how HE loved me or what His word said, much less how to apply His word to my life. Now I want to learn as much as I can so I will know how to serve HIM. Being locked up has turned out to be a positive experience for me. I thank God for People like you who reach out to people like me.
GOD SHOWED HIS LOVE
Prison is so empty, and full of lost souls, and I was one of them. I had lost contact with the outside world. Loneliness is cruel and a part of me. After 40 years of worldly sinning, I found God through Voice Of Prophecy. I believe God has forgiven me for my sins and pray the free world will, also.
I WAS LOST, BUT NOW I’M FOUND.
A year ago my folks were watching a Three Angels Broadcast on TV. They saw you and your wife. They learned about Paper Sunshine and sent the information to me. I wrote and got a Pen Friend and enrolled in a Bible Study through Voice Of Prophecy. Put Someone Cares with Voice Of Prophecy and you get Three Angels leading me to Glory. Thank you, Jesus.
Yvonne and I add a note: Since God led us to this ministry, and directed us in running it, HE showed us the need to work with other ministries. Since day one we have been blessed with working with all those we can connect with. Uniting Christian organizations more will enhance the second coming of Christ. Will you join us.?
This is one of the busiest times of the year for all of life on earth. The birds were scolding the cats today; squirrels and chipmunks have been busily gathering food in their store-houses, chattering loudly when a human or animal approaches.
Isn’t it amazing how we feel the need to prepare ourselves for snow storms, or stuff any cracks where cold air might come in?
Some of our Pen Friends in prison aren’t given warm enough coats they need to go from their units to the chow hall and some facilities crowd the inmates at too-small picnic tables with a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes in which to wolf down their food and be on their way back to their units. Not all prisons operate in such barbaric conditions. It does seem, however, that the object of incarceration is to crush the souls of those who should be taught how to behave in a respectful way toward their neighbors.
There are a few model facilities that promote the practice of ethical standards. I have a video in my library that demonstrates how a prison should be run. Inmates have worship every a.m., address each other with respect, eat wholesome food with the best of manners, go to school, learn a trade, and are ready for release when the time comes.
There are two sides to this prison; word gets around about the “good side” and there’s a waiting list of the “regular side” tenants who want to transfer.
We all want to be respected in society. There are those kids who grow up with guns, ready to take offense at a glance or greeting. The flagship news station out of Detroit, for example, has a daily litany of “war stories.” Few have a concept of earning an honest living, but prey on people who are living upright lives. In one instance a customer wanted to buy a taco, which he did every day, but found that the price had gone up a few pennies from the day before. An argument ensued, and the customer shot the store owner!
Adults and children alike take their lives in their hands if they need to cross a street. A driver who is drunk, on drugs, or just plain in a bad mood, believes the road was built for him or her, careens around the corner or through an intersection, killing an innocent human being.
Even in prison, each inmate has an assigned amount of space in the cell. Anyone who risks “crossing the line” risks a fight, a serious injury, and a major ticket to the hole. With today’s overcrowding, tempers flare over issues that would be ignored on the outside.
Paper Sunshine is a vital part of keeping things calm in a world of turmoil. Helping an inmate by sending your letters of encouragement can help keep a lid on violence within the walls. Let your inmate know that he or she is on your prayer list, and that you are on theirs. Even people who are outside the walls need to know they are being prayed for.
This newsletter was created in November so it will reach you in December. Please pray for your inmate on Thanksgiving, put a place card at your table, perhaps even take a picture of the empty space at the place setting that was reserved for your Pen Friend. If you have a lot of family present, a card with everyone’s signatures would be another way to let your Pen Friend know you cared.
My favorite holiday is Thank-you-giving, because it doesn’t create the demand for “things” as other holidays do. A favorite aunt just had her 87th birthday and we had a wonderful family get-together to celebrate.
May you have a wonderful holiday season, and a year full of blessings. Perhaps this next year will be when Jesus comes. The prison doors will fly open and we can go home, our sentences finished.