Quietly Changing Lives
We wish Godís Blessing on you and yours. Because of You Someone Cares. Here we go again. Each year when we start, we have the same goal; try to lead as many in prison to Christ as we can and try to recruit as many Christians as we can to help us. Also, we can not stop praying that this will be the year He returns to claim us.
2007 was a banner year for Someone Cares if we equaled what was done last year this year, it would be a true blessing. Especially if each donor gave what they did last year. Our job this year is going to be a bit harder, cut backs in prisons are growing. Positive programs that would help rehabilitate men and women are gone. Conditions are getting much worse as we keep throwing men, women, boys, and girls in for longer periods of time. Like every thing else prison is getting very profi table in the wrong areas. Even positive volunteer programs that work are cut back. So regeneration is the way to set the Captive free.
God is so good and has sent us so many of you to help. We do thank all of you. We hope Prayerfully that you will tell a friend, a group, or your Church about Someone Cares Paper Sunshine.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO MOMS AND DADS GRANDMAS AND GRANDPAS
We grew up in a time where drugs were everywhere. This season passed for awhile, but is coming back. Look for mood swings on your kids learn how to access their computers to see where they are going. 65% of those in Prison are in for drug or alcohol problems. Prison is not a cure for any addiction, as it is as easy to get anything inside as outside, but the price is really high.
The days of ďJust say NoĒ have passed. Positive programs must start in the home. Tim writes, ďI grew up in a home where my folks did drugs and drank. Upper middle class. Easy for me to get started. While they were out of town I had a party and got really high. I woke up in the hospital. Three other kids were not so lucky. I'm in prison now but I can get drugs again but the hurt is still there. I'm 56 and I'm sure drugs will be around". One thing that happened positive is that his mom and dad and sister got into programs and quit, a little too later, but they quit.
Everyone wants to be remembered, free or confined. Itís important to communicate, take the time to drop a line. For those of us imprisoned, cut off from society, a card or just a note, are things we long to see. Be it family or friend or someone we do not know, a message from the outside brings a smile even a tear.
Itís a fight mentally, a challenge for the mind, demanding all oneís resources this thing called doing time. A day to day struggle with thoughts of only home. How are the children, my wife, or my girl. Are they there or are they gone? Some in tears and sorrow, otherís with fear and shame. There are those putting up a front, troubled all the same. Write a letter or note for those of us confined, it could make the difference bring joy or peace of mind.
In and out of prison all my life was my own fault. I was doing hard time. A couple of years ago another inmate told me about Someone Cares.
Yeah sure! But I dropped them a line and got an application saying due to a shortage of writers (free folks) there would be a delay. I sent it in. I was cat napping when I heard my name called? A letter for me. The guard handed me the letter, I was shocked and had tears in my eyes. It took me hours to open up that letter. Inside was the key to unlock my Hard time.
A couple named Stewart and their two kids had all written me. Each said they would
pray for ME! Folks, I was a really bad person and had done some bad things. But it
did not take many letters to find out I could give my past away and be born again. For
the first time in my life I feel clean. If you care, join Someone Cares.
NEW MISSION FIELD
The Pen Friend program is really growing. We are going to try to get 100 groups, Senior groups, Ladies and mens clubs, Churches to adopt and write 100 inmates great for Sabbath and Sunday Schools. If not a 100 and only one that helps.
Yvonne and I just pre recorded a radio show to be aired around the world the week of February 18th (Yvonnes Birthday the 20th). We are asking you to get groups together I will send a CD of the radio show and either myself and Yvonne or Lonnie Melashenko of Voice of Prophecy will call during the playing of the CD to encourage the group. We again are indebted to Voice Of Prophecy for doing this for us at no charge. Visit their web page VOP.COM say HI. We are also looking to set up a special fund to help the many fixed income folks who want to write with Postage. MARY wrote us this letter. ďI have been writing through your organization for a long time. With everything getting so expensive I can now only handle one inmate.Ē I called her and we sent her twenty inmates names and the stamps to handle.
Many have Computers and can write a lot of inmates. One couple has a neat system, they write a format letter, then each letter is personalized. We then snail mail letters to inmates and snail mail inmates responses to free person. LINDA wrote, ďJesus has been trying to capture my heart in this Prison Ministry. I care deeply for each person I write. My regret is financially, Iím unable to take more.Ē Well ladies call us when you read this and we are sure God will help us supply your needs.
WHAT A TRUE BLESSING
I had written a bunch of organizations, many did not respond. Many wanted a fee. I wrote Focus On The Family and they referred me to you. I got an application and sent it on, a week later I got a letter from a Pen Friend. Someone Cares is a proper name for you all. Since then, 22 guys on my run have gotten letters, and we have our own Bible study with lessons you provided. We thank Someone Cares and Focus on the Family.
GOD IS SO GOOD
We are often asked, how can you work with those kind of people? Or worse than that we donít want those kind of people in our Church! Having been once one of those people it is easy to answer. I am not proud of what I have done prior to Christ coming into my life. Using my past does make what we have done for so many years easier.
Often an inmate will tell me you donít know what its like here. I can assure them, I do. Once we were invited to speak at a Church no one knew us. I dressed like a bum, Yvonne not as bad. The greeters did not greet us. In the study everyone moved. After the group many were shocked when the Pastor introduced us and as I was, I preached HIS words, I was in Prison and you visited me not, and then the penalty.
Some men and women in prison will never change, especially if no one attempts to help. We have walked the cell blocks of many prisons, talked with Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and many more of the infamous convicts. We have seen men killed and those that have killed themselves. Most in Prison will be free someday, do we want them as they were as they are or as they can be through HIM? Join us to help make a difference. With us give God the Glory and because of you Someone Cares. Hand by hand we will stand doing Godís command.
A few clues to make ďPaper SunshineĒ glow with HIS love. With major cut backs over crowding is terrible, conditions worse. Often locked in cells 24/7 with no radio or TV. This can make communication difficult. Things we take for granted pen, paper, stamp, they cannot get. We are used to writing and getting an answer, we must be understanding. If they ask for anything especially money and you are not comfortable, be open an honest.
Many take friendship for love, we will help if that happens. Most are in some way abused and kindness is a new thing. Do not ask why they are in prison and be honored if they tell you. Do not bombard them with religion until you get to know them. Writing through us we will guide all. If things get out of hand we will rematch you and take the problem inmates ourselves. Some in Prison really know the bible so if you need help ask your Pastor or us.
IN 2007 WILL BE IN NEXT
UP DATE ON ACCIDENT
Yvonne, who really went through a lot with two surgeries, is doing pretty well. Keep her in your Prayers, please. I have not had surgery as, Doctors advise that surgery may not be wise for me. We thank you for all your prayers and cards. We could use a good used car if you have one to donate.
I would like to personally thank all of you for your prayers and cards after the accident. As we all start a New Year, let us all remind ourselves, to pray each day and to at least try to witness to someone each day. It would be easy to come up with excuses why we canít do it, however, I would rather accept the challenge, and try to do more than one a day.
Even a smile can move walls. Take a chance and try, if you donít try you will never know? I visited a gang leader after a riot and asked him if I could pray for God to forgive him. The stunned look was priceless, but we did pray. Paper Sunshine brings much more in prison than you would think. I have seen smiles, tears, and some who just canít believe that someone would take the time to write to them. May God Bless each of you through out this New Year!
WE NEED SOME HELP AGAIN
This program is pretty simple to do but often we rush and forget. Many of you have written an inmate and forgotten to tell us you used a pen name. I have a pile of letters we sure would like to deliver. Many of you forgot to return the Blue form. Listed below are the inmates names who have written to some of you out there please claim.
Argonmiz, R Blanchard Sue Clevenger, James Coleman, Ed Cotton, Mike Davis, Sherman Dean, Anthony Demarco, L Esperza, Foster M Galaway, Ken Griffi n Genn Grimsley, R Guice, Andy HolmesMike Jerman Isacc Rutherford, Willima Jackson, John Kunco, Rudy Lopez L.M Martinez Barry Mcdonald, A Montoya Pascal Morgan, Juan Munoz D Norwood Brenda Oliver Alex Paban. Calvin Payton Gordon Perrish Julius Phillips, Bruce Prather, Larry Pratt, Allen Romano, Bobby Rodriquez, Charles Sturgeon, Michael Scott, William Shaw, Bennie Shell, Chris Smith Roy Tolly John Turner, Gene Tully Chris Yeatts
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED
How do we send things to our Pen Friend? The toughest question first. Every prison has different rules. Books must come from a vendor (book store) and must not be hard back. Can we send money? No. You can send a money order but you must find out from prison how. When funds are sent to a prison they are not given to inmate but put in an account. From old movies you may have seen cakes, with saw blade. Drugs are smuggled into prison in a lot of ways. Do not put stickers on envelope or letter the glue is a good way to get drugs in. My Pen Friend asked if I would call his wife, folks or friend. Be very carefull as this may be a way to get messages passed. My Pen friend asked me to write a letter to Parole Board is this ok. Yes but I doubt if it will be read. My Pen Friend is an artist and he/she want me to sell his/her stuff. Anything they would like you to do involving money get written permission. If you are not sure call us or Prison. I am matched with a guy who asks in every letter for something. Contact us and we will handle problem.
WE HAVE ONE PROBLEM If you use a Pen Name tell us. Your letter to inmate should be to them with their name, number and address. Their letter to you should be to you real or Pen Name and out address.
Someone Cares should not be anywhere on the envelope. If you use a Pen name make it two names.