Quietly Changing Lives
WELCOME TO THE GOD SQUAD:
Heaven came down and glory filled our Souls. Our last radio show with Voice of Prophecy was a “TRUE BLESSING”.
To all the new folks we “Prayerfully welcome you” to the Pen Friend Program.
From Pat: I am sending you inmate art as requested, and poems. Look forward to your newsletter and I often post it on the bulletin board at Church.
From Judy: I Praise The Lord for Keith a young white man who was following Islam. In his last letter he said he had been studying and had accepted Jesus as his Savior! He said it was because of writing me. I’m sure it was the Holy Spirit. The book I sent him “Messiah and “Peace above the Storm” helped.
From Ems & John: We are writing as a Pen Friend for Someone Cares Ministry “Paper Sunshine”. My husband and I started writing through you about 4 years ago and really enjoyed being a small part of the journey of some amazing people. They write via e-mail.
Jan sent this: I don’t know why I chose Someone Cares Pen Friend Ministry. I also do not know how our paths crossed. (Simole when he wrote for a Pen Friend, her name was on top of the pile). You, Lee, Kate, Cammron, and Ana are a very special part of my life. Through out Lord Jesus has really shown me someone does care. We may never meet this side of Eternity, but you will be the first people I look for over in Glory. I do not have the words to convey the Joy and Gratitude I have for you reaching out and touching my life. Your labors of love, care and concern are not in vain. Matthew 25: 31-46 Gary.
If all of you would send this to friends and ask them to contact us for a Pen Friend many more can be blest, Don.
From Jim & Judy: I am writing this to thank your Ministry for saving my son. Bob grew up a troubled young man and we turned our back on him. Finally he got into more trouble than he could handle and ended up on Death Row. There he met another inmate connected with your Ministry and he became part of your Paper Sunshine. Also he took part in V.O.P bible study. A group of Bob and six others started in a cell studying God’s word.
We stopped taking collect calls from him but we saw such a change in him, enough to lead us back to God. He called and told us he had received his date to die. He also told us he deserved to die and he would only be gone for a bit and he would see us in Heaven. GOD Bless Your Ministry and thanks for Caring, Judy.
AN OLD OLD STORY:
Many years ago we received a phone call from one of our Pen Friends. If we have favorites he was one. His life had been just terrible and he had more hate in him than any one I had ever been in contact with.
He had written us years earlier asking for a Pen Friend; and reading between the lines I decided to write to him. Using my letters as a chisel I started cutting away the hate. He wrote me and asked if he could have a couple of real folks to write to. I’m not real? I matched him with the next two on top of the pile, a Grandma on the west coast and a group of kids on the east coast. For the next five years, I watched all really leading a hard old con to love and understanding. He got his first birthday cards and Christmas cards from them. Also he accepted Christ and was Born Again. The phone call took us off guard as he told us how happy he was. He also told us that he had finally received his execution date. He said “don’t cry - we did” because of Someone Cares and a grandma and a group of kids the next thing he would see would be Jesus. It makes all this work worth it.
WHISPER A PRAYER!
The backbone of this Ministry has always been prayer. How the world needs Prayer now. So many folks connected with this Ministry have been hurt by the events of the last year - jobs lost, homes lost, loved ones lost.- All needing prayers.
The economy has finally affected us, and we need you to continue praying for us. Some of our supporters have cut back and we sure do understand. If you have never given we can use a MITE. We started this Ministry in a Penny Jar which we still have. Your financial support is needed.
We also need a good used desk top computer and a good used car. Most of all, we do need you. To those of you who do not know, all donations are tax deductible, which can be vital.
Also for several years many of you send a dollar a month - neat.
If you send twelve dollars a year you save $4.62. Another question asked: “Do we accept Tithe? The answer is “Yes”, and we do not solicit it but use it for God’s work.
SENDING FUNDS TO INMATES:
Please before you do this find out what the policy of the prison is. Many prisons are taking a large portion of any money.
In fact with Christmas coming up, check with us before you send anything. E- mail is best, or send a note and we will call you.
WHY WE TRY SO HARD:
Returning from the field I just read your Newsletter (this was a few years ago). I find it extremely interesting and want to highly commend you on what I perceive to be your Ministry. I have known all along from my contacts with both of you, at the last Prison Ministries, meeting with Jose Chavanz, and again with you at Camp meeting, that you were one of the foremost workers in this area in the nation. I am now more convinced than ever.
At this writing I am still gathering information as to what’s happening around the nation and am learning that it is astonishing to note that there is much of this prison work going on, much of it undirected, done by individuals in jails and prisons who are deeply dedicated to this service. I also have learned that many of them have no training or backing by anyone, and on most cases not even the church. There needs to be much more information and/or at least strong moral support, to what people like you are doing.
While there are highly-organized and professional type programs such as you are conducting, there are literally hundreds who do not have the background, experience, or training, which is obvious that you are putting into your ministry. They are the ones who can gain a rich benefit from what you are doing.
As a clear direction becomes apparent, both from the field and the committee here in Washington that has given me the responsibility, we hope to have something meaningful from the field that will lead to a Nationwide Prison Ministry Association, Thanks for sending me all your material, Don & Yvonne. - And I pray God will richly bless you. F. W Pederson
When we received the above letter it put us in a higher gear and a new dedication. Since writing this letter Perry has died. Not much has changed as few organizations are interested in sharing or working together, even though this is what the Lord directs. Prayerfully the Videos will help when we get them finished.
YVONNE HAS HAD ENOUGH:
She is soon to have knee replacement added to all since the auto accident Satan is really trying.
When God is working through all of us and the Holy Spirit is at work lives do become changed. It is true - Satan does try to discourage us, but that just makes me want to grow stronger and work harder, I pray it does the same for each of you.
Recently I have been working on the blue forms that the Pen Friends send back to us. If you use a pen name instead of your own name please make sure the Inmate puts it on the letter to you. If the inmate just puts Someone Cares on the envelope or letter, without a name we do not know where to send it so please double check yourself on this so we may get your letters to you. Also, on the inmate’s response – if you use “grandma” or “grandpa” in the greeting, please let us know who it is.
I would like to welcome all of you who are new to Someone Cares. I know God has a blessing in store for each of us, just keep looking up!
Folks, many have asked if or when we will retire, well let me tell you not until God lets us know. If something should happen to us there will still be a Someone Cares Prison Ministry, God is still in control and I am still waiting for a honeymoon, or vacation, or something. We plan to be around for a long time, and we hope you know that we are here to help you if you need us.
BLUE FORM: I received a really nice letter to Stephana an inmate. The envelope to us had no name or address. There was no addressed envelope to inmate enclosed. The letter was signed L (I Think). If a name had been on the envelope to us I could have looked it up (if returned) on the blue form showing the inmates name and address. Now I add this letter to a large pile we check often to try to send it on. Please place on all mail to us your real name and address. On the enclosed letter to Pen Friend your real name or Pen Name and our address. Tell inmate writing to you that Someone Cares should not appear anywhere on the envelope - just your name or Pen Name and our address. Also we do have a box letter to inmates we can not forward. When choosing a Pen Name if you must make it two real names this is a Pen Friend. Ask your friend to address the letter to you just as you have it to them. This will keep mail moving and save us hours. This Ministry works as we try to follow detail. Please try also.
IS IT TRUE:
My friend told me he has been on lockdown and gets all his meals in his cell - how does this work?
First a lock down, and some of them can be long, is being confined to your cell 24 hours a day. You may be hand cuffed and taken for a shower once a week. It is common to receive all three meals at one time. Something hot and then cold sandwiches (something thrown between two pieces of bread.)
WHAT IS A SHANK? This is a home made weapon. They can be made of paper, plastic wood razor blades. Most inmates have one nearby. PRUNO IS? Cell made wine made various ways - bread, fruit, sugar put in plastic bags and shoved down a toilet to age. At time we used to walk into San Quentin and the smell was everywhere.
A KITE IS? A note flown or carried by a string. If you have a question, ask us and we will answer here from time to time.
AS THE SEASON CHANGES:
There is such beauty. when the colors change. The outdoors has great meaning to me. In the spring we prepare the ground and start planting. Then the joy of growth even with all the work of keeping the ground weed free.- trying to stay ahead of squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks. And knowing with the color change it is again time to prepare for cold weather. Then in a flash it is all bleak and sad.
So many lives are like the seasons. Too often we do not make the right preparation or follow through with things we know we should do. I was able to take a very large area of Ivy and change it into a beautiful flower garden. Most said the ivy would come back and kill all. But I read the instruction book and followed the rules. This year we had a beautiful garden. It will be better next year as not all the bulbs came up. More preparation but we will be ready. God gave us the book and HE put all we are to do in it. HE knew before we started that all the beauty HE had could be seen in us.
Next summer we will show a picture of what God has grown. Sure would be nice if it was from our new home on heaven. Most men and women in prison have not had the experience of all the above. Young folks have never built a tree house; or tied a string between two cans for a phone. I had never flown a kite until I was grown. Is our life so full of stuff that we can not see the beauty?. Do we really need so much more to have happiness? Do you remember the last picnic you went on?, or where you went. Try in your letters to explain to inmates the simple things that can make us so happy.
I remember a Christmas a few years ago where inmates and staff at a prison raised a lot of money. Yvonne and I were given it to make a good Christmas for 3 very poor families. We got the names from the Welfare Department. Each house we went to was full of kids and unhappy people. I was surprised as I watched Yvonne guide them all past expensive things to get them more for less. There were no fathers which was sad. It sure was a lot of work but the best part was getting inmates and staff together to tell stories and show pictures of what their efforts had done. Lots of tears. Sharing is caring the world is so messed up by people trying to get more. What the world needs now is God’s sweet love.
My childhood was not good. I do remember that in foster home I lived in I got a gift - a homemade sweater someone had spent a lot of time on. That’s all, but what a Christmas.
LOVE LIFTED ME:
This last year has brought us so many blessings. To see the Miracle of Yvonne’s rebounding from Kidney failure through worldwide prayer. Sure did not need to finish the year with knee replacement but we are sure that will go well (an extra prayer on Nov 4th)
Is always a nightmare for us. Do not mail anything unless you check with us or the Prison. We have all heard of saws coming into prison via cake, but cakes are not allowed. Christmas cards with a money order is best but check out how this is done as prisons differ. Sending family pictures is neat if you know your friend pretty well. Do not send cash to prison.
GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU, WELCOME THE NEW MEMBERS OF THE GOD SQUAD AND A HUG FOR THE OLD. IT IS TRUE GOD NEEDS YOU