Quietly Changing Lives
I personally want to thank each and every one of you for the cards, donations, and most of all the prayers. I felt God�s strength keeping me together and calming me. I cannot say that I don�t have my moments. Roleen was the youngest at only 47 years old, and when she walked into the room it was like sunshine and happiness, and wanting everyone else that way. She was a very good cook and full of fun. Thank you so much for your sympathy, it has been of great help. Now it is time to share the sunshine that she would want us to, with all those we come into contact with on a daily basis. Please accept this as a thank you note.
THANK YOU, FRIENDS
In the middle of our sorrow we received a call from Connie Jeffries from Voice of Prophecy, whose radio show we were on and through which many of you came to Someone Cares. We are touched that Connie, Ken and Lonnie all put prayers out on our behalf. They also put a bug in my ear to finish a long over due book called Broken Pieces, or Steps to Christ. Maybe someday�
SIDE BY SIDE WE STAND
Over many years and through many blessings and trials Yvonne and I have stood side by side. With God�s direction we have been able to bring HIS word to every prison in the United States. We get the credit, but it is all of You who deserve it. During our time of grief your prayers were so very important. Sharing our grief with your inmate friend brought prayer from behind many prison walls.
We now know that God approved our move, as with the move came more expansion and more involvement from churches. During all this I had a birthday, and love the numbers that I turned � 77. I am also impressed with my recent doctor�s visit where I received a pretty clean bill of health. However, a bit of knee surgery may be coming up.
God is so good. He took a sinner such as me, putting me together with an Angel (Yvonne) to start Someone Cares, where we get to experience the glow of Paper Sunshine. All this is possible because we were willing servants. God needs more servants: � 1,000 Christians to write inmates, or 1,000 of you to write one more inmate. � We have a lot of videos we would like converted to dvd, and then edited into a 2 hr. program that could be shown in churches.
ALL FAITHS CHAPEL
Someone once told us that our All Faiths� Chapel, where non-Christians and those of other faiths were welcome, was not biblical. Was that judgment based on the old saying, �ignorance is bliss?�
We would walk the halls of many a prison to invite all who would come to Chapel, and if necessary we would have �Chapel� right there in front of their cell. No one was excluded.
John was an atheist who came to our Chapel and is a Pastor today. Barbara was a Muslim who was serving a life sentence. She came to Yvonne�s chapel, and today is free and teaching a Sunday school class. Steve was a high priest in the Church of Satan, who became a believer and was baptized by Bill Moors, the Chaplain at Vacaville. Is there anyone who cannot be saved? Is God willing that any should perish? Will Ted Bundy be in Heaven?Religion or Jesus?
Many folks think their church is the only one going to Heaven, but�surprise! Churches don�t get people to Heaven, Jesus does! �Religion� in prison has led a lot of men to serious problems. We must remember to not let our doctrine be a barrier, but use it only as a bridge to Jesus.
Some are confused about
what religion is. Scripture says,
�Pure religion and undefiled
before God and the Father is
this, to visit the fatherless and
widows in their affliction, and
to keep oneself unspotted from
Is this telling us to visit only orphans and widows? Or is the message here that pure religion is caring for those who are helpless, lonely, hurting and alone?
HELP THE HELPLESS
As God works on putting the broken pieces of this world together, we must remember that HE gave this earth to Satan, and then HE commissioned us to take it back. One place we can start is in our churches, from the leadership down. Too often money guides the direction of the Church. I do not like to repeat myself, but...
Many years ago we were asked to put on a stop smoking clinic. I said we would if it included substance abuse, but was told the church did not want those kinds of people in it. I at one time was one of those kinds of people. We are used to hearing that kind of thing, but we were sad to hear that later the head elder�s son went to prison for substance abuse. Could we have reached him? If you can�t get into the gutter, you can�t get those out of the gutter.
While I was in a small town, I picked up a phone book and called all the churches. Seventy- two percent were not open and only nine had answering machines. I would be interested if you would ask your Pastor if they have had any training in worldly matters. Have they been to A.A., E.A. or N.A. meetings? Or visited the local jail? Everyone says, just say no. Then what?
JUSTICE OR JUST US
We received a letter back from an inmate as the prison decided that only folks having a Visitor�s Pass can write. What? Ninety-eight percent of you will never be able to visit your Pen Friend. If this happens to you let us know, and we will take on another State. Also, you can write a letter to the Prison Chaplain and explain how this Ministry works and how it is risk free.
Some people get the impression that we defend convicts. We are sure you understand our position by now, that we do not tolerate crime; but God called us to Prison Ministry, and that is where many criminals live (some live near you). They are sinners who need to be saved by grace, just like the rest of the lost.
LETTER FROM THE INSIDE
Hey There, Someone Cares.
I read each note and a feeling I had never had came over me. These folks, a family, really cared. Never knew my dad, do not think my mom could name him either. It took me two days to write them. They said they were �entering a world unknown� to them. Boy, so was I. Yvonne, you slapped my wrist a couple of times when I tried to get stuff from them. Don, you straight-out told me the only chance I ever would have to get out and stay out was through Jesus. Well, you were right and I have been free for a month. Was glad to hear I could write my friends still, although they are coming to visit me. I would never have blinked but when they told me about your daughter getting murdered, I was so sad. Because of you, I care. God Bless, Vic Salvador.
MY NAME IS NOT IMPORTANT
Yes, it is. His name was Richard, and I met him at Soledad after he attempted to take his life. He had gotten Aids from being gang raped because he didn�t do what they told him. He was turned into a punk to be used by other men. It took a good warden, a transfer, and a loving church to turn him around. They showed him that someone cares.
The scars ran deep, but were healed through the love of Christ. We had prayer with him just before he died. His prayer was that God would reach those who had killed him.
Zach was a country boy who grew up in total poverty. He worked on a farm and was not schooled. He ran away form home and ended up in prison. He could not read or write, but he could sing and he knew Jesus.
He found the Lord in everything he did and saw, even prison food. No matter who you were he told you Jesus loved you. Hector was a gang member and made fun of Zach. One day he gave Hector a rose, telling him God had made it just for him. This unlikely duo became friends�a real odd couple. In a gang fight Hector was stabbed 13 times. We got permission to take Zach to the hospital to visit. Zach told Hector that he had prayed all night for him and asked Hector to accept Jesus. Zach said, �You have to, or we won�t be in Heaven together!�
�What do I have to do?� Hector whispered. Zach said, just believe in him and that HE will take your sins away. With a feeble smile, and the words �I believe,� Hector died. �Now he will not suffer and we will all be together soon,� said Zach.
I�ve asked God to find us a special fishing hole in Heaven and I know HE will. Amen. We lost track of Zach, but wherever he is he is telling others of his friends Hector and Jesus. Yvonne had asked Zach how he knew about Jesus. He took her to a flower bed and said, �Jesus did that.� He then pulled out a weed and said, �Satan did that. If it�s pretty, Jesus did it.� What a messenger.
UPDATE ON BOBBY WELLS
You may recall us telling you about Bobby, a one time general contractor and a hard working man who fixed our mobile home in Arizona (which has sold). He found the Lord again and has joined a church. But he was out of work for so long he has been evicted from his home.
He is honest, hard-working man who really cares, and he needs a job. It hurts me to think that he and his dog had to pull a beat up car into the woods to make a home. We would bring him here with us, but as he says about Arizona, �Born here, bred here, and when I die I�ll be dead here.�
PEN FRIEND PROGRAM, aka �PAPER SUNSHINE�
Sandy called to thank us for the Paper Sunshine. She�s been going into prisons for years teaching a Bible class. But the rules say she cannot have one-to-one individual time with the inmates in her class.
Reaching in so they can have a positive connection with the outside world is so important. Being able to continue writing after being released has kept many inmates from returning to prison.
Sandy asked me to remind our pen friends to keep it simple. Most inmates have no Bible, most prisons have no library and Chaplains have little budget. If you want to find other ways to help, call the Chaplain of your pen friend�s prison and ask what their needs are and how you can help.
As a side note, it may surprise some inmates to know that we have almost 50 correctional officers writing to inmates at other prisons.
Once again, please tell your pen friend to address their envelope to YOUR FULL NAME ONLY with our P.O. Box�and the name �Someone Cares� should NOT be in the address at all. We have so many letters addressed only to �Someone Cares� without your names, so we don�t know who they belong to.Getting Organized.
There are so many inmates who want a pen friend, and each time we get a request we pray that we find a writer. With Ronna and Jake�s help (our daughter and grandson), we are moving pen friend requests along, as well as updating our records. We have found many who wrote but then quit, and we would like to know why?
We know we have made some mistakes in the past, and we are working to correct them. We have all new forms, thanks to our friend Nancy. We have more helpers now, and offers to start up Someone Cares Charter Groups, which I will cover next month, so things are continuing to move in the right direction.
We Want Your Stories.
We would like you to share your experiences, good or bad, with us. Tell us the lessons you�ve learned, the mistakes you or we have made, or what impact your pen friend relationship has had on you. Please send your stories to us by mail or email.
We could use a good used car. Also a computer, lap top preferably or desk top.EACH ONE REACH ONE! WE WILL THEN SEE JESUS!