Quietly Changing Lives
We all make a great team. We would like to share the togetherness that has made this Ministry last so long. It does bother us that you do much of the work and provide donations, and we get the credit.
When you receive this newsletter, I will have had surgery for a total knee replacement. It will be a bit hard to walk the yards in prisons, but I will. Join us?
THE PEN FRIEND PROGRAM GETS HELP
Funds for Stamps. Joining Steve and Victoria are Larry and Mona, Carol and Wisdom. Their special donation will help provide stamps to so many who, because of this bad economy, cannot afford them; especially those who write to a bunch of inmates. These funds will also help the inmates whose prisons no longer provide postage. If you wish to join in this effort, just mark your donation.
Faithful Pen Friends. This neat couple writes a lot of inmates and wants 100 more! This is their Ministry, and boy, do we wish there were more like them.
Faithful Giver. A friend who had supported us for years lost his job, and he began writing as a way of giving, since he can no longer afford to give financially. Giving will get no one into heaven, but the giver will be rewarded.
Happiness is to know the Savior. This program was developed to lead inmates to Christ. It is crime prevention and it gives Church members something to do for the Lord.
We are perplexed when we learn about Churches stopping programs and Church members doing nothing for the Lord. Writing is not easy, but neither is knocking on doors, passing out pamphlets, or all the other things we could be doing for the Lord. Take GOD and make “Go Do” out of HIS name.
HELP WITH VOP RADIO SHOW, PLEASE!
For five days during the last week of October, the 25th-29th, and again during the week of November 29th-December 3rd, you can hear us on Christian Radio via the Voice of Prophecy (VOP) show. You might not get the station, but you can go online 24 hours a day to hear the program featuring Someone Cares Prison Ministry, at www.vop.com. If you miss our program any day during those weeks, after the last show on Friday you can hear all five broadcasts.
Help Us Spread the Word. Reaching a large, new audience is our prayer since we are in such great need of more writers to answer the hundreds of inmates awaiting pen friends. The internet is such a powerful tool, and if Facebook, Twitter and email users would send a message to everyone in their address books, we could literally reach thousands. Wouldn’t that be an answer to prayer!
First of all, if you have never heard any of these VOP radio broadcasts featuring our Ministry, be sure to follow the instructions below to listen to one of the archived programs. After you do, you will definitely want to share this information with others to help this Ministry prosper!
Here are some ways you can help spread the word:
Play an audio of one or more of the broadcasts in your Church, or for any group that you belong to.
To download the audio file and copy it to a disc or flash drive, go online to www.vop.com and click on the “Broadcasting” tab for program choices. If you visit the site on one of the days our show is airing, click the link for “Today’s Radio Program,” then “Play.” It will ask you to save the audio file (choose a file where you can easily find it later). Once it’s been saved, burn it to a disc or copy it to a flash drive or mp3 player. If you visit the site after the week that our new show is aired, click on “Program Archives,” then “Broadcast Archives – 1999 to Present.” Choose 2010, and either October or November for the most recent programs. Or, choose 2009 September or October for last years’ shows. Save the files as indicated above.
Send a mass email to everyone in your address book to let them know about the VOP program. Here’s a sample email message you can send:
Hi Friends, I would like to encourage you to listen to a radio broadcast regarding an important ministry I am a part of—Someone Cares Prison Ministry (SCPM). During the week of October 25-29, please visit www.vop.com, then click on Broadcasting to find the latest radio interview between Voice of Prophecy (VOP) and the founders of SCPM. Listen for yourself to find out why I believe in this “crime prevention” ministry. I think you’ll be blessed by the broadcasts, and perhaps you’ll want to be a part of this ministry, too! (P.S. Don’t worry if you forget to visit VOP during the week mentioned. You can always listen to broadcasts from the Program Archives.)
(NOTE: Send the above email again in November, and change the dates to November 29th – December 3rd.)
Facebook and Twitter users can add a VOP link to their pages and send a message to friends.
Visit www.vop.com and click on “Network With Us” to find links to VOP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow the prompts to add their web page link to your home page (become a fan, like, etc.). Then write a message on your home page to let everyone know about Someone Cares and why they should listen to the VOP interview broadcasts (see sample email message above).
One of the best parts of what we do is hearing from those who have been reached through the efforts of the God Squad and Paper Sunshine.
I have been raised a Christian since birth, gone to Church for 70 years. But until we joined hearts with Jesus I had never done anything for Jesus. To be a part of the God Squad is an honor and I really think all six of my boys (inmate pen friends) think the same. I learned that just going through the motions is not the way, but picking up HIS cross and getting splashed with HIS shed blood. Thank you, Jesus!
From Elsie: What a great work you are doing, may God Bless you as you continue to “love your neighbor.” As well as helping you I was able to place two satellite dishes. Fifty inmates have done Bible studies and 20 want baptism. I misplaced the last name you sent, can you send another?
From Joyce: Every time I get your newsletter I get excited and it blesses my heart. You folks do so much with so little. I am a former Pen Friend but I am sorry to say I never wrote the last names you sent me. I was going through some very tough times. Please forgive me for being so slack, and could you give me another chance and send a couple of names? I also will continue to lift this ministry up in prayer.
Joyce, of course you are forgiven, as are others who have done the same (quit or never started writing). Please see page 4, as we are looking for homes for many inmates who have written but we know not to whom.
From an Inmate: Over the years we have met thousands of inmates who we have grown close to. We received a letter from one today we wish to share:
I do hope and pray that all is well and you’ve somewhat settled in your new location. I have never forgotten either of you and your spirited uplifting of so many of us here at San Quentin, spiritually and physically. Our mutual friend told me you wanted to talk with me on the phone. This would be a joy…
The phone system here is run by gangs, yes inmates. When this gets changed I will arrange a call to you wonderful and loving friends. I am sure God has plans for me and nothing to do with this dreadful place. I do love the McClure family who is like my family as well. I write several folks thanks to them and was concerned and know about the medical.The reason we wanted to talk to this man (who we will not name because he is willing to speak up about terrible conditions) is because he is a big reason this Program is growing. He is a long time, true friend like many other inmates we have met who lead very productive lives and do much for other inmates. Your letters could help others do the same.
We received a letter to a Pen Friend that shocked even me, describing in graphic detail what sexual things his father did or made him do as a very young boy. I have suggested that the Pen Friend take a new inmate to write to and let us handle this man.
This brings up a difficult question – have other letters like this fallen through the cracks, being forwarded on to you without being read by us because of too much mail? Have some of you received shocking letters? If so, we sincerely apologize. The growth of this Ministry is not going to stop, and changes need to be made to cut back on the hours it takes to read through all the mail.
Here’s What You Can Do: If your relationship with your inmate friend is good and you don’t mind getting mail without it being read, please tell us. This would cut back on our workload by quite a bit. A reminder – your mail is never read by us, so please seal your letter and make sure your full Pen Name and our address are in the return address spot.
Do not put stickers on letters or try to send inmates a stamped envelope; many put on too much postage, so please be good stewards and send us the stamps, and we will save money.
Speaking of stamps, we were donated a lot of old stamps. If there are any collectors out there who could sell them for us, this would be a great help.
BLESSINGS NEVER CEASE
In June, my birthday month, we got mail from inmates in 33 States, and received thanks for Paper Sunshine from family members of inmates and also from Chaplains.
I thought back to a birthday in 1949 when I was 16 and had a date that must be kept with another gang leader. This was a time when weapons were switch blades, brass knuckles, or zip guns made of wood, metal, a rubber band and bullet. We chose bare knuckles. A fight between two became a mini riot with much bloodshed, but no one was killed. So much hate— the same hate breeding in our prisons, and the same gang warfare.
We are overjoyed that over the years we have helped Jesus lead men and women away from these gangs. Every now and then someone from my past who hears of me through radio or TV calls to ask if I’m the same guy they knew. I am the same person, but cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I once tried to find the guys I ran with, worked with or partied with. I found three of them, but found there was nothing left of our friendship – all the other 37 were dead.
LOST & FOUND
The following inmates have written letters that we cannot match, and we would love to have them claimed. If you recognize any of these names please contact us immediately so we can find homes for these letters:
TO Janis Palmer, FROM
Addressing Envelopes: Tell your Pen Friend to address your letter to (a) your pen name, which must consist of two names, a first and last – not just Ann or Rob; or (b) your real full name. Under that should be our address (but without our name “Someone Cares”).