Quietly Changing Lives
I became a Christian when I was in my early forties. From that moment on I accepted Christ and I devoured HIS word and set out to share it with anyone who would listen. Most of them ended up being in prison. My early life experiences and being born again made this easy for me. I had walked Satanís turf, and now was called to dig it up. All led me to the joy of HIS second coming and all who have learned that ďevery knee shall bend and every tongue confess.Ē His shed blood would be going with him to fulfill HIS most important promise. It is hard to find happiness in the turmoil everywhere that we find ourselves in. But happiness is to know the Savior. Amen
We added over three thousand inmates to our Pen Friend Program, almost one thousand Bible Studies were completed, and about one thousand inmates accepted Christ. We ended the year in the red for the first time ever by just a bit, but we were blessed by the addition of many new faith partners. Nearly two thousand prayer requests were asked and all that we prayed for was granted. One of our prayers is that all who are receiving this will join us in some way, by becoming a prayer partner, or most importantly becoming a Pen Friend and a part of Paper Sunshine. Each step we take brings Jesus closer to HIS return. We ask God to bless each one of you, and every family member and your Church and friends.
I would like to thank you for
all you have done for me. I was
incarcerated in Arkansas for
three years now I am home. You
connected me with Brittany from
Newfoundland with Paper
Sunshine; she has become my
best friend. Brittany has become
a major rock for me and made
me continue forward. I know she
was sent to me through God.
When I was down or depressed
she would send me a letter with
scripture encouragement that
nailed what was bothering me.
May God bless her and both of
you. I know HE has much in
store for all of us. Keep up the
good work of changing lives.
(We have never met Jeff or Brittany or most of you. God chose to put us together and make us all a part of HIS Second Coming.)
I was in my cell at Soledad, depressed and ready to end it all. What did I have to look forward to? 50 years in prison and I was only 19. I had been forced to do terrible things being a youngster in prison. All of a sudden I listened and I could hear singing from the yard. I looked out the bars and saw folks singing, carrying candles, and walking the yard. I remembered that we used to do that so many years ago. The razor still in my hand, the music in my ear, a voice behind me said, ďJesus sent them to sing for you!Ē
I tried to hide the razor from the man, he said just put it down and letís talk, you can shave later. I had met Don. My folks had taken me to Church but Jesus did not live in our house. I met Yvonne later and Jesus that night kneeling in my cell with Don kneeling outside it. I accepted Christ. With the help of Don & Yvonne and a Pen Friend and Voice of Prophecy I devoured Godís word. A year later Don & Yvonne moved to Kentucky but kept in touch.
Through a miracle I was granted a new trial and released for time served. The steps I still keep, pray often, read my Bible every day and share it any chance I get. In case you donít know it, Don and Yvonne are not paid by their Church, the prisons or state. But they have riches that many millionaires canít touch. Don said once in a sermon Jesus granted him the cattle on a thousand hills.
I joined Someone Cares and now share my life with Jesus and my family. Betty, Texas Prison
Getting hooked up with Someone Cares led me to Christ and brought my family together again. John, Florida Prison
I have been on Death Row for years and Someone Cares and God have been the light in this darkness. Willie, San Quentin Prison
Several of us took a VOP Bible Study and our group has grown, making hard time easier. A Bunch of Us, Georgia Prison
When I arrived here it was a dark, gloomy, damp, terrible place. Don lit me and my cell up with the light and love of Jesus. I deserve to be here and now can serve this very hard time. Jim, Soledad Prison
Several of my Church members asked me about Prison Ministry, and I said not a good idea. They joined with you and the results are amazing. I have asked Jesus to forgive me. A Pastor in Texas
We are blessed by you and what you do for us. We are glad many have started their journey to Glory. We are often asked how much longer we can do this. Jake is learning fast while going to school. Jake was a part of this Ministry when he was born. His first job was stuffing newsletters, not a favorite now. His computer skills are massive. Jakeís father, still in prison, also knows this Ministry and we are working him into it. We really do plan Godís work and work Godís plan.
My doctors are amazed, with all the drugs and alcohol my body absorbed in my early years, that the diabetes it caused has been cured by diet. Even though eighty is sneaking up on me, Iím in great shape for the shape I am in. I need a set of magnifying glasses to read the mail, but can hit a golf ball pretty far.
Our growth amazes us as we keep growing as other ministries shut down. We now have fifteen groups that write over a thousand inmates. We have worn out seven cars and could use a good used car if you have one not being used (tax deductible). In a meeting we held to discuss keeping our funding up, it was decided that I am again going to start putting on programs in Churches and schools. Unfortunately, Voice Of Prophecy had to cancel some of their radio time (please pray for them). To get new Pen Friends we need all of you to ask friends and everyone in your Church. Pray for a mild Indiana/Michigan winter.
And there I looked on anguish and strife.
But the message I learned from a convict
I will remember the rest of my life.
The prisoner said he was willing
To pay societyís dues.
Itís easy to render to Caesar, he said
When you have the Master with you.
Many long years since
Iíve had the quality of faith this convict showed me.
Though I was with him only a short time,
He brought a real message home to me.
In my freedom I wander lost, this prisoner is never alone.
Yes, today I went to prison and saw, to my disbelief
The face of our Lord on the face of a thief.
ó Jim Vanderveer
At Soledad Yvonne had found out about a young inmate who had AIDS and was in the prison hospital ward. (This is when AIDS was not commonly known.) She went to visit him, but the guard said he could not have visitors. She called the Warden and was let in, but they told her, ďDonít touch him, it is dangerous.Ē When she entered his room he was in tears. She chatted awhile and calmed him down. ďI donít want to die,Ē he told her. He was eighteen and had gotten AIDS from being raped. Yvonne said, ďLetís talk to God through prayer,Ē and grabbed his hand. After her prayer he said, ďYou are the first person who has touched me since they found out I had AIDS.Ē During their prayer God touched him also. We kept in touch with him after we moved to Kentucky. We also got a call from him when he was released - cured from AIDS! Amen!
It has been a pleasure this year to watch the Ministry grow and the new ideas that Jake has to help it grow. We want to thank each one of you for all you do to keep this Ministry going into the prisons. We praise God for all the opportunities He allows us. We want you to know that each one of you are precious and special, to not only those in prison but also to many others, as inmates share their letters a lot. May God Bless each of you.
This year we have come a long way from where this Ministry was last year. We have grown and it doesnít look like itís going to slow down any time soon. Amen.
We have a small problem that we donít know how to fix, other than coming to the people that support this ministry. Most of the people that write to inmates have alias names, which is fine but there are multiple people that have multiple aliases. What we ask is that you make ONE pen name that you use for all inmates you are writing.
If your inmates are not
responding or making you feel
uncomfortable, please do not
hesitate to email us or call us
and let us know. We greatly
appreciate your participation
and want to make it easy on you
and on us. We wish everyone a
safe and happy new year. We
will be sending receipts for 2012
with next monthís newsletter.
With massive over-crowding of inmates, cells are jammed. Some prisons have cut down to two meals a day, one hot meal plus a sack meal. We have seen the pressure of inmates asking for money, and we ask that you do not let this stop your Ministry. If you can afford it, it is fine to send a little once in awhile. If you cannot afford it, simply tell your pen friend so. These folks are not in many cases educated and their letters are not powerful. Guide them along, and please do not be preachy. Being older and writing a younger inmate may be a challenge, but try to find a common ground. If you are not sure or have any questions about your pen friend relationship, give us a call, even if it has to be collect.
Just one request I bring:
I do not pray for happiness,
Or any earthly thing -
I do not ask to understand
The way Thou leadest me,
But this I ask: Teach me to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.
I want to know Thy guiding voice,
To walk with Thee each day.
Dear Master, make me swift to hear
And ready to obey.
And thus the year I now begin
A happy year will be -
If I am seeking just to do
The thing that pleaseth Thee.
ó Unknown Author