Quietly Changing Lives
Almost forty years ago when God chose me to serve HIM in prison this phrase popped into my head, “Some are called, some are sent, some just flat got up and went.” We have let God lead and direct our Ministry. When we turn over our life to Jesus great things happen. Being a self supported Ministry is a real experience. We have been blessed over the years. Our first newsletters were terrible. Being a new Christian and teaching the Bible was a learning experience for me. We got connected with Voice of Prophecy and over twenty years of radio broadcasts brought many of you to join us. The more I learned God’s word and applied it to my life the better my sermons were. Yvonne, a pastor’s daughter, has been my help mate and partner for many years.
We are now on the mountain top, as another miracle happened to us. In December we were sure we would be in the red for the first time ever. But prayer and God’s love pulled us into the black with a day to spare. We thank all of you. Yvonne had some health issues but they are handled also.
VOICE OF PROPHECY NEEDS OUR PRAYERS! World conditions have caught up with them, and they have had to cut off many of their radio stations that carry their programs.
BUT WE KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE
We have a stack of several hundred requests for Pen Friends from prisons all over. A big appeal we make is to get more of you and yours involved, especially your churches. Please share our web page, www.someonecares.org, with as many people as you can, especially all of the archived newsletters that go back many years. Prisons are so over crowded, and younger folks are being sent there. “Do the crime, do the time” has been our thinking. But with all the trouble, shootings and killing going on, it shows us how much we need to get involved. As a youngster and a gang member I had a gun - a zip gun, wood, a piece of pipe, a nail and a rubber band. If it did not fall apart it did not shoot straight. Now, youngsters are shooting guns with thirty bullets a minute.
At almost eighty years of age, we cannot possibly cover the ground and area we did in our younger years, and so we have had to cut back a bit. The Pen Friend Program work has grown on its own. We have found out there are many splinter groups now in the operation using all of our policies. Jake is learning fast. The Pen Friend Program works and will continue growing. It gives Christians a chance to follow Jesus’ command, but from the comfort and safety of your own home.
Was It You?
God Bless you. About twenty years ago I received a Pen Friend from your Ministry. Paul & Margaret became friends. We wrote a lot, studied a lot and finally visited a bit. They arranged for Pen Friends for a couple of my friends and your Ministry did the same. I am sure all of us were blessed. I have been released and live in a town near my friends and we get together every now and then. I was visiting them and saw your newsletter - my mind went back in time. I want to thank you so much for what you did and are doing. My friends support your Ministry. It just never came up after we met. It might be a good idea to have your supporters remind their Pen Friends how they go together. I can tell you how many times I tried contacting churches and ministries for help or direction and how many never answered. You live far away so we will meet in Heaven. Your Ministry will make that day come sooner.
See you in Glory,
God Blesses Your Ministry
You do not know me but we owe you and your Ministry a whole lot.
My two sons were sent to prison, a real blessing. If they had not I am
sure they both would be dead. You and your wife met them at San
Quentin. They were both locked down 24 hours a day and got no
visits because of gang ties. I gather you visited them once a month,
got them into a Bible Study and got each a Pen Friend. Amos became
a Christian and was released last month after nine years. His
brother is now at Pelican Bay (a very bad place) as he did not
choose to change. I cannot support you with anything but my
prayers and thanks.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
I will always remember, the year was 1986. I had been in prison for about two months. I was walking deep in thought and bumped into you. You introduced yourself as a Christian Volunteer. I asked if you had some time to chat. We walked into the small Chapel at Soledad South. You asked if I minded having prayer before we chatted, which we did. That chat changed my life.
I was raised in Watts, California on the “Streets of Death,” and it was neat to find out you were street raised also. When that day started I was a kid from the streets of L.A. By the time the day closed I had become a child of the KING. Amen! Several weeks later I met Yvonne and attended your services and her Bible study for the next two years. I also took several Bible study courses and taught on the yard when the Chapel was closed. I was there when Yvonne had the Chapel re-named “ALL Faiths Chapel.” What a party we had when you and Yvonne were made Staff Chaplains. You had quit a high paying job to work in prison full time for nothing?
We all saw Someone Cares formed and watched it grow. I helped Yvonne when she started remedial reading classes. We saw her start the Dress Out Program providing free clothes to us when released. I quit smoking when a doctor friend gave a class. I laugh when I think he collected all our cigarettes and makings at the start of the class. And laughed inside when someone stole all the collected cigarettes.
I was heartbroken when God called you guys to Kentucky. It was not long that all the programs you started stopped. Your leadership with Yvonne changed the lives of many a man. You moved again several years later to Michigan. Then you came back to California. My bumping into you led me to Christ.
I am writing this as I have a Bible study group and we would like
to write to 100 inmates through Paper Sunshine.
We receive letters of encouragement weekly from inmates who have been matched with a Pen Friend, have taken Bible studies and finished them, and have accepted Christ. We love to hear how much they have enjoyed the studies and how they have a better understanding of the Bible. Some are out of prison now and attending Church. Others are still in prison but attending Chapel or holding a group study. Praise God!
We want to thank Jake for joining the team and bringing younger people into the Pen Friend program. He is a lot of help and has good ideas and fresh thinking. We need more of you to become involved somehow – you know your schedule, but we need to make time to share the Good News with those in prison, including each of you.
Please join us and hasten
the Lord’s soon coming.
Prison has changed a lot. The inmates are younger and the sentences longer. Gangs are everywhere. Programs and schooling are cut back or gone, and jobs are almost impossible. Even food in many prisons have been cut back to only two meals per day.
During the last election I did not hear once about the high cost of incarceration. Since there is little to be had, asking for things, usually money, is not uncommon for inmates. Many states take a high percentage of funds that inmates receive. As an example, Carl had written his Pen Friend for three years when they sent a little something on his birthday and Christmas. Then he started in every letter asking for something. In this case he had gotten into debt with a gang, and they were forcing him to ask his friends for money.
When we match you with an inmate we pray that it works, but it may not. We tell you that if you have a problem you should contact us right away, through email or letter or phone call. We need you so very much, and do not want you to be discouraged and quit. If you are not comfortable with your match, simply return the inmate’s information to us andwe will take care them, sending you a new name.
This is how it works - we send an inmate’s information to you. Then Paper Sunshine should work like this - you write the inmate a letter, which needs to have on it the inmate’s full name and inmate number, as well as your name or Pen Name. Seal your written letter in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and place it inside another envelope. Next, address the outside envelope to us at Someone Cares, using your real name and address in the return space. (If you are using a Pen Name to write to the inmate, put that name next to your real name on the envelope to us.)
If at any time you decide you no longer want to not write this person, return all of their original information.
We currently have fifty letters that we know not who they belong to or where to send them; they are listed in Jake’s Spot.
These are names on some of the letters we need to deliver. If you recognize any of them, please contact us immediately.Sally Webb to Dixie, Terrance Hendron, Greg Rosales to Lois O’Rouke, David Morgan to May Louis, Michael Cully to Sharon McFall, David L. to Laura McLane, Robert McNutt to Lois Roanke, D. Stanch to Bob Simlins, B. Wion to Roberta Smith, John Naylor to Donna Smiths, Jermany Jones to Nicky Talker, Janet Jones to Copen Hauser, Wilson J. Adams, Rod Nelson, John Davis, Thomas Orick to Fisher, Rodrick Nelson to J. Davis, Tyron Leary, Jean Lady K., Thomas Johnson, Billie Johnson, J. Hale to Judy Thomas, Dennis to Dianne, Kersey, Ryan, Phillip, Bethany, Warren, Prisilla, Perez, Ron, Earle.
All of the names I just listed are people that we either have no information for in our system or there was a mix up with your inmate. We have mail from inmates for some of you. All we ask is for you all to drop us a note or send us an email with your REAL name and address and your alias name if you have one. We apologize for the mix ups.
We want to expand this ministry. Plain and simple, we have come this far so why not go farther? We need spiritual leaders and ministers that would want to take a BIG part in this Ministry, to learn how this all works and promote it locally in their areas. We have been thinking a lot and want to start going to more churches and spreading the word of what we do and what kind of passion is in this Ministry. I think the best way to do that is to have people that are currently participating spread the word of God just as much, if not more, than they already are. We have put on programs in thirty-five churches in California. A premonition reminder would be neat. In this area an invitation for us to come does the job.
If there is anyone who would like to take part,
PLEASE contact us and we will get started.