Quietly Changing Lives
What a gift! We wish you all a Merry Christmas and we thank you all. We should all thank Jesus for the gift HE gave us - a ticket to eternal life with HIM. We pray that you will spend time with Him. Please put Christ in your Christmas and receive all HIS blessings. Yvonne and I have spent many hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in prisons across this country. Our favorite was at Soledad Prison. We got a lot of folks from the local church’s to walk the prison yards and sing Christmas carols. During this time I walked the cell blocks and saw the inmates pressed up to their windows, many with tears in their eyes - even many of the very hard core inmates. We stopped at some of the cells and talked and prayed with many. Jesus spent a lot of time telling us or commanding us to visit the inmates. His word says, “I was in prison and you visited me not.” We - with the Lords help - developed many a programs to bond inmates with Jesus and help them when they were released. The chapel services after that Christmas Eve were the largest ever. We miss going into prison but being 82 and 75 does restrict us. But we still reach out to inmates the same way you do.
There isn't a word that a preacher can say
No matter how lovely or true,
Nor is there a prayer that his eager lips pray
That can preach such a sermon as you.
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You vowed to serve Christ, and men know that you did.
They're watching the things that you do.
There isn't an action of yours that is hid.
Men are watching and studying you.
§ § §
You say you're "no preacher"; yes, but you preach
A wonderful sermon each day.
The acts of your life are the things that you teach.
It isn't the things that you say.
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Oh, Christians, remember you bear His dear Name.
Your lives are for others to view.
You are living examples; men praise you or blame,
And measure all Christians by you.
I have carried this in my Bible for years - a reminder of all the examples Jesus gave me in His Word. To be effective in my witness, I have also studied the Torah and Koran so we can teach them effectively when needed.
• Wars and rumors of wars are everywhere.
• We have a government that needs much help and many changes.
• Most churches have empty seats.
• Veterans harmed by war are not being taken of when wounded.
• Children are being killed.
• Drugs are everywhere.
• We have about 500 inmates who have asked for a Pen Friend but we can not match them.
• We often see X-mas instead of Christmas.
• People are killed going shopping by the rush of the crowds.
• Millions of dollars are spent on Christmas. I remember getting one present at Christmas.
The birth of Jesus was to make sure that the path to eternal life and a spot in Heaven is secured for all of us.
I have been on the computer e-mailing as many of you as I can. The results were very positive. As we end a year and start another we need people in more than one area and as the Word says, “Ask and you will receive.”
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We will send receipts with the February newsletter. Donations are tax
deductible. We pray all who donated can do so next year. If you
have never donated and start in 2016, we know you will be blessed
both here and in Heaven. Please feel free to call us or send us your
Thank you to everyone that is involved in this ministry. I hope you have been blessed. I have been truly blessed in so many different ways since I started helping with this work. I know we still have a lot of people that get our newsletter and are not involved. I ask that you please pray about being a part of this ministry, and see if God impresses it upon your heart. We do need everyone. Everyday I see all the unmatched inmates and I feel so bad. If I could write them all I would but that is impossible.
All of you have a Merry Christmas and a good New Year! Blessed be to all.
HE SHED BLOOD
We believe in a place called Calvary. We believe totally that
Jesus Christ slain on the hill called Calvary still saves us today. If we
go to the foot of the Cross, the shed blood will reach us and we will
be changed. Join me and cling to the old rugged Cross. I’m called
Billy. God Bless.
BECAUSE HE LIVES
I patiently wait for His will to show me the way. I did it my way
and ended up here. I have learned to trust in Jesus all the way. I no
longer fear Satan and the things he throws my way but depend on
my Savior. I spend more time on my knees but now I know why.
God Bless all who are a part of this Ministry
A WISE YOUNG LADY
At a camp meeting years ago, we held a prison ministry workshop. A very young lady attended all the meetings. At the end she had written the following note and left it. I picked it up. It read,”If you do not care how the problems get solved you can shake your head later that you never got involved. The call came ringing from the throne of gold. But you never got the message cause your minds on hold.” We tried to find her but could not.
27 YEARS IN A BOX
I grew up in a gang infested area. I was destined to die or go
to prison. Well, here I am. I thought living in a ghetto was bad. This
place is terrible. I deserve to be here and hope I do not have to die
here. I arrived and spent a few days sizing up this cesspool. I
hooked up with a few people I knew so my back was protected. We
fought, sold drugs and made life miserable for all. One day I was
told the chaplain wanted to see me. That was not good. I was cuffed
and taken to an office. He told me that my brother had been killed in
a drive-by shooting. I think back to that day. The Chaplain was not
surprised that I did not break down. We talked for awhile and he hit
hard on where I was going. He talked about me not able to grasp.
He and his wife came by from time to time. One day I came back
from my shower and found a note. It said they had made a
reservation for me. The next week they came together. What hotel?
There is a mansion in Heaven for you. Not me! That day started a
walk that changed me. I started a Bible study and got a Pen Friend
and life went on. My cell mate was stabbed and I was transferred to
another prison and several months later Don and Yvonne started
working there. Later they went to Kentucky. They have changed me
by leading me to Christ. They have done this for many of us.
Reprinted from our December, 2012 newsletter.
Paso Robles is a prison for hard core young folks, and I do mean hard core. When sentenced there, most know that this is a stop on the way to a real prison, that they will either die or end up in prison.
One Christmas Eve we had a party for the boys there. The local church in Templeton helped by providing all the food, and some of their members joined us. Forty youth were marched to the dorm where we were holding the party. All of them knew Yvonne, Mark and me. We started with prayer, but not many heads were bowed. Then we sang carols, most of them did not know the words but sang along. A few tried to hide tears. We had a massive amount of food, but soon all of it was gone. One young man told me he was going home soon and asked if we worked at San Quentin. I said, “Yes, why do you ask?” He said, “That’s where I want to go - not some chump change joint like this.” Sadly, he never made it there. He was gunned down in Watts the day he was released. As for the rest of the boys we served that Christmas, we were able to start a Bible study group and six of them went on to lead good productive lives, thanks to Jesus.
Merry Christmas folks. I just wanted to take a second and tell each and every one of you how much we appreciate everything that you do and all the work and commitment you all give to this ministry. I’m sure all the inmates appreciate you even more. You really do make a difference. We are still looking for more people to write inmates. We have bunches of requests for a pen friend and we wish we could match them. There are just simply not enough people. If there is any chance at all that you want to take on another pen friend please let us know. Once again, we greatly appreciate all the help. God is good and He knows what you are doing for Him to help the life of another individual, even though they are in prison.
Every one of you who contributes to this ministry means the
world to us. Without you, none of this could be possible. A lot of
people may think how could simply writing a letter really change a
person’s life. The answer: EVERYTHING! To an inmate, prison is all
their life is going to consist of for a long time. We give them a
window to look out of. I don’t know how many of you write in a
journal or have written a personal book about your life, but I have.
When I write I fall into another world, a different mind state. Writing
gives me a short look into the past or future. For inmates it does so
much more. Everywhere an inmate looks they see some sort of hate
or violence. When writing to someone, they can go sit in their cell
and disappear into another world. They can actually smile, really
feel remorse or sincerity. They can take the things that are bothering
them and put it all on a piece of paper instead of hiding it in the back
of their minds. We all know how much that takes out of an
individual. In prison, people box up their emotions and do not let
anything break them. If they break, that shows weakness to other
prisoners and they become a target. I want to encourage each and
every one of you to spread the word, show people what we do, what
YOU do. Once again we thank you all for all you have contributed to
Happy New Year