Quietly Changing Lives
GLORY FILLED OUR SOULS
So many years and so much joy - even a bit of sorrow. When God touched us and led us to start this ministry we never dreamt it would last so many years and touch so many souls. We so often thought that what a ministry like this would be if we had kept track of all involved in Someone Cares over the years, both inmates and free folks. Long ago we went to speak at a church in Michigan. A man came up to us and said, “I want to thank you both for leading me to Christ.” The stunned look on my face made him say, “I was in Prison and wrote you and you got me a Pen Friend. That led me to not just a friendship but I accepted Christ got out last year and joined this church.” How many others are like him? We no longer have any idea. You who write these folks and support this ministry do the work and we get the credit.
He was an inmate, a really great guy and was part of one of the most amazing things we were part of. Rocky had lost a false eye. Yvonne made arrangements to help him get it back. One day after receiving it she took it to the Warden and got permission to take it to him. It was the strangest thing we ever took into prison. We lost track of him and wish we had not. It took folks working together to get this done. A reminder that you may continue writing your Pen Friend when they are released.
We have a dream. This ministry was built on prayer and one person at a time matching Christians and inmates. God’s word says every knee shall bow every tongue confess. Jesus tells us to visit the prisoners. Also remember them as if chained with them. Over the last two years we have had small groups form and write inmates. One group writes inmates and after church exchanges letters and information. What if you’re church, your Sunday or Sabbath school, shared witnessing through Paper Sunshine? What about the men and women’s group meetings and adopting an inmate or two? We are as big as we can but the requests keep coming. What we ask your help doing is from the comfort of your church or home.
We are glad to be a part of something long over due. The court system in our country has not worked properly for many years. If a person is arrested and goes to court they are appointed an attorney if they can’t afford one. Many go to prison because that appointed attorney does not do a good job. We recommend reading a book, The Poor Get Prison The Rich Get Freedom. If a person does a crime they should do the time. They are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment. You have often written 10 people committing the same crime should get the same sentence, not so. A person going to prison years ago might get a job or some education, not any more. Jim committed a crime. He took a car - not his - without permission. He did this in Los Angles. He was given a 10 year sentence, mainly because he had a court appointed attorney and had done some other things. His home was in San Francisco. When he was released he was given $100 dollars and another $100 when he got to his parole office. He did not have a place to live or a job or any money. He was again arrested. This is so common. Another big problem is hundreds of people get prison because someone else snitched on them and no one cared. A man I knew was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. He could have proved he was in another state committing another crime. If he was found guilty of the lesser crime he would never serve time on the more serious crime. Prison is big business and brings good money to the state. I could maybe later talk about the folk’s sentenced to die for a crime they did not commit. And the sentence carried out.
Most of you know that the Pen Friend program started years ago. Yvonne met a man at San Quentin who had never received a letter while in prison almost twenty years ago. We stumbled getting it started and the Holy Spirit took over. This is how it works
(A) The Inmate hears about us and sends us a letter asking for an application. We send one. Every now and then the letter asking for an application has all the information we need so we send it to a free person with Pen Friend information.
(B) You then receive information from us with inmate information and send it to you. Once you read all you write the assigned person or return to us. You may notget an answer. They might not have a pen stamp paper or you are of a different race. Even though all says we are a Christian ministry some try to take advantage. We prevent that.
(C) You then write a letter to answer the one you have. Please try to establish a friendship before you deal with religion. Do not let your doctrine be a barrier but a bridge to Jesus. You now take the letter you wrote addressed to the inmate with name number and address. The number is most important. Your name or pen name goes in upper left corner with our address as return. The only address they will have is ours. See below.Put your letter to the inmate inside a stamped envelope like this:
Then put the envelope with your letter in a stamped outer envelope addressed to us like this.
Many years ago I received a letter from an inmate on Death row. It was open and honest telling us what he was and what he did. I threw it in a waste basket. Yvonne took it and wrote to him. After getting several letters I took over. His background was like mine. He was not a good person. After a year he accepted Christ. Over the next twelve years he led half the men on Death Row to Christ. Since these folks are kept in their cell they had to yell or send prison kites, letter on a string. He never once said he did not deserve to die. We know after years of experience that this man will be in Heaven. I was asked to be with him prior to his death but a storm cancelled my flight. The warden allowed a phone call. We had prayer and a long good bye. I have received many a notes from that prison and enrolled others in our Pen Friend Program. Showers of blessings. I later received a call from a guard who told me that in all the years of working in prison never had he seen a person change and then change many others.
For years we had many of you pray for us and this Ministry We have had some ask for prayer. If you need prayer call us and we will pray with and for you and yours. We are in troubled waters. Jesus said we are going to the other side. The country is in dire straights and we are told of rumors of wars. When we have God with us how can anyone defeat us.. Our goal for this year is to lead 1,000 inmates to Christ. Adjust this Ministry so you can do it in your church, with groups. Like most Christians we want to see Jesus. We also want to see many of our family and friends in Heaven help us help them to be prepared. The Grace of our Lord be with you.
My background was not good and I did lots of things wrong including not believing in Jesus Christ. When you get this I will be 82 and looking for years of serving Jesus. Giving up my motto Live Fast Die young and have a good looking corpse. Becoming a Christian was easy when I learned I did not have to give up but give in. Belonging to a church hearing we do not want those kind of people here was hard as Jesus did. Amen. Putting in a nut shell becoming a Christian joining a Church was simple. Finding a spot to use what I was learning was hard. Jesus sent us back to prison 40 years ago. Serving life with Jesus on the main line and my bride with me wow. Realize if I have a problem go to the foot of the cross. Yvonne had her 76th birthday a week ago. She is in for the long haul. How about you? If you do what Jesus wants us to you can do it from your home. You do not have to walk those cell blocks. Hear and feel the tension. I am reminded of my bride stopping at a cell talking to an inmates hated and feared by all. I almost walked over but saw she was holding her own. Yvonne was raised in a Christian home and many of you knew her parents, Clyde and Vera Groomer. Yvonne has walked the yard of many a maximum security prison with no escort except the Angels. We have been through several riots and had a chance, to lead many a gang member to Christ.