Quietly Changing Lives
A very long time ago Jesus bonded with Yvonne and I and set the direction for our lives. Because HE LIVES Someone Cares. Because HE LIVES we can face tomorrow. He set down in his word the direction this ministry was going to take. We are proud to say �Thank you� to Jesus, and for most of you this has been quite a trip. HE took a preachers daughter and a son of Satan converted and set them on the road to Glory. HE also let us invite many other to go along with us, and we thank God that you have. Men, women, boys and girls will be ready when HE comes because of HIS word. Which - by the way - He talks about convicts well over a hundred times in the Bible. This was how Paper Sunshine, a.k.a. the Pen Friend Program was born. Prison doors were opened and many inmates have been set free. Our massive growth happened because we joined with many other ministries. It took many years but we rarely hear now, �We don�t want those kind of people in our church.� To often we forget Jesus was a convict Himself. On the cross Prison Ministry was formed.
At a prison in Michigan where we where chaplains, the warden called us in. He told us inmates and staff had raised three thousand dollars to give three of the poorest families in Coldwater a good Christmas. We made arrangements to pick them up and do this. It was something I wish we had thought out better. We wish we had been able to choose what they got. Yvonne did assist as a mother would. I thought back to when I was a kid and got one home-made gift. God�s love could be enough for all if they are taught of all the blessing it brings.
We have talked to prison chaplains, preachers and lay people ministering in prison. I will use one group as an example. They go into prison weekly and hold a Bible class. The classes average 25 men. They are escorted in, spend an hour and are escorted out. They are not allowed to have one-to-one meetings. Men and women in prison carry the trouble of the outside world and daily prison life with them, and there is no one to share it with. Sure they pray. Our idea is to have as many groups as possible sign inmates up with our Pen Friend Program. Now through Paper Sunshine inmates can open up to us and we can help you help them!
Our idea is to have the Bible leaders to sign their classes up in our Pen Friend Program. We now will be able to do this by e-mail.
This is how it will work. The inmate writes the pen friend - YOU? We forward the e-mail (trimming off your e-mail info) and �snail� mail it to the inmate. A stamp involved. Then the inmate responds. We read their letters and make suggestions and give advice. We scan their letter and send it to you with our advice. We will also have a special web page to assist. This can also work as a buffer to try to work with inmate�s families who also serve the time. HE WAS THERE ALL THE TIME.
We need a bit of help in a new area. The Pen Friend program working with Voice Of Prophecy and other groups has been a powerful tool. Years ago we had to take on the state of Texas to keep our program going in their prisons. Now the state of Florida is trying to keep our very positive Pen Friend program out of inmates hands.
With the massive increase in our Pen Friend program, we need to explain how it works. The envelope to the inmate must have their full name, their prison number (a must!) and address. In the return address we need your full name or pen name and our full address. Someone Cares need not appear. This is placed sealed into an envelope addressed to us. We remove the enclosed and mail. We have a bunch of mail we can not send to some of you as you did not give us your pen name or wrote the envelopes just addressed to Someone Cares.
My name is Jeff and I met the McClures at Jackson Prison. They spent caring time with me. I got my G.E.D with their help and brought Jesus into my life. They told me what the future holds with Jesus in my life. That has become so true. I had family and friends who did not care. This couple did and I thank God for them.
Don & Yvonne: I will never forget the Christmas party you
two put on here at Eddyville�s Death Row. As a resident who
deserves to be here I learned a lot. Dying never bothered me but
when I found out in Yvonne�s Bible study I could still obtain Heaven,
I and several others accepted Christ. What I did while on drugs was
terrible and I pray daily for forgiveness. I still did what I did. That
was about ten years ago and seven of us do have a daily Bible
THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE
About 10 years ago you spoke and gave a Prison Ministry
workshop at our church. You talked about an inmate�s cell and how
dark and cold they were. You used an example that came to mind
that Christmas Eve. You said, �Go into your bathroom at night and
turn off the light.� My husband and two children did. Then you said,
�Light a match.� We did and it was great. You told us that is what
can happen when Jesus comes into the inmate�s life. We have
written to ten inmates over the years and it has been a joy. We failed
with several but you took them over. This is really a great
experience. It also got us reading the Bible.
WHAT A MINISTRY
I HAVE A SMALL Church and am a new pastor. One of the ladies told me about your Pen Friend program which I did not advise her doing. She went ahead. So did six other members. They gave me a Bible lesson and I am also involved.
MY NAME IS PETER
I come from an upper class family and am educated, which means I should be lucky and smart. I got into drugs and really got messed up. One night I went to a party and met a neat young lady. We both did little drugs. Driving her home I lost it, hit a truck, killed her and got sent to prison. My folk�s money could not help me. I met Yvonne, then Don. They got my life turned around because they cared. It cost me nothing to get down on my knees and accept Christ. I have taken several Bible studies and my family is now in my corner. I can tell you all that being in prison without Jesus is �Hell on earth,� leading to Hell later. Because of Jesus and Someone Caring my future looks pretty good. I can not undo what I did but can help others. Please help this Ministry.
Steve is a nineteen year old boy who went to prison for selling drugs. He was raped by three inmates, very common. Now he must face the shame. Also if he tells guards they will not help him unless he says who did it. He could get killed. He is now in protective custody a very lonely and scared young man.
My name is Jonathan. I have been in and out of prison for fifteen years. This time I decided to do something. I contacted three ministries and five churches, and never got a word back from any of them. The chaplain gave me the name of Someone Cares. I got a Pen Friend. I got enrolled in a Bible study. I got my GED and I got saved. Six other inmates here also got hooked up with them. Prison is a place that is needed. But it is big business and no one wants us changed. No - someone does!
On this computer we have every name connected to this ministry - those of you who have done so much for us and we take the credit. We are going to pray daily for a year from each of you and yours. Because of Jesus and you someone really cares. With your help we have spent many years attempting to save broken people. Christ has shown us the way and stayed with us as we were with Him. That babe born to suffer and die for us knows all we need. We pray his love is with you this holiday season. Over two million inmates will not have any of the things we can offer with your help. Jesus is the reason for this season and you are the way.
When I became a Christian and gave up on �Live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse� thinking. No where in my life had anyone taken the time to care. When folks go to prison, their family members go also. We often think of a nine year old boy leaving Soledad after a visit with his dad. He yelled at his father returning to his cell, �Come with us, don�t you love me?� Do the crime do the time? Years ago prison offered some jobs, some schooling, some chance. Not much anymore. Reaching in is easy, then it gets tough. They stay - we go. A letter - a simple letter - once a month, maybe more often, is seed planting. Sure, often harden convicts try to use this ministry but we don�t allow it. We never knew we would still be doing this and plan on staying. Many say look at all the joy we will have when we get to heaven and see those this ministry have helped get there.. Every day we get more and more requests. At 83 and 76 we pray God will grant us the pleasure of serving him in prison for a long time. TV being so terrible as is the condition of this country we have a Christian satellite dish. We watch and do mail. Wishing we were making more appeals there. We wish to share how we do it.
We own a manufactured home. We operated this ministry out of it. We are a 501C3 ministry so your donations keep us keeping on. The ministry pays for our medical, our advertising, our postage our newsletter and travel. Our web page has not been changed in years. We have, over the years, received three large donations, one very large. Our retirement will be in glory. Years ago - living in Aptos - we had a program at San Quentin. We used pennies to pay the toll. If God has blessed you please consider a larger than normal donation, or a lot of small ones. They are all tax deductible and blessed. It would be neat if the last knee to bow would be an inmate. The General Conference of our church in next year�s budget will help with a new web page. Also, we have made arrangements if anything happens to us someone will keep Someone Cares going and growing. Amen!
Happy New Year