Quietly Changing Lives
News Letter

Vol. 1997 No. 12
December 1997
Someone Cares is a faith ministry, supported by God's love and your gifts. It is a non- profit corporation; all donations are tax-deductible.
Don & Yvonne McClure

Jesus is the Reason The Child Becomes Ragman Merry Christmas
Joy to the World Peace on Earth Heaven Came Down
Joy to the World II Do You Hear? Home for the Holidays
O Come, All Ye Faithful We Wish You a Merry Christmas Deck the Halls
Our Youth Speak Never Alone A Blessing to Me
Yvonne's Corner Jean's Jottings

The only reason for this season is Jesus. HE is the reason we can all have eternal life. HE is the reason we can give or share HIS love with others. Please keep CHRIST in Christmas, and keep Him in your heart all year long. The brightest lights we should see are the stars as we look to heaven. Prayerfully we will soon see Him coming again, the Child born in a manger, coming with might and glory for all who believe and receive.
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One morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of the city. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes and calling in a clear tenor voice: "Rags! New rags for old!"

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought, for the man was tall and muscular. His eyes flashed with intelligence. Could he find no better job than this? I followed him. My curiosity drove me.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her porch, sobbing into a handkerchief. The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly he walked to the woman. "Give me your rag," he said gently, "and I'll give you another." He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes and laid across her palm a cloth so clean and new it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver. Then, as he began to pull the cart again, he put the handkerchief to his own face, then he began to weep. She was left behind without a tear.

"Rags! New rags for old!" I followed like a child who cannot turn from a mystery. The Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a blood-soaked bandage. "Give me your rag, and I'll give you mine." The Ragman removed her bandage and tied it to his own head. A lovely yellow bonnet he set on hers. I gasped as I saw that with the bandage went the wound!

"Are you going to work?" he asked a man. The man shook his head. He revealed the right sleeve of his jacket, showing no arm. "So," said the Ragman, "give me your jacket and I'll give you mine." I trembled at what I saw. The Ragman's arm stayed in his jacket, and when the other put it on he had two good arms! I had to keep running to keep up with the Ragman. He was weeping and bleeding, pulling his cart with one arm. Yet he went so fast.

Oh, how I cried to witness his death! I cried myself to sleep. I slept but then I was awakened by pure light. I looked and there was the Ragman, a scar on his forehead, but alive! There was no sign of sorrow or age, and all the rags he had gathered shined for cleanliness. I took off my clothes and said, with yearning, "Dress me."
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Writes John from Kentucky. John is on Death Row there, where a few years ago we, with the Chaplain and other volunteers, had a Christmas Party. This party was one- of-a-kind as many of the inmates had family members present for a dinner and fellowship. He told us in his letter that he has grown in Christ since that time as it showed him what Christmas was really all about. It's not piles of presents under an over-decorated tree. It's not starting shopping in July for gifts. It was the simple love that all present were able to share the real meaning of what happened in that manger that relates to us today the Birth Of Jesus.
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Writes Barbara from a prison in California: "I received your packet of Christmas cards and as requested, shared them with the other girls. One of the girls I gave cards to was a black gang girl and she broke down and cried.." Another example of the love of Christ bringing joy and peace into the life of a person through kindness. (We want to thank all of you who donated cards this year and in years past. We were able to send cards to seven prisons to pass out.)
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Jack from Florida writes:I want to thank you for all you have done for me. Thanks to my Pen Friend, the neat Bible Study, and getting to pass out Christmas cards to others, I now have a Peace I have never felt in my life. Learning about Jesus has really been hard and I do admit that I was not willing, Lord, but God's word says "Peace that passes all understanding." I am so close. I just wish I could do something for you. [HE HAS!]
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And Glory filled my soul. When I was introduced to Jesus through your ministry, a change came over so many people. My mom and dad, my ex-wife, many of my home boys, who saw the change in me. It is now easy to understand how Paul and Silas, through God's power, led a whole prison full of men to Jesus. I can see the pain as they sang praises to Jesus after being beaten. The power of God setting everyone's chains lose, and no one leaving. I, too, have found that freedom here in prison. Sure I want to go home, but in God's time, not mine. Believe in Jesus and you and your family will be saved.
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Bob in Texas tells us of a whole lot of changes. He was a drug dealer, gang leader, one bad dude until he met his Pen Friends, a bunch of kids. He writes: "I was getting ready to shoot up when I heard the screw (guard) coming. I hid my stash (drugs) and waited. He stopped at my cell and gave me three letters. I had not gotten a letter in ten years. In the letters were notes from nine kids all telling me, or showing (drawings) me about Jesus. Tony, who is eleven, asked me if I knew Jesus. My whole world stopped as the Holy Spirit moved into my cell. Jesus? Me? This boy made me think of all the damage I had done to so many. The bunch of them showed me Someone does care. Then I cried. ME! As I have learned since, God has His team ready. I felt someone at my cell door and looked up to see a guard I had hated. "Want to talk?" he asked. When that talk ended, it was with prayer. It has not been that long but I have really grown. I threw away my stash and have not done drugs since. I attend chapel, and with the kids I am studying God's word. If God can change someone like me, there really will be Joy to The World in the world.
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From California: It's fascinating to me how you've been able to reach so many people that no one else gave a second thought about. God Bless You. It's been almost a year since I accepted Christ into my heart, and it's been one of the most wonderful feelings I've ever experienced. I feel like a kindergartner who's trying to soak up all he's learning. I'd like information on being a Pen Friend, maybe I can help someone else in some way.
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Sitting in prisons around the world are so many people who took the wrong turn in the road and ended up in prison. This season they will almost all remember a good time had during Christmas. Most will regret what they did to get where they are; many do not deserve to be where they are. Would it not be neat if we could, in the following year, help them take the right direction because we care that He cared? Many of those in prison will go home someday not rehabilitated, but regenerated. Prison Ministry is Crime Prevention.
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As we all make a list and check it twice is there someone missing? Who did we not get a gift for? What are we giving Jesus? Only one thing HE wants and that is us. Prayerfully on our knees we can, with our family and friends, commit our faithfulness to Him. Maybe by phone, or Paper Sunshine. Just ask yourself, what have I done for Jesus compared to what HIS birth did for me and mine? May God Bless You and Yours this Season.
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Yvonne and I, Jean and our Board, wish you a very Merry Christmas with all our love. Without you, many men and women in prison would have nothing.

Christmas Eve or Morning, if you get a new computer, could your old one serve Jesus?

Get a new car? what about the old one?

Was it a good year and you have blessings to share, and receive a tax deduction here, and a star in your crown in Heaven? Give to help Jesus get us all home.

If everyone reading this would commit to $5.00 a month for three years or $180.00, many men and women in prison would find that there is more to Christmas than presents, cards, and brightly lighted trees. The glow in the face of a new Christian is such a true blessing. Will you be a part?
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In January we will share with you all the blessings that Someone Cares, Yvonne and I received in 1997. Pen Friends, you should be mighty proud as should Faith Partners, and Prayer Partners. We need a good December, but it looks like we will once more end the year in the black. It is still because of all of you that Someone Cares. Tax receipts will be sent in January. If you need the amount before then, you can call. If you did not give during the year, how about a year-end gift to jump start us into 1998 and again frighten Satan? Not to keep going, but to keep growing, if each of you who gave in 1997 could match what you gave in 1998, plus a MITE, we will do what God has called us to do for Him through all of YOU.
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Our 7th and 8th grade class has been writing Stephen. All the parents gave permission. We are writing him as a class with the students using only first names. We all write through your ministry. Hopefully we can learn through him to minister to someone in prison.
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In the darkness of my cell, In the midst of the night, I am never alone, For Jesus is my light.

I am here for a time, But there is peace in my heart. My sins are all gone, For Jesus took my part.

There are walls all around me, But my heart is not bound, For in Jesus I'm free.

One day I will leave When His work is complete. And the memories will stay, As I rest at HIS feet.

I'm here for a purpose, And it's part of His plan That I speak as His witness, Of His love for man.

Many seeds have been planted, Day after day, And through the name of Jesus, They, too, will find the way.
Frank James

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Please send me two or three more names to write. Not only does it help them but it is a blessing to me.
(1) the letters are appreciated.
(2) They keep me from having writer's block (I write nature articles).
(3) they make me have gratitude for all God has blessed me with.
(4) God has the opportunity to speak through my fingers of His universe.
Sue Woods
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I will never forget our first Christmas in Prison. Don informed me we were going to be there, not really what I wanted. Since then we have spent fifteen Christmases in prison. The first one, though, is special. My husband, a new Christian, was preaching!!! He had spent hours preparing the sermon, asking a lot of questions. When we got to the prison the Chapel was packed. Don and I had prayer and the song service started. Men in prison love to sing. But to see these outcasts from society singing carols bought tears to my eyes and heart. The Holy Spirit fell on Don's presentation of God's word, telling of the Birth of Christ in a way I had never heard. I watched in amazement as grown men cried openly. Then I was stunned Don was going to make an altar call; he had never done that be- fore. I prayed! I forgot how many men went forward, but a lot. Heaven really came down and Glory filled many a Soul. The Joy of that first Christmas is, we still get Christmas cards from many of the men who were there. I guess that is a great part of Christmas now, hearing from the men and women that God has touched through this ministry. The sad part of it is, Don and I get the credit, but nothing would ever happen without all of you. We pray there will not be many more Christmases here, but if there are, we also pray we can be a part of leading, with you, men and women, boys and girls in prison to Jesus. Reach out by reaching into someone's heart through the love of Christ. Please take the time, some time over Christmas, to pray for us as we prepare for yet another year serving Jesus in prisons around the world. I rarely ask for funds, but every dime we receive goes toward what God has called us to do. Every prayer is a stumbling block to Satan. Each letter written to an inmate is a step closer to Glory. My wish this Season is that next year we will meet under the tree of life, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Please join us there by joining us here.
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How can another year be ending so soon? It's certainly been exciting, with Jesus and "Judas" competing over the newsletter. The better the content, the fiercer the battle. Even the computer has partially crashed! A new system has been installed, both directed by routing software. At this writing, a team of prayer warriors is on watch, storming the gates as I work, and take it from me, prayer IS effective!

The crash was caused by uninstalling a new set of ProPhone CDs that I've never had trouble with before. This one hung the e-mail on installation, and the uninstall wiped out all the word processing and spreadsheets, including the template used for this newsletter! The NT software vendor said they had a power outage for six hours that sent my order into the ozone. Score one for the old pinhead. Instead of being up and running on Friday, it will be Monday, but the Lord put an idea in my head to tinker with the Windows NT side a little. By going through the File Manager, I somehow logged onto WordPerfect, pulled up the file and the program with it; now the whole thing is on screen and saved. Thank You, Lord!!

These are the kinds of blessings He pours out on us at Someone Cares. It has been so heartwarming to work for Jesus, Don and Yvonne, and watch Him work in our lives and those of the Pen Friends and inmates that we serve. For instance, in this issue: How does the Holy Spirit manage to make an opening in a sin-hardened heart and turn it into a marshmallow for Christ? A group of school kids can ask an older, toughened inmate, "Do you know Jesus?" And look at the results! Isn't it exciting to hear from these dear people that it's happening?

The story of the Ragman especially touched my heart. Jesus takes our filthy rags, takes on our sins, and clothes us in His own robe of righteousness! What a Savior, and what a marvelous gift to think about this Christmas season.

Speaking of gifts, I'm hoping that once more you will come through with help in reaching some of the inmates whose mail has been improperly addressed. They would probably like to hear from their Pen Friends by Christmas. Please claim your friend as quickly as possible. We have mail for you from the following inmates:

Willie Walker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392784,
Tim Smetzler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 902511
David Joseph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N82191
Paul Lindom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EF207356
Kevin Reese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 456806
Marie Robinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N00650
Charles Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23080
Aaron Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 064661
Richard Cain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J07792
Michelle Burks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7743377
Ed Altomare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H0
Rbt Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239878
Mark Wallace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194655
A Tucker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 572507
Linda Thompson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W59822
Karen Newhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 664396
Triono Mills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B119969
Charles Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319859
Hamilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46496
C. Gonzales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678199
Danny York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 763275
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A Testimony:
For many years I have been bound in Satan's chains and was cast deep within his prison, which was guarded by his demoniac angels.

It was not until I learned how I could break out of this prison, how I could break out of those chains that had me bound. Those chains had me in a continuous cycle of using drugs, committing sexually immoral acts, lying, stealing, etc. I was in a cycle that I thought I could never break.

But I was wrong. It was not until I heard about the blood of the Lamb, which is Jesus Christ. It was not until I started reading God's Holy Words. It was not until I bowed to my knees and started talking to God in prayer. It was not until I started surrendering myself to a living and caring God.

It was only then I felt the inner peace. It was then I felt love and contentment. This was done only by Jesus Christ, by the power of His redeeming blood. It is what set me free from the prison that I was incarcerated in. And it was only by His precious blood, my chains were broken off of me, which had me bound for many years.

But today, by His grace and by His love but most of all, by his blood, I am a free man in Jesus.
Franklin McCraney
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Please remember, "The Christians who move the world are those who do not let the world move them.

Don & Yvonne McClure

Published monthly by:
Someone Cares Prison Ministry
P.O. Box 340
Charlotte MI 48813-0340
517 543 7400
e-mail: [email protected]
UPS Address: 5536 Otto Road

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