|Vol. 1999 No. 1
One in twenty will end up in prison! We at Someone cares would love to stop that from happening and we need to do it by taking every chance we can to reach our youth. We don't have all the answers. We could put on one mighty "Scared Straight" program, but that didn't work. We will take Voice of Prophecy into prison, and those of you who listen can hear from young men and women how they failed in life.
A boy told me he expected to go to the Joint (prison). He was willing to do a nickel or a dime (5 or ten years), but at 17 he bought Life without Parole and did not ever meet the person he killed, nor did he have a reason to kill him. A gang challenge. Get in a car at night and drive around with your headlights off. If some-one flashes their lights at you, kill them.
Young people from the inner cities don't expect to make it, so they want to have a blast while they can. But now the thrill is for middle and upper class kids to join up. Why?
THERE IS LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING IN GANGS THEY DON'T GET AT HOME.
Those of us incarcerated may sometimes feel rejected or dejected, and prison environ-ment serves to remind us we are "not worthy." Now this may be true for those who don't know the Lord Jesus as their Savior, for it is through Him we are transformed into "new" creatures that are pleasing in the sight of God. The Bible tells us "blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." Romans 4:7,8
Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which one to keep.
As I sit in this prison
And look through the bars,
When I look at my body
And see all the scars,
I think of all the wrongs
I've done in the past.
I then hope the pain in my
heart will not last.
As I ask God's forgiveness
For all that I've done.
He tells me "don't worry,
I forgive you, my son. "
As I look through the bars
The sky is so gray,
When I look at my future,
It seems the same way.
As I stare at the clock going tick
tock, tick tock,
As I sit in this prison
And look at the locks.
I know that HE loves me
And cares for us all.
I'll never have to worry
He'll catch me if I fall.
1. First, give God the Glory for all He has done for Someone Cares. Twenty-plus years serving Jesus in prisons is a reality we never knew He would direct us to. The door is open for us to be the right arm of The Chaplain of Kern Prison in Delano. There are over 5,000 inmates; we will be like kids in a candy store, leading men to Christ, and Yvonne starting another choir.
2. We are going to need hundreds to join the Pen Friend Program to share God's love with these men. WILL YOU WRITE AN INMATE? We must hire a full time worker to run the Pen Friend Program. Postage is going up and that means an increase in our budget.
3. Every way we turn, we are asked about the Dress Out Program for inmates leaving prison-with funds, a place to stay or a job. This is a program we will start, then turn it over to Community Services to run. Claim God's promises and start thinking of used clothes in top quality condition you no longer need and box them up, but don't send just yet. [If you support your local school or organization's annual fruit program, the empty boxes are the perfect size to store used clothing.]
4. We have always planned God's work and worked God's plan. This takes you again. We Need FAITH PARTNERS willing to prayerfully give a Love Offering monthly, or one time, or once in awhile. For those of you just joining us, Yvonne and I are paid not by churches, not by prisons, not by the state, but by your free- will offerings. Again, the Lord provided enough so we could finish 1998 debt free. We praise God and thank you.
5. Computers for Jesus-a friend said "why don't you put in your newsletter a request that each person who has an Email address book to forward the information to each person in that book. Then ask each of those to pass it on-sort of a chain letter for Jesus. So please send our web address listed on page 1 to everyone in your address book, thanks. [You could also tell them what a blessing it is to be a Pen Friend or Faith Partner.]
6. We are in dire need of quality new or used Christian reading material, especially BIBLES. Please send to:
2737 W Cecil Ave.
Delano CA 92316
If you are looking for a year-end tax writeoff, please
remember Someone Cares.
Yes, it is a good idea to share family pictures.
No we do not send News-letters to inmates.
Please use our California return addresses on all mail.
If you have questions about rules at the prison you are writing, please contact that prison yourself. Each prison has different rules, and we do not have the staff to keep up with all those regulations.
To get a prisoner's address, contact Department Of Corrections in the inmate's State Capitol.
Yes you may write through us when your inmate is released. We would love to have inmates' street addresses when they are released.
Most important: please do not use "Someone Cares" as part of the address you use when writing your inmate. Your letter is from you to him or her. Give that person your name or the Pen Name you are using, and use our mailing address.
Finally, inmates in every state are being moved from prison to prison. Their property often does not go with them. Please write your assigned friend once a month even if they don't answer. If their address book is taken from them, they won't have yours and must start over at the new location.HAPPY NEW YEAR
Starting a new year-to each of us it means something different. Will it mean that we make resolutions that we will not keep? I believe that all of us try to do our best and each year try to do better, but do we? Or do we find ourselves falling short of what we expect of ourselves?
Do we go forward each year or do we slide backwards, or do we stay in our usual rut and go through the motions as usual? That is something each one of us must decide for ourselves or as a family. A few years back Don and I decided not to make any New Year's resolutions because we did not want to fall short of what we really wanted to do. I decided I would write out what I expected of myself and read it every morning and night as a reminder, and see how I measured up each day. Needless to say, I have slipped more than a few times, but at least twice a day I am reminded as I read it to myself. I quickly go to God in prayer and ask for added strength.
I have it memorized by now and it helps me throughout the day. Maybe you could try something similar that will work for you with God's help. I'll share mine with you, and then you try to do one for yourself:Dear Lord, as long as I may live I want to do Your will, And overlook no promise I am able to fulfill. I want to be Your servant in whatever way I can, Especially in everything for every fellow man. I want to glorify Your Name wherever I may be, By always offering the world the best there is in me, Because I owe so much to you for what I have today, That it is far beyond what I am able to repay. And so the best that I can do is not to take a rest Until I know, dear Lord, that I have given You my best.
May we all strive to give God our best in everything we do in this coming year no matter how much Satan may try to interfere.HAPPY HOLIDAYS
It wouldn't be a holiday without some leftovers, would it? They're one of God's blessings that remind us of the bounty we've just enjoyed. As I was rummaging in the newsletter's "refrigerator" (files), the following Email from Don popped up. Wow! I wish I lived in the Lansing area!
May God Bless each of you. We sold our home in Michigan on a land contract that has not worked out. We need to sell it again. This two-story home is an excellently reconditioned 110-year-old school house (complete with bell tower and bell) on a little less than one acre, newly landscaped. It has a full basement, over 2000 sq. ft. with cedar walk-in closet, laundry room, and office or bedroom. There are three bedrooms upstairs. There is a spacious kitchen with dish-washer and garbage disposal, dining room, and large great room. NEW: Storm windows throughout; furnace; central air; new well and water heater; and a one-year-old septic system. There is a three-car garage with heated dog house. Asking $110,000. This country home is near Charlotte, Michigan, below Lansing.
Also selling a MINT 1978 loaded Monte Carlo with only 34,000 miles! $3900.00
I was going to save some of these stories for next year, but the Lord may come before then and this one is too good to keep.The Doll and a White Rose
I hurried into the local department store to grab some last-minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through it. I hurried the best I could, thru all the people to the toy department. Once again I muttered and mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys, and wondered if the grandkids would even play with them.
I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy, about 5, holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for.
I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, "Are you sure I don't have enough money?"
She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you don't have enough money for it."
The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere, that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes, and then she left the aisle.
The boy continued to hold the doll. After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It's the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it."
I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it.
He said "No, Santa can't go where my sister is, I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her."
I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes, and said "She has gone to be with Jesus. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go to be with her."
My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, "I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store."
Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he'd had taken at the front of the store.
He said "I want my Momma to take this with her so she don't ever forget me. I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she needs to be with my sister."
I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking, I reached into my purse and pulled out a handful of bills. I asked the little boy, "Shall we count that money one more time?"
He grew excited and said, "Yes, I just know it has to be enough."
So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it. And of course it was plenty for the doll.
He softly said, "Thank you Jesus, for giving me enough money." Then the boy said "I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister. And he heard my prayer. I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn't, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma. She loves white roses so very, very much"
In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on whether to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.
Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected.
Later that day, I could not help myself. I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was, holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store. I left there in tears, my life changed forever.
The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.
--Written by V. A. Bailey
via the Internet
Dear Don & Yvonne,
You're Someone Special
Someone special is someone who thinks of those in need, And brings a bit of sunshine with each caring word and deed. Someone special is someone whose sharing makes them part of all treasured memories that are precious to the heart. Someone special is someone who spreads happiness wherever they go, a special blessing to the world and a special joy to know.