Prison Ministry

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Excerpts of Letters from Prison Inmates

Here at Stonehaven Retreat we have received many letters from inmates over the years, expressing appreciation for the knowledge that someone cares. Here are some samples:

From an Alabama Death Row inmate

'I do hope and pray that 1997 will be a year of prosperity for all of you. Stay on the good road that lead home and let nothing of this world get in your way of doing God's perfect will. I am fine and well. I was 46 on the 11th. My Lord is so very good to me in all ways. Keep us all up in prayer. In His Hands....'

From Death Row

'Your letter really cheered me up. Why? Because when I received your letter I had my jaws wired up. Why? Because my cellmate hit me from behind for no reason at all. He has a history of mental problems. Well he went off the deep end. He broke my jaw in the back and the front. I had 8 stitches over my right eye, small damage to my right ear drum and dislocated my nose coupled with the fact that where this prison sent me to recover after surgery was a really difficult place to live. The people here are dying with incurable diseases, infections, AIDS and much more. Well, these people were used to the death. Well here I come, almost recoveed. Well, they was not used to working with someone who could do for themselves. Well, they gave me a really hard time. I was harassed most of the time. Every time I looked up I was having to look out for my health. The showers would have bandaids with blood on them (that belong to the people with aids)....As you can see Sister, I wasn't having any good times.'

'Then your good letter arrived and it picked me right up. I was more able to cope with the every day life they were producing that I was not adjusting to very well. Thank you for answering my prayer. I would go to bed at night. I would ask the Lord to send me a helping hand so that I would be able to make it through this journey without a temper-tantram. I was about to show negative feeling toward the people there. (something I don't normally do)...I study the Bible, go to church and try to live by God's Word. What I need is a physical person who I can work with. Very Best Wishes...'

A Tennessee prisoner:

'I was pleased to hear from you. I am feeling better every day. God does provide all we really need. I am most grateful to the Lord that He allows me to do some watering, planting and reaping for Him. It's sad others who can, can not go and minister to prisoners because the way to change convicts is to get them serving Jesus and not Satan. People, even Christians do not believe this. They will read and preach from Paul who was in courts and contributed to murder but not today's prisoners. They love Peter but he also was a swearer. John the Baptist was a prisoner, Moses - a murderer and David committed murder and adultery. They are no different from inmates today but people don't want to deal with the modern day prisoner. Well, sorry but so many souls need Jesus in here.'

'How's M-----? Are his eyes better. Pepper spray has killed some who were sprayed and had drugs in them. In some cases thats a deadly combination. I have seen drugs, sex and alcohol destroy so many lives - most would not be in jail if it was not for these three things. Oh you would still have some who just commit crimes but if most were not driven by those three things they would never commit a crime. Take care..Your brother in Jesus.... '

A Florida prisoner:

'It was a blessing to receive your letter. The reason I never wrote back is because I was put in confinement for fighting and officers put your address in my property.'

'I also enjoy the stuff you send me to read. I'm grateful for you to take out your time to help a person as myself to grow in the Lord. If it wasn't for people like you, people like me would not go nowhere. It's hard for a individual to grow into the Lord in places like prison because so much hate and envy surrounds you. Since my confinement stay I have completed 3 Bible courses. I also received a Bible with my name on it...'

'I really do believe that Jesus died for my sins, but I still associate myself with worldly things. So do I believe that Jesus died for me? If I believe that, I wouldn't affiliate myself with worldly things or is it just some of the things a believer strives through to get to God? Please answer why do I believe in God and yet still participate in worldly things.? I wrote you a poem. It's a little somewhat of how I feel. I pray you can understand it. God Bless! PS I turned 21 on Dec 4th.'

(He has been in prison for many years already. His poem follows: )

Dear Jesus Christ....clean my soul of sin....and save me from Satan's world...
Walk with me through the valley of death....
for I am blind and can't see through my eyes...
Spill the Spirit of love...in my heart forever....

O, Lord, stand by my side...and keep me from falling short of glory...
Pick me and help me up...make me Righteous & Holy...
Hear me when I cry...cause I need you, Lord, so badly...
& bless my prayers, Lord...for they are so sincere...
Like your promise of paradise...

Lord, place me in your care...
for, I confess with my mouth...
and believe in my heart...
Now, I'm begging you Lord...to open Heaven's door!

T.D., from a FL prison.

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