Tag Archives: Inmate Articles

A Covid Experience

by James P., inmate

Greetings of love, peace and thanksgiving from me through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you all are safe and well during these troubling and difficult times. I am well (now) after recovering from testing positive with Covid-19. It was the most horrendous ordeal imaginable. At the time, I wasn’t thinking of my birthday (thank you ever so much for the card and devotional material)…just trying to survive.

As I reflect on the 12 days of my sickness, I am reminded of Jesus’ word spoken, stating: “we are to come as little babes…” Meaning, our total dependence is to be placed “IN HIM.” Giving up on self-will and efforts to sustain our being. This was made evident on days 6-8 of Covid. I got sick, feeling bad with a 102.3 fever on April 1, 2020 in my cell. The nurse escorted me to the infirmary where I was examined and tested positive for Covid-19. Then I was placed in isolation until the test results were in. I thought I was dealing with annual sinus issues, no big deal. I was weak and cold, like flu or sinus issues, for 8-9 days before my fever broke. The fever returned on and off for the next two weeks. I received a positive test on day four, my body progressively and aggressively deteriorated with fever, aches and pains that I never experienced. Days 6-8 were the worst. I withered in symptoms with hot and cold sweats that were more profound in the early morning hours. I would awaken from restless sleeps, fall to the floor, and crawl to the toilet. Those mornings as I sit backwards trying to brace myself, I found my body acting like it wanted to separate my flesh, soul and spirit. I know I was dying so I called upon Jesus to have a walk and talk to cleanse things as I was ready to go with Him, I could smell the rotten stench of death. This happened for 2-3 days.

In retrospect, to me, it was Job 2:1-7. I remember Jesus saying something about my faith (I’m a firm believer in the Cross), His grace and peace. I recall thanking Him for His grace and mercy – again this happened during my most difficult and darkest moments of the battle. The peace He spoke of was, in my estimation, a sanctifying peace, not of peace with God at salvation, but one where the finished work on the cross (and my faith therein), all things in His Gospel, would come to pass. I could rest in this assurance.

Days 9-12 were still very hard and the constant fever took a toll on my organs and physical being. Yet today I am feeling great (even after my blood pressure dropped to 107/54). It was after releasing all of my self-efforts to fight the virus, and call upon the Lord, did He restore my health to the point where I got to see my 67th birthday.

I know I was saved for a reason. I studied God’s Word through reading and via radio in my cell at night. In 2000, I was introduced/given knowledge to the meaning of the cross as taught by the Apostle Paul (it was made known to him – Gal. 2:16-17). I prayed for greater understanding and wisdom on this topic. I feel compelled to share what I received so my goal, if it is God’s will, he kept me through this ordeal for a reason, as again, I know I was at death’s door a month ago.

We are still on lockdown/ quarantine and isolation but I want to share my lessons and this experience with the church here (and there in NJ) and when The Saints team comes again, whether softball for basketball, I would like to address the inmates and brothers on your team if that would be all right. Thank you again!

PS- I lost my eldest brother due to complications of the virus on 4/20/2020. His name was Curtis and he was 73. His wife, Ida, tested positive. I am told she’s going to be okay. Please pray for her and my 90-year-old mother, Betty Sue.

 

 

“…And I’m Even Worse”

by H.C., a federal inmate, current location withheld Thank you very much for the Birthday card. It was almost two or three years ago when you guys pulverized us on the softball field here. Your card could not have come at a better time in my life. I am currently in the SHU, not for disciplinary or anything such as that, I am in what I like to call mental cleansing. I checked in on Wednesday August 14th. See I have come to a point in my life that I realized I need to change my whole process. I have been a white supremacist for the last 13 years. I just really feel in my heart that’s not the right way for me to believe. For the last year, I have noticed that these people “black, Mexican, Jews” that have been my sworn enemies have been the nicest and most helpful people to me. I have just ran that through my mind over and over. I really am tired of being the way I have been and would like to confess to you and God that I wanna change myself and become what God wants me to be. It’s gonna be a long, hard road. The other gang members ain’t gonna like it very much. But I really don’t care. But I would ask that you put me in your prayers. And I welcome any inspiration that I can get. As well as any spiritual guidance. I have and do read GOD’s Word but I have been brain washed pretty good. I have just turned 45, I wanna do the rest of my years for GOD.

A Divine Appointment

We are aware that not every person who supports The Saints Prison Ministry is active in social media, specifically the online gathering place that is Facebook. It is a significant reason our communication strategy includes continuing to print The Insider and send letters along with your receipt.

However, if you are active on Facebook we hope you have “liked” The Saints Prison Ministry page and are following the exploits of our teams through the twice-weekly posts. These posts offer both upcoming scheduled games and the Monday Praise Report, chronicling God’s victories through our weekend events.

Admittedly, no single staff member reads every comment on every post but just recently one almost jumped off the page. Our Facebook administrator posted this on May 10, the Friday before a typical weekend, accompanied by a picture of the three teams involved:

PRAYER WARRIORS!

We are in full “swing” in softball as we have THREE teams heading out tomorrow, to take Living Water to those who thirst for it!

The SE Lady Saints will travel to Emanuel Women’s Facility, the IL Saints visit Kewanee LSRC (Life Skills Re-Entry Center) – a first visit for any Saints team – and the NJ Saints will head to FCI/FPC Fairton.
A busy day indeed! Please pray for traveling mercies, fair weather and health for everyone. Most importantly, please lift up those who will hear the gospel, some for the very first time that God would move among the populations of all 4 facilities and that many would realize they need Jesus!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

On May 22nd, a woman named Sarah posted the following comment on our page:
Amazing people! I played May 11th in the Emanuel game and was saved!!

Clicking on the picture of our SE Lady Saints, I found another comment from Sarah, posted the same day:
I played in that game and was saved!! We love y’all!

We had the same questions that each of you probably had as you read this, so our Director did the research. Sarah (last name omitted intentionally) is not a joker, and inmates do not have access to Facebook. Sarah was indeed an inmate at Emmanuel Women’s Facility on May 11th. She did play in the game that day. By her own testimony, God intervened in her life through the testimony and message of our SE Lady Saints team that day. And she was already scheduled to be released in less than 10 days! Our SE Lady Saints play once a month, from May through September. When the schedule was made in February, we didn’t know which month we would visit Emmanuel WF. Sarah had no idea she was going to be released the week of May 13th. But God knew both and orchestrated the timing of His work in Sarah’s life in such a way that our Lady Saints were privileged to be a part of it. He created a Divine Appointment, put it on our calendar, and we’ll see Sarah some day in Glory because of it!

 

 

10 Personal Commandments of a Converted Convict

by Joe K., inmate at Northpoint Training Center, KY

1. You shall glorify the God of all grace for His faithfulness and unfailing love.
2. You shall remember the Lord has blessed you with His abundant provision and His goodness is greater than man can measure.
3. You shall always be humble in heart and maintain an attitude of gratitude.
4. You shall always be happy to help your neighbor bear life’s load.
5. You shall not neglect those in need and try to do friendly deeds for everybody.
6. You shall share your hope and happiness with everyone.
7. You shall look for a rainbow of encouragement to brighten up your day when the dark clouds of disappointment overcast the sky.
8. You shall remain unruffled by unpleasant and painful circumstances.
9. You shall not dwell on critical or discouraging thoughts, and never speak unwholesome words that condemn or curse.
10. You shall wholeheartedly believe and constantly declare – “I am a child of the Creator of the cosmos. Jesus provides me awesome strength and I can do all things through Him. I am well equipped and empowered to overcome any obstacle.”

This is reprinted as written to reflect the mindset of a believer behind prison bars. It is not a paraphrase or interpretation of the 10 Commandments as found in the Old Testament, nor should it be read as anything other than a Christian inmate utilizing a format known to all to share his heart.

Crazy Makes a Difference

Crazy Makes a Difference

Charles S., an inmate at Richland CI, Ohio

 

About seven years ago, I was a drug addict convicted of aggravated burglary and robbery.  I was sentenced to 10 years in prison, some place called Lorain Correctional Institution.

 

I believed I already knew the Lord before I got arrested, but thought I could do it my way.  When I got to Lorain CI, I invited the Lord into my heart for real and began going to religious services there.  It was during this time that they announced a bunch of crazy guys were volunteering to come into the prison to play softball.

 

The team that showed up was called the Saints Prison Ministry.  I went to the game and found it very entertaining.  After the game some of the men began to talk and fellowship with us.  One man in particular spoke with me, so I shared with him that I had no family, and my whole situation up to that time.

 

That man talked with me and shook my hand and took the time to pray with me.  He explained what the Saints Prison Ministry was all about and why they were there.  When we finished that man took my name and number – and he also took a piece of my heart with him!  I have very few people in my life, but he showed me compassion and friendship.

 

Every year on November 16th I receive a birthday card from the Saints Prison Ministry, and I get letters from him.  Words cannot express how uplifting those cards and letters are to me.  I am so thankful for all of you, I appreciate your time and the things you do for people who are forgotten.

 

My only request is that you pray for my son.  I haven’t heard from him in over seven years and it is my prayer that we have the opportunity to bond once again.  I’m praying for you!

The Men Behind the Wall

The Men Behind the Wall

Inmate author unknown

 Some men live for others and make their presence known….some live in seclusion and choose to live alone.  Some men stand for justice and walk inside the law, but of all men the group I’m in, is the men behind the wall.

We’ve given up our freedom, we’ve sacrificed our rights…by day we walk in darkness, and sorrow fills our nights.  We’ve learned to hide the teardrops, but still the teardrops fall.  We cry alone and hope seems gone, for the men behind the wall.

Some have lost their families, most have lost their friends…today will bring more heartache that tomorrow cannot mend.  Where letters are not answered and no one takes the call, we count the cost – how much is lost – for the men behind the wall.

If anyone is righteous, then let him cast the stone…and if you’ve known perfection, you’re sure to die alone. The one man who was perfect was judged in Pilate’s hall, he knows best all our debts, and loves us yet……we men behind the wall.

Announcements

Covid-19 takes a backseat

As a ministry called to introduce inmates to Jesus Christ,  the current culture dictates that we are ministering to a predominantly minority population.   It is important that we recognize this, even as we acknowledge that the Good News of Jesus Christ’s atoning work is free to all.

Even as protests appear to be waning in some areas, it is escalating in others.  The issue of racism in America is as relevant and important today as it was the day George Floyd was heinously murdered on the streets of Minneapolis.

It has become expedient that I address the racial climate of today, and express what we believe as regards to racism in America  and our response as believers.  To that end, I invite you to click on the link below:

Open Letter from the Executive Director

Serving Him gladly,

 

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