Can You Be a Friend?

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by mercy, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. mercy

    mercy
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    Personally, I don't think I have ever felt lonliness.
    But I haven't been deprived of positive human contact for a long time. I have never felt like no one cared about me or wouldn't talk with me if I needed to talk.

    But so many people in prison [email protected] experience depression from the lonliness of their lives. Without the support, even Christians can get into the helpless thoughts that God isn't really there, doesn't really love them.

    Remember, even John the Baptist did this, had doubts of Jesus.

    You can help someone get past this, confirm to them, YES! Jesus is real, He IS doing great things if we believe.

    This is a brother needing a Christian friend, please pray about being that friend:

    Oscar Glasper 28675
    PO BOX XXXX
    XXXXX, XX 00000
    God will bless you.
    Matt: 25:36 "I was in prison and ye came upto me"

    In Christ's love,
    mercy
    http://christian-penpals.com

    Edited for complience with Posting Rule 10 as quoted below.

    [ February 06, 2004, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Squire Robertsson ]
     
  2. mercy

    mercy
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    Do Baptists believe differently about ministry to people in prison, or something?

    Just wondering, because on other boards, at least a few readers will want to reach out to someone.

    It's a shame that it's the Pentecostals working the prison field for the most part, anyone know why?

    Guess having sound doctrine isn't enough...
    We're missing it somewhere else.

    no mercy and love? apathy? unforgiveness?

    Wondering if anyone knows.
    God knows, guess that's enough.

    In Christ,
    mercy
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Patience, mercy, patience. It's barely been twelve hours since your original post. Many people haven't even had the chance to read this thread yet.
     
  4. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia
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    Posting Rule #10: Respect the privacy of others. Do not post phone numbers, home addresses, pictures, etc., without permission.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Diane
     
  5. td

    td
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    I've been working in prison ministry for 10 years. I am a Baptist (SBC). Most of the chaplains I have known are Baptist of some flavor. Most prisons in Georgia have services each night of the week hosted by different churches that are just about any denomination you can name, i.e. Catholic, Methodist, Assembly of God, etc.

    To say Pentecostals are more caring or that Baptists are less caring is just plain wrong. Ministry in prison is a calling. Not everyone has it.
     
  6. donnA

    donnA
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    Excuse me, it is not pentacostals who are doing the most work in prisons. My sons been there, so I know.
     
  7. GrannyGumbo

    GrannyGumbo
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    The Pentecostals/Apostolics have it wrapped-up here, as they have everything else. :(
     
  8. mercy

    mercy
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    Hello all, thanks so much for your feed back, now I know people are here and reading. :)
    I do try to be patient, but this is not the first time i have posted here the need for mentors or Christian fellowship for some of the brothers inside.

    This is the first time i have posted an address. I thought of privacy, but then I thought of this brother who has asked us for help to find a Christian to write with him, I knew he would appreciate it.

    It is encouraging to hear Baptists are in the field too, not just Pentecostals and Church of Christ brethren.
    And with our prayers, perhaps more will be willing to take this step out in Christ.

    Matthew 25:36

    We have an E-mail list of inmates wanting a Christian pen pal friend, if that would make a difference - let us know:
    [email protected]

    God bless you!

    In Christ's love,
    mercy
     
  9. rbrent

    rbrent
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    Prison ministry is a much needed facet of Christian outreach. But it is fraught with spiritual (and sometimes physical) danger and no one should enter into Jail or Prison Ministry lightly.

    Prison ministry should only be part of your personal ministry if the Lord has burdened your heart in that direction.

    Since I’ve been engaged in ministering to folks in jails and prisons off and on since 1975, I’d like to share some insights about what you will encounter in Prison Ministry.

    (1) Almost everyone in jail and prison is “innocent.” Inmates are frequently above average conmen who specialize in playing on the sympathies of Christians.

    They’ll gladly take you for a financial ride as long as you’re willing to send them money.

    (2) Prisoners can write the most heart-felt, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking letters to soften you up and make you believe they are genuine.

    Its called “jailhouse religion” and some prisoners are expert at faking it.

    (3) Many prisoners want money for booze, sex, drugs, cigarettes, pornography and the other things that are available to them inside the prison.

    Often their family and friends no longer write to them because they’ve grown weary of the con games prisoners play.

    (4) So the prisoner will write to a Christian penpal and tell you how much he loves you for caring about him when no one else does.

    He’ll also tell you how much he loves Jesus and wants to learn the Word and grow spiritually.

    But he can’t grow much because he doesn’t have a good study Bible and he doesn’t have Strong’s Concordance and Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, etc. That’s where you come in.

    (5) If he can “con” you, his Christian penpal into sending him those books, he will most likely sell them or trade them for booze, drugs, cigarettes, sexual favors, etc.

    (6) He may be corresponding with 5 different Christian penpals or 8 or 15 for all you know. And most of these people may be sending him money and Christian books and Bibles.

    It is very common for prisoners to ask for those things and then sell them for cigarettes or booze or drugs or trade them for something else they want.

    (7) He may even go to some of the prison chapel services and mention the services in his letters to you. In the chapel services and on the radio or TV, he learns the Christian lingo and makes notes so his letters to you sound authentic.

    (8) Christian ladies, in my opinion, should NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES carry on regular correspondence with a male prisoner, with the posible exception of a family member.

    (9) You simply do not know who you are really writing to or what he is really convicted of and you do not know what his real plans are when he gets out.

    And Christian ladies seem particularly susceptible to the entreaties of prisoners for money for “Christian study books” and for $10.00 here and $20.00 there, so the prisoner can pay for copies to file an appeal, which is “sure to get them set free.”

    (10) If a lady wants to be involved in a correspondence ministry with prisoners, it should be done anonymously, without the prisoner having your name, your children’s names, your home address or your phone number.

    (11) You can send out Mailbox Club Bible studies or Gospel Papers or Gospel Tracts or Christian Correspondence Courses. But you should do it using your church’s address or a P.O. Box belonging to your church. Keep your name out of it.

    Ladies should not be answering prisoner’s questions and carrying on personal correspondence with male prisoners.

    If a prisoner has a problem or needs counselling from a Christian, that should be done by a man in the church or a church staff member, not by a woman unless the prisoner is a woman.

    (12) Christian men should not, as a general rule, be carrying on personal correspondence with female prisoners.

    It is one thing for a pastor to take the time to answer the questions a female prisoner might have about spiritual matters.

    It is quite another for a Christian man, under the guise of “ministry”, to carry on mail and phone correspondence with a female prisoner.

    If the female prisoner is one of your family members, that is somewhat different. But to allow the close personal relationship to develop, that frequently happens when a prisoner of one gender carries on a long-term correspondence with a Christian of the opposite gender, is asking for trouble.

    (13) Do NOT jump into prison ministry without specific leading from the Lord.

    (14) If you feel burdened for prisoners, you can supply gospel tracts, Bible study materials and perhaps funds to a ministry already established.

    Work with an established ministry until you learn the ropes, until you get familiar with the games prisoners play with Christians.

    (15) And print out this list of cautions as a reminder that when you are in a Prison Ministry, you are sometimes dealing with the worst of the worst.

    Serial killers will convince you they are only doing time because they got drunk and had a car accident and their best friend was injured.

    And so, they’re “serving 5 years for manslaughter” or some believable story like that.

    Rapists and child molesters will convince you they are in for arson, which really wasn’t arson because they just fell asleep with a cigarette.

    But the prosecutor "had it in for them" and “railroaded them” into a 20 year sentence.

    It is perfectly possible and perfectly acceptable to carry on a jail or prison ministry without the prisoner ever having your name, your children’s names, your address, your phone number.

    A word to the wise, if heeded, may save you a world of grief.

    Now having said all that, there are many wonderful blessings in ministering to prisoners if you heed the above advice.

    I've led murderers to the Lord who got out of prison and are serving the Lord today.

    I've led men to the Lord in jail who are witnessing and winning others to the Lord.

    But be VERY CAREFUL.

    When you get into prison ministry or jail ministry, you are entering a real spiritual battlefield.
     
  10. mercy

    mercy
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    rbrent, one thing I am in agreement with you on:

    13)
    Do NOT jump into prison ministry without specific leading from the Lord.

    BUT, when the Lord does speak to your heart - DO NOT think as above, but seek how God would have you to reach out to someone needing Christian encouragement and fellowship.

    DO NOT say "NO" to God. You will miss more blessing that you can possibly imagine!

    I thank God I said "YES", and wrote to get a pen pal in 1989. I have had many brothers, 3 sons, and friends inside since then, many of my best friends are now inside, thay are an extended family, a gift from God. They put most of us Christians out here to shame, they inspire us to be more faithful to God, to be thankful.

    I am not alone, this is what I hear all the time from our volunteers, both men and other women.
    The reason it is needful for women to write the men is that 93% of the prison population is male.
    About 75% of our volunteers are women.

    Would a Christian nurse refuse to nurse the male patients with physical care? How can we refuse to minister to them in spiritual need? Are their souls not more important than their bodies?

    OK I know your answer to that rbrent, but you are wrong, and I am out of time...

    I am glad God is using you as He is to save souls, I am always blessed to see others working in the prisons.

    God bless you,
    mercy
     
  11. Mrs Pauline Smith

    Mrs Pauline Smith
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    Hi Mercy, What you are trying to do is wonderful,
    1 Corinthians 15:58 'Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.'
     
  12. mercy

    mercy
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    Pauline, I appreciate that, thanks!
    God always has the last word, as long as we just listen and obey, we will not need to worry about the "what if's" of life, for He is able to take care of us in every way.

    Thanks for joining in ministry with us!!
    God bless you,
    mercy
     
  13. mercy

    mercy
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    "AROUND THE WORLD, PRISONS HOLD GOD'S TREASURES"
    A Word to the Church

    It was late and I was tired, wanting to go to sleep, but God wanted to talk; It was about midnight, but it dawned on me that God does not sleep. His question made me restless. "Bill, where on earth does man keep his most priceless treasures and valuables?" I said, "Lord, usually these treasures like gold, silver, diamonds and precious jewels are kept locked up somewhere out of sight with usually guards and security to keep them under lock and key."

    God spoke. Like man, My most valuable treasures on earth are also locked up."

    OUT FROM THESE WALLS WILL COME FORTH AN ARMY
    I then saw Jesus standing in front of seemingly thousands of prisons and jails. The Lord said, "These have almost been destroyed by the enemy, but these ones have the greatest potential to be used and to bring forth glory to my name. Tell MY people, I am going this hour to the prisons to activate the gifts and callings that lie dormant in these lives that were given before the foundation of the earth. Out from these walls will come forth an Army of spiritual giants who will have power to literally kick down the gates of Hell and overcome satanic powers that are holding many of My own people bound in My own house.

    FORGOTTEN VESSELS--MUST BE RESTORED
    Tell my people that great treasure is behind these walls in these forgotten vessels. My people must come forth and touch these ones, for a mighty anointing will be unleashed upon these for future victory in My kingdom. THEY MUST BE RESTORED." I then saw the Lord step up to the prison doors with a key. One key fit every lock and the gates began to open. I then heard and saw great explosions which sounded like dynamite going off behind the walls. It sounded like all-out spiritual warfare. Jesus turned and said, "Tell My people to go in now and pick up the spoil and rescue these." Jesus then began walking in and touching inmates who were thronging Him. Many being touched instantly began to have a golden glow come over them. God spoke to me, "THERE'S THE GOLD!" Others had a silver glow around them. God said, "THERE'S THE SILVER!"

    "NOW GO AND PULL DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS"
    Like slow motion they began to grow into what appeared to be giant knights in armor-like warriors. They had on the entire armor of God and every piece was solid and pure gold! Even golden shields! When I saw the golden shields, I heard God say to these warriors: "Now go and take what Satan has taught you and use it against him. Go and pull down the strongholds coming against MY church." The spiritual giants then started stepping over the prison walls with no one to resist them, and they went immediately to the very front line of the battle with the enemy. I saw them walk right past the church as big-name ministers known for their power with God were surpassed by the giant warriors like David going after Goliath! They crossed the enemy's line and started delivering many of God's people from the clutches of Satan while demons trembled and fled out of sight at their presence.

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

    No one, not even the church, seemed to know who these spiritual giants were or where they came from. All you could see was the armor, the golden armor of God, from head to foot, and the shields of gold were there. The shields were restored to God's House and there was great victory and rejoicing. I also saw silver, precious treasures, and vessels being brought in. Beneath the gold and silver were the people that nobody knew: REJECTS OF SOCIETY, STREET PEOPLE, THE OUTCASTS, THE POOR and the DESPISED. These were the treasures that were missing from His House.

    In closing the Lord said, "If my people want to know where they are needed, tell them they are needed in the STREETS, the HOSPITALS, the MISSIONS, and PRISONS. When they come there they will find Me and the next move of my Spirit and they will be judged by My Word in Matthew 25:42. "For I was hungry and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked and you clothes me not: Sick and in prison and you visited me not."

    by Bill Yount, Hagerstown, MD
     

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