Son of Hope

VOLUME JUNE 2006 (b) Prison Retreat, Larry's Coat

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Short Summary of David's Salvation
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from Hell to Heaven
dbj volume april-may-2000 Enemies, Exodus, Rapture
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January 2001 Reaching Out to Victims, Forgiving Myself
February 2001 Typewriters, Mayor Beam, Innis Cosby
March 2001EArthquakes, Jim is Dead, Black and Satanic Metal, Zero Tolerance
VOLUME a JUNE 2001 My Birthday, Another Miracle
VOLUME b JUNE 2001 Setting Things in Order, I Will Bless the Lord
VOLUME c JUNE 2001 I'm Only An Example, God's Mercy
VOLUME a OCTOBER 2002 Lockdown, Sniper Shootings
VOLUME b OCTOBER 2002 Caught Sleeping, Larry King, Suffering
VOLUME NOVEMBER 2002a Three For Jesus, Getting Out
VOLUME b NOVEMBER 2002 Jailhouse Missionaries, Wendell Judd
VOLUME c NOVEMBER 2002 Weakness, Thanksgiving
VOLUME (a) DECEMBER 2002 Son of Suffering, Mack
VOLUME (b) DECEMBER 2002 Andy Tant, The Choice is Yours
david wins lawsuit
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pataki letter on parole
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Danny's Song
have faith
London Terror
a hard lesson
an evil time
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judge alexander testimony
The Invisible Kid
Jesus at the Door
Red Lake Massacre
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Torment to Salvation
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cultivating the fruits of the spirit
praying for one another
enduring physical woes
suffering teaches patience
the wasted death of frank di marco
prison violence
a walk in the yard
victory report from brooklyn tabernacle
Jesus gets the credit
chuck's son
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richard's divorce
April 2004
April 2004 b
dear friend sister jean
"Danny's Transfer"
response from focus on the family
the power of praise
light afflictions
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The Lord Uses Women
the other side of the wall
joseph's great example
a plea to young people
changing of seasons
VOLUME AUGUST 2005 a Family Day
volume a May 2006 He's Always With Me
VOLUME b May 2006 1-800-BADADVICE
VOLUME c MAY 2006 Open Doors, God's Will
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (a) Birthday Move, Painting a New Cell
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (b) Prison Retreat, Larry's Coat
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (c) God's Presence, True Love
VOLUME JUNE 2006 (d)Betrayal, Surprise Good News
A Statement of Facts




     Today I attended a spiritually uplifting and refreshing event in the chapel.  A ministry group from New Jersey which consisted of four people (three women and a man) spent ten hours with my chaplain and about 50-55 inmates for a time of Christian fellowship, prayer, Bible reading, singing, and encouragement.  Officially this evening was called a “retreat.”


     Our time together went from 10:00 a.m. to 8: p.m. I had to go to the chapel about an hour before the event started to help six other men set up extra chairs and our equipment.  We have our own electronic sound system that the prisoners purchased with our own money. And we use it for all our worship services.  And then I volunteered to stay for an hour after the event was over to help clean the chapel and put our equipment away.


While this was a physically tiring day, it was worth the extra effort.  God used our guests to help empower our lives for greater degrees of Christian service.


     Right now, however, it is a little past 10 o’clock in the evening.  I’ve already taken my shower and I am going to get ready for bed. Because tomorrow is Sunday I’ll be getting up  around  5:30 in order to prepare for the worship service as well as for the additional chapel activities that are scheduled. 


     The name our guests titled the retreat was “No Longer Bound”.  Today God reminded me that I am indeed “free” in Christ, and I am no longer bound by Satan, nor by the chains of sin.


David Berkowitz

June 20, 2006




     Larry is a man who is very special to me.  One cannot help but like him.  He is schizophrenic and mentally challenged.  Although he’s in his 50s there’s a childlike demeanor to him.


     Larry would often be seen waddling along the prison’s corridors in a penguin-like manner as he goes back and forth to an area of the facility near the Infirmary where the psychotropic medications are administered.  And he always has a disheveled appearance even when he puts on clean clothes.


     Larry has been in prison for almost twenty-five years.  During a time when he was strung-out on cocaine he committed a brutal and senseless crime.  Somehow a 5’6” Larry with a medium build and stooping shoulders that cause his head to tilt slightly forward like that of an old man, managed to wrestle a police officer’s service revolver away from him, and then used it to take the officer’s life.  The judge who presided over Larry’s criminal case obviously took pity on Larry because he received a sentence of twenty years to life, as opposed to the maximum sentence which could have been handed out: 25-years to life for murder in the 2nd degree.


     The parole board, however, has taken no pity on Larry.  He’s already made two appearances before them, and each time he was given the standard two year “hit”.  Although many of the prison’s staff think Larry should be paroled to a psychiatric facility, there’s little chance of this happening.


     On some days the ICP Unit inmates are allowed to go to the recreation yard for an hour to ninety minutes, if the weather permits it.  Since I work with these men as a care-giver and Program Aid, I too must go along with them when they go outdoors.


     And today was such a day.  The sun was brightly shining.  So when the ICP Unit men and I entered the yard it felt as if we were stepping into a hot oven.  As for Larry, to everyone’s amazement, he came outdoors in winter gear.  He was wearing a woolen watch cap and his prison issued coat.  As expected, several of the guys teased him about it.


     Sadly, Larry is out of sync with everything, even with the seasons.  His illness seems to have put him in another world.  Oftentimes, as I’d walk by his cell, I’d see him talking to himself.  He has a tendency to misplace his belongings, too.  And Larry needs frequent supervision to make sure he leaves his cell during mealtimes, and that he takes daily showers.


     I’ve known Larry for many years. Awhile back he was able to go to church with me.  Over time, however, his condition worsened to where he cannot attend the worship services or Bible studies. But he will allow me to read the Bible to him.    On occasion, when Larry wants me to pray for him he would tap his forehead gently as a signal for me to place a hand on the spot and say a prayer.


     Fortunately, Larry still has a few family members who’ve remained in touch with him even though he’s to ill to compose a letter.  He has his mother and a sister.  Yet I do believe that God has His hands upon Larry’s life.  I am confident that whatever Larry may face in the future, Jesus will put caring people in his path.  They’ll be there to help him.


     And when today’s recreation period came to an end and we began to line up by the yard door in order to go back to the ICP cell block, Larry noticed that his coat was missing.  Then someone spotted it lying on a bench at the far end of the ball field.  I therefore asked the officer who was in charge of us if I could retrieve it, and he said yes.  So I ran across the yard, picked up Larry’s moldy old coat, and ran back to the door.  He was glad to see it, and he was relieved that no one stole it.


     I doubt if anyone would want to steal Larry’s smelly coat.  Apparently he had simply taken it off at some point, and then forgot where he left it.  This is typical of Larry.  He’s very disorganized.  After all, a man who dresses for winder in the middle of the summer, is a man who’s lost his mind.


David Berkowitz 

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