November 11, 2002
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of
Truly God is bringing salvation to the ends of the earth, even
right here inside of this maximum security prison that's located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains.
This evening we had a blessed time of fellowship during our
Bible study. At this time the minister who came in from the outside, felt led to ask a new man if he wanted to repent of his
sins and place his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.
The young man, who happens to be Chinese, said that, yes, he
was ready to receive the Lord. So right in the middle of the study we stopped to pray for him as our teacher led him in prayer.
This prisoner, Loo*, asked Jesus to come into his heart and
to forgive him of all his sins.
Afterwards Loo's face was glowing. He seemed so happy. And
although it was his first time in a Bible class, he has been at this facility for several years.
Now we have two Chinese inmates in our fellowship. This is
It's funny how God works. Our congregation has been praying
for China. It is one of the nations we make intercessory prayers for. And since the Lord knows that because none of us can
acutally go to China to work as missionaries, the Lord allowed them to come here instead.
God is making missionaries of us without our having to go outside
of these prison walls. On November 3rd God allowed a Jew and a Muslim to be Born Again.
This place is becoming and international mission fireld!
November 15, 2002
Another dear Christian brother walked out the doors of this
prison today. I know he had a smile on his face that went from ear to ear, because I saw him as he was walking down the south
corridor for the last time. I was going in the opposite direction. We gave each other a big hug, and I'm looking forward to
giving him an even bigger hug when we both meet in heaven.
While I'm glad he's headed out---Wendell will be living with
his sister until he finds a place of his own---his loss will be felt here. This man was "on fire" for the Lord!
Brother Judd has a heart for souls and he runs after them.
He brought so many men to church that one day I nicknamed him the "Church Beacon". I'm serious!
He liked this nickname, and it was very fitting. At 6' 5" tall,
he towered over everyone. He shined with God's love so much that many prisoners were drawn to him.
While he was here Wendell completely recommitted his life to
Christ. He spent several years with us and his spiritual growth was good. He sung in the choir and he was the lead singer
for many of the songs.
Before he left he was very concerned because he didn't know
any churches in his neighborhood. So I gave him the address of the Capital City Rescue Mission in downtown Albany.
Wendell comes from a background of poverty and he had a drug
problem. At the Mission he wil get some hot food and clothing, fellowship and good preaching.
He is so gifted and talented, and he loves the Lord so much
that he will be a blessing to any church he joinsl
*not his real name
November 21, 2002
A FATHER'S SON
Last week another inmate shared with me the concerns he has
for his son who's presently living with his mother in another State. This father has been in prison for twelve years. So the
contact he's had with his son has been limited.
As expected, the influence this dad has had on his child has
only been through letters, occasional telephone calls, and maybe once per year visits.
Now this father is worried because his son is at a rebellious
stage in life. He's begun to take some wrong turns with drugs. He thinks his son has joined a street gang.
This inmate was pleading with me to write to his son. He asked
me to pray for him too. I told him that I'd be willing to reach out to his child.
So after seeking the Lord's guidance as to when to write and
what to say I sat down and typed this young man a letter. I also included a printed copy of my testimony.
I had a talk with him on paper. I was gentle, but I also kept
it "real." I shared about my coming to prison when I was 24, and how I have since been incarcerated for more than twenty-five
I encouraged him to stay in school and to pick his friends
wisely. I also told this young man to never take his life for granted. That life is precious and that if we're not careful,
we could throw it away by hanging around with the wrong people, by experimenting with drugs, and by making bad choices.l
Basically I gave him lots of things to think about. I told
this young man that, when he's older, he will never regret staying away from drugs, gangs and trouble.
I have said these same words more or less, with other men's
sons. I thank God for the chance to reach out to a young kid on the edge and maybe make a difference.
November 23, 2002
Christians need to be in prayer about the "gang" situation
in here. It's in every prison now. Men are desperate for acceptance and are looking for approval from their peers.
Lots of guys want a "reputation." The devil is more than willing
to give a man a reputation as a cold-blooded killer, but at the cost of his soul.
These gangs are like cults. To get accepted you have to prove
yourself in a variety of ways. You may even have to shed someone's blood. And once you're a member, you can never get out
other than to risk having your own blood shed, or to be forever disgraced by going into Protective Custody.
So many inmates are getting caught in this web of bondage.
Yet we Christians know that Jesus Christ can deliver and protect a man or woman who calls upon His Name.
All who want to be rescued from gang membership can be. But
it is so much easier to avoid this in the first place.
In prison gangs are luring lonely and insecure men. They are
promised power and protection as well as "respect." It is all an illusion, however.
Being in a gang is like being in a prison within a prison.
For not only is one controlled by the prison's authorities, but he must also follow all the rediculous rules of his group.
This is not freedom. It's a living hell. It is just another
lie perpetrated by the enemy of our souls who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
These gangs can be overcome by the power of Jesus Christ and
His Word. Prayer annd fasting is needed for all those both inside and outside of prison who have joined a gang.