Quarterly News Letter – March 2016
Southwest Regional GU Prison Ministry Discipleship Extension Center
It has been far too long since we last brought you up to date on our activity here at Prisoners of Hope Ministries. We were positive that a newsletter went out yesterday, but then discovered “yesterday” was almost five months ago!! Somebody has been stealing pages off my calendar!
Again, we say thank you to so many of you who faithfully support this ministry on a regular basis. It truly is amazing how God’s faithfulness just keeps pouring out month after month. He truly is Jehovah Jireh.
(Names and details omitted to protect privacy)
My husband is currently incarcerated at the County Jail. He is participating in your bible courses and he asked me to share a little about what God is doing in my heart during this time.
We have been married for more than 20 years; we met at a church concert where he was playing the piano and singing. We have served in pastoral ministry in California and Arizona and been instrumental in church planting. We “worked” hard and eventually we became burned out. When an offer came to minister on a church staff and school, we didn’t pray—we just moved!
Over time our ministry turned into “jobs.” We were focused on our careers and our kids, but not the Lord or each other. At this point, my husband’s mentor and hero, his father, died. My husband spiraled into a deep depression and he became obsessed with being “like his father.” In his determination to do that, he ventured into a relationship with a young teen that set into motion the events that have brought us to the place we are today.
I have been through so much, but the most important result is that God is doing an amazing work in my heart—I have been broken, hopeless, penniless. But, today I am focused on healing and growing to hear from God. I believe God is leading me to reach out to other “prisoners’ like myself—those with family members in jail—we may not be locked up but we are still prisoners. God is leading me to provide support for others like myself who need someone who understands.
I hate what we have been through, but I know God is using these circumstances to draw our hearts back to Him. I believe my husband’s connection to your ministry has been instrumental in helping heal his heart, as well as lead others in his pod to Christ.
May you be richly blessed for reaching men like my husband and by extension, family members like me!
Prison of the Month
CCA – Red Rock Correctional Center
The Red Rock Correctional Center is Arizona’s newest private prison. It is actually one of a string of private prisons located in Eloy, Arizona operated by Correctional Corporation of America. In addition to Red Rock, there is La Palma Correctional (housing California inmates), and Saguaro Correctional (housing Hawaiian inmates).
The contract between Arizona and CCA was consummated just in time. Shortly after signing on the dotted line, riots erupted in the Kingman State Prison in Kingman, Arizona, and hundreds of inmates were moved out of Kingman and placed temporarily in a variety of facilities, including Red Rock and Pinal County Jail in Arizona, and Otero County Correctional in New Mexico!
Vital statistics for Red Rock: the facility can house up to 1,596 male inmates. At this time, the facility is rated as medium security. There is no public information available as to what treatment or rehabilitation programs may be available at the facility.
- On the 1st of January of this year, our active students numbered 613. As of the end of February, that number totaled 643.
- Our last Quarterly Report shows that our volunteers distributed 1,349 bible study courses during the reporting period.
- 236 counseling sessions and 60 worship services were conducted at the Maricopa County Jails.
- Our growth into Nevada and New Mexico is growing slowly. We currently have 38 students in those two states. It will be interesting to watch the growth. We do no promoting—it is all by word of mouth—one inmate to another.
- I lost my wife, my kids, and my freedom because I chose my way instead of God’s. Since I have been in prison, I have given my life to the Lord. Even with all the darkness around me, He has freed me and I want to please Him more than anything.
Inmate, Saguaro Correctional Center
- I just want to personally thank you so much for your ministry and share with you how much it truly is strengthening my walk with the Lord. Just receiving my new bible study from you guys caused a fellow inmate to ask about it and allowed me the opportunity to share my testimony with him. I gave him a couple of bible tracts and a New Testament. I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to convict him and cause him to come to the Lord.
Inmate, Yuma State Prison
Thank you again for your support and your encouragement! Keep praying for this mission field! God’s mercy is available to them all!
Jim and Carol Carper
Prisoners of Hope Ministries
PO Box 428
Youngtown, AZ 85363