Quarterly Newsletter – Fall 2018
From the Editors Desk
I am going to exercise my liberty and authority as the Editor of this informative document to share some personal thoughts! We have had some rather tough times to get through over the past few weeks. Many of you know that our first-born son, Jamie, lost his battle against cancer just a short time ago. My first reaction was a crushing desperation of disbelief! I am a child of God, I have faith, I prayed and trusted in His promises! How could God do such a thing?
As I wept and cried and begged for answers, I began to hear God’s voice! “I have led you through a wilderness, as I led the Israelites, to humble you and test you—that you might know what was in your heart—will you continue to trust and obey Me? I have allowed you to hunger for answers that I might make you to know that you live (not by your understanding, but) by …every word that proceeds from My mouth (Deut 8:2,3)
I was stunned! God showed me that my entire Christian walk has been one of ease and comfort—I have skipped through life, with no threats, no loss, no deprivation. I have not had to stretch my faith! It was all handed to me on a “golden” platter. Now, I was faced with a crisis! Do I trust God? Do I continue to believe in His promises through pain as well as pleasure? Am I truly even saved? Then I heard His voice again! “It is
not because of your “righteousness” or the “uprightness” of your heart that I, God, have defeated your enemies and opened pathways of victory for you.(Deut 9:4,6,7) It is not
about me! It is not about my son! It is about God!
I have lived in pride and unforgive-ness from the day He called me until this very day—46 years! My children are in the Kingdom, the ministry flourishes, people’s lives are changed! Not by my works, but by God’s Hand, in spite of me! He has plan and purpose He has not shared with me. I still don’t know why we had our son for only 58 years, but I am confident that he is perfected; he is healed; he is serving at the foot of the throne; and our God will continue to fulfill His plan and purpose for every one of His children, as He leads us, guides us and trains us through pain and victory.
From the Heart of an Inmate:
Eyewitness to God’s Power
(September 27, 2017 – Douglas Prison)
I was in church when the correctional officers came in to the service and ordered all of the North Yard guys to leave. I was shocked by the way I was seeing men I have known and lived with for years act so viciously toward each other. I know now they were controlled by evil powers, and it was Gods will to call us out of that service. We could feel the tension and the presence of evil thick in the air. Men were grouped by race in stand-offs all around the yard. God told us to surround the yard with prayer. We confirmed this with each other and made a tactical decision to positon ourselves at different points around the yard. When we were in position, we all in unity held up our bibles and prayed for the angels of Heaven to step out of their ranks and surround the yard with swords drawn, ready to battle the evil principalities.
As we began to pray, it seemed as if a bomb went off and all of a sudden there was pandemonium. Both the North and the South yards blew up simultaneously. I cannot describe the scene because I believe it was too horrific and would serve only to glorify the evil that was at work here.
We all stayed in position, praying and God’s protection over us was awesome. As groups of men were looking for new victims, attacking with all sorts of weapons, they passed right by us or went around us—one of our prayer partners was even told by one of the rioters to get to safety! Romans 8:31—If God be for us, who can be against us? I truly believe that if we had not been called out by God as His representatives on that yard to stand in the midst of the battle with His power protecting us, the riot would have gone on much longer and the outcome would have been worse.
After some time I was overwhelmed with compassion for the wounded men—old and young alike. We began to help the wounded get into the nearest dayroom. We rescued about 12 wounded, but couldn’t go back outside because of the pepper spray so thick in the air. When the smoke cleared, the staff gained control in a record time. There was immediate peace. Within two days many of the men involved were back in their living quarters, with the exception of 45 from both yards who were the leaders of the racism and drug dealing. They were permanently removed.
Now there is revival on both yards. More inmates than ever are now accepting Christ as their Savior. Bible studies and prayer groups are growing; men who seemed hopelessly addicted to drugs or gambling have had these addictions broken and have a new found strength and freedom. Like you said in your letter, God hears and is answering and the victory belongs to God.
Praise the Lord!
Prison Facility of the Month
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is a United States federal law enforcement agency. A subdivision of the U.S. Department of Justice, the BOP is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system handles inmates who have violated, or are accused of violating, federal law. The BOP also holds inmates who have committed felonies in Washington, D.C.
Established in 1930, The Federal Bureau of Prisons is an agency managed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Responsible for setting the standard for federal prisons scattered throughout the United States, it oversees the supervision of over 200,000 federal inmates in more than 122 facilities—eleven (11) of which are currently operated by private companies, although there was talk in 2016 of cancelling those private contracts. The central office and headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., where the National Institute of Corrections and eight other divisions operate.
Of all facilities governed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the most famous, although no longer used for prisoner confinement, was Alcatraz. Located on a desolate island off the coast of San Francisco, California, the maximum security penitentiary was in operation from 1934 through 1963. Infamous criminals, like Al Capone and George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, were housed at the island prison. The facility was closed in 1963, but in the fall of 1973, Alcatraz became a national park and is now visited by people from all over the world, who tour the island where some of the most notorious criminals in the U.S. were once contained.
Security Levels within the system: BOP operates with five security levels, which include:
- FPC – Federal Prison Camp—this is minimum security, with no fences inside or out. There are seven FPCs, but none in Arizona
- FCI – Federal Correctional Institution. FCI’s are low security, with perimeter fencing and a variety of work programs. BOP operates three FCIs in Arizona
- FCC – Federal Correctional Camp. FCC’s (one in Tucson) are medium security with “strengthened” perimeter fencing! For the uninitiated—that means “hot-wired”—don’t touch!!)
- USP – United States Penitentiary. (One located in Tucson). USP’s are high security facilities with high levels of staff ratios to inmates.
As of today, Arizona is home to five separate BOP Federal Correctional Facilities. And that does not include the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facilities operating within our state. Doesn’t that raise your comfort level?? J
News and Updates:
- Things are slowing down a bit over the summer months, and that is a blessing in disguise! J Vacations, heat, low staffing, but we are maintaining a current student census of 469 active participants!
♦ 14 Graduation bibles were awarded this past quarter. That means 14 students completed a two-year study program with flying colors!
♦ 161 first-time requests for study information were responded to
♦ 1,013 bible study courses were distributed to our students during this past quarter.
♦ 64 individual inmates received personal one-on-one pastoral counseling through Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc.
♦ Prisoners of Hope (Pastor Jim) conducted 48 worship services at the Maricopa County Jails during this past quarter.
And we always like to share the personal comments from our students. This is the area where the “rubber hits the road,” as my daddy, the truck driver used to say!
♦ Hello, my name is D______. I am interested in taking some of your courses. I recently gave my life to the Lord. I have been a pagan my whole life and recently after a traumatic experience, I woke up crying saying, “Jesus, please!” I overdosed on meth in January, flat lined and now have a pacemaker. I really want to spend the rest of my life serving the Lord. I want to get as much education as I can to do so. My friend told me that you can really help.
Inmate, Eyman State Prison
♦ I would like to tell you that your encouraging words throughout these studies have been greatly appreciated because they always find my heart in times of stress, doubt and worry. The studies have cleared up a lot of confusion in my life, my mind and my heart. I was deeply inspired by Chapter 6 (What Churches Do) I was glad the study mentioned how different churches have unique functions or gifts. That was amazing to me. Those words changed my whole point of view on the Church.
Inmate, Lewis State Prison
♦ You have helped me grow in faith and love. You guys only know me through letters and yet I feel Christ through your ministry. The last few years the only birthday card I received was from you. It’s the little things that can make the biggest impact in relationships. I hope and pray we can keep in touch. Thank you.
Inmate, Florence State Prison
♦ I am writing this letter in hopes of getting some type of guidance in learning about the bible. I did not grow up religious at all, but I know that I need God in my life. I found this address in my cell and figured I would write. Anything will help.
Inmate, Florence State Prison
More comments from the Editor: J
Thank you so very much for your consistent and constant support. I know I say this all the time, but all of us here at Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc. are so very grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, your financial support. You are not only partners, but you are friends!!
Jim and Carol Carper
Prisoners of Hope Ministries
PO Box 428
Youngtown, AZ 85363