Quarterly Newsletter – Spring 2020
Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc.
Global University Prison Ministry School of Evangelim /Discipleship
From the Editors Desk
I have a new understanding of why God chose the season of Spring as Jesus’ appointment time on the cross! Yes, it is the season of Passover, but look around you! It is also the season of New Life. After the dark of winter, even the sun looks new. The weeds look greener, the birds sound louder! New Life is springing (no pun intended) all around us. And what more appropriate time of the year to offer New Life through the cross to His Creation but Springtime? Praise the Lord!
We have more good news, too! Our Director, Brother Jim is on his feet, behind the wheel, and spending much more time in jail! J Thank you all for your prayers for his healing and restoration after his devastating auto accident. God was not only on the road that day, but He has also been attentive to your prayers and has responded powerfully and will continue to do so throughout the coming days.
From the Heart of an Inmate:
My story may not be all that intriguing to many but I definitely have learned a lot in my fast 25 years. I was born in Washington and raised by my mom and her boyfriends.
When I was about five years old, my mom moved us to Detroit, Michigan
I wasn’t always the best kid to be around and usually a bad influence to my friends and myself. I got into things most 6 and 7 year olds shouldn’t even know about. My mom and her boyfriend hooked up with a Christian based church in Taylor, MI. It was there that I was baptized.
I obviously had no clue as to what I was doing or what it meant. All I kept thinking was how funny it would be if I stuck Alka-Seltzer in my pockets when they dipped me in the water. As I got older I got into drugs and for some reason I became a habitual sinner of every sort, all the way to idolatry.
I became Satanist for several years and saw some evil things. But no matter who I worshiped, whether Satan or myself, I never thought there was no God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I just thought they were wrong and I was right, but boy was I wrong. Now I know that no matter what I was doing or going through—either a séance or just feeling alone, God’s love was always there—calling and waiting patiently.
I may never see the “streets” again, but now that I’ve turned to the right path, I know I’ll see the Golden Gates and that is what matters to me. I’m still slipping and sliding a little, what with my bad mouth, but I’d be a fool to think that with Jesus I cannot overcome, because through Him, all things are possible. I’ve recently been baptized again and am fully aware of the meaning . I’ve given my life to my Lord and Savior and the only thought I have is, “Darn, why did it have to take this?” But that’s okay! Jesus got this stubborn sheep to want to come back to Him.
Inmate, Lower Buckeye Jail, Phoenix
Maricopa County Has A New Jail!
The new Maricopa Co. Intake, Transfer, and Release Center on Lower Buckeye Road is just about ready to accept its first clients. The new facility will be referred to as the Saguaro Center, and if you look up at the mid-morning sun streaming through the high ceiling skylight onto the open seating, you’d probably forget you’re still in jail—but for many, that’s the point! J
The entire facility adds far more natural light and higher technology security at the beginning of the intake process to the benefit of both the inmate and the staff. Just past the intake area are two courtrooms. The courtrooms embrace open seating, as well as spaces for defendants and victims, as well as meeting rooms for defendants to meet with their attorneys.
The facility also has a 500-bed holding facility with open bunks. The housing is broken up into 8 units with 64 beds each, with outdoor recreation areas, and a large public lobby.
The Saguaro Intake Center is scheduled to be open by April 12th.
And That’s Not the Only Thing New At Our County Jails
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Dept. has made the decision to enter the 21st Century—and the first step: provide the inmates with computer tablets. Now, Maricopa County is not the forerunner here. Private contractors have been providing free tablets to inmates in state prison facilities across the country since 2016
While the “free” tablets are marketed as ways to let inmates educate themselves, prepare to re-enter the workforce, and communicate with their loved ones, we all know nothing is really free with the exception of God’s grace and mercy.
A study by the Prison Policy Initiative reports that while inmates may get the tablets free, if they want to do anything with that tablet they have to pay. For instance, you can transfer funds from a bank to a family member’s jail commissary account, but it may cost you a service fee of $4.15. Sending an email may cost the inmate .35 cents; a song can cost up to $2.50, and if the inmate chooses to download a full album the cost may be as much as $46. A tablet conversation with a loved one could cost as much as $18.00.
Prisons and jail facilities in New York State and Colorado are recording income of 10 to 50 percent of the revenues generated by tablet use by the incarcerated in those states. We were unable to get any specific or detailed information about the system being instituted here in Maricopa County, but there are presently only two major providers of this service: JPay and GTL (Global Tel Link)
We do pray that this new privilege for inmates here in Maricopa County will be a blessing and life-changing for both inmates and staff.
News and Updates:
- During the previous quarter, Prisoners of Hope volunteers distributed 763 bible studies to inmates in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
- 13 inmates reported making first-time decisions to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
- Eight students graduated from the study program and received their leather bound, engraved study bible.
- 66 new students registered for the bible study program
- P.O.H. volunteers conducted 32 worship services at the County Jail
- And 36 inmates received personal one-on-one counseling from our volunteers.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse!
God has been so gracious and generous in providing support for this ministry through you!! Your obedience to His direction is overwhelming to us, and I know I say that with every newsletter, but it is true!!
I want to make a suggestion to you that will be of help to us and to your church, as well. Many of you have been making donations to this ministry by submitting designated offering checks in our name through your church’s missions program. May I suggest that you send your Prisoners of Hope Ministries offering directly to us rather than through your church?
You will actually be helping your church in relieving their accounting department of unnecessary record keeping. We are an official IRS designated nonprofit religious organization and can provide you with all the documentation you need for your taxes at the end of the year. But, the bottom line? Do what is best for you, okay?
Letters, Letters, Letters
I had a testimony walk into my unit that was only sent by God, A young man walked into my cell and he says to me: Do I know you??. He started to cry and says, “I have been thinking about you for the past few years.” I used to work with at-risk kids in a special school. He tells me that one day I caught him trying to leave school and told
him if he would try to be good for a couple of weeks, I would get him a remote control car. He was good and I took him to Toys-R-Us and he got his car. He says that to this day he remembers that day. This was just unreal! I have been asking God about that time in my life and asking if it was worth anything. I just got my answer! God speaks to us in unreal ways!!
Inmate, High Desert State Prison, NV
To my mentor – Thank you for all you do for me; these studies have helped me move on with my life because I lost my wife while in prison. She passed away last year. Thank you for showing me the way to our Lord and Savior
Inmate, Saguaro Corr Center, AZ
It was such an honor and most important, a repented heart on my part when I read your prayers for me and my wife. I know without a shadow of doubt that God is able and He is working on me and my wife. I have about 11 months until my release. I have been here 3 ½ years. I have had a drug problem since I was 13. I am 49 now and I finally have been renewed and delivered from my addiction. I am so grateful for His loving kindness and mercy. God bless you and your wonderful ministry that Jesus has given onto you.
Inmate, Eyman State Prison, AZ
Attention – Important Announcement
It’s getting time for our Annual Breakfast Meeting!
Saturday, April 18, 2020
We wanted to give you plenty of time to plan for our meeting because we have had to make some changes. Our usual location, the Old Country Buffet, has closed its doors, giving us the awesome opportunity to change our venue to Church on the Green! Yes, that’s right! This year, we will be meeting at Church on the Green under the awesome ministrations of Kathy’s Kitchen. Mark your calendar before you end up with prior commitments, like leaving town! L Official invitations will be in the mail within the next two weeks, okay?
Thank you again for your prayers, your financial support, and just being our friends and encouragers. We are blessed to be called to this ministry and we are blessed to know that you are called, too. We pray for you, your family, your church, your health and your continuing relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Jim and Carol Carper