Quarterly Newsletter – Summer 2020
Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc.
Global University Prison Ministry School of Evangelism /Discipleship Zechariah 9:10, 11
From the Editors Desk
I have to be honest with you! I have been struggling with this Newsletter for several days! We have all been through experiences beyond our wildest imaginations over the past five to six months and I know I am not the only one who is suffering the same sense of loss—job layoffs, closed schools, churches shut down, regular Christian fellowship denied, curfews and quarantines.
But despite the darkness, I have seen light shine from the most unexpected sources—prison and jail inmates. And I heard the Holy Spirit speak: Don’t struggle; let the inmates do the talking!! And since I have learned over the years not to ignore the voice of God when He speaks, I use this newsletter to share this same “light” with you.
From the Heart of an Inmate:
I just celebrated my 4th year anniversary in this County Jail. I want to share what God is doing here and how much I appreciate Prisoners of Hope. My most recent study from you included the story of Timothy being called by God to minister. I heard in my heart the question, “Will you go?” I quickly responded, “Yes, Lord. I am Your servant.” I was shortly moved to a new dorm (in a lower security level!), but no longer had access to regular church services.
The Lord put it in my heart to organize a special bible study and a communion service. We were able to use the rec yard, and praise God, 41 men joined with us. That number was amazing as we only had 76 men in our dorm. When we entered the rec yard (it’s a concrete cage about 15 x 40 attached to our dorm by a high metal mesh covering over the top), the sky was overcast.
When we started communion, the sky started to open. Then we began to sing “Amazing Grace,” ending with the last verse of “Praise God.” I asked everyone to raise their hands to the Lord. By the time we finished singing, the sky over us was fully open and the sun was streaming through over us! Then as we left the rec area, the sky closed back up. That was the major talk around the dorm for awhile; God touched so many hearts with that display. God is amazing.
Inmate, Maricopa Co Jail
Letters, Letters, Letters
- You recently asked me how my case was going! I have been praying and asking God what I should do about my case, and when should I do it! He answered me through Acts 1:7. Its not for me to know. I’m to trust in His promises and in Him alone. So, I wait! I now know a love I never knew possible and all of you at Prisoners of Hope have been a part of it. Thank you so much. I know with Jesus, we will all overcome.
Inmate, Lower Buckeye Jail
- I never understood why I was still alive after three close to death experiences. The last time, I was hospitalized and on a respirator after being hit by two cars while I was riding a bike. I made it out of that one, but in my ignorance, I kept taking more chances. I felt I was superman. I remember telling all my homies that if two cars couldn’t kill me, nobody was going to do it.
How ignorant we are when we don’t know that there is a God and a Savior. Now, I know God saved me for a reason and the most beautiful thing is that I know He has designed something great for me. I will follow His design through obedience. How great is our God that He gave His only Son for our sins.
Thank you for this bible study lesson. It has helped a great deal.
Inmate, Winslow State Prison
- God bless you! Thank you so very much for the birthday card that I received from you. I was not expecting that and it filled my heart with love for you all. I am determined to finish this course and I know His presence is strong with me and His Spirit will always push me forward.
Thank you for all you do!!
Inmate, Lewis State Prison
And Just Exactly What Do We Do??
We are so very grateful that God’s plan for our lives was made so very plain to us over the years. He has opened doors and provided pastors and teachers and mentors who have trained us and guided us straight through jail and prison doors!!
God placed us under the right pastor who led us to start our journey by working on the streets of Davenport, Iowa. That street walk eventually led us to the streets of Phoenix, Arizona!! God then placed us under the mentorship of a street preacher who sent us to prison. J
That prison experience showed us the need for more in-depth teaching and mentorship for those incarcerated—to prepare them to submit to Jesus as their Lord and to expose them to the power and strength of the Holy Spirit that will help them overcome, despite the walls and the fences.
We now supply 36 separate bible study courses to inmates in state, federal, private and county correctional facilities throughout Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, free of charge. In the course (no pun intended) of that work, we teach, we respond to prayer requests, and we counsel inmates individually and through on-site visitation and worship services.
At this moment, the personal on-site work and ministry is on hold because of the COVID19 chaos, but that has had a positive effect, in a sense. Because of the lack of personal fellowship, correspondence through the mails has become even more important to those incarcerated, and our increased mail-load is positive evidence of that.
And we are now working with a drastically reduced staff due to social distancing and quarantine requirements—but that, too, will end. As our student at Lower Buckeye Jail so aptly reminded us in his note—it is not for us to know—it is for us to trust and wait!
News and Updates: (Quarterly Reports)
During April, May and June, Prisoners of Hope volunteers distributed 844 bible studies to inmates in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
28 inmates reported making first-time decisions to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
Eleven students graduated from the study program and received their leather bound, engraved study bible.
66 new students registered for the bible study program, but…
No personal one-on-one ministry was possible during this past quarter due to shut-downs and quarantines. However,…..
700 bibles were provided to prison chaplains for distribution within their facilities.
Thank You for Your Support and Encouragement!
(Annual Meeting on Hold)
Despite the chaos that currently surrounds us, you have all continued your faithful support to this ministry and we are so very grateful.
We truly missed seeing all of you at the Annual Meeting at the Old Country Buffet that actually didn’t happen. We refused to socially distance, and knew we couldn’t guarantee an attendance of less than 50 persons. And I was fairly confident we would be singing loud and strong!
We are confident that a Thank You Breakfast Meeting will take place before the end of the year. Remember that it will be held at Church on the Green in Sun City West rather than the Old Country Buffet, so save a few spots on your social calendars.
Stay tuned for future developments!
Again, we thank you for your support, your prayers, and your friendship.
Your Partners in Prison Ministry,
Jim and Carol Carper
Prisoners of Hope Ministries, Inc.