June 11, 2013
Thank you for your prayers for this Prison and Reentry ministry. At the
Miramar Brig, we have been studying Joshua for several weeks now. Several
times in the early chapters of the book, when the Lord does something mighty in
the conquest of the Promised Land, the Lord commands the people to build a
monument so they will remember what the Lord has done, and they can tell their
children and grandchildren what the Lord has done.
Last week, I was meeting with Brad at the Brig. The previous Sunday in
the chapel service, communion had been served. Brad was making the
connection between the remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross,
and the monuments of the Old Testament. He was noting that the communion
service is not a one-time/one-place remembrance, but a regular remembrance
observed by believers together—a better remembrance, just as the thing
remembered is greater than those Old Testament feats. As mighty as those
feats were, Christ’s work is greater. After more than a year of pre-trial
confinement, Brad finally had his Navy Court Martial last week. He will
spend at least 15 years in prison, but he has the hope of Christ’s work on the
At East Mesa Reentry Facility, we have now had 11 meetings of our bi-weekly
90-minute Bible Study and Prayer “class”, and have had more than 30 inmates
participate. Almost all of them will be released in the next 12 months. Pray for
Dalton (released in late May) and his mentor Edward; for Shannon (released last
week) and his mentor Tom; for Brandon (will be released later this month) and
his mentor Kyle; for John (released in July) and his mentor Richard. Also
released in July are Ben and Karl. Matt is signed up to mentor one of
these men—pray for a good match. I have been meeting with Chris W. who will be
released in October. We have a few other men interested in mentoring (an answer
to prayer!), and we’re planning another orientation later this summer.
I have also started studying in Jonah with Chris S., who was released from
state prison in February. Chris has had a hard time finding employment,
and is only able to pay rent because he has a generous brother.
A Powerpoint presentation about the PRO Mentors Initiative is posted on the
PRO Mentors page on the Hebrews 13:3 web site. We are hoping to make this presentation at several more churches in San Diego over the next few months.
At the Miramar Brig, I am meeting one-on-one with an inmate on Tuesday
afternoons (last week, Brad; this week, Jon). I lead a prayer meeting
(with five or six inmates attending) on Wednesday afternoons, and the study in
Joshua (with anywhere from 10-15 men attending) on Thursday evenings.
Keon, a navy senior chief that I’ve been mentoring for several months, has
expressed an interest in helping out at the Brig on Thursday nights. With
the Brig’s approval, he should be able to visit this week. If all goes well,
he’ll begin the clearance process so he can help out regularly.
If you’ve been following these letters for a while, you know that I’ve been
corresponding with a prisoner named Clark who is serving Life without Parole in
Arizona. Clark has been adamantly non-Christian, but enjoys corresponding
with me and exploring what is True and what is not. I’ve received two
letters from Clark in the last week. In the first, he details an
experience which sent him to his knees, both literally and figuratively.
He writes that his world view is now a Christian world view, and that I must
think he’s crazy for such an abrupt change. In the second letter, which I
received yesterday, he writes, “I hope that my most recent letter … was less
alarming than it was perplexing.” I initially thought he had once again
renounced the Christian faith, but in fact Clark was going to great pains to try
and convince me that his new faith was indeed genuine. I had not had a
chance to write back (I’ve never received two letters from him in the same
week), but I am eager to write to him and let him know that he doesn’t need to
convince me. As I have said many times, when God is calling, you’ve got to
pick up the phone. Because God’s call never goes to voice mail. Thank God that He didn’t give up on Clark—and that He doesn’t give up on any of us!
Again, thank you for your prayers. If you can’t tell, things are busy
and getting busier. Your financial contributions are a great service to
the Lord and to His Church. I appreciate your service.
Sincerely in Christ,