Classes resumed at Dixon but logistics of getting the students to the classroom and getting their books for Discipleship 101 remain a challenge. Ask for prayer to get all in place.
Sheridan's Discipleship 101 says good-bye to two students John a 3 time student gets paroled August 24 & Antoine a student since 10/1/10 as a Malachi Dad decided to step down to give hem more time to prepare for parole by focusing on a re-rentry program. John though a quiet man in words was a not a quiet man when it came to helping others in reading. Antoine was not like John, but willingly contributed almost every week of the struggles he had and how he found victory in Jesus Christ.
With several students being or preparing paroled, I'm beginning to get a feel what a school teacher must feel when he or she sees her students grow and step into world's joy's and challenges.
Your prayer support is a blessing thank you
Glory to Him and Him alone.
Dixon Correctional Center
Discipleship 101 Wednesday August 15, 2012
Name not given - Pay for the officers anger and how they treat inmates hear at Dixon.
Ronnie - Keep in prayer the lawmakers who have preference that one sin is less evil than the other such as thievery is not so bad compared to murder, where our lawmaker will reward the lesser lawbreaker (sin). Pray for balanced weights and measures.
Steve - A prayer for all our families and friends that they will stay safe until are return.
Scott - My sister won't write me and I fear she is mad at me. Pray for both my mother and sister and uncle.
Dixon Correctional Center
Renewing Fatherhood - Wednesday August 15, 2012
Eric - Pray for my family and kids
Sheridan Correctional Center
Discipleship 101 - Friday August 10, 2012
David - Pray that my sister Norma Jean gets well for she has cancer and I would like God to walk with her in her trying time of her life cause with his will I know deep in my heart he will allow her to pull through this. Thank you, God bless!
Name not given - Pray for the strength to persevere through my struggles and overcome the adversity and envy that have of others. Pray for my children and grandchildren and all family members pray for all addicts in and out of recovery. Pray for Denise and her family. Pray for Mr. Osborne and his family and their health. Pray for CO Smith and his family. Pray for my grandmother.
Christopher - Pray that God continues to bless me as I walk in his will. Pray that Lex will continue to have a nice and peaceful pregnancy. Pray that God continues to walk with me as my journey gets shorter here at Sheridan (79 days) Thank you. God bless.
Dean - I pray for the understanding and forgiveness from my brother and sister. Pray for all my family and friends. I pray for good time and be able to go home in February.
Chris - Could you please pray for my family that they get everything they need and that they remain safe. Pray that Andrea remains sober another day. Also pray that I am able to remain open minded to the happenings here that I struggle with. Thank you
William - Please pray for me that I am strengthened in the Lord, that He continues to bless, protect and support my family and that I am released and reunited with them now. Let's also pray that everyone gives their life to Christ.
Sylvester - I pray in the name of Jesus that the body of Christ is strengthened in doing the will of God and in coming to know God's exact will and purpose for our lives an the wisdom to apply it for our lives. In Jesus name Amen.
Jon - Seeking prayer for God's mercy, grace and favor those whom I indirectly and directly come in contact with. Thank you..
Paul - Thank you for your prayers. I wold like prayer for my family, my wife and her health and perseverance. My son Okie in his court matter as as well as my court issues. I go to court in Kane County September 13. May I be shown mercy.
Anthony - Please pray for my mother Loretta for her health and safety. Please pray for my son Stephen that he is safe. Please pray for my brothers Pete and George that they both are touched by the Holy Spirit. Please pray for me that Jesus please give me some serenity. Everything is getting on my nerves at times. Please pray for Scott's wife Michelle that she continue to have strength to helping him in ministry.
Name not given - I want you to pray for my big brother Demetrius that the court will dismiss his case. Please my Father let them dismiss my brother Demetrius' case so he can get another change in life and pray for my ex-girl Donna that she will get back with me. Thank you my Lord.
Reginald - I pray that Mr. Scott be blessed. I love it if you pray that God would watch over my friends and family this day :rod. I pray for the men and women who come to Sheridan Correctional Center to work Lord. I pray for the person that reads tis letter Lord. I ask that you continue to keep me close to you God. Please
Louis - Please pray for my mother she is trying to recover from a heart attack. She pulled through it but is now having other illness difficulties. Pray that she gets her health back and everyone else who is going through the same illness. Please pray for her to go to a nursing home because my brother isn't really taking care of her. Please ask God to protect her. Thank you for all your prayers you are always in my prayers.
Kenneth - I pray that whatever financial problems may have arisen concerning the St. Leonard's Ministries be rectified and that I'd be allowed to reside there when I am released from Sheridan. It is a transitional home and I am in need of the services they provide to continue in my recovery and to maintain my sobriety
Sheridan Correctional Center
Renewing Fatherhood - Friday August 10, 2012
Adrian - Prayer request for Rachel, Mason, Elias and Morgan, that God wold protect them, comfort them, and guide them with love.
Name not given - I ask you to pray for me and my family. Pray for Tonya that she is ale to hold on to her job and for her health. Pray for my mom, sister and brother.
Kenneth - I pray for the love, protection and grace of God over my family, friends and love ones. I haven't heard anything from them in awhile and I ask that the Lord watch over them, that He supply their needs and protect them from all harm and danger. I ask that Satan's hold over our communications be removed.
Jesse - I'd like a prayer over my children's mother Carmen, that the Lord will help her in time of need, that she will turn to the Lord Jesus for guidance in all her struggles that all my children are safe from all the evil spirits of this world that the Lord will keep them all the right track. Amen.
Eric - I would like prayer for me in my family as we go further in the Lord in times like this. Pray for my kids and people all over that are calling out to him and the men in the jails that will go home soon to family and pray for me.
Name not given - pray for my daughter Jade for my eyes to be opened that I may see the path that God has for me so I may be a better son, father, brother, man, boyfriend, and cousin. God bless you and thank you.
Svondo - I would like for you to pray for us all that we keep giving our praises and our Thanksgiving and respects to our father God Almighty and Jesus Christ the Savior and Holy Spirit, that we keep receiving hope, blessing, grace and having mercy on our souls hears and minds. Amen
Lyvon - Please pray for me to retain my parental rights to my child also forgot to soften the heart of the judge. Thank you.
Name not given - Pray for salvation of Ron and Brenna.
Prayers of Special Note
Paul - Did not meet with Paul as planned on 13th his sister chose to visit that day. He did express in letters that he needs prayer for his fears God will abandon him and taht God would give him some positive news versus constant bad news. He has a court date Aug. 23rd. I plan to meet with Paul August 27th.
Hard to believe that August is half over and Fall is just one month away on the calendar road. A lot is going on causing me to be a tad late for August prayer request and there are several prayer requests that, hopefully, I'll be able to convey with minimal words.
It may seem to lose sincerity when we express it monthly but Michelle and I greatly appreciate the blessing of your support through prayer or financial giving.
To Him be the glory.
I was not privy to who blessed SOCPM with $1,000 gift last month. If by chance it was one of The Barbed Wire readers then Thank you!! We cannot express enough of our gratitude for your gift.
I will be ordained by my church ,Redeemer Fellowship, as a Pastor of the Gospel on August 26. My ordination will allow me to make pastoral visits to men incarcerated in county jails outside of their assigned visiting hours. We appreciate the support and encouragement of the ministry from the Redeemer elders.
A prayer of thanks for Redeemer Fellowship's church secretaries Deb and Stephanie who are a blessing by printing the large volumes of additional reading articles distributed to SOCPM students and Bible lessons for men who participate in New Life Correction's correspondent Bible studies.
Speaking of Bible lessons, a prayer of thanks to all the weekly volunteers who grade the completed lessons every week and answer letters.
A person from my church who works at Tyndale Publishers blessed SOCPM with the gift of 47 leather covered Bible that will be distributed to students at Sheridan during their recognition ceremony on September 7. He also blessed SOCPM with 12 King James Study Bibles that will be given to Dixon's Chaplain Library.
SOCPM has formed a partnership with Mount Zion Bible Institute. MZBI offers a wide range of curriculum and correspondent courses, a catalog of books on theology for students to order free or a for a minimal cost. The book catalog, order forms, and correspondent courses applications have been approved for distribution at Sheridan.
The suggestion of the Chaplain at Sheridan to rearrange the table and seating set-up into a 'U' shape has created an intense focus and increased sharing among the students of the weekly teachings, especially Discipleship 101.
Continued guidance from the Holy Spirit in choosing a curriculum that would not be cost prohibitive in the areas of; how to interpretate/study the Bible, have a confident and fruitful prayer life , how to share your Christian faith and a sanctifying daily devotional. Down to final selection for three of the four curriculum and all but one of those would require purchase of text books. I am still in search of a curriculum on how to share your faith.
Discernment in deciding whether to change the current curriculum of Discipleship 101 with the above curriculum or develop a third class. The stumbling block is being able to schedule a third weekly class with limited blocks of time.
SOCPM has been using the Inside Out Dad Christian program for its Renewing Fatherhood class with great reviews from students. But, SOCPM has felt it does not present a large enough focus on all aspects of fatherhood. Particularly in marriage and Spiritual Leadership of the family as a whole. Thus, SOCPM will be reviewing other materials. Pray for discernment in SOCPM's review of Renewing Fatherhood curriculum.
Sheridan's head warden has resigned. Until further notice all new programming is on hold. Please pray the new warden will have a heart for the Lord and see a need for SOCPM's programs and those of other Bible based programs.
With my pastoral ordination pray that God will bless me with wisdom in Biblical counseling to Paul and others that request counseling.
Safe travels and a successful seminar in a volunteer capacity with New Life Corrections' instruction of 'Transforming Incarcerated Dads' to a class of men at Hill Correctional Center September 10 -11, Vienna Correctional Center September 22 & 24, Shawnee Correctional Center September 25 & 26.
Programming at Dixon Correctional Center continues to be a challenge in attendance & text books. Pray that God will bring the successes He has blessed SOCPM with at Sheridan to Dixon
Pray for the completion of new SOCPM's home page and website and completion of the appeal packet by September 1st so they can be part of a new fund raising campaign.
SOCPM is looking to respond to requests from within the state prisons and perhaps even Illinois' Federal prisons to present 1 or 2 day seminars on marriage, reentry and more. However, before making a commitment to these requests SOCPM will need to make sure it can cover the expenses that will be incurred (travel, office supplies, class room materials). Michelle and I are at a point where we cannot continue underwriting the costs that are not covered by current monthly support with our personal finances. Ideally it would be a great blessing if SOCPM support would be able to pay me a salary. I hope to embark on a fund raising campaign starting September 1 and I ask for your prayers that the anxieties I have about seeking funds will be squelched in knowing that God expects those who do ministry to be paid for their work. Pray that God would show His faith in His call to me by blessing SOCPM with the monthly support to cover expenses and a salary.
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries P. O. Box 671 Cortland, Illinois 60112
JAIL-MAILfrom Chaplain Tom, NEW LIFE CORRECTIONS MINISTRY
at WAYSIDE CROSS MINISTRIES, AURORA IL August 20, 2012
A PRESSING NEED
Because I work inside the prisons, the Dept. of Corrections does NOT permit me to correspond with any inmates. As you read the letters >>>>>>>>, you can surely see that they need answers! I need partners to answer my mail! I read all the letters and make note on how to answer them, but I just cannot answer them personally. As a ministry partner answering mail, you'd work as part of a team - a team that meets every Tuesday evening, 7 - 9 PM, at Redeemer Fellowship Church in St. Charles. The team also grades the many Bible Lessons we receive from the inmates. There is no application, but you need to be Born Again, a Church Member, and an adult. Please join us!
Postage. The inmates sending us letters all pay their own postage, even the ones returning their Bible Lessons to be graded. And all the letters we send to the inmates, especially the ones with more Bible Lessons, cost us more than a few dollars per week. Actually, I don't even know the exact cost, because the Bible Lesson Graders pay all the postage out of their own pockets. Well, we're getting more letters and more inmates taking our Bible Lessons, and the postage costs are going to soon cost more than the Volunteer Graders can afford. (They've not told me how much they spend, or how much they can afford.)
And, I'd like to get to the point where we could offer the inmates postage-paid envelopes in which to return their Bible Lessons.
So, if you could donate some money for postage, I know it would be put to good use!
The last time I wrote a JAIL-MAIL like this one - with letters from inmates - I reported that I was receiving an average of one letter every day from inmates. Well, today it's an average of MORE THAN TWO letters, every day! Last week, it was THREE - per DAY! So, here's a sampling, just to give you a glimpse into how inmates are responding to our Gospel outreach:
Chaplain Tom, My name is William. I am writing hopefully enroll in the Master's Touch after I'm released from prison. I am already developing a relationship with Jesus Christ, and am interested in more! I want my life to change! It just seems like, for so long, so much has gone wrong for me. I need God's people to guide me in the right direction.
Chaplain Tom, I have received your letter recommending me for approval. I would like to take this time to say "thank you" for considering me for the Master's Touch program at Wayside. I am really looking forward to coming to Wayside and I pray that the Placement Resources Unit will approve me with your recommendation. My goal is to change my way of thinking and my way of life. I want to do God's will and not my own. I truly believe that through the Master's Touch program and my willingness to change, all this and much more will be possible.
Dear Chaplain Tom & Staff, I'm Eugene. I want to apologize for the delay with my correspondence, and the delay in my March 12 parole. You see, I've been deported back to Italy. After 47 years in this country, a theft I committed in 1997 has come back to haunt me. And I do want you to know that I haven't given up on God and He hasn't given up on me! I'm only being strengthened by Him as I'm finally right with Him! I've never lived in Italy (only born there), and I don't speak any Italian. Please pray for me.
Dear Chaplain Tom, Hello, my name is James. I'm 31 years old, and my entire life has been on the bottom. My mother was a crack addict and my father was a dope fiend. And as crazy as it sounds, they are still indulging! The streets and prison raised me. I could go on and on, but for the first time in my life, I'm SO READY to change! I don't want to return to the negative surroundings. I don't even want to speak to no-one that's not about changing themselves or assisting me with change. So, today I really have NO ONE! I can't control the rain coming down from my eyes or the storm rumbling inside me. Recently at Stateville, I was given a flyer that I thought I'd never use...until today. This feeling of lost hope overwhelmed me, but then God kind of illuminated hope through this flyer that I thought I'd never use. I want to know, can you guys really help me? Does everything in the flyer really exist for a person like me? Please send me information on your aftercare program. I want to be a man that has a job, a family, some structure in the church, and helpful to the community. I've seen my last days as a criminal. Please write back.
Hello New Life Corrections Ministries! I am fine and things are only getting better! Will you please keep me in your prayers? I really think I've done real good on these lessons, and I'm ready for my next ones. I hope to hear from you real soon.
Your brother in Christ, Willie
Dear Chaplain Tom, I recently had a cellmate that listened as I told him I was having no luck finding a herd to join once I was free. That I wanted to enter a structured environment and be around and learn from real Stand Up Men of God. He told me about your ministry and opportunities for me. He showed me the information you had sent him. Could I be accepted into the Master's Touch Ministry? Oh, I pray it could happen! Please write me back! Damon
Hello, Well first of all I would like to ask, How are you all feeling today? Just marvelous I hope. As for myself, I'm definitely not feeling so well, thanks to the fact of my being fed up with not receiving any sort of replies from all of the Half-Way Houses that I've wrote to. I'm in my last 3 months, and unfortunately my loved ones have all passed away and I have no place to go when I'm released. And I can't get anyone to answer my letters. So, if possible, could you all please, I repeat, could you please send me some sort of information concerning placement within your facility? With all respect, John
Like I said, I receive 2 - 3 letters like these EVERY DAY. So far, in 2012, arrangements have been made for 75 men to parole from Illinois Prisons to our 6-months, BIBLE-BASED, CHRIST-CENTERED, aftercare program, where they can continue up to 2 years, as needed. Do they all make it? Well, no. But, the last chapter hasn't been written yet!
And, as food for thought... (you must enable your email to DISPLAY IMAGES)
YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE about the NEW LIFE CORRECTIONS MINISTRY at www.waysidecross.org/newlife. CHAPLAIN TOM is available to come to churches, Sunday School Classes, Bible Studies, and civic groups to speak about the Jail Ministry. The best way to reach Chaplain Tom is by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out about how YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Dr. Gene Getz (Measure of a Man) will be the Keynote Speaker at our
(Scroll down for CHAPLAIN'S TRAINING ACADEMY information.)
JAIL-MAILfrom Chaplain TomNEW LIFE CORRECTIONS MINISTRY
A Division of Wayside Cross Ministries
August 12, 2012 215 E. New York St., Aurora IL 60505
Jail & Prison Ministry Training
October 20, 2012, 9 AM - 3:30 PM,
at Wayside Cross Ministries, 215 East New York Street, Aurora IL 60505
FREE! OPEN TO ALL!
(A freewill offering will be received)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching! - Hebrews 10:24-25
ON APRIL 24th - 28th, we hosted WEEK 1 of the CHAPLAINS TRAINING ACADEMY. It was attended by 13. (WEEK 1 is planned to be repeated next year.)
THIS OCTOBER 16th - 20th, we'll host WEEK 2. Subjects to be covered are: Biblical Counseling, Evangelism, Inmate Culture and the Word, and Working With and Developing Volunteers.
The Chaplains Training Academy will be held Tuesday - Friday, October 16 - 19, 6 - 10 PM, at New Covenant Bible Church, 4N780 Randall Road, St. Charles IL, and Saturday, October 20, 9 AM - 3:30 PM at Wayside Cross Ministries, in Aurora. The Tues-Fri sessions are restricted to "paid registrants." The Saturday session (in Aurora) is free, open to the public.
What To Bring: Bible, teachable spirit, and for those needing housing, one suitcase and other personal provisions. (We have elegant complimentary housing available.)
Cost for the CTA: For the Illinois training session, we have a discounted rate of $90 plus the cost of textbooks. A $50 deposit is necessary to register. This deposit will be held until you are accepted into the course, in which case it will go toward the first session's fee. If your application is not accepted, the $50 will be returned.