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VOICES OF FAITH FROM INSIDE THE WALLS OF US PRISONS
LETTERS OF FAITH Page 1 ( Go to Page 2 )
(Please keep returning to this page for continued additions.)
|This prisoner is the first in NJ to have an Appellate Court
order the Superior Court to give him the opportunity to exonerate himself
with DNA evidence. He had been in state prison since 1987 and finally released
in 2005 due to DNA forensics proving his innocence. He is still scheduled
...John, for a few days I was deeply troubled as to "why this; why
me?" What caused this? What makes a man threaten another without cause?
Instead of worry and stress I asked the Lord God "why am I here?" Early
the following day a still voice said "I'm purging you." ..."Every branch
that bears fruit He prunes it that it may bring more fruit" (John 15:1)...
...I know you've heard it said that a man can have everything today and tomorrow have nothing. The same with our trials, testings, afflictions and tribulations. They are here today and gone tomorrow. It's not about the injustice, lying and corruption of man; instead it's about the fulfilling of God's will...John, your work for the kingdom's sake is far more powerful than you realize...So my brother, be of a strong faith and of good cheer. I'm here to encourage you in the Lord and inspire you to continue your work for the gospel's sake...The DNA testing in my case will hopefully not only prove my innocence but break the State's back and shut their mouths. Soon, everything should come to light...
...I'm frustrated with everything, but God's word tells me "that
God will keep them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him." So
I keep reminding myself that all things happen in God's timing and not
mine..."When we 'go out' to pursue our own desires instead of following
God's leading, we will be frustrated in our efforts and left empty and
disappointed. But when we go out at the Lord's prompting and direction,
'at His word,' He is responsible for the outcome. The results will be fruitful
labor, whether we know it or not." (From A Daily Bread, March 2,
|From B, in prison since 1996.
When I see the release of a prisoner, I feel joy in my heart, knowing
his oppression. And yet even in prison I feel free knowing the Lord. When
I read the Bible and I see what Christ has suffered for my sins I know
that God truly loves me. I believe it was Paul who said the suffering that
we face today cannot be compared to the glory that we will know tomorrow
in Christ our Lord. But what you wrote about the body of Christ is true. I
believe that when one member of the body suffers the other members suffer
also. Christ still suffers with us, remembering that Christ is eternal, not
restricted by the limits of time or space...I remember the scripture that
says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to
Him. Yes, I know that Christ still suffers with us and for us.
|From O, innocent and in state prison since 2000. He is working
hard in developing an outreach ministry to people in and outside of prison.
Once again I realize how unjust man is. Still, I thank the Lord
for this experience, and I am learning a great lesson through it...I just
can go back to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for me. Surely He has borne
my grief and carried my sorrows..."He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon
Him, and by His stripes we are healed." Going through this situation I understand
more of Jesus' love for me. He took my place. He laid down His life so
that I may live..."Greater love had no one than this, to lay down one's
life for his friends." Jesus' love is unmeasureable, beyond my understanding!
|From T, innocent and in state prison since 2000.
In my lifetime, I always tried to do things with my own strength.
My life had come to an end, as I knew it, when I was arrested for a crime
I didn't commit. After being totally stressed for several weeks, I found
myself on my knees asking God to help me and that the stress has become
too great for me to handle. After saying my prayer, instantly the stress
had left my body. It actually felt like someone had lifted a thousand pounds
off my shoulders, and I knew from that point on that the true and living
God was with me.
|From N, unjustly convicted and in state prison since 1996.
Today's my birthday and I thank God for another year because tomorrow
isn't promised to anyone. A code 66 went off at 4 pm. It's sad when you
hear that code...which means somebody quit, gave up on life...He gave me
another day to praise Him...I will always look back on this time I spent
in here as time with the Spirit, teaching me many things and showing what
to work on in my walk with Christ Jesus!
...I'm sorry to say that for a long time now I've been out of tune with my walk with Christ..My prayer life is on empty. I haven't been reading the Bible on a daily basis. Why am I so oppressed? ...These 8 years behind bars makes me very sad. I'm always dreaming about being out of here just to wake up still here. Forgive me please for telling you all this sad news but I have no one to share this with lately...John, I can't wait to see you one day to get a big hug from someone who felt my hurt behind these walls...I will always keep you in prayer when I can pray.
As a young little boy I can remember God having His Hand upon my life. Not to say I didn't get in lots of trouble. But as soon as I would talk to God, things would change for the better...As I got older and knew more about our faith, Christ stepped in to bless my life with many new family members and friends like you.
I love to read the reflections you sent me...for I break bread and
drink my grape juice with you in the Spirit.
|From R, in state prison since 1999.
You know, John, I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. Things I was worrying about that I couldn't control, I put in the hands of God through our Lord Christ. I am at an inner peace with myself and came to an understanding that whatever happens to me is God's will. I regret straying from His guidance, but even though I'm locked up, I'm more comfortable with myself than I've ever been...I will never turn away from my Lord and Savior again.
|From T(2), in state prison since 1993, innocent.
It is most definitely a good thing to hear my letters can generate enough power to formulate some inspiration in your life. My Mother tells me the same things, however, it is a good thing nonetheless. It is those truths, coming from such people, which forms the basis for motivating a struggling man in this quest for freedom. You see, it works both ways. People feed off of other people's energy. It's the quality of dealing equally in that particular field of science (equality) which builds a high level of harmony. Harmony forms Peace. Harmony and Peace forever has its place in Heaven. Thus, Glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), and Peace and Harmony will forever reside.
However, it is this hell that I have gone through in order to reach that Peace and Harmony "cumulatively". I have Peace, because Peace is the absence of confusion. I have Harmony, because Harmony is understanding one's self.
A Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity -- A Psalm of David, 144:1-15
Thus I continue to war for that which has been wrongly stripped
from me, my freedom.
From Bill, unjustly convicted, in prison since 2000
It is truly a gift to have friends after so many years that still
cherish the memories of one another's friendship. I also look forward
to one day seeing each other in freedom as our friendship continues, no
matter what the outcome...With my case being so messed up and touchy, I
don't know what you can do to help, but I pray for anything. I appreciate
all that you are trying to do for me. You are a great friend. I thank you...Thank
you for keeping me in your prayers and believing that someday we will once
again see each other and our families in freedom, with the help of God...All
I ask is to keep in touch and to keep getting your Weekly Reflections which
I enjoy reading...You're a good friend and brother.
|From B, in prison since 1996
...I also read the Weekly Reflection that you sent me, many times. Looking back on my life at things that happened to me (thinking they were disasters) I see they turned into a blessing and sometimes not just for me but also for those I love. The part of the reflection where you talk about how Christ knows the number of hairs on our heads and our every thought and how in God's eyes we are worthy of his incarnation, death and resurrection. I don't see myself as being worthy at all because every day we sin...However I must tell you I am eternally grateful for God's love and grace everyday ...
Many times I've seen storms come by this prison and after the storm passes I see the rainbow in the sky which is a visual and physical proof of God's grace. When I look at a rainbow I can feel God's love. In one of the psalms it speaks of how the clouds are the Lord's chariots and that He wlks on the wings of the wind. Well, when I go out side and I see the clouds and feel the wind I can see and feel God's grace and love and peace come into my soul just knowing He is there. Even right here sitting in my cell I feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit of God and I know that the Lord is with me watching over me and He gets me through another day only to bless me with another one tomorrow. I sleep in peace on most nights feeling refreshed for the next day and what the Lord has to offer me.
|From Larry Peterson, proven innocent, in prison
since 1987, released in 2005 on DNA forensics proving his innocence in 2005,
still scheduled for retrial nonetheless
I do pray that the Lord God has all of you in His Hand doing swell as all of you abound more and more in His Word and grace. By His mercy and grace we're all doing well, my family and I, as we both await this soon Court date and the Lord's coming...This letter will be mailed on July 5th which means I have only 24 more days to wait before being released. Romans 4:17: "...Speak those things that are not as though they were." ...It will be so good to become accustom to Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Fall once again. Hearing birds sing early in the morning, smelling flowers, trees, rain and watching a garden grow, seeing the joy and happiness on a kid's face or seeing people smile, oh yes, going to the supermarket seeing all the different kinds of fruit, and the soothing experience of the quietness of the woods as you sit on land or a boat to fish. Life and living is so good. So many things I took for granted, but never again. It's a blessing being able to get up in the morning and walk, talk or sing. Truly God is good and worthy to be praised...
|From B. in prison since 1996
...I haven't heard from my children since the last and first time that they came to visit me. But I know that they are in the Lord's hands, so everything will be OK. Because God the Lord, our God Jesus Christ, loves them more than anyone else can. Praise the Lord because He takes care of all his children even when we don't deserve it...I feel so blessed to have friends like you...
|From O, innocent and in prison since 2000
I praise my God in every remembrance of you, being certain that my meeting you is a blessing I will never forget...As for me, I'm doing well, praise God! I preached a sermon yesterday, "Jesus, the Pefect Role Model." We had a joyous time together, my brothers and I. The opening text came from Matthew 11:29, with more emphasis on these three words, "Learn from Me," and concluding with Hebrews 12:2, "Looking on to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." It was a wonderful moment, glory to God!...I spoke with my mother, and she told me she was going to call you and ask you to come with them for a meeting with...[O did not prevail on his appeal before the NJ Supreme Court.]
|From B. in prison since 1996
Knowing this, John, that Jesus is Lord, no matter what happens in court rooms, Jesus is still the Lord. And He has purpose and meaning in everything that He allows to happen. A prison cell is just another place in God's kingdom; the earth is the Lord's and all that dwell in it.
Jesus alone is Lord. He's the only one who suffered for our sins on the cross and rose into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. His thrown is in heaven and He's in control of all things. So keep your faith and trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. In the Bible it's written His ways are above our ways. Sometimes we only see a small part of the whole picture...So the best we can do is walk in faith, faith that He knows all and has purposeful meaning in all that He does or allows to happen...."Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your path straight."
God bless you and thank you for letters and prayers of support. They have been a blessing to me.