Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Doing Time 6 Uncle Ed at the PCJ Church Services

This is the 6th installment of Spark's notes as a chaplain at the Peoria County Jail:
Uncle Ed at the PCJ church services
    I think his family would say that his desire to be at the Sunday morning services at the jail, topped anything else. Eventually, as his health started failing, he had to have a wheel chair to make it down the long hall leading to gym B.  It meant so much tot he inmates that he would make that effort to worship with them that they would send him cards and want me to tell him that they were praying for him when ever he wasn't there.  He was not able to stand by the exit and shake hands with the inmates after services so many of the inmates would step out of line to go shake his hand.  The guards always looked the other way.  God bless them for that.  The last Sunday he was there, his son Bob brought him in a wheel chair.  He was on high levels of oxygen and could only make it through 2 of the services.  I think all of us knew it would be his last time there.  His son, Ed Jr., recorded his last words for Berean volunteer's, "it's the Lord's work. to Him be the glory. We are just His workers."
Our work day yesterday started with out the usual piles of mail. We only had one tub full and it seemed most of them were request letters instead of studies. That was a good thing, we were a little short of volunteers. Tim Martin was only able to bring a few boxes of unwrapped Bibles down from the warehouse, just enough to get us through that one day. Below Rhoda and Emily were the willing workers stuffing and wrapping the Bibles.
Last week Diane realized we were almost out of the return labels that must go on each of the Bibles and ordered 30,000 of them. 
Thankfully they came just in time as we finished our last sheet so Emily and Rhoda were able to have the Bibles all ready just needing the name and address of who they would be mailed to as soon as the letters were processed. Once the studies were done, it took Emily and I a few hours to process all the letters. We were not able to finish labeling the Bibles before lunch. Below everyone is busy with a job to do either opening mail, reading letters or processing the studies.
Below are a few of the hundreds of letters that came in typed exactly as written:
I George, has send off for a big print Bible, and never recieved it probably becase of the movements I made, could I please get a large print bible, because I'm having trabl with my eye sight, And you'lls prayers, And I will pray for Yore'll your kindness will be appreciated, thanks George and God bless each and every one of you'll (His first Bible was returned so we sent him a second Bible)
Below is a letter from Vincent: 
Mr. Chaplain, Meister,  Hello, and how are you?  I trust and pray you're fine, and well; and that goes for ALL the rest of the family, friends, and congregation.  I just wanted to let you know I received the bible to day, and thank you (ALL) for the blessing of sending it.  I truly do (APPRECIATE) it and will use it diligently with grace, love, and understandings.  Enclosed are the completed, lessons (1 through 4) that I enjoyed doing through the grace of God.  Again; "I thank you ALL Sincerely", and pray you All have a blessed, and Prosperiously, happy new Year, and many more to come.... (GOD Bless YOU ALL) In Jesus name, Vincent
Below is a letter from Douglas
Thank you so much for the Bible and the Bible study lessons.  I'm ready for as many as you send to me, it helps me active a lot more in Gods Word.  You all have made my day & Thank God for you. What a friend I do have in Jesus & you.  Love your Brother in Christ Douglas. Peace I Leave with You! God Bless you & Roll Tide (Alabama Football Ha-Ha)
Below is a letter from Teddy:
Hi my name is Teddy. My friend got a study Bible from yall and I was just praying to God for a way to study about my king.  I would love to be come a precker ar consler and just wont to get closer to God. If posubul could send me a Bible with Big prent I don't got no way to pay but by prayer and asking God to bles you. Thank you and God bleas you.  Sarry for my speeling your friend Teddy.
Below is a letter from Justin:
Hello I just wanted to thank you for the Awesome Bible you sent, I really enjoy it & it's so much easier to read with the large print.  I've enjoyed lessons 1-4 also.  It really helps me break down & understand the verses better.  Another thing I've enjoyed is that not only do you ask for me to fill in the blanks on the verses, but you also ask what it personally means to me & my definition which further makes me breakdown verses & really understand them better.  I would LOVE more questions like them.  I really LOVE challenging myself especially with God's Word.  Not only am I ententally learning something I enjoy, but thats essential to life.  I have a 21 month old son & I want to change my life drastically & be a man of God & raise my son in the Bible to be a man of God as well.  I want to be the BEST possible role model I can be to him.  I don't want him to travel the same road my father & myself traveled, I desperately want to Break the cycle & give him  & my wife the BEST life possible.  She is already a Christian & is taking him to her home church, Thats why I enjoy the question which require me to really read & evaluate each verse so much.  If you have more study questions & lessons like that PLEASE send them as well as the regular lessons.  Sorry that I completed the lessons in pencil * not ink but with my wife raising our son alone I can't afford pens, but with pencils I can always erase my mistakes & start over LOL.  If at all possible if you have any lessons for Fathers & raising their children in the Bible or ANYTHING similar would you send them as well. Also if possible could you send a highlighter so I can highlight my favorite verses.  Thank you so very much for the Bible, Lessons, & anything else that will help me in my learning walk in God's world Sincerely Justin
Below is a letter from Carla:
To Whom it may concern: Recently, I wrote to inquire if your ministry had large print Bibles.  Instead of a letter with an answer, I received a large print Bible! I am very excited and I hope that I express my appreciation in this short note.  Your kindness is noted, and greatly embraced. I have shared your name with others. Again, Thank you so much. Sincerely Carla
We don't advertise our program at all, it is just word of mouth and has now grown to over 32,000 prisoners on the rolls!

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