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Greetings from sweltering Folsom, California! 111 today and 114 yesterday. We hope you’ll join with us in prayer for our inmates throughout the west as they deal with this heat in some pretty tough conditions. A/C in many of these facilities is woefully inadequate on a good day. In this heat – wow! Is was in Mule Creek just yesterday and all my guys showed up for our CAMP class. I am truly blessed with this work.
And speaking of CAMP, things are starting to gear up again. We just completed week 15 of 30 in Mule Creek. Next week we’ll conduct week 24 in Folsom. But the big news is that they finally got started last month in Houston Texas! They’re conducting the classes with 10 men as they learn the program. So, 20 guys are on week 5 in 2 separate prisons in that area. Today we sent 20 more sets of books to the coordinator there to start 2 more classes very soon. We’re just praying now that God will change the trajectory of this Covid mess so we can get fully back to work!
And speaking of that Coordinator in Texas, we also sent him a complete package (student and facilitator guides) of our latest work “Written in Red”. It’s a pretty thorough study of the 4 Gospels – all done and ready for trials. And by the way, any of you out there that might be willing to conduct this course as a Bible study in your church, come back to us. Bibles 4 Change will fully sponsor all of the materials you’ll need to get it going. Just bear in mind that it’s a pretty serious commitment. It’s designed to take a full year if conducted once a week in 2-hour sessions. Please take a look at our website for more info on this curriculum. Don’t hesitate to email or call me if you have questions.
We have begun to do our preliminary research on our next project. It will be a course on Christian leadership. We haven’t made the final decision on the workbook for the class but it’s looking like a book by John Maxwell – “21 Qualities of Leaders in the Bible’” is our main contender.
This season’s wildfire evacuations here in California have been a little lighter than previous years. I believe it’s mainly because Cal-fire has been doing a superb job of getting onto and knocking these fires down more forcefully than ever before. Our hats are off to these people in this work, including a lot of our inmates who do some of the scariest work on the front lines. I’ve met a few of them and I can tell you that most of them seem to be pretty self-less people to go into harm’s way as they do.
I recently made a 2 case drop at a Baptist Church in Auburn for the Mosquito fire and my sister Linda is planning a trip to the fires burning at the California/Oregon border. I do have to say that this Mosquito fire evacuation has been one of the most heartbreaking evacuation sites I’ve been to yet. This good-sized church was overflowing with evacuees. People were sleeping on the ground and on small cots, right out in the parking lot – and in this heat?? Please, Lord, watch over them!
But we certainly aren’t complaining about a lack of business in this part of our ministry. These fires can really be devastating, as you undoubtedly understand. Please keep all of these displaced folks in your prayers.
Once again, we can’t possibly thank all of you enough who continue to support our ministry, both in prayer and financially. God has blessed us beyond measure in this work.
Just a note of testimony – I was asked a few days ago, as I’ve been asked before, ‘why do you do this work’? And people are sometimes taken aback when I tell them that all of us involved in Bibles 4 Change are 10 times more blessed by this work than those that we minister to! And this isn’t just some cliché – some catchy talking point - It really is true! God tells us in His word that we will always be more blessed than we can imagine if we just do what He tells us to do. We are living testimony to the truth of that!
God bless you all and please take a look at our website for more information on what’s going on with our ministry. And please, tell everyone you think may be interested in what we’re doing. We need all the support we can get and that includes conducting one of our courses in their church!
I know that it’s been awhile since my last letter, but as all of you can imagine the Covid-19 debacle has really slammed on the brakes for programming inside prisons across the country. By virtue of this, we’ve shifted gears in our ministry to begin cleaning up our media
presence/tools along with refining the Christian Anger Management Project (CAMP) package.
Our Website – If any of you have looked at our website of late you may have found it a little messy. We’re making significant changes on nearly every page and in the course of doing this we published it so that it wouldn’t be missing completely. But now we are about done with the upgrades. Naturally, a website should always be dynamic, a work in progress, so that you all see something new every time you visit. We’re hoping you’ll find it more interesting and informative as time goes by. Please take a look at our site when you can, and as always, we are open to constructive criticism – what you think matters to us!
Our Facebook page – Not only have we changed our image on our Facebook page, we have also begun to link our page to our website. Our goal is to inspire interest in others to get involved in prison ministries. We want to encourage Churches to begin prison ministries if they are not already involved. It’s important that people know that they can get involved in prison ministry without ever having to go inside a prison. We’ve developed a tab on the website giving them ideas as to how they can do this.
We believe all Christians should be taking advantage of all this isolation down time to prepare for getting back to God’s work. This not only includes prison ministry but also to our church work. A simple but great question for you to ask your pastor-
“What can I do, right now, to help the church hit-the-ground-running once we do open back up?”
Awhile back I mentioned in a Newsletter that we sent some Bibles up to a Pastor in Paradise to distribute to his congregants and to anyone else that wanted one. He distributed all 80 Bibles in a little over 2 hours. The Lord has placed on my heart that we do that again for these big fires we experiencing now. So that is what we will be doing. Tomorrow, Aug 22, I’ll be headed down to Vacaville to meet up with a Pastor down there to distribute what we can there and then see where we are called to go from there. Probably either Loyalton or Santa Cruz. Please keep this work in your prayers. Take a look in the ‘Projects’ tab on our website for more information on this work.
We thank you all for hanging in there with us during these crazy times. Your gifts to us are simply helping us to be ready when God calls an end to all of this political absurdity and to the fires! Please keep us in your prayers.
You may recall that in my last newsletter I expressed concern over the fact that our requests for Bibles over the last couple of months had really dropped off.
In fact, the whole first quarter of this year has been near zero. As you might imagine, I’ve been pretty frustrated with all of this.
I also mentioned a reminder as to our submitting our Christian Anger Management course to a group in South Texas for use in the 5 prisons around Houston.
Then, this Coronavirus craziness began so all of our prison work ground to a halt. To be honest, I began to question God in all of this. But in His own, miraculous way He reminded me that He was in charge and that His timing would always prevail, not mine. He’s also helped me to understand that this pandemic is a “Shot across the bow” to America. We’ve systematically taken God out of most everything in America. We take being the most powerful and richest country in the world as something that we accomplished and that He had no part in it. God has shown us with this fiasco that in the blink of an eye He can bring mighty America and all the world to its knees without a fight! GOD IS TRULY IN CHARGE AND ALWAYS WILL BE!! And all of us Christians need to step up and be counted. It’s time to get back to church! We as a nation need to recognize that without Him we will fail! We’re not as big as we think we are.
Enough preaching. I know all of you understand this for what it really is.
Back to Bibles 4 Change – I mentioned earlier my frustration with not hearing anything back on the informational packages I sent to various places regarding our Christian Anger Management Project, what we call CAMP. Last week I got a call from my guy in Houston. He apologized for taking so long for getting back to me on this program but his reasons were pretty powerful. Back in February he submitted our program to the Department of Corrections for the State of Texas in Austin. He was calling me to say that we have just been approved for distribution of the course for every prison in Texas! WOW!
God was working all along for us! He got our course approved in record time because He wants it to grow in other places! He dramatically slowed the demand for Bibles because he wanted us to build our coffers for all of the expenses we would encounter with this new demand for CAMP! Once again, He has humbled impatient Bob about who is in charge and who’s timing is the best.
Please, please, please keep us in your prayers for all of this, folks. This is really a big deal for B4C! We’re going to need your support in every way, more than ever now.
We sincerely thank you for all of your undying support!