Let me take this time and space to thank those of you who write us. Thank you for your comments on our Bible study courses. Thank you for your Bible questions. There is no such thing as a “stupid question” when asked sincerely. There are stupid answers because I have given many of them over the years. I do my best to answer each of your questions personally. It has been my experience that I have never learned anything from someone that always agreed with me. If someone is just asking about our ministry, we will mail them a newsletter and add them to our mailing list. If they have specific questions, then we attempt to give them specific answers.
We also get requests for things that we, as a rule, cannot help them. Let me give you a list of things that we, as a Bible based ministry, do not have the facilities in which to help.
- We are not a halfway house. We have no facilities. We can recommend one in Odessa, Texas, but that is the extent of our help.
- We are not a location service. We do not have ability to help you locate a friend or loved one. To be a member of those services cost money that we can better use to do ministry.
- We are not a bank or lending institution. Please do not send us forms regarding your commissary.
- We are not a legal entity or even a paralegal entity. We cannot help you with assistance with attorneys or legal questions.
- We are not a book store. We do not furnish study Bibles or books.
- We are not a job locator. We can tell you what the job market is in our town, but outside of that we cannot be of help. Notice that I used the words “job market.” We may not be knowledgeable about specific jobs or employment.
- Please do not send your children’s names to us for Angel Tree. We do Angel Tree and have for over 20 years. We go through the proper channels. Inmates sign up in prison; the chaplain sends those forms to Prison Fellowship, they are registered and sent to their regional offices (our office is Dallas.) PF in Dallas sends the information to us and we do the program.
Most of you could save time and expense by going to your unit chaplain and asking him for help and advice on these problems. He has lists of many resources. For instance, if you need a Bible, the Gideons will furnish Bibles free of charge to every prison in America. If your unit does not have any available, ask the chaplain to call the local Gideons for support. There are many criminal justice ministries that offer various helps. Most chaplains have the Restorative Criminal Justice Ministry newsletter. That letter lists ministries serving the criminal justice system in all 50 states. Most units have ministries coming in for seminars and meetings which you should be attending. Ask those volunteers about where you can get whatever help you need. If they cannot help you, they may know who can.
After saying that, let me tell what we attempt to do.
- We offer Bible correspondence courses to anyone free of charge, to the free world as well as the incarcerated. Our courses are not easy. They are designed to help you think and study. No one passes or fails our courses; we send a completion certificate to those who complete the course. We mail four lessons at a time to save on postage, plus that lets a person work faster if they desire. When the student mails in his four finished lessons, we grade them, make corrections for the students’ information, then mail them back with four new lessons.
- If you have Bible questions, we will attempt to answer them for you. To the best of my knowledge, we have never ignored any Bible question by refusing to answer it. We use the Bible (KJV) as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. We also attempt to answer, in love, those who challenge us or disagree with us. The great thing about being an American is that we have the freedom to disagree. We do our best to stand on Bible teaching, as best we understand It, and not today’s culture or man’s wisdom. That is why we do not pass or fail anyone who takes our Bible courses. We grade the questions and give what we think is the proper answer. We know that there will be some who disagree with our position.
- We send Bible courses to only the individual who is taking the course. We do not send them to anyone who does not personally request the lessons. Every loved one usually wants their loved one to take a Bible course, but that does not mean that individual really wants to take it.
Over the years we have tried to be a resource of resources. We have tried to find out what organization can help with an individual’s needs. We want to be a blessing to all of you. We especially want to be helpful if you are coming to our area.
Keep Looking Up!