Helping and Enriching Lives Through Prison Ministry

phone icon904.631.0351



I hope you are well, and faithfully serving our God.


Dear Supporters, Brethren and Friends,

I hope you are well, and faithfully serving our God.

This quarter I want to share with you a letter written by an inmate that was converted to Christ this year. The letter was part of an assignment that men in my Bridge Builders Addiction class are given. The assignment calls for each man to write a letter to himself from a victim of his ungodly life. The victim can be anyone that they have hurt in their life because of their former lifestyle. The idea is for the men to try and connect with the harm and pain they have caused others. It is one of the highlights of the class to hear men read these letters in front of the class. Typically letters are written from the perspective of their crime victims or many times their children or other family members who they have hurt. These letters really show how much harm these men have done to others.

Many of these men have done despicable things. It does no good to gloss over it or pretend like they are just “good boys who got a little off track.” These letters give some indication of their acceptance of responsibility for their past sins as ugly as they might be.

The following letter is written from the perspective of a now 13 year old boy whose father over dosed on cocaine and died when he was about five. The inmate was his “partner” and supplied him with drugs for free because he helped him sell, manufacture, deliver, etc. They were “good friends.” The story and others like it help motivate me to help these men know Christ so that they don’t continue to destroy their own lives and the lives of others they come in contact with.

Dear Shawn,

I know you might not remember me, but I am Sterling’s oldest son. The reason I am writing you is to ask you why you killed my dad. My Mother told me that you and my Dad were best friends, but my grandma told me you was the reason my Daddy is dead because of all the cocaine you used to give him. I remember when I used to get up late at night and you and my Dad used to be in the kitchen cooking. I thought it was food you were cooking. That’s why when I asked my Dad to give me something to eat he would say no to me and I would go back to my Mother’s room crying.

There is so much that I have missed out on without my Dad here with me not to mention that my Mother is strung out on cocaine. In her eyes, she stills sees you as a good man.

She even said you helped pay for our clothes to wear to my Daddy’s funeral. It made me think about why my Mother would say you are a good man when you are the one that helped kill him with all your drugs. Shawn, are you going to kill my Mother the way you did my Dad with your drugs? How could my Mother say you are a good man? My first time falling off my bike my Father was not there to help me up and dry my tears and say “You can do it. Let’s try again.” I miss laying in my Dad’s arms and watching TV and eating up all the snacks in sight. I miss laying in my Mother and Daddy’s bed at night when I can’t sleep. You know what really makes me feel sad Shawn? When I go to my Mother’s room at night and see a different man lying in my Daddy’s bed. I cannot tell you how many times my Mother said, “This is your new Daddy.”

Shawn, why did you keep giving my Daddy all them drugs? Grandma and Mom used to tell me he was just sleeping, but it has been nine years and Dad has not woke up. They said my Dad had six strokes, or heart attacks while he was in the bathroom while he was getting high off of your powdered cocaine. Then after that you still had the nerve to show up at our house. Shawn you robbed me of my life with my Dad. I hate you for what you did to my family. You took something from me I can never get back. The older I get the more I understand that you were not my Dad’s friend, but a murdering, selfish dope dealer. I wonder how many other people you have killed. When I found out you were in prison it made me happy. You won’t be able to kill no one else’s Dad like you did mine.

I hope they never let you out.

Only Christ could love a man that has done these things. Only Christ could love someone like us. Shawn’s life is changing because of the gospel. Shawn is learning to live a life that will breathe hope and love into other’s lives not despair and hatred. One man’s changed life effects so many other people. Thanks for sharing in these changed lives with me.

Daryl Townsend