Helping and Enriching Lives Through Prison Ministry

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Our new efforts at Liberty CI have been extremely fruitful.


Thank you for your support for another quarter. It seems I am later each time with my reports. Things are busier than ever, and opportunities continue to abound in the prisons.

Our new efforts at Liberty CI have been extremely fruitful. John Haley, a retired physician and current shepherd, has joined Tom Dugan and me at our 4th Sunday morning worship service. It is about a three-hour drive for Tom and me and a little over an hour for John. We are hoping John will be able to recruit someone closer so that they can eventually take the lead in helping at the service. There are over 12 men attending now. All but one became a child of God either there or at other prison facilities. The work there is very encouraging despite the drive. There is a brother there that is very evangelistic and has initiated studies with almost all the men who have been converted. Steve Trubey, another volunteer who conducts a weekly service at Polk CI and writes to several of the men at Liberty CI, came up and rode with me there last time. It was a blessing to have him along for the long drive.

In general, working in the prisons, and then with men getting out, has hardened me some. I don’t get as excited as I once did. It is always fun to see new volunteers come into prison with us. They are so encouraged and excited to see the apparent interest in spiritual things in such a dark place. The realities of the lives of these men has tarnished a lot of the emotional enthusiasm I used to have. This being the reality, I don’t get moved by what I see and hear very often anymore. I guess I have become somewhat numb. However, recently something happened that truly moved me. The brother at Liberty CI that is so evangelistic, Dale, was studying with a man, several months ago. I was set to meet with him at our next service there, but he was sent to RMC for some medical testing the week before we were to meet. Dale let me know and begged me to please follow up with him. He said He was very sick and Dale felt he was ready to obey the gospel. After several weeks of trying to set up a visit with him at RMC, we were able to meet. I rarely feel so much compassion on men I meet with. He was gaunt and struggled to breathe during our meeting. He reads on about a sixth-grade level and asked if I could get him a large print Bible because of his failing eyesight. He told me he had been having breathing problems since last January. The medical staff at Liberty told him it was probably allergies. In April they finally did a chest X-Ray and sent him to RMC. There he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and was awaiting to meet with the doctors regarding his treatment options.

We talked about  the discussions he and Dale had about his separation from God and the hope that Christ offered. He seemed to understand the gospel and wanted to be baptized into Christ so his sins could be washed away. I explained to him what he needed to do according to DOC rules to be baptized. Greg Whipple has a class there every week and I had asked Greg to help facilitate his baptism with the Chaplain and to meet with him if he had opportunity. I thought we should be able to carry this out by the end of the next week when Greg would be there for his class. After several letters to him, emails to the Chaplain, and meetings with the Chaplain by Greg it was finally set up – about six weeks later! The Friday night the baptism was to take place Greg was informed by the Chaplain that he forgot to call him up to the chapel. It would have to be put off again till the next Friday. I wrote to him during this time asking him to send me a copy of the request he sent to the Chaplain because the Chaplain had said at one point he never received the request.

Here is the request he sent in…

“I have lung cancer and it is spreading. I want to be at peace with the Lord.” When I read that in my office that day I cried out in my heart to God. Such a simple honest plea. A man who believes he is dying and wants peace with God.

That next Friday, when Greg came to do the baptism, he was told that he had been transferred to RMC West Unit the day before. I have rarely felt such sadness and frustration. Wondering the next week what we would need to do get him baptized, I received a call from Greg letting me know that he came to the chapel at RMC West just to attend the announced service not knowing Greg was there. Greg asked the Chaplain there for permission to baptize him right then and he died with Christ that afternoon. Heg is now at peace with the Lord! God’s mercy is everlasting to everlasting – Psalms 103:17.

Thank you for being an instrument with me of God’s mercy to men in prison. Not all the stories are as emotionally moving as his, but I still have faith that every time a man in sincere faith is plunged beneath the water there is rejoicing in heaven – Luke 15:7.

Daryl Townsend