Sunday, January 02, 2011

Letter: December 2010

December 2010

Dear Friends,

It has been some time since my last communication. There have been many trials in my life here in prison which is the Lord’s divine providence to conform me to the image of His dear Son, and for this I am thankful. I have heard from many faithful saints and received some wonderful visits. Thank you!

I have tried to carry on the work of the ministry here despite the continuing loss of opportunity due to prison cutbacks. Four out of five of our chaplains have quit and there is no chapel ministry at all. Our ministry relies on meeting on our prison yard for services and Bible classes. So please pray that our yard will remain open.

The men will testify that they are growing in the Lord, as they work hard at their studies (I give them homework in their Bible classes and Greek classes). Some are faithful to our Quarterly Bible Study goals which include Scripture reading and memory, reading and listening to sermons, reading a Christian biography, regular prayer time, to name a few. I praise God for these men and their growth.

I am grateful for recent visits by Deanna, Charlene and Randy, Mike O’Neill and Carlos Whitfield, and Harout; my brother, Don, Jeff Barnett all the way from Idaho, Nick from Idaho too, Helen Hofawger and her husband Jim from West Virginia. I am very grateful to the Stepanians for their gift which made these weeks a blessing. I am grateful to all of you for taking my phone calls, sending packages and stamps. You are a wonderful blessing. I am grateful for the kind counsel of Mr. Elwood Hale as well.

I am greatly sorrowed by the fact that I cannot celebrate my daughter’s birthday with her this month. Since I am not allowed to contact her I can’t even send a card. My prayers are with her though.

My friends in Germany continue to be a wonderful encouragement through their prayers and letters and example of faithfulness in ministry in the face of discouraging circumstances. Pastor Goetzen is to be commended for his diligence and persistence as he tries to spread the seed of the Gospel among a spiritually dark Germany.

This Christmas in prison there are no decorations, no trees or presents, no parties, nothing except the perfect opportunity to focus purely on Jesus Christ, His birth and His salvation He brings to all who trust in Him. I also reflected back to the Grace Church concerts I had been a part of for so many years. These were good memories. I was able to play three “concerts” here, one for the Lifers group, and two for the Protestant chapel inmates, for which I am grateful.

I promise to be more faithful and regular in my journal updates. The Lord be with you.

In Christ,

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