VALENTINES DAY FEBRUARY 14, 2011
WHO SAYS WE NEED A PRISON MINISTRY?
JESUS! I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. (Matthew 25:36)
ISAIAH! The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound (Isa 61:1)
You may have noted David and his 6 kids on Sundays celebrating with us at CPC’s 9AM services while the little ones were happily engaged in Lynda Harkins children’s service. Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed this striking Christian family at our Christmas Party 7 weeks ago. Certainly our Friday morning young men’s group knows them, they were their Angel Tree sponsor
Having not seen David the past two weeks coupled with his not responding to my last call, Pam and I dared to make a surprise visit to their rear apartment on Amador in Seaside last night. Today, unable to get the family out of my mind, and with David’s approval, I’m going to share a bit of his story with you. Please forgive me if I don’t get all the details down precisely
I’ve been thoroughly impressed with David from the start. On phoning each of this year’s Angel Tree families in anticipation of our Christmas gala, I learned that when his sister was incarcerated, David absorbed her 3 children into his own clan of 3 thereby making six to feed, shelter, clothe, and love. And when the sister came home, she preferred the 3 remain with David as she began her new life
David was thrilled with my call; he described it as God’s answer to prayer. It signaled the intent to bring his clan to Carmel Presbyterian Church knowing that a church like ours with such outreach was right for them. His children would learn right from wrong and acquire the trust and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Peaks and valleys. Joy interwoven with sorrows. Trials amidst victories. Last night we discovered David in under house arrest, serving 50 days for driving to work with a suspended license
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" And we believe that "anyone" includes prisoners (Prison Fellowship)
Left behind in a prison of their own are the wives and families. Sometimes they lose their home, their car and are burdened with impossible debt –unable to furnish the bare necessities. They are often treated as co-conspirators, shunned in their own humiliation; their children commonly suffer separation anxiety grasping at their mother’s apron strings
We function as an emergency responder 24/7 when cases fall through the cracks. Our referrals come from the Monterey jail, Prison Fellowship, homeless shelters, churches, private parties, and the frightened subjects themselves. While we are a faith-based not-for-profit 501c3 ministry, with a preeminent focus in coming aside the women and children left behind we are equally available to all who call regardless of faith, color, nationality, sex, or age.
98% of our attention is with the women and children left behind. The process towards incarceration is emptying. The toll taken is incomparable. It is depleting socially, emotionally, physically, and financially. Death sometimes seems a more welcome option. When mom or dad is in prison, it’s the children who do the hard time. Their support system has been summarily stripped. They appear to have no defense. That is until Jesus comes knocking at the family door
The Board of For The Least Of Us, has been most responsive to this calling in a variety of ways, with their unique gifts. We next meet on Wednesday, October 20 at 6:30 pm in the Board Room of the Monterey Airport .Please come and share your thoughts with us.. We welcome your input .
Bill and Pam Ziering Ziering@pacbell.net 831-250-7921 In His service