May 14, 2019
Dear Praying Friends,
Today I received a letter from a friend in Missouri that asked me a lot of questions. So, Jon, this letter is intended for you, but as I know many here have the same or similar questions, I thought I might as well share my answers with all! So here goes…
Q. I often wonder what the rest of your day is like (besides spending time in Scripture and writing)?
A. I normally awaken around 7 or 7:30 and spend until lunchtime (between 10:30 and 11) reading the Bible and in prayer. Of course, I also brush my teeth and make instant coffee, and usually email Kathie good morning greetings. After lunch, I’ll read a book (I’m on my 55th book), or begin writing my journal until noon, and then, if the weather is nice, I will go outside to the recreational yard and walk 2 ½ miles around the track. I try to do that within 40 minutes. I then usually will read until I come in between 2 pm and 3 pm. Once in a while, I might play a game called bocce (I’ve done this twice in 5 months). I will come back and read more or write, until bedtime, which is between 10:00 and 11:00. Supper is between 4:30 and 5:00 for me. Once in a while, I may listen to the radio for a break, or work on a crossword puzzle. TV is available, but I don’t watch it. That’s pretty much my day. However, I am now taking two classes: one at 2:00 on Tuesdays (the Case for Christ video series) and a business class for two hours at noon on Wednesdays.
Q. What are your fellow prisoners like? Do they cause trouble or do they leave you alone?
A. I am, for the most part, treated with great respect, even admiration, by other prisoners, especially those who know why I am here. This is a huge answer to prayer! In our unit of around 100 men, there are a number of true believers – probably four (including me) who I can say are truly on fire for the Lord. One of them has just become a believer since I came. Others claim Christ, but I wouldn’t consider them on fire by any means. Although I believe they have accepted Christ, they do not show the fruit of the Spirit. The majority (except the Muslims) would claim to also be Christians but have never truly been born again. They are what I would call hereditary Christians. I’ve met a few who have just walked away from their “religion.” For the most part, the Muslims are respectful, with the exception of one, and willing to dialogue. The most difficult thing for me is hearing all the profanity, which seems to be everywhere except from the on-fire believers and the Muslims. So for the most part, I just keep to myself, unless someone has questions, problems, or just wants to dialogue with me.
Q. How is Kathie doing? Do you get to see her?
A. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4). This truly defines Kathie. But to be honest, she really struggles with me being here (the injustice) and needs me to come home. She has had a lot of physical health problems and doesn’t feel she has fully overcome pneumonia from February. She has spent months trying to find a lawyer in Virginia to take the civil case and is constantly busy handling phone calls and emails from many people. She continues to fully trust the Lord and is believing in God for miracles. And even when she is feeling poorly, she makes the trek just about every week just to see me (9-10 hours total drive). She is the best, most faithful, God-fearing wife a man could ever have. But she misses me enormously and has trouble sleeping without me by her side.
Q. Do you have phone usage – I think I saw there was no internet usage?
A. I get 300 minutes of phone privileges a month at a cost of around 8 cents a minute for local calls and 23 cents for long-distance. We have no access to the internet but can email up to 100 people through a specialized email system. The cost to email is 5 cents per minute and there is a 30 minute limit per session.
Q. How are William and the business doing?
A. By the grace of God, Response Unlimited is carrying on, and William is doing a fine job. My son Josiah also quit his managerial job this past winter at Chick-fil-A and is now working with Response Unlimited. There will be a new FAQ page at www.responseunlimited.com that was actually part of Josiah’s long-distance tutorial. Response Unlimited is currently not setting any records, but it is more than breaking even, and I praise God for that!
Q. Is there anything else I/we could do from a distance that will make life for you or your family easier?
A. I wish there were. But really, the most important thing is to keep praying! The civil suit in Vermont is supposed to begin in December. There are always a lot of challenges at home, managing the home front. I know your prayers are sustaining us! I suppose you could recruit others to pray for us and to pray for revival in the church!
Q. And most importantly, how is your spiritual heart? I know you are studying and learning and writing and sharing, but how is it down deep inside?
A. I miss being with Kathie the most. And my granddaughter, who turns 1 this month, wouldn’t let me hold her when she was here on Monday. I hate that. I do speak with Kathie every day for nine or ten minutes, which is what I look forward to the most (besides the visits). Sometimes I get tired of reading and feel bored, so I turn on one of the Christian radio stations and that helps. But deep inside I am grateful to God for the opportunity to learn so much that He has shown me for the first times over the past 5 ½ months. And I enjoy teaching and encouraging other men in the Lord. I grieve for many of their souls and wish the Holy Spirit would provide some genuine breakthroughs when it comes to their repentance and salvation. All in all, I am truly blessed and thankful to the Lord. I have nothing to complain about and am so very thankful for all the prayers and letters of encouragement. God is truly watching over me. I just wish soon He would allow me to go home. I’m not bitter, but I do want to move on with the rest of my life. This has been a good experience in many ways, and I have certainly learned a whole lot about my fellow man and other things God has shown me. I have everything to be grateful to God for. Thank you for continuing to lift us all up in prayer!
In His Service,