It has been busy these past several months, and the many tasks outside of the classroom have fallen behind. One being the sending of 'SCOPM Prayer Requests' and 'The Barbed Wire.'
I trust God has given me all the requests to include.
To Him be the glory,
Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
Prayers of Praise
Christain Focus gave SOCPM a remarkably reduced cost in the purchasing of 95 copies of 'If Their is a God Why Are Their Atheist?' by R. C. Sproul.
Zondervan | HarperCollins Christain Publishing donated 74 copies of 'Tactics - A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions' by Gregory Koukl. SOCPM students who completed this past term's Discipleship class will receive a copy. An additional thanks to Nathan Kroeze of HarperCollins and Joe Thorn Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship St. Charles, IL in their assistance in the donating of the books.
Radical a resource ministry of David Platt donated 100 copies of 'How to Study the Bible' study guide for SOCPM students who are enrolling next term's Discipleship class. Additional thanks to Chris Hunsberger and Staci Caldwell in their assistance in the donating of the study guides.
Despite a lot of Sheridan students paroling, a prayer of praise in itself, class enrollments have been holding steady, if not increasing. There is a wait list in three of four classes for the next term at Sheridan.
At long last, I have someone to help with the many Filemaker database tasks. I had hope for a pro bono service, but no one was stepping up. So, I ended up recruiting an individual LinkedIn. He charges only $35 per hour, so I'm prayers of praise that some tasks I've not had time to learn on my own will be getting done.
Prayers of praise for a few days of total disconnecting and getting away with Michelle and dearest friends Ray and Luanne to Branson MO. It was only for a few days but those few days were some of the most enjoyable in relaxation and fellowship I've had in a long, long time.
SOCOM students are increasingly asking for assistance in getting connected to churches before parole, and the response from those churches contacted has been very positive.
Many ups and downs in all things related to my son Cameron, but praise that he is currently sober and living in a sober living house and is about 90 days sober.
I've had some health issues, low iron, and a low heart rate. However, an EGD to see if there was internal bleeding causing the low-iron levels in my blood were negative. Additionally, with an adjustment in iron supplements, my iron level is improving. I also was diagnosed with a low heart rate, but another praise wearing a heart monitor did not show any irregularities.
Prayers of Supplication
While thankful for meeting needs in the area of Filemaker there are other administrative tasks. Please pray for someone to step forward in volunteering in a writer/editor role for The Barbed Wire, content management skills to develop print media, website content, using social media and more. Additionally, in trusting God to answer prayer in the meeting of these needs, the wisdom and discernment in developing all the above.
SOCPM has started adding additional class weeks, Bonus Programming (BP) to the Discipleship, and Malachi Dads classes to have all the actual course material classes begin and end in the same weeks and to keep classes in synch because of a lockdown or other class cancelations. Pray God brings forth fruitful material to use in BP.
With the additional weeks, each term will be a minimum of 14 consecutive weeks of teaching and all the weekly tasks administration. On average a typical week is 50+ hours. Pray for endurance and perseverance.
With all the classes, administration tasks, it has been very challenging to find time to fundraise and develop ministry partnerships in the areas of churches, employment, Christian fellowship, and county jails. Please pray for assistance in time management.
During my fall term break, I'm planning a trip to Southern Illinois to attend an Illinois Department of Corrections Summit. The Summit is a gathering of ministries and organizations providing re-entry services to inmates. An excellent, opportunity to develop partnerships in SOCPM's efforts to connect paroling students to resource before their parole.
SOCPM has partnered with Inside Out Network a ministry focused in the building of an online database to re-entry numerous resources in various areas. However, I've been encountering delays in getting approvals to bring the applications into the facilities. These applications are used by inmates to register with ION, who in return begins matching up the inmate's need for resources located in the area they will parole.
Cameron's salvation, sobriety, financial needs, and healthy friendships. Ideally, a group of solid Christians to befriend him. Not to merely preach the Gospel but accept him where he's at developing a bond of love and respect to share the Gospel.
Michelle's health, especially with her rheumatoid arthritis.
Pray God to open doors for Michelle and me to move closer to her family in St. Charles in a home without stairs. Because of her rheumatoid arthritis, her knees swell when she goes up and down the stairs in our 3rd-floor condo.
For reasons unknown, many SOCPM students are not submitting prayer requests. Perhaps it's pride, shame nonetheless please pray they come to know the power of prayer and submit prayer requests and that God will indeed answer those request feeding other students that God does desire for them to hear their prayers.