It seems that anyone's heartstrings can be tugged by a child in need. This season, my heart is pulled toward some of God's precious children who are often ignored or abandoned by loved ones.
It started last year when I had the privilege of meeting two ladies through ministry at the local jail. They wrote me, and we have been corresponding since October, 2017. Both have since been incarcerated in Tennessee prisons. Over the course of a year of writing, I have learned that much of what is generally assumed about life inside is not accurate. How often have you heard someone say, "They have it so good, no wonder they go back"?
One of my new friends had never had a visit, so I am now approved for her visitation list and have traveled to Memphis to see her. I cannot tell you how humbling it is to walk inside a facility that houses 1400 women and see that four other people have a visitor. In inquiring of an officer, I learned that many women do not ever have a visit. No wonder they come outside disconnected from society!
Through letters and conversations, I learned that many never ever have loved ones or friends provide assistance. I write weekly, send books through permissible online stores, provide financial support for necessary items, and do what I can to share the love of Christ with them. It is a blessing to me to invest in them, but I would like to do more. My friend gave me the names of two people she knows who do not receive support, and it would be wonderful to be able to help them.
Proverbs 19:17 (TPT) says, "Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord. Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done."
It is the time of year when the weather is becoming cooler. So, I would like to order some thermal clothing, socks, and new under garments to at least two women. They do not have the freedom to go to WalMart, if they feel cold in their prison uniforms. Clothing must be ordered by a friend or loved one and sent directly to individuals inside through a company called Union Supply.
Winter packages: another privilege that they have is to receive quarterly packages of food, if someone outside provides it. One lady gave me a list, and it had only $10 worth of items selected! Can you imagine if your heart's desire included only $10 of treats? For many people outside, that can be spent on two trips to Starbucks. The order can be for a value up to $125, so her request is far from extravagant. I would like to send packages of food to two women. I know that they will share their food and tell of the blessing someone provided to them.
I would also like to send Christmas presents on behalf of a mother to her 4 and 7 year old. One day, they will know she did not forget them when she was away. Her own father served 22 years inside, so she feels that she is putting her children through the same thing she experienced as a child. What if we can be instrumental in changing that? What if we sow into her children's lives as well as hers, and they do not grow up with the lifelong feeling of rejection that she has experienced?
Every gift will be invested in the lives of people who need to see the love of Christ through His children. Some responses written to me include:
"I still really can't believe that I have you in my life, someone who loves and cares about me enough to take time out of their life to spend time with me and to make sure I have everything that I need."
"Thank you so much for everything. One day I want to show the love of Jesus just as you have shown me."
"I was a little delayed in writing back, because of my gratitude that you helped with these three issues so quickly."
These are a glimpse of how appreciative they are and show that we are truly representing Christ to them. Heaven alone will reveal the impact that a pair of socks, a package of cereal, a book, a letter, or a card will have.