Imagine having a finite period of time before your life is taken. The clock is ticking. Life’s end is getting closer. The mortality of your life pounds away with the hours and minutes like your heart pounding in fear. What hope could there be in a mental state such as this? What future is there for someone waiting on Death Row, with an appointment for eternity?
I have been writing letters to Death Row inmates for a while now. One man I was writing said that a revival occurred in Louisiana’s most notorious prison, Angola State Prison. I am also writing to a state penitentiary here in my home state of Kansas too. But in this state prison in Louisiana, what was once called Death Row is now being called Life Row. It is the eternal life and redemptive power of God’s forgiving grace. An unconditional pardon, if you will, for those who never hear from their own families anymore. But God is a God of second, third, and fourth chances. His forgiveness extends to anything that any human could ever do. The only sin that God will never forgive is not believing on Jesus Christ, His Son (John 3:17-18).
Talk about a rewarding ministry. Read some of these prisoners who are either waiting on Death Row for a scheduled execution, or have had their sentences be restructured to life without parole. These are real people, with feelings and regrets, and real lives who will never, in this world, see the light of freedom again. But letters have changed their life for eternity.
“This is to tell you of the joy your project brought to my life and time on death row. You gave my name to a lady named Jackie. She wrote to me, which became a very joyous friendship.”
– David…(resentenced to life without parole in AL)
“I received a letter from a penpal by your help and wanted to let you
know your efforts are appreciated. Groups like yours help us
tremendously and we – I – am glad you are there.”
– James (on FL death row since 1977)
“At first I thought that everyone had forgotten all about me, but I
was wrong. Your family has really lifted my spirits. It’s
nice to know that there are people who care.”
– William (executed in 1994 in GA)
One man I was writing too, I never heard from again. I assume that he was executed. But since many of these men, and a few women too, have been saved, I will see them again some day. In heaven. I send them some of my articles about God, Jesus, and His free gift of eternal life and forgiveness. Remember that God gave us what we don’t deserve (called grace) and withheld from us what we rightly did deserve (called mercy), so why wouldn’t God forgive them? Your letters could make an everlasting difference. You can use a P.O. Box number like I do or General Delivery at your post office if you would feel safer, or perhaps even your churches address…but these inmates stand zero chance of ever getting out.
These are inmates that are requesting letters and you can use a pen name if you like. Many of these men are already Christian too and have no hope of every getting out of prison or out of their death sentence.
God has forgiven them, even though society and their own families in many cases never have or ever will. It reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer: Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God help us to cause revival, first in our own hearts, in our own churches, then our own communities, then our states, and then our nation. Extending to those even behind bars for life or sentenced to death. Matthew 25:36 says that when “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Here’s your chance.
To contact the Death Row Support Project by mail, write to:
PO BOX 600
Liberty Mills, IN 46946
You may also call 260-982-7480.
There is also a website that has each state listing individual that are actually seeking pen pals. My link in Kansas has dozens and dozens of men and women too, reaching out because they have no one. Its a fantastic way to share your faith and evangelize. Many of these have no family, no friends, no one at all….To see what the website for each state looks like, visit this website at:
There are states like Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, you name it……
You may also choose to visit this website at: http://www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=witness_issues_drsp