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Greetings Friends and Fellow Workers for the Lord,
We praise God for His mercy and another year to work for lost souls.
The very first response and request we received from the Christmas Behind Bars distribution of our book left us almost speechless. Without further explanation we present it to you:
Dear Mr. Carmouche,
I hope this letter finds you and your family well. I have read your book SIX times and every time it gives me more hope. I am 52 years old and covered in tattoos. I have been in and out of prison most of my life. My last time out I met a wonderful woman and fell in love. But I didn’t want to drag her into my bad life of crime so I left her. Soon I was back in prison for robbery and kidnapping and they came down hard on me. This time I got life without parole. Well this beautiful woman came back into my life and visited me in prison and told me I had a son. She wanted him to know I was his father and I was speechless. I gave my life to God and became a different man and even in prison, life was good. Then about a year ago they were both killed in a car accident and something inside of me broke. I’m a big guy, 6’2’’ and I weighed over 250 lbs. Now I have lost 100 lbs and have tried to take my own life three times since then. So, I am sitting in lock-up and someone walks up to the door and gives me a Christmas package. Praise be to God, now your book has given me a will to live again. I am sending you a picture of my son. His mom and I are in the photos behind him. I just can’t look at him anymore, it is too heartbreaking. I see that the Lord wants me to stop mourning and live for Him. I know He will lift me up out of this darkness into the light. I know I am only still alive because God has a plan for me that I don’t know yet. I only have two books in this hole, your book, and a small pocket Bible that is very hard for me to see anymore. Could you please send me a large print Bible so I can be working on my relationship with God? I thank you for taking time to read my letter and I’m forever thankful for your book.
We know that every soul is precious, and we are so humbled to think that John’s life story arrived just when this inmate so desperately needed the hope it brings. His story was especially touching because of the loss of his son, but every inmate has had some kind of tragedy in their lives. Most times they are self inflicted, but in prison they look back and regret their bad choices. Sometimes they don’t seek forgiveness because they think they have gone too far and God would never accept them. Without hope, they languish in a sort of “no man’s land” until they see or read something that stirs their soul and brings hope back into their lives. We know that faith is vital for salvation, but Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, “Faith is the substance of things HOPED for.” it takes hope to make them look up, and seek the path that will lead them to faith.
This update newsletter is being prepared to send out with our year-end receipts and although we are seeing a slight increase in requests, so far, we haven’t received as many as we expected. Christmas Behind Bars tells us they got off to a slow start and will be distributing packages all the way into February. But this first letter we received, gives us the assurance that God is guiding and that hope will be distributed just when and where it is needed.
We also want to thank you each and every one, for your support over these last three years. You have helped us financially and encouraged us with your prayers and notes of support.
You are all playing a very important part in the Lord’s work and we thank you so much. It is our desire that God guide, protect, and prosper us as we all continue our work to reach lost souls throughout this coming year. And here’s a thoughtful observation to begin 2020.
Your heart is a garden,
Your thoughts are the seeds.
You can grow flowers,
Or you can grow weeds.
May we all grow flowers in this coming year, and may God bless you one and all.
John & Nancy (Annie) Carmouche’