There’s a downside to this business of advocating for the least of these. A hurting heart. My heart breaks daily as the stories pour in across our desk.
Just this week---
Mr. M (wrongfully convicted) wrote: I found out Saturday afternoon that my Mom, who was supposedly coming here to visit last weekend (for my birthday & Memorial Day weekend), was taken via ambulance to a hospital in NY, and then admitted. early last Friday morning. Preliminary blood work shows her tumor-markers to be high for the presence of some form of cancer, but we won't know for sure until test results are revealed. Would you PLEASE keep my Mom in your prayers, and ask others at HFP and the Christian community to please do the same? I'd so appreciate it. I never really thought, or believed it probable, that I might not see my Mom again on the outside. I'm so close to this being over, and although I still have a ways to go on-paper, for a 72-year old woman, that can seem like an eternity!
Ms. J (mother of a mentally ill daughter in prison), informed me that even though she has not been allowed to visit or even talk to her daughter for the past 6 months, her pleas for help have been placed on hold once again.
Matt begged us to help. In order to meet qualifications for parole, the Parole Board has demanded that he take a certain course before release. But, because he claims innocence, the teacher of the course refuses to keep him in the class. No course. No parole!
Ms. D, wrongly convicted, thanks us and places her trust in the Lord. How do we tell her that the judicial system and the attorneys who represented her botched things to the point where there no more legal avenues for her to pursue? Innocent, but still in prison with little hope of ever getting out!
A prisoner pleaded with us to help Mr. I, a 70 year old lifer who has served 49 years, and who is in tears today after hearing that the Parole Board still refused to grant him a parole. They’ll look at his file again in 5 years! On that very same day he was informed that his sister had died.
The wife of a prisoner, empathizing with us and our chronic financial woes, asked for our prayers: …that God will continue to provide for me, so I can give something (however small) to you. Since 2011 I have lost my job and had to begin again four different times. I’m trying to keep body healthy enough and pain-free to bear the strain of full-time work, travel, and taking care of house, home and car…no husband to help, either physically or financially.
I’m saddened when I hear that some churches are reluctant to support HFP because of what appears to be a lack of evangelism in our work. Offering to teach Bible lessons to these people in their time of pain and sorrow is not where we are. Sometimes all we can do is hold their hands and weep with them. And ask you to include these children of God in your prayers.
Ours is the method of St. Francis of Assisi: Preach the gospel every day. Use words if necessary.