HFP is still here, but not for lack of trying by the forces of evil.
Founded in 2001 under the name INNOCENT and based on the dream of Maurice Carter, our organization not only quickly proved its worth, but gained in popularity among prisoners. So, the first attempts to quash our efforts were rather mild.
Maurice died in 2004. His dream lived on.
Free office space ended in 2009 when our building was sold. We moved from Muskegon to Grand Haven, found a low-rent room, and continued.
Then came the major artillery.
I was attacked by a brutal staph infection in 2010. My kids flew home, I lost 65 pounds, was on a feeding tube for 6 months, but survived! And HFP’s work continued unhindered, thanks to my wife, my son and a dynamite intern!
All prisoner emails were shut down in 2015. HFP had been unknowingly violating two MDOC policies. Productive discussions in Lansing; apologies, compromise, and email service was restored.
Black Friday gained new meaning in 2017! There appeared to be a total black-out of all JPay email service between prisoners and HFP the day after Thanksgiving. This massive attack involved up to 1,500 prisoners! FYI, our team regularly sends 300-500 email messages to inmates per month.
I want to assure all Michigan inmates, their families and loved ones, that this will not stop us. Christians define the evil one as Satan, Muslims as Shayton, and atheists and agnostics generally agree that a “force of evil” definitely exists. In our case, evil will not win!
I keep thinking of the Apostle Paul, who earlier in his life persecuted the Christian community and the Christian church. Through a miraculous conversion, he became a mighty force for Christianity. Opposition, problems and attacks were vicious:
I have…been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
Yet he persevered, stating flatly: If God is for us, who can be against us?
That’s where we are.