Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Superman don't live here!

The appeals for help from behind bars seemed more than we could deal with this week.

What can you do about the gang violence here? Nearly ever day there are fights, stabbings, assaults and even rapes. The powers-that-be don't seem to care as long as it's not the guards who are injured.

What can you do to help a woman in the infirmary? She suffered a heart attack, and she suffered loss of memory from her dialysis. She has no one on the outside. Another prisoner is trying to help her with a medical commutation.

I'm not a criminal. I'm an alcoholic suffering from mental illness. I was transferred up north because of my many grievances and complaints regarding inadequate health care. My wife is in a hospice facility in Grand Rapids, and can travel only a short distance. She asks for me every day. All I want is a transfer down below. All I can think of is my precious wife suffering without me at her side. It's more than I can bear.

I need a transfer. The gangs seem to run this prison. There are stabbings every day. Every day there is fresh blood on the walkways. The gang situation is out of control.

My son doesn't want to get baptized now. His medical commutation was denied, even though the doctor said he could have as little as six months to live. He is blaming God, and is really sour on religion right now. I don't know what to say to him any more. He has lost all hope. Frankly, so have I.

I jokingly stated that Superman doesn't live here. But I conclude this piece with faith and hope, because we take our marching orders from Jesus, who says that we visit him every time we visit our friends in prison.

Even though you and I know that God can move mountains, I hope you can feel the pain and the anguish in these very real pleas for help.

We're already running out of new year money...we're going to need more to continue. That, and lots and lots of prayers. For us and for them.

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