Eighty percent of the men in our Spiritual Recovery Program have spent time incarcerated, averaging over 2 years each man. They all know how lonely and difficult those times are for guys who are there. So we write letters to men whom we know are locked up and we pray from them daily. Since we all have a lot for which to be thankful, it is just a small thing we can do to “pass it on” to someone less fortunate than we are.
So we were pretty surprised to see a couple of letters recently, ourselves. First, was an envelope containing only a $20 check. Addressed to me, it came from the prison system in Jessup, Maryland! Helping Up Mission received a check from men locked up in prison! It was a very meaningful and humbling thought that those guys in lock up were thinking about us and shared with us some of the little bit of nothing which they had. While a number of our men have been locked up there, no one has any idea about who might have sent it.
Then a couple of weeks later, we received a check from the prison ministry at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown Maryland. This check, for $113.10, had a list of about 15 names attached. Again, they were thinking about – and I am sure praying for – us. We looked over the attached list of names but didn’t know any of them either.
I don’t think I would have been any more moved if an angel had dropped these check off, himself (well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration – but you know what I mean). The Bible says we should remember them who are incarcerated (Hebrews 13:3), and we do. But it is a really humbling thing to realize that they are remembering us, too.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director