Friday, May 25, 2007

Back to prison

I went back to prison yesterday for the first time since I finished my purpose driven life class. I was able to go into the cell house and see where all the guys from my class lived. The cell house was a dorm type setting but it looked a lot different than I would have thought. Each of the men's cubes resembled a restraunt booth. With the middle being a bed. There are a couple of opportunities that I am going to be able to do. The first is on June 7th I am going to be able to go through the prison with a mennonite group and help distribute food to each prisoner. Then, later this summer I am starting a mentoring small group with 6 inmates. This mentoring group is an experiment, they know at this point they aren't going to have enough mentors for each inmate but they are going to try three small groups of mentoring.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekly Update

Random Weekly thoughts
An Update from my previous blog. When visiting the doctor last week, his advice was to have Kyle start taking deflasicort. (sp). The problem this steriod isn't fda approved. The doctors words were if this was my son this is the treatment I would give him. It is available in Canada. If I am arrested for trafficing drugs it will be for my son.
Last week I was having one of those random conversations with God. Ok it was more of my attempted deal making. Then I realized it is hard to bargin with God. Honestly, I have nothing to work with. It isn't like I have or can do anything He really needs. I am such a control freak that I hate the fact that I am going along for this ride and have no idea where I am going. What I would really love is an answer to the question of what do you do? All the answers I come up with are really lame.
At least my pitching experience was better. It is official I am the only white fellow on my team. I was told at the last preseason game that I am going to start our first teams game. Which is Saturday night June 16th (unsure if that is the date, I just know it is saturday night before fathers day). I struck out 2 last sunday and no one hit the ball out of the infield.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Tomorrow is decision day

Tomorrow a decision has to come about something that I have dreading for the past 4 years. Kyle has a doctors appointment in Chicago, he has one every 6 months to a year to see how his muscular dystrophy is progressing. We will have to make a decision tomorrow if we are going to start steriod treatment. The reason we would want to start steriods is to keep the remaining muscles he has strong. We have started to see some strength deteroriation with Kyle over the past months. He has fallen more and he doesn't quite have the strength at the end of the day. Best case scenerio is the steriods help for about 6 years. The problem is there are many side effects that aren't to great. The is weight gain, mood changes, and many other possible problems with all sorts of other things.
This is one of the days that I have been dreading since he was diagnosed with md.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A couple of months ago I visited one of my college friends who is a pastor. He told me this inspiring story of some women from his church. Their ultimate goal is to become missionaries. There problem was from getting where they are today to the goal of going oversees. A long story short they started making leather bound journals from materials dumpster diving and various other places. These journals caught on and they started selling quite a few and having people in businesses sell for them.
When I was visiting my pastor friend in January this business had decided that they were eventually going to go oversees and teach women to make these journals and help both them and their families out.
The reason I want to support these people is because they feel they have a calling in their lives to be missionaires and they are not going to be discouraged because of money, lack of family support or anything else. Most of us want to make a difference but we give up somewhere before the finish line.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

last prison class

Tonight was it, it was the culmination of my first maximum security prison class. I had them write a testimony paper for their final which I collected tonight. I have been reading them over the past hour and am speechless. The stories that have come pouring out these men are amazing. Many times when we think of miracles we think of physical healings, but we miss the miracle of changed lives. I was having an interesting conversation with one of my pupils tonight, there is still a great need for mentors in this setting. This pupil was telling me about one of the inmates who was in his words a "physco murderer" and how one day he came into the chapel and laid down his shank on the alter and refuted his arian nation alliances (he was later beaten close to death for this) and gave his life to God. In the 27 years of time he has served he has never had a visitor. He is now a faithful man serving God who needs a mentor. :)This theme of changed lives was interwoven throughout the night and through the papers the pupils turned in to me. God uses all sorts of things to get our attention, He has used prison to get many of these mens attention.I was asked tonight numerous times if I was going to teach another class? I am not going to right away, I was asked by the chaplain if I would do some one day classes, which if I agree I will ask some of you to help me.There are so many different attitudes, lessons, and friends that I have taken away from this class,I have promised them that I am not going to forget them. I cant let my new friends and brothers in Christ just sit and rot away in prison.Ben