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Prison Life Report

Learn about prison life in America in this free download, the open door of reaching prisoners, and how we are using literature to make a difference.

Jul 02

July 2019 Loaves & Fishes Report

News

Issue #38 Mailing

On May 20, we processed the mailing of Loaves & Fishes issue #38. Our local staff, along with 23 energetic volunteers from St. Thomas Christian Fellowship in Chambersburg, PA, prepared 118,000 copies for pickup by the USPS in several hours’ time. We enjoyed a meal and fellowship afterward.

The larger orders are shipped out in the 150-count cases in which we receive them from the printer. Less than full case quantities are repackaged into smaller boxes or envelopes. This mailing, the Media Mail postage for a case of 150 magazines was $10.55. The approximate cost of printing and shipping this issue was $30,000, or about 25¢ per magazine. This cost included ordering an extra 10,000 magazines for inventory to fulfill new orders.

It is always a blessing to see the work and donations of so many people produce a tangible result. Watching the mail truck pull out loaded with tons of spiritual food for prison inmates across our country is our moment of “casting our bread upon the waters.” After “many days,” may we find that our investment has produced a precious return in many hearts. May God bless you for your support!

Issue 39 Preview

The theme of the upcoming issue of Loaves & Fishes is faithfulness, the next in the list of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5. It will feature an editorial on faith and faithfulness and an article with practical ways to be faithful. The Bible study guide will highlight the book of Ecclesiastes.

We are reprinting an article titled “Facing Death in the Family” by John Coblentz, and several other inspirational pieces and stories. As always, there will be a selection of poems and testimonies submitted by readers in prison.

The printing of issue 38 has depleted our funds on hand. We hope to raise $20,000 for the printing followed by $10,000 for the shipping in order to meet our goal of shipping the next issue in August. Please pray for us as we finish up the production of this issue, and for funds to be provided.

2020 Calendar Project

In past years, Lighthouse Publishing has produced a small calendar card for some of our larger distributors to give to their inmates. These 3.5” x 8.5” glossy cards have a year-long calendar on the front, and a description of Loaves & Fishes magazine on the back with instructions on how to subscribe.

Front of Calendar Card

We receive a lot of positive feedback from our distributors and from the inmates about how much they love this seemingly insignificant gift. A calendar to check off the days is something a prison inmate truly appreciates.

Last year, we produced 40,000 calendar cards at a cost of $2,800, including printing, design, and shipping, an approximate cost of 7¢ each. Our funding goal for this year’s calendar project is $2,800. If you would like to help, please earmark your donation “calendars.”

If we do not meet the goal by September 30, we will forgo the calendar project this year and the funds will be used for Loaves & Fishes magazine.

-Mike Fisher, Board Chairman

Apr 18

April 2019 Loaves & Fishes Report

News

Reach 2019

In March, Lighthouse Publishing participated in REACH 2019, a two-day biennial event sponsored by Faith Builders Educational Programs. REACH helps conservative Anabaptist ministries connect with each other and with churches and individuals who are interested in supporting them. 52 ministries were represented and over 2,000 people attended.

We were impressed with the scale and variety of the work that is being done all over the world. The opportunities to support the Lord’s work are nearly unlimited, and many of these missions need staff and funding. It is truly inspiring to see how much is being accomplished through the generosity of Christian believers.

In the larger perspective, it is clear that our work at Lighthouse Publishing is a tiny segment in the great panorama of God’s work across the world today. This ministry to the prison population of our country is made possible by your heart of compassion.

We were blessed to hear firsthand comments about how Loaves & Fishes is being used in the prisons. We heard both from chaplains who are delivering the magazines into solitary confinement cells and from an ex-inmate who was blessed by seeing the magazine on a literature rack.

We also met several folks who were looking for material to use in prison ministry. A wide variety of workshops made the event more than worthwhile.

New Advisory Board

Since 2014, Lighthouse Publishing has operated as a ministry of Burning Bush Mennonite Church. Major decisions are made at our church’s business meetings and daily operations are overseen and routine decisions are made by our board chairman and treasurer.

We recently concluded that Lighthouse Publishing could benefit from additional oversight and accountability. Eleven men from six different churches have agreed to join an advisory board, which will meet annually and receive routine financial and operational updates during the year. The purpose of the board is to provide accountability, counsel, and non-binding recommendations for the ministry.

In March we had the first advisory board meeting at our facility, where we introduced the new board members to the ministry’s operations. We enjoyed getting acquainted and look forward to the encouragement, advice, and help that the board can bring us going forward. We are thankful for the men that have volunteered their time to bless us in this way.

Issue 38 Update

We are happy to announce that the content creation and design stages for our next magazine issue are complete. The order is at the printer, and we should have 128,000 magazines in our warehouse by April 29. We hope to process the mailing in the first week of May.

We have about $24,000 on hand which will cover the printing and part of the shipping cost. We will need to raise an additional $6,000-8000,000 by the beginning of May in order to fully fund the shipping expense.

Thanks to everyone who has given to make the upcoming issue possible. May God bless you for your kindness. We are excited about getting another issue of Loaves & Fishes into the hands of our readers.

Feb 13

Loaves & Fishes Issue #37 Mailing

News

On December 20, we processed the bulk mailing of the third issue of Loaves & Fishes for 2018. Around 20 volunteers from local churches helped with the mailing project. 117,000 copies were mailed out to bulk distributors, and about 2,500 to single subscribers. The cost of printing and mailing was about 24¢ per copy. We also ordered 10,000 extra copies for inventory, which we keep on hand to send out immediately to new subscribers.

The theme of our next issue is goodness, a fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words, goodness is not simply a quality, but indicates goodness in action. It is expressed in righteous deeds, showing itself in grace, tenderness, and compassion. Please pray that we can inspire our readers to embrace and practice the goodness of Jesus.

In this newsletter we’ve included a financial statement for 2018, and we are again grateful that God has provided the resources for this ministry through your generosity. The cost of printing the next issue is projected to be around $21,000, and postage about $9,500. At this time we have $8,000 on hand toward the next issue. We hope to be able to order the printing of issue 39 by mid-April.
—Mike Fisher, board member

“Loaves and Oreos” in 2,900
Gift Bags for Texas Prisoners!

For the last two years, Beltway Park Church in Abilene, Texas has used Loaves & Fishes in a special Christmas giving project for local prison inmates:

“Each year we provide Christmas bags to about 2,900 of our local brothers in white. In the bags, we put items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, Oreo cookies, ramen noodles, and some encouraging literature. Last year, we discovered your magazine,
specifically written for those who are in prison. The magazine was a huge hit last year, so we decided to see if we could make it happen again this year. In past years, we have given away books or small devotionals, but Loaves & Fishes provides a variety of articles written with the folks inside in mind.

“The Christmas bags are hand-delivered to the prisoners by a group of volunteers. We do this every year, and it has been a huge blessing to our brothers in white as well as those who are involved. A variety of local churches and businesses help support this
event.”

Melissa,
Beltway Park Church

Dec 07

Loaves & Fishes Issue #37 Preview

Loaves & Fishes , News

Dear supporters,

God has provided the means for us to distribute over 300,000 copies of Loaves & Fishes to prison inmates this year. We would like to thank you for your generous support of Lighthouse Publishing this year, without which our work would be impossible. We trust the Lord for a bountiful spiritual harvest from the seeds you have sown.

The creation of Loaves & Fishes issue 37 is near completion. This will be our third mailing this year, and will be the largest mailing we have done at 117,000 copies. Both the printing and shipping cost of mailing this issue are fully funded, and we will be able to mail it as soon as it arrives. 

With this issue, we are switching to full color for the magazine. This upgrade was available at a minimal cost, and we are happy for the increase in visual appeal for our readers.

We receive occasional pen pal requests from prison inmates, and we try to connect them with those who are willing to write to them. Currently we have need for penpals, especially men. If you can give your time in this way, please contact us, and we will put you in touch.

If you are inspired to give to the mission of Lighthouse Publishing and of providing Christian discipleship literature for prison inmates, please feel free do so here.

—Mike Fisher, board member

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