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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.

Dec 19

December 2020 News


Issue 42 is Here and Shipping Soon

The next issue of Loaves & Fishes arrived at our warehouse on December 19. This will be the third issue we have been able to publish this year. The printing and postage are fully funded, and we plan to ship it yet before the end of the year. We are grateful that God has provided the funds for a third large mailing project this year. Our mission is to provide a tool that helps Christians grow spiritually while they are incarcerated. The feedback we regularly receive from our readers and distributors gives us reason to believe our mission is being accomplished. Thank you so much for your support during this very unusual year.

2021 Calendars

In November we packed our 2021 calendars for shipment. These calendar cards are a small annual project we do for a limited number of our larger bulk distributors. In addition to being a handy calendar, they spread awareness of Loaves & Fishes magazine in the prisons.

Important Change to Bulk Subscriptions

Today we have close to 600 bulk distributors. In the past, our staff would try to contact distributors personally when their two-year subscription expired. However, because of circulation growth and time limitations, we have not been able to keep up these personal reminders, so nearly half of our active bulk subscriptions have an expiration date in the past.

Starting now, we are implementing automatic expirations on bulk subscriptions. When a mailing is processed, any distributor who hasn’t renewed their subscription within two years of the time of mailing will be included in that mailing, but automatically excluded from future mailings unless they renew. They will also be sent a form letter and a renewal form.

If you currently receive a bulk quantity of Loaves & Fishes, but have not contacted us in two years to renew, please watch for this renewal letter in the mail, or contact us now to renew your subscription. You can renew on our website, by email, or by returning the response form that is enclosed with every bulk shipment of the magazines.

Our bulk distributors are a vital part of this ministry and we are deeply grateful for everyone’s efforts to get the magazines into the hands of our readers.

Reader Feedback

“I found much value in the article ‘When the Home Breaks Down, Part 2’ in issue #41. If you could, please send me two copies of part 1 of that article…. I can only feel it contains equally beneficial information for me and my family. I would like to subscribe to your publication.”

Bradley Hintz, Crawfordville, FL

Distributor Feedback

“This magazine is amazing. Thank you! We are in the beginning stages of ministry. You were the first to respond, and with your help, a foundation has been laid. I love the encouragement and the testimonies. Keep up the good work.”

Kenneth Bratton, Winnfield, LA
Aug 10

August 2020 News


Good News

The news hasn’t been great. Whether it’s the global pandemic, civil unrest, or economic uncertainty, current events can unsettle our minds. However, the man who fears the Lord, according to the Psalmist, “will not be afraid of evil tidings.” And why is that? Because “his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).

Nothing we see in the news these days needs to cause us fear or alarm. In fact, believers in Jesus can find new opportunities to both receive and share God’s grace in times of crisis. The good news of Jesus the Messiah is an anchor for our tossing ships.

The Scriptures are our guide in discovering Jesus. Teaching the principles of the Bible so that our readers can more fully embrace the person of Jesus—the most worthy object of the trust of mankind—is our mission.

Hello, Shawn!

Lighthouse Publishing is pleased to announce that we have hired an interim editor to give Lavern Gingerich a break in compiling new issues of the magazine. Shawn Schmidt plans to compile the next three issues of Loaves & Fishes. We are delighted to have him on board. Here’s Shawn:

“My name is Shawn David Schmidt. My wife Stephanie and I have lived in Peru for just over a year under Great Commission Ministries. We have six children, ranging from nine years old to nine months; our youngest son was born here in Peru.

We live about an hour out from Cusco in an unincorporated village called Marquesbamba. We do the majority of our shopping in the town of Izcuchaca about five miles from here. I preach every Sunday in Spanish, a language I’m still learning. Our focus has been to plant a church in Izcuchaca.

Before coming to Peru, I taught at our home congregation’s school in Strasburg, Virginia. Before that, I worked at Christian Light Publications for five years. Before that, I was a herd manager for a large dairy for three years; we milked 350 cows three times a day. Prior to that, I taught school for five years at the church school where I grew up in Crossville, Tennessee.

I enjoy writing and editing and look forward to contributing to theLoaves & Fishes magazine project. Currently, I write a blog chronicling our life here in Peru. It started out as a way for me to stay connected to our family and friends. You can find the blog at”

Issue #41 Update

Loaves & Fishes issue #41 is here! We are thankful to have the funds on hand to ship this issue out immediately. Mail preparation is scheduled for this week, and we expect to ship it out to our distributors and readers next week.

We are thankful for God’s provision, which allows us to send out our second issue for this year. Our continuing goal is to provide Christians in prison with material to help them grow in their faith. May God bless your generosity and support for our work.

Please pray for our readers and for the truth of God’s word to be of help to them as our newest issue circulates in the prisons.

May 23

April 2020 Update


Issue #40 Mailed

Volunteers prepare issue 125,000 copies of issue #40 for shipment

It is beautiful springtime once again, but with the fear of COVID-19 gripping the country, it’s easy to miss the signs of new life. Across the nation, many inmates are on lockdown.

One inmate wrote to me the other day, refusing to mention the virus by name because he was so sick of hearing about it. Thousands of human beings in close proximity is a worst-case scenario for the spread of
contagious diseases. The fear is real.

It was a joy to send out the 40th issue of Loaves & Fishes in March. A group of volunteers from Christian Light Fellowship in Bedford, PA helped us prepare the shipment for mailing.

Little did we know as the 125,000 magazines went out the door that major sectors of the world economy were just days from shutting down due to a deadly, invisible threat to human life. Our hope is that many inmates on lockdown were able to receive a copy to read while quarantined.

Thank you to all of our supporters. Your gifts are making a di?erence in the lives of the men and women who are reading Loaves & Fishes in their
cells today.

Feb 04

February 2020 News


Issue 40 Status

We are pleased to announce that the 40th issue of Loaves & Fishes is ordered from the printer! By the time you receive this newsletter, we hope to have it in our warehouse.

Our circulation is up to 125,825 copies. We are printing 135,000 copies so that we have extra copies on hand for back issue orders and new distributors who sign up between now and the next printing.

We are within $6,000 of reaching our funding goal to be able to ship the magazine. We would like to thank everyone who has given generously to make this issue possible.

The main way we gauge the effectiveness of our work is the responses we receive from our readers and distributors. We receive far more than we can share with you, so know that each of the notes of appreciation you see in our newsletters represents the gratefulness of many other prison inmates and chaplains who were blessed by the magazine.

When our staff processes mail from inmates, we often include personal notes of encouragement in our responses. We have found that this personal touch is surprising and very meaningful to inmates.  Although we have limited ability to engage in correspondence, it is a blessing to our readers.

As mentioned in prior newsletters, we receive frequent requests for pen pals. If you are interested in writing an inmate, please contact us and we can connect you with one. At this time we are in need of male pen pals.

Dark prison cell with light shining through a barred window. 3d rendering

Winter 2020 Board Meeting

The advisory board for Lighthouse Publishing met in January for its second annual meeting. It was particularly enjoyable to have Darold Gingerich, founder of Lighthouse Publishing and Loaves & Fishes magazine, present from Iowa to share with the board how our ministry came to exist.

We presented our 2019 reports to the board and discussed various matters of business, including future plans and staff needs going forward. Once again, we appreciate the willingness of these men to give their time to help us steward this ministry.

Insight  ~ Light ~ Inspiration
The material and scriptures you have in Loaves and Fishes is very insightful and edifying to my soul… I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means more than you can ever think it does. May God bless you and all the people that put this together.
MARK, Correctional Training Center, Soledad, CA

Thank you to everyone who made this book come into being, this book has blessed me with a higher appreciation of spiritually and the scriptures. Loaves and Fishes is a light to us behind bars, thanks again.
PAUL, Richard J Donovan Correctional, San Diego, CA

I really enjoy reading the testimonies and poems in this uplifting little book. I’ve been getting it for a lot of years now. It is a light in a mighty dark place. Thanks!
LARRY, Albemarle Correctional Institution, Badin, NC

I would like a subscription to Loaves and Fishes, another inspiration in a world without windows. I promise to share my copy with anyone interested, in here and out—hopefully in a treatment center somewhere. Then wherever the Lord guides me.
WILLIAM, Wayne McCollum Detention Center

Issue 41

The next issue of Loaves & Fishes will feature the theme of self-control. We are working on compiling and editing material. Would you pray for our work and for our readers to be blessed and changed by reading the magazine? We so appreciate all of those who keep our ministry in their thoughts, prayers, and giving.

— Mike Fisher, board chairman

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