January 2013 Loaves & Fishes Report
In a land of indulgence, credit cards, and Santa Claus, it’s easy to think of giving in a negative light. Yet we know that God is the author of giving and showed us how to give by sending His Son to redeem us from sin. What a pure, sacrificial gift!
We are called to follow that example: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16, ESV).
Today there are millions of men and women locked up in prisons and jails across this country. Many of them are living in darkness and their hearts are full of anger, violence, and hate. Satan and his demons have turned thousands of people into wild “animals” and there may be no point of return for those. It breaks my heart to see this happening in our prisons.
Thankfully, most prisoners haven’t gone that far, and many are still searching for truth. Some are full of regret for the crimes they’ve committed. Some are lonely and hurting in their relationships. And others have almost given up on life and face a dark, hopeless future. Most prisoners struggle with deep emotional pain.
None of us are immune to this kind of pain. Except for the grace of God, I would go crazy if I had to live among long rows of bunk beds for 20 years or be locked into a box made of concrete and metal for 23 hours a day. From the outside, it’s easy to think that prisoners have it easy and cost too much to keep, but a taste of prison life might change our perspective.
Only one thing can bring light into their darkness and heal their pain: the love of God Himself. Many of these prisoners will never know God unless you and I show them love—a hand, a prayer, a Scripture, a word of hope—yes, a gift.
Satan and his demons do not love each other or the people they control. They can only hate and bring oppression, death, and misery. One small gift of love can ease the pain and brighten the night of a struggling soul. What you have to share may not look like much, but if your brother has a lack and you have extra, your willing gift in the name of Jesus will bring new hope and joy into his life.
So how can we take the sacrifice of giving into the prisons? The prisons and jails of our country usually provide at least the basics necessary for physical survival, but like we shared, there are many other needs waiting to be met.
This is why we are passionate about sending literature into prison. Letter writing and local jail ministry are also a good way to reach out.
The Loaves & Fishes magazine is our main focus here at Lighthouse, and we publish a new issue about every 6-8 months. Between the issues, we get hundreds of requests from chaplains and inmates for back issues, Bibles, bookmarks, tracts, calendars, etc. Even when you don’t hear about the big mailings, people are being touched on a weekly basis and you are part of the team that makes it possible.
Our goal is to reach a quarterly publishing schedule with Loaves & Fishes, and I am excited about the new year ahead and the impact that we can make for the Kingdom of God together.
May your zeal be stirred for the sacrifice of giving in the prisons of the USA!
For the Kingdom,
PS. Click here if you’d like to help us publish Loaves & Fishes every 3 months.