A year ago there was a report in our local paper of recent progress in Pikeville. It stated that we now have a new multimillion dollar jail, have made it legal to open a couple liquor stores, and have expanded the prison from 800 to 2,800 beds.
Just last week one evening we visited the Pikeville prison for an annual holiday service. Our group fed over 100 of the prisoners. This event is a big highlight for them and includes a delicious home-cooked meal of turkey, ham, potatoes, pie, ice cream, and everything else that goes with a holiday feast.
We sang about six songs and a brother preached to the men. Afterward, we ate and enjoyed an evening of fellowship. I always look for the loner sitting off to the side by himself; there are many lonely people in the crowd. As we were eating and talking, I tried to imagine how it would feel to be halfway through a 33-year sentence.
One man I talked with was sentenced at eighteen years of age and has been in prison for sixteen years, yet the end is not in sight. He seems like a wiser person now, but has been cheated of some of his best years in life. The devil is such a deceiver! I am reminded of the verse that says he comes to kill and destroy. Is this progress?
The progress I would like to see is the prison, the jail, and the liquor store sitting empty, and those people working in our three large factory buildings that are empty right now. I would love to see them feeding their families and being a productive asset to our county. Oh, what blessings could follow if everyone would turn their hearts toward God and their families at home.
Will you join us in reaching out to those in prison? Maybe we can change the future for at least a few of these men and women.
The new issue of Loaves & Fishes magazine is scheduled to arrive here on Monday. We would be delighted to prep the mailing and get them into the prisons immediately, but we don’t have much to put toward the $8,500 we need for postage.
If you’d like to help us get this issue out the door, click here to give online or send your donation to the address below:
14377 Old State Highway 28
Pikeville, TN 37367
(Checks should be written to Burning Bush Mennonite Church instead of Lighthouse Publishing.)
The printing for this issue cost $15,000 and that bill is paid. Thanks for making this possible!