|In March Shawn Schmidt, our interim magazine editor, experienced a great personal loss as he and his children attended a market in Peru, where he and his family are currently serving as missionaries.|
Shawn was carrying about two months’ income in his backpack, planning to buy some livestock, when a skillful pickpocket extricated his wallet. In addition to the money, his driver’s license, residency card, and bank cards were taken, all very difficult items to replace.
“It was not a small loss, but we have what we need. We are thankful,” Shawn wrote to me.
|Great loss is a common life experience, but we are never really ready for it. Loss of finances, loss of freedom, loss of life, and loss of relationships—these are painful examples. Sometimes a loss is due to our mistakes, but just as often, it is due to circumstances out of our control. Regardless, the pain of loss is always devastating.|
Some losses are not so bad. Lost belongings can often be replaced to some degree. Other losses are more permanent. Loss of life and loss of time are irreversible.
In prison ministry, we interact with those who have experienced tremendous personal loss. In addition to empathy and kindness, our best solution to offer the hurting is a personal relationship with God in heaven, who is “near to those who have a broken heart” (Psalm 34:18).
Jesus invited those who are weighed down with great burdens to come to Him for relief. He knows the pain of loss from personal experience. Our ministry is to invite those in pain to come and learn from Jesus, who is gentle and lowly in heart and has promised to give them rest.
|The next issue of Loaves & Fishes is printing now, and should arrive in our warehouse early next week.|
Due to the number of recently expired bulk subscriptions, we will be ordering around 100,000 copies, down from around 130,000 last time. We project the printing cost for this issue to be around $15,000. The cost of mailing this issue will also be lower because of the drop in circulation.
If you are a distributor, and have not contacted us in several years, your subscription may be one of those which have expired. If you still use the magazine in your work, please contact us to renew.
Our goal is to ship the next issue at the end of April, and we are very near to having the funding needed to meet our expenses and ship the magazine on time. Thanks to all of our supporters for blessing our readers with your generous gifts.
Several days ago, we received the following email from one of our magazine distributors expressing his appreciation for the magazine. In turn, we wish to thank those of you who continue to use Loaves & Fishes in your work. Along with our donors, you are a vital link in the work we do for the prison inmates in our country.
As we are inspired by the new life of springtime, I pray we also may have the blessed privilege to observe new growth in the souls of these men and women.
—Mike Fisher, board chairman
I am the chaplain at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware. I’m just letting you know we continue to use your Loaves & Fishes. They are well received by the men and have had a great influence in their lives. It also works as a great complement to the overall work we are doing to proclaim the life-changing work of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all you are doing as we together point men to the full life available through our Lord and Savior, and have a great Easter! —Chaplain Tim