The rays of the sun are now at their most intense, and the warmth and light we wished for last winter almost make us wish for cooler weather! And just as the weather cycles through seasons of heat and cold, so it seems do the problems of our world.
We are in a time of war, when global powers are cautiously facing off in proxy conflicts that raise frightening parallels with the horrific world wars of the last century. At the opposite end of the scale, mentally sick individuals are unleashing years of pent-up rage by murdering innocents in schools and places of business.
It feels like evil is intensifying in a horrible sort of heat wave, as culture wars rage over such things as gender identities and roles and the definition of human life itself. Conflict and rancor characterize far too many relationships, to mention only a few of our current problems.
What does our Christian message bring to such a situation?
Prisons are the gathering place of many of the world’s evils. When we work with inmates, we interact with both victims and perpetrators of some of humanity’s worst behaviors. Nowhere more than here is Jesus and his message needed.
Loaves & Fishes Issue #47 will focus on God’s answer to evil: salvation in Jesus Christ. God has provided a remedy for the evils around us, but especially for the evil that is inside each of us. That remedy is found in the atoning work of Jesus.
There is nothing to do for the struggle we all face with evil other than to embrace the new life in Jesus. We are hardly strong enough to conquer our own demons, let alone bring peace and healing to the world’s problems. But God is able to bring about redemption both on an individual and a grand scale, and indeed He has already done so. We only need to surrender ourselves to the Savior to become a participant in His great eternal kingdom.
Our next magazine issue is currently in graphic design, and we expect it to be print-ready in a matter of weeks. Our current bank account balance is $11,000, and as usual, we project an estimated printing cost of $20,000 and shipping cost of $10,000 in order to get this issue out to our readers.
As always, we are humbled and grateful as we process the daily donations from willing hearts who care for the spiritually needy in prison. What we are doing is impossible without your contributions.
Meeting the Need
What does Loaves & Fishes mean to the prison inmates who receive them? I will let a few of them tell you in their own words.
I recently came across one of your Loaves and Fishes booklets and I want to say it really was a blessing. I was very happy after I read one of the poems. It really lifted me up! I would like to receive this booklet and any other material you guys have to offer to prisoners like myself. I really appreciate your time and consideration.
Coffield Unit, Tennessee Colony, TX
Thank you so much for your publication. I really enjoy it and I’ve learned so much from it. I look forward to “The Faith Worth Dying For” Bible study.
Kern Valley State Prison, Delano, CA
I truly enjoy this magazine. Thank you so much for sharing it with me at this point in my life. I’m getting all kinds of messages from them. God bless you all.
Tina M Goodspeed
Lane Murray Unit, Gatesville, TX
I love to read Loaves and Fishes. I have been a Christian since September 10, 2001 and enjoy the testimonies and poems of other prisoners. May God continue to bless you all. Thank you.
ArnulFo Silva, Sr
Avon Park Correctional Institution, Avon Park, FL
My name is Lara Cohran. I am incarcerated here at Whitworth Womens Facility in Hartwell, GA. It is a minimum security prison. Previously I was in the Glynn County Detention Center in Brunswick. That is where another inmate shared your magazine with me and I really enjoyed it. I wrote while in the county jail but was shipped off to prison before I got a chance to receive the first issue.
I would really appreciate it if you would start sending me the Loaves and Fishes. I enjoy it so much and will share it with others. I know they will appreciate it as much as I did when my friend shared it with me.
Whitworth Womens Facility, Hartwell, GA
Hello my name is Adam, and I am writing today because I found a copy of Loaves and Fishes under the stairs in my housing unit. After reading it I realized how much that I relate to everyone in it and would like to have a subscription for myself. Also was wondering if there are other services you help out with for people in my situation? Thank you for your time. Have a great day, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Henry Hill Correctional Center, Galesburg, IL
Again, I want to personally thank all of you who are active participants in our ministry, whether by donating money, effort, or time. God bless you.
—Mike Fisher, operations manager