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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.

Jun 23

June 2021 Update – Issue #44 in Design!

News

Issue #43 Shipped

We’re happy to say that the latest issue of Loaves & Fishes has shipped out to our bulk and single copy subscribers. Volunteers from Shippensburg Christian Fellowship in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and Pine Avenue Christian Fellowship in Cumberland, Maryland, helped to prepare the bulk subscriptions for shipment.

98,500 copies of issue #43 were printed. Of these, about 85,000 were for bulk subscriptions, 3,000 for single copy subscriptions, and the remainder for inventory.

Because of the recent expirations of some bulk subscriptions, our circulation was down significantly from our last printing. We finished the mailing project with over $10,000 on hand, which is a nice start for the production of our next issue.

Issue #44 Status

Content creation for Loaves & Fishes #44 is nearly finished. The next stage will be editing, then design. Thanks to the Lord’s generous provision for our work, we have been able to meet our current publishing goal of three issues per year. We appreciate the partnership of all of those who give generously to the cause of discipling believers in prison.

Note to Distributors

Please be aware that we have inventory on hand of many back issues. If you find yourself in need of more material in between our regular magazine releases, please feel free to get in touch with us. We would be happy to supply your needs from our inventory. We are here to support your ministry.

With our new automatically expiring bulk subscription policy, please watch for renewal notices in the mail. In addition, your packing slips will have the red label EXPIRED on your last shipment. We depend on you to keep your subscription up to date.

—Mike Fisher, board chairman

Distributor Feedback

Thank you! The inmates love them.

—Port City Church Prison Ministry, Wilmington, CA

I use Loaves & Fishes in all the housing units, including the segregated unit. It has truly been a blessing to the inmates.

—Chaplain, MCI, Concord, MA

Inmates look forward to these books. They read and study while in their cells.

—Chaplain Lowell Jude, Central Baptist Church, Winchester, KY

It’s a great devotional book to give to inmates, because it has content written by Christian inmates that they can relate to.

—Mike Mitchell, Cartersville, GA

Inmates love the publication, especially inmates locked up in segregation.

—Chaplain Jon Shonebarger, Hartsville, TN

[I like that] it is thematic. I can keep a few on file to hand out to an individual struggling with a certain area of life or crisis.

-Chaplain Vogt, Orange, VA

Reader Feedback

I am incarcerated at Henderson County Jail. I was briefly able to use and enjoy some of your reading material from another inmate here. It gave me a lot of insight and came to me exactly at the right time!

Could you please bless me with some of your reading material? I am 44 years old and have been in church since before I can remember. I became a Christian in my teenage years, but later in life lost my father and fell far into alcoholism. Soon after, I lost my wife, children, and everything else that I held dear in my life.

Your material would be a great help, and I believe would help me keep my faith and heart on the right path.                                                                                                          —Robert, Athens, TX

Apr 22

April 2021 News – Issue #43 Printing Now!

News

Great Loss

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.

Issue #43 Printing Now

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.

Thanks From a Distributor

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

Dec 19

December 2020 News

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

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 juandavidschmidt.com.”

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.

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