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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.

Sep 17

August 2021 Update


Issue #44 has Shipped!

The beautiful world God fashioned for His glory is never more beautiful than in the summertime. We hope you are truly blessed and are experiencing the peace, joy, and power of God.

I’m several weeks late with the e-edition of our August newsletter. We are happy to report that issue #44 has shipped and is in the hands of our readers.

The theme of this issue is The Creation. Articles that will feature this theme include “Why Creation Makes Sense” and “Creation’s Purpose.” Puzzles include a “God Created You” word search and “Created by God” crossword puzzle.

We have been featuring a new column in the Free on the Inside section titled “Persevering in Prison.” It is written by an inmate with a goal of helping fellow believers successfully navigate their prison experience. In this issue, the column is titled “Communing With the Creator” and features helpful tips on meaningful personal devotional life behind bars.

Issue #45 Status

This content for issue #45 is in the process of being completed, and should be released to editing soon. We hope to ship it in December as funds allow.

We appreciate your support as we work on producing this third and final issue for the year. God bless all of our generous donors. Your thoughtfulness is truly inspiring.

Bulk Subscriptions

Our bulk circulation has dipped slightly since last printing due to automatically expiring subscriptions. Distributors, this is a reminder to check your mailing labels with each shipment to ensure your subscription is still current. You can also reach out to us any time and we will renew your subscription for another two years.

Spread the Word

If you have a friend or colleague who could benefit from our free magazines in their work in prison or jail, you can do them a service by recommending Loaves & Fishes magazine.

The easiest way to introduce someone to our magazine is to send them to our website at Visitors to our website can request single copy subscriptions for themselves or someone else, and can also request bulk subscriptions via a simple form.

Our supporters care about reaching out to prison inmates who desire to grow in their faith in God. Distributors, we deeply appreciate your partnership, without which our mission would be much harder to accomplish.

From our Readers

The information in these books is some of the best I’ve ever read. I thank God He has pointed me in your direction. God Bless.

Steven Larion, Colquitt Co Jail, Moultrice, GA

Great magazine. I really enjoy its stories and word searches as well as the inspiring messages of so many people and testimonies. Keep up the good work. God bless Loaves and Fishes.

Randy Berry, Varner Unit, Grady, AR

Hello, my name is Rebecca and I am incarcerated at the Lockhart Unit in Texas, I was reading issue 25 of your Loaves and Fishes magazine. I would like to receive those if I may. The poems and articles touched my heart and I am sending some of the poems to my children who are young adults and am hoping and believing they will encourage them to change their lives and not end up in prison as I did. I feel free inside these walls and am looking forward to being free and sharing my faith with others and living a Christian life myself… Thank you.

Rebecca Guajardo, Lockhart Facility, Lockhart, TX

Distributor Feedback

I am writing from the chapel of Reconciliation at the Ellis Unit of the TDCJ on behalf of the Christian community… We have a growing community of believers returning to the church and to the lessons of their youth… and are in great need of devotional materials such as books, magazines, calendars, and Bible correspondence studies. If available we also need Spanish material. Please note, all items need to be donated because the chaplaincy does not have any funds to purchase these items.

Chaplain David Beaty, Ellis Unit, Huntsville, TX

Jun 23

June 2021 Update – Issue #44 in Design!


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!


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


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