“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” —John 8:32, 36
FOR THE 2.3 MILLION MEN AND WOMEN incarcerated in the USA, the days are long and hope is faint. No matter how they came to this point, they are in a place where fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and temptation rush in. Stripped of the hurried busyness and frivolities of our world today, the essential needs of the human heart are magnified.
But while the body may be imprisoned, the heart can be free. How to find that freedom?
Thousands of inmates across the U.S. are finding the answer in the Word of God. Through a small Scripture-text Datebook from World Missionary Press, they receive a powerful, comforting Scripture verse each day—words to carry them through the long hours, words to give courage to face fear, words to give light in the darkness.
Thirty years ago WMP started printing what was then known as a Diary/Datebook to replace the more expensive full-color personalized Scripture-text calendar purchased each year to mail to donors. Soon we offered them only on request, and in time requests from chaplains and inmates far outweighed all other requests. It became, in God’s sovereignty, the perfect gift for someone whose life as they had known it had suddenly come to a halt.
To date 13.4 million copies of the Datebook have been printed. Another 845,000 will be printed for 2017. As the Datebook is opened, the inside front cover tells readers of God’s love for them, along with Scriptures to show them how to come to Christ. Facing pages are dated and cover one week with daily Bible verses on a theme, with space to write notes.
Inmates usually begin using the Datebook for important events to remember, but as they find themselves reading the Scripture verses, their hearts are often moved to find a Bible to read more, to ask for counsel, or to seek the Lord who loves them.
One recent letter to WMP tells it all.
“I have been in prison 20 straight years and have received your yearly Datebook as far back as I can remember. What a blessing to start my day out reading your Scripture verse for each day, then on to my devotional time with God in prayer and His Word! THANK YOU, JESUS! Funny and strange how such a small booklet like your Scripture-text Datebook makes [a difference] to a man like me—it gives hope—it builds faith—it connects me in spirit to God’s truth. I find myself memorizing or meditating on a lot of your daily verses . . . . I would love to thank everyone who’s involved and has a part in making and distributing every Datebook to men or women incarcerated.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!” —Allan C.
The power of the Word of God to bind up the wounded and heal the brokenhearted is not just a nice thought. It is a divine reality in the lives of men and women everywhere.
The Datebook also carries with it the gift of Christian love. A chaplain who offers WMP Datebooks to inmates at Christmas time sent this note of gratitude on behalf of those who received the books:
“Many of the men receive no visits, mail, or communication with anyone outside of the prison. They often feel like society has completely thrown them away. But with the generosity of folks like you, they received confirmation that there are still some who believe in them. . . . Your donation made it possible to express Christian love to some of those in most need of such an expression. This gesture may very well be a turning point in the life of some man who will seek Christ and Christian virtues because you cared enough to give of yourself.” —Gerald B.
Thousands who are free to walk about and live openly in society are bound in sin, while many who are imprisoned and shut away are free because they have found the source of true freedom—salvation and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said He came to seek and to save those who are lost. Let us seek to reach the lost, wherever they are, with His words of hope and salvation.
[You can minister to men and women in prison throughout the U.S. on a daily basis through a Scripture-text Datebook. An investment of $20 will provide this daily gift of God’s love for 160 inmates; $100 will touch the lives of 800 people.]
Meet the Team
I first heard about World Missionary Press many years ago when Fred Eiler shared at our church about the many languages printed at WMP and about the low cost to produce each Scripture booklet. I was amazed by the outreach.
In December of 2014, I heard a spot on the radio about WMP which directed me to the website, where an opening to work with their new 6-color press was posted. After much prayer, and because of my background with color laser copiers and technical repairs on printing machines, I applied and was interviewed. I have been working at WMP since February of 2015.
I work on the 6-color press, printing color covers for Scripture booklets, often printing at a speed of 160,000 booklet covers per hour. I also help with the printing of the newsletter and special flyers in color. As an assistant, I am learning more about
running the press every week. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be involved in printing His Word in so many languages. I feel it’s a privilege to work at World Missionary Press. I enjoy hearing reports about how God is touching and changing the lives of people all over the world. One of the things I like best about working at WMP is knowing that lives are being impacted for eternity.
My wife, Jacki, and I were married in 1990. We have seven children, four girls and three boys ages 14 to 24, including four children from Haiti who the Lord allowed us to adopt. Each one has their own “God story” of how they arrived at our house. We enjoy traveling together. Our oldest girl was married in June to a pilot; both have their airplane mechanic license and want to be missionary pilots. Our four youngest are teenagers still at home, the three girls being homeschooled. Most of my free time is spent supporting and cheering on my children at their different events: for the girls that would include volleyball on a home-school travel team, and for the boys, high-school football, college track, and NHRA drag-racing events. We praise God for His continued care and provision.
For many years, Ron and Ronda Lemler have been staunch supporters of WMP, supplying us with pallets for shipping and storage. The Lemlers recently suffered a huge fire at their pallet-making business, and are downsizing to basically becoming self-employed.
Ron and Ronda are very humble people and are trusting the Lord even more during this difficult time. They supplied WMP’s pallets at very low cost, just enough to cover the delivery fee, and did so as unto the Lord. They have been a blessing to us for a long time. Because of the fire, they are no longer able to supply our heat-treated pallets. Their partnership has saved WMP tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their service to us.
Please be in prayer for these faithful friends and co-laborers.