August 10, 2009
Monday, 6:00 p.m.
Letter #94: I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
Greetings! My God is great, and greatly to be praised! My cellie, Oscar, and I have spent some time fasting and praying about our desire to remain close to our families (he’s from Daly City) and our prison-church brothers, many of whom will be transferred to Soledad State Prison, next door to this one.
Additionally, many of you may recall that I’d asked the Lord to move me to Soledad someday—and that prayer was over six months ago, long before this move and yard swap was ever in the works. I’d asked God to make Soledad’s Level II yard switch from “mainliners” to “Special Needs Yard” or SNY status by the time I was forced to move to a Level II facility. Otherwise, the nearest Level II facility (SNY) is nearly three hours from San Jose.
Recently, however, I’ve been asking God to keep me nearby. So many rumors circulated that seemed to indicate I wouldn’t be going to Soledad, but transferred further south. Still, when anyone asked me where I was going to be transferred—since our whole yard must go—I’d always say that I was asking God to send me next door, to Soledad, but that I’d be content no matter where He chose to send me.
Friday morning at breakfast, I was asked the same question, and I responded with the usual cheerful reply. Oscar added that he supposed we’d be going to our classification committee hearing next week, since we hadn’t yet been called. The guy sitting with us grumbled something about the prison saying that same promise of “next week” to us all—last week, yet nothing. I replied that I’ll just be glad to go “whenever.”
Well, “whenever” arrived as soon as we shut our cell door after breakfast.
Our tower cop popped our door open and called us both, along with others from our building to go to the program office. I had no time to wax my eyebrows or get a manicure before the all-important meeting, so I put on my visiting clothes and walked to the program office. My counselor was outside, giving us all the option to speed up the process by signing “in absentia,” meaning we waived our rights to be present at the committee hearing itself.
When I stepped forward and asked to read the fine print, she told me that the committee was planning to drop my “Close A” custody status level to “Close B” and notify me that they are shipping me to California Training Facility (CTF) Soledad State Prison!
“Oh! Praise God!” I said to her. “I’ve been praying about it!”
Oscar and Phil will have to wait until after the committee meets to decide before they’ll find out where they’re going, and James hasn’t been called to committee yet, either. Please PRAY!! The great news is that Keith is able to be transferred to a prison within an hour of where his parents live in Southern California, thanks to the Lord answering our prayers—the committee chose to drop him to a Level II status early!
I’m grateful that I got to call Daddy a few times while he was at the beach with my extended family, enabling me to talk to Uncle Steve, Uncle Kirk, and my cousin, Scott. God gave us great conversations that meant a lot to me, and Daddy said, to them as well. Thanks to an action by our State Senate, our outgoing 15-minute collect calls now only cost under $3.00! This enables me to keep in touch with my nieces, for which I’m grateful.
Thank you for all of your prayers for me and my Christian brothers. We are on near-full-time lockdown now as we prepare to transfer out of here.
If there is any way I can pray for you, please let me know. 🙂
I just finished reading aloud a great little book called “Fasting,” which is not about cars or motorcycles, but about, umm, well, fasting. Now I’m looking forward to the new book I’ve started reading that Aunt Terri sent to me, titled, “Taste and See,” by John Piper. And no, it’s not a cookbook.