August 26, 2009
Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.
Letter #95: Living with Jim Carrey
Blessings to you! Life here is getting a bit crazy! I’m writing to you to specifically request prayer support as our church and Bible Study groups are being dispersed to various other facilities around the state. I’m trusting God to send me where He needs me most, but of course I’d like that place to be next door at Correctional Training Facility—Soledad, so I can stay close to everyone I love the most. 🙂
A big change taking place this week is that my cellie, Oscar, along with anyone on upper bunks on the upper tier, is being moved downstairs. The prison is trying to clear out the entire upper tier of our building as part of their ongoing plan to make our yard entirely “mainliners,” or “general population” inmates. Our Building 2 is next.
Well, knowing that I would be moved in a moment if I didn’t move myself, I’m accepting the invitation of a great Christian brother to move in with him into Building 4, where a bunch of my good friends already moved, including James. The funny thing? James is leaving for Pleasant Valley Prison—tomorrow morning! The great thing is that they let us out for afternoon yard today, so I got to tell James goodbye and pray with him. Kinda sad, but I know I’ll see him again someday. I’m looking forward to hearing how God uses him and my other Christian brothers in the future! We’ll try to stay in touch through our families, of course.
So far, it isn’t looking so good about my potential move to Soledad. Several guys who were all set to transfer there—they’d been “endorsed,” and in some cases, “trans-packed” already—are being sent to different prisons, due to Soledad supposedly being “full.” This is due to the riot in Chino’s prison of 1200 inmates that then had to be relocated to other facilities, primarily to our prospective yard at CTF Soledad. It’s a real bummer for these guys, who’d begun to look forward to staying in the greater Bay Area. Anyhoo, all of this to say—PRAY!—my hope is in the Lord, and I’m not worried. I just want my sweet mom to not cry.
In other news, I’ve been grateful for the privilege of being with a cellie who has encouraged me in the Lord, challenged my faith, and stood with me as I lifted up my family and friends in prayer. As odd as it may seem, I’ve had an absolute blast this last month with Oscar, and I’ll miss him. For his part, he’s told his fiancé that living with me is like living with Jim Carrey. I’m sure he means the tender side of Mr. Carrey, and not the Ace Ventura side. I’m pretty sure, anyway. 🙂
The fun included the freedom to sing whenever I wanted—and Oscar learned several songs—and we would spend hours every day reading together: I’d read aloud from the Bible in the morning, then we’d read through Christian books together. We just finished a book on fasting (300+ pages), demon oppression (200+ pages), and most recently, Rick Warren’s excellent—and highly recommended!—Purpose-Driven Life book, which can easily be read in small, 40-day segments. It is perfect for small-group studies, and we enjoyed the lively discussion it promoted among the two of us.
Thank you for praying for me! I’d really like to pray for each of you, so please send me updates on your prayer needs. You are all in my heart and constantly in my thoughts, so I lift you to the Lord. God is getting some major victories in my personal walk, and I know it is because of your prayers, so thank you!
Blessings to you all!
P.S. My new (very temporary address) cell number: B4-206-Low … and I’ve switched to an iPhone. 😉