May 2017 Newsletter

Hello friends,

It’s been five or six months since I wrote to you. I am so thankful for those of you that pray for us and those we seek to reach, I thought I better touch base with you.

Personally, I am doing much better than the last couple of times I shared with you.  As I spoke of in my newsletter last December  2016 was a tough year for me. Late in the year the low back trouble I was having was finally diagnosed correctly and I had a procedure that finally gave me some relief from the severe pain. I am much, much better and getting around with minimal discomfort. Unfortunately they tell me that the fix was short term and the pain will return in ten months to a year normally. I am working hard to do things to improve my physical health so that maybe I will be better prepared to deal with it when it returns.

I would ask for prayer for my wife Sue as well. She must have a surgery in late June that will lay her up for six weeks. She is the type of lady that can’t sit still. She is always up and doing something. The idea of being off of her feet for so long is as bad as having to have the procedure, not to mention the loss of pay.

Not a lot has changed since I laid out the things we had going on in my December newsletter (which you can go back and see on our website). It has been fifteen years now since we formed “The Keys” and we have been operating primarily in prisons, and a few jails, in northwest Missouri. In the early years we had our consistent services and studies we did in set facilities and then also did many extra-curricular activities like weekend seminars or concerts.  We sometimes even traveled to other states and participated in events with other ministries. In recent years we have settled into continuing the consistent services in the same places on a long term basis. Relationships are developed and we can have long term interaction with people as opposed to one-time events where we may never cross paths again with those we meet.

One very exciting thing has just been finalized however. As mentioned in the December newsletter we were able to give away 300 Scofield Study Bibles to inmates in a prison in St. Joseph, MO last year. It was set up so that the inmates could complete some paperwork with the facility and then write to The Keys to request a Bible. We then mailed each inmate a Bible individually. It was very popular and we were inundated with requests. The original plan was to do 100. As I said, we eventually did 300 before we had to stop. So this year I have been working with MODOC for two or three months to get approval for another giveaway. Last week I got final approval and ordered 700 of the same Bibles to be divided between four Missouri prisons. 200 each will go to three male prisons and 100 to a female facility. We are shipping them directly to the institutions and then the Chaplains are going to do a memorization program. Inmates that memorize and then recite the passage of scripture will be given one of these nice study Bibles.

We are so excited that God has provided us the ability to do this through the faithful giving of folks that support us. Please don’t stop. We pray God uses these Bibles to encourage men and women to spend more time in the Word and dig to deeper depths.

Please continue to pray for our team for traveling mercies as they drive up and down the highways to these prisons. Several of our gang have also been dealing with personal health issues and health issues of their loved ones. We ask that you remember to lift us up.

 

In His Grip,

Gene