Newsletter November 2017

Hello friends,

I thought it was about time that I write a few lines to you and let you know how we are doing. This is a busy time of year for us. Coming in to December always is. We try to be involved in sharing the reason for the season in places where there is little recognition of this time that is so special to most of us.

Next Friday, the 24th of November, I have a Holiday Concert happening here at the County Jail. Reverend Jimmie Bratcher will be sharing his talents and the Word with our inmates. I personally really appreciate Jimmie’s music and know God will use him mightily here.

We also will be partnering once again this year with Midtown Baptist Temple for our version of Angel Tree. Members of MBT will be adopting the children of our female inmates for Christmas. What a blessing for those kids and their caregivers to be blessed by this church while separated from mom at Christmas. Statistics tell us that children of the incarcerated are several times more likely to become incarcerated individuals themselves someday. We pray the folks at MBT are helping to break that cycle.

We have other Christmas events happening this coming month as well. Several of our volunteers here at the County Jail will be assembling goody bags to distribute to our nearly 1000 inmates the week before Christmas. Also, some of The Keys guys and me will be involved in a Christmas Banquet at the prison in St. Joseph, MO next month.

But other than these special events we continue to be faithful in the facilities we have been working in for many years now. We develop relationships with many people with many different stories. Some are very sad. There are those we meet whose lives have been so dysfunctional, sometimes at no fault of their own, that incarceration seemed inevitable. Other stories are almost horrifying. It is still unbelievable to me what some people will do to others.  And then there are many people who just made bad choices that have cost them their freedom and great sorrow to those they love. No matter what the case may be, me and the guys and gals I run with see them all as those Christ died for. Some of us who look down on the incarcerated and feel they don’t deserve our attention have forgotten the reality of their own sin nature. God is doing great things in men and women’s lives behind the walls of jails and prisons. We are excited to be part of it.

Please remember us in your prayers and financial support if possible. The Keys first started officially in the spring of 2002. We have been plugging away for nearly sixteen years now. But we can’t keep it up without your support. I have mentioned Amazon Smile before. If you go to that website you can make your Amazon purchases and have a percentage go to The Keys are at the Cross Prison Ministries. I am also told that next Tuesday is “Giving Tuesday”. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff, but in this case I am glad they did. Please remember us.

Thank you all who have encouraged and supported us through these years. I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. Share with those close to you your greatest reason to be thankful and tell somebody about why the baby was born in the manger.

In His Grip,

Gene