Founded by Kurt 'Mario' Haas in 1983, The Missing Link of Cleveland, Ohio is a nonprofit, charitable organization, offering global, practical help to youth and adults with life-controlling problems.

The Missing Link Newsletter

Winter/Spring Edition - 2003-04
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 2003
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 2002
Fall/Winter Edition - 2002
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 2001
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 2000
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 1999
December 1999
May 1999
January 1999
Haas Family Christmas Letter - December 1998
Second Online Edition! - April 23, 1996
Premier Online Edition! - November 14, 1995

News and Notes about The Missing Link,
Your Gateway to Prison Ministry & Christian Rehab Program Networking!
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In this issue...

  1. Pull Up a Chair! - Chaplain Kurt "Mario" Haas
  2. New Dimensions in Ministry - The Missing Link Goes On-Line [On what???]
  3. Tips for Writing Prisoners - DOs and DON'Ts [The voice of experience!]
  4. Straight Talk from Inmates - Let's open the mailbox!
  5. Faithful Volunteer - Dodie never giving up!
  6. Free Web Page [No kidding!!!]
  7. Free Ministry your request!
  8. This Could Happen to You...Me???
  9. "Mario" or Kurt? [Who is this guy anyway?]
  10. My Personal Background - Chaplain Mario
  11. A Chaplain's Plea for Bibles
  12. Special Ministry Needs - How you can help.
  13. Thank You to Our Prayer Backers - You're number one!
  14. How to Reach Us [Phone, fax, web, e-mail, or regular snail mail...phew!]
  15. We Need to Hear from You [Who me???...Yes, you!!]
  16. Some Food for Thought... [Yummy!]
  17. How Do I Subscribe to This Newsletter? [Free advice!]

Pull Up a Chair!

From the pen of
Chaplain Kurt "Mario" Haas

We Appreciate you!

Opening this envelope and taking the time to read this letter is like opening your home and your heart to me and my family. It takes a special kind of person to care that much! Would you mind taking a break in the midst of your busy day? Go ahead and find that favorite chair. Maybe even take the time to grab a cup of coffee. Put your feet up for a few minutes and allow me the privilege of a brief visit. [See, you won't even have to get me a cup of coffee with this kind of visit!]

It really bothers me to see the way Christians are kept so busy and so burdened down that we hardly even have time to enjoy the Lord. Satan is busy, trying to wear out the saints of God in these last days, but Jesus is calling us to slow down and experience His peace and rest - to come to Him with our heavy hearts. It's hard for me to even get anyone's attention with all the commotion and clutter that seems to be in people's minds these days.

I, too, get disturbed when I see all the plea letters I receive from ministry after ministry. Everybody seems to have an urgent need. One person can only do so much. I understand all this, but why are so many ministries having such a difficult time keeping their heads above water? I'm talking about genuine ministries.

It seems that with the electronic age, ministries who make the biggest splash on the television scene pull in the biggest support, while little-known, out-of-the-way ministries are left struggling to even support their families. Sometimes it feels like indifference and apathy are the only responses they receive. Everybody's too busy, too involved, too tired, too broke to do anything to help.

What ever happened to the place of prayer, the hunger for the Word, and sacrificial giving of one's time, energy, and resources? Beloved, something is wrong! It's time to get hold of ourselves and take stock in where we're headed. Time to stir ourselves from this apathy toward missions. When we've lost our heart for missions, we've lost the feeling for God's heart.

I'm going to get down off my soapbox before you throw me out the door! Many of you already have a big heart for missions and you're doing everything within your power to advance the Kingdom. You know the joy of giving. Jesus knows your efforts, and, as you know, you cannot outgive God. It always comes back in a greater measure.

If you're having a struggle with resources, my heart goes out to you. Jesus knows your plight and He understands the intentions of your heart. May our loving Lord wrap His Arms around you and pour out the resources of heaven on you and your family.

Bringing deliverance to the captive,
The Missing Link, Inc.
Chaplain Kurt Mario Haas

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New Dimensions in Ministry

The Missing Link Goes On-Line [On what???]

Two years ago, I found myself at the local public library, asking how I could use the computer modem to call into the library ahead of time to see what books were available for checkout. I was told about Lorain County Free-Net, a local internet service provider, which, for a one-time $5 registration fee, would allow me to do just that. [The fee is $10 now.] Little did I know it would do much more than that.

In a few weeks' time, I found myself on-line, stumbling around the local free-net, trying to figure out how to use this new-fangled invention. Gathering my courage, I launched out into new explorations, feeling very much like a pioneer. One day, I discovered, much to my disbelief, a place on the internet where people from around the world meet to discuss suicide and how to end it all.

I stepped out on a ledge and posted a simple message, offering spiritual help to anyone in the group who was interested. Much to my surprise, I received replies from 23 individuals from all parts of the world. That was the beginning of a new dimension in ministry for The Missing Link.

At the end of each message I post, I add the following lines:

The Missing Link, Inc.
Linking Troubled Youth and Adults with Life-Changing Programs

These few lines have brought us inquiries and requests from all points of the globe. We've been able to both provide referrals for life-changing programs and find information on new programs through Christian friends on the internet. Through electronic mail, we've been sent addresses of prisoners so we could write them and send them Bible studies. We've been able to send files full of helpful booklets to minister to the needs of individuals addicted to all kinds of sinful habits.

Today, I'm operating an on-line chapel, offering spiritual help and encouragement to people all around the world. I'm able to post urgent prayer needs and alerts to Christian families and send them around the world to praying Christians within a matter of seconds.

Each week I post a new Bible story for children and once every three weeks I post a new Bible study from David Wilkerson. As I find out about new Christian resources on the internet, I make that information available to others at our on-line chapel site. Included in these helpful resources is information which comes directly from top leaders in missions around the world.

In just the last few days, a friend on the internet has created a 23-page site - absolutely free-of-charge - for The Missing Link on the World Wide Web. Soon we hope to be able to offer the newsletter through electronic mail to computer users, bypassing the costs of printing, addressing, and postage. As a matter of fact, this entire dimension of ministry on the internet is absolutely free. The only expense involved is the wear and tear on the computer system.

If you're a computer user and you'd like to know more about this new dimension in ministry, you may contact me via electronic mail. [CompuServe users must preface with "Internet:"] If you're really into it, visit our web site -

- Barbara Haas

The Haas family picture (50k)

[Note: In case we haven't met, I'm Chaplain Mario's wife and the mother of all those children in our family picture, ranging from 3 to 21 years old. Try having that many children at my age, and you may wind up in cyberspace, too. 8-) That's a smiley face with glasses on, but you need to look at it sideways.]

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Tips for Writing Prisoners

DOs and DON'Ts [The voice of experience!]

Here are some tips to use when writing inmates:

Writing a prisoner is a very serious matter. It is like a lifeline being thrown out to a sinking person. Once correspondence has been started, we cannot break it off, unless it is by the request of the prisoner. If an inmate is released or transferred to another prison, your letter will come back.

If you don't get a response from the inmate, it is important to keep writing and praying for him. Many inmates go through periods of deep despair and depression that only being behind bars can bring. Please be understanding. Don't forget him now when he needs someone the most. You may be his last hope. If you fail him, he may never come to know the Lord.

Be patient and try putting yourself in his situation.

Be honest and tell him from the start your main purpose in writing is to help him spiritually and if he doesn't have a personal relationship with Christ or doesn't even know what in the world a personal relationship is, to let you know, and that you'll be glad to share with him the dearest friendship one can ever have.

Persist in showing him God's love. He will soon realize your sincerity. Ask him thought-provoking questions to determine where he stands in his knowledge of God. See if he reads the Bible and prays every day. Needle him to level with you so you can really help him.

Tell the inmate it really doesn't matter to you why he's in prison. Tell him God still loves him with an unconditional love. Regardless of what he's done, Jesus still loves him and always will. You can enclose helpful Christian tracts and pamphlets. The inmate has nothing but time on his hands and is glad for something to read. You would be amazed to know how many times he reads your letter over and over again, so please pray for wisdom before you write him. God will guide you in your choice of words and drop Scriptures into your heart that will minister directly to the inmate's deepest needs.

Be sure the inmate has a Bible. We can send him one if he doesn't. Just let us know. [IMPORTANT: We MUST have the prisoner's complete address, including his identification number in order to assure delivery. A small offering to cover the cost of the Bible and shipping would really help.]

We do not recommend sending pictures of females to inmates. Just stop to think about their situation for a minute. These men are incarcerated - separated from society, separated from women - with nothing but time on their hands. The majority of them spend their time dwelling on wrong thoughts. We have found from past experience that pictures of females only create fantasies in the mind of inmates and hinder the writer's goal toward spiritual birth and growth.

It is best to withhold your home address for your own security. You should use a post office box number. Find someone with a church or business box number that you can use. Mail regulations can be obtained by writing the Department of Social Services at the inmate's address.

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Straight Talk from Inmates

Let's open the mailbox!

"Since I have been here, I have been studying the Word of God. I would like a free copy of Rock Bottom and if you would be able to send me a Bible, I would be more than pleased - Old Testament or the New Testament - for I'm just a baby in God's Word and I need to learn more.

"Also, Chaplain Mario, if you could send my mother a Bible, I would also be greatly pleased.

"Please pray for me & my family." - Darryl [Ohio]

"I really appreciated receiving the Complete Bible Study book from you. My wife and children may also benefit from your organization as well." - Robert [Kentucky]

"The reverend here passed out Bibles with the Missing Link address in it, and I decided to write you.

"Chaplain, my heart is very, very heavy right now. I came to jail on 5/24/95 and my husband died 5/25/95. Would you please write to me before I lose my mind. P.S. Or see me. Thank you." - Anne [Ohio]

[NOTE: We were not permitted to see Anne, but we were able to leave some solid Christian literature and turn her over to the hands of her chaplain.]

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Faithful Volunteer

Dodie never giving up!

Dodie, one of our female volunteers, continues to minister faithfully one-on-one, week after week at our local county jail to the female inmates. Most of the ladies who ask to see her request a Bible. Dodie ministers to all kinds - from the elderly to the very young, from drug addicts to those with deeply religious backgrounds.

graphicPray that God will protect and anoint her as she reaches out to those who are hurting.

graphicPray for Dodie's son who has rejected his godly upbringing.

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Free Web Page [No kidding!!!]

Want a free page on the World Wide Web for your church, ministry, or Christian business? Currently, GOSHEN Extended Internet Services are being offered at no charge.

Your organization needs to be on the internet. Electronic mail, the World Wide Web, and other internet services will save you time and money. Furthermore, your presence on the internet will be a valuable resource for Christians worldwide.

Find out more about this global on-line service helping evangelize nations. For more information, contact David Perrotta, Communication Coordinator, or Bob Rudis, Network Specialist, at Media Management, P.O. Box 21433, Roanoke, VA 24018; voice: [540] 989-1330; fax: [504] 989-5890; or e-mail them on the internet at America Online: or on CompuServe:

[NOTE: They won't be free for long, folks, so hurry!]
[UPDATE SINCE NEWSLETTER PUBLICATION: Folks, I was just in touch with David Perrotta and he told me that Bob Rudis, their main programmer, needs special prayer. Bob has been diagnosed with Hodgkins disease which has severely limited his ministry. He's been going through chemo treatments which have made him quite miserable. The prognosis is very good and his spirits are up, but he's very uncomfortable. Please pray for Bob's complete healing. If you can lend David a hand at this time, please let him know. I'm sure he will appreciate it.]

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Free Ministry Brochure ... at your request!

A free, descriptive ministry brochure is now available to present The Missing Link to your friends and your church, school or civic organization. Please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope when you make your request. That will really help us.

Address your request to:

Ministry Brochure Request
The Missing Link, Inc.
P. O. Box 40031
Cleveland, OH 44140-0031

If you want an on-line edition of our ministry brochure, you can find it at our web site:

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This Could Happen to You ... Who, Me???

My story is one, I'm sure, that's unlike many of the others. I was 33 years old, a professional person for ten years, possessor of both a bachelor's and master's degree, homeowner, and family man with a wife and three young children. Furthermore, I had never been in trouble with the law as an adult or juvenile. As a matter of fact, I had never even had a detention going back to grade school.

I certainly didn't fit the typical profile of a prisoner - someone with a history of trouble with the law, uneducated, or with economic and/or drug problems.

To the contrary, I had it all and was living the American dream - that is until a relative of mine took a family squabble to the police and had me arrested, claiming that taking a $5 item out of his home constituted burglary and that I had also repeatedly harassed him.

Because of my position in the community and the resulting local publicity, I found myself sitting in prison, facing four years, with only the hope that shock probation in six months would have me home again with my loved ones.

Soon I realized that the jobs, career, and reputation I had lost were quite trivial. All that was important was my wife and children at home and the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord to help get me through the horrible mess I was facing.

The prison I was at, thanks to God, had a good chapel program. Although the prison chaplains were, for the most part, hog-tied by the administration, there were a few fine Christian men/chaplains/ministers from the outside who came to see us on a weekly basis. These men were true Christians, non-judgmental, and only concerned with filling the inmates with hope and the Spirit of God.

One of these individuals - Chaplain Mario Haas of The Missing Link ministries - was more than just helpful to me. He provided me not only with hope and the love and Spirit of the Lord, but with direction and focus as well.

His Bible studies appeared to personally touch many of the inmates, and I hope and pray that they made a difference in those people's lives as they did in mine. Even in such a horrible environment, my heart was many times filled with joy as I listened to Mario and it gave me something to look forward to from week to week.

I then, and still today, cling to many of the Scriptures he shared with us, including Romans 8:28, which says, We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him. I just knew, even in the crazy circumstances that brought me there, that God was working for me.

This particular passage means so very much to me today, and always will, as I will remember how it, along with the Lord Himself, prayer and devotional time, and the person who brought much of it into focus for me - Chaplain Mario - helped me get through my particular ordeal. The Lord, with Chaplain Mario's guidance, helped me turn a horribly, negative experience into one of positive spiritual growth.

Thanks to the Lord and the prayers of literally hundreds of my supporters, I was released after just six months. My children, my wife, and myself are a stronger family unit now than ever before, because I brought this spiritual growth home with me. We are no longer just Sunday Chiristians, going to church on Sunday and nothing else.

I also, thanks to God, have been given the opportunity to rebuild a career despite the difficulties that accompany having a conviction on one's record. This one glitch in my background has been a hurdle, but one I've slowly been able to overcome. And, most of all, I have stayed in touch with Chaplain Mario and am both a rooter and supporter for his ministry. I truly thank God for bringing him into my life.

- Paul [Ohio]

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"Mario" or Kurt?? [Who is this guy anyway?]

I'm often asked where I got the nickname Mario. Well, in case you're wondering, too, let me tell you the story...

Way back when I was maybe 13 or 14, I worked in a tea room in Switzerland [my homeland] after school. Most of the employees who worked with the pastries were guest workers from Italy and they could never pronounce my name Kurt. Being around them constantly, I had learned Italian so well, they decided to give me an Italian name. That's how I came to be known as Mario.

Mario sounds more like a minority name and always went over well in both street and prison ministry. That's how it's stuck with me through the years.

- Kurt Mario Haas

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My Personal Background - Chaplain Mario

The Matterhorn

If you could hear me talk, you would immediately detect a foreign accent.
You see, when God created the world, He kissed it - and then He made Switzerland. That's where I'm from! [Click on the little Swiss flag at the beginning of this paragraph for a fine surprise.]

I left home at the age of 14, when my parents devastated me with the news of their divorce. This led me down a lonely road of alcohol addiction for nine years. Going from one country to another, trying to run from my problems, I found work as a professional waiter, bartender, and maitre d' in high class restaurants.

Finally, at the age of 24, I came to work at a steak house off Broadway in New York City. Thronged by the Manhattan crowds, I felt cut off and suffered the pain and heartbreak of loneliness.

One day, my sister in Switzerland sent me the book The Cross and the Switchblade written in the German language. I read it, only because I felt so lonely and was dying to read something in my native tongue. After reading the book, I immediately set out to fulfill my sister's request - to find out if this David Wilkerson, author of the book and founder of Teen Challenge, was for real.

Walking up and down Greenwich Village, I finally found The Lost Coin, the coffee house mentioned in a second Teen Challenge book called Twelve Angels From Hell. Once I met "Mom" Wilkerson, I felt compelled to visit her at the coffee house again and again. My searching went on for eight long months. Little did I know that the Teen Challenge workers had a 24-hour prayer chain going for this stubborn Swiss.

Finally, one night, I stumbled down the aisle of Glad Tidings church, drunk as a skunk. But you know, when I got up from that altar, I was as sober as the preacher behind the pulpit.

I entered the Teen Challenge program, stayed on as a staff member, and later went on to complete my studies at Ozark Bible Institute and Ashland Theological Seminary, where I earned a Master's in Pastoral Psychology and Counseling. The degree meant little to me spiritually but has served as a door opener to opportunities for ministry in prisons where I otherwise would have been turned down.

In 1972, Barbara became my faithful helpmeet. (You can read the story of our "Miracle Wedding" here.) God has blessed us with five mighty arrows in our quiver. Together, we have served as a family, ministering one-on-one and in both church and prison chapel services to people who are hurting. With God's help, we will continue bringing deliverance to the captive!

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A Chaplain's Plea for Bibles

Dear Chaplain Mario:

The demands outweigh the supply; therefore, we are appealing to you and your staff for another shipment of Bibles. The Cuyahoga County Jail population continues to increase daily.

We are grateful to you for the support that you have given us in the past and continue to give, especially your coming to the jail to minister to the inmates and the Bibles that have been given.

Chaplain, as you are aware, the population at the jail at this time is fast approaching the two thousand mark (2000), and the demand for Bibles is critical at this time. If you can help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated. One case or ten cases - whatever you can give we can use.

Sincerely yours,
(Signed) Otis F. Newton
Head Chaplain, Cuyahoga County Jail

[NOTE: This is only one of the many jails we supply with Bibles. The demand is far more than we can meet. A Bible is one of the first things an inmate asks for. Pray that God will burden Christians' hearts to meet this great need.]

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Special Ministry Needs

How you can help

graphic Prayer Backers

Foremost, we need volunteers commited to daily prayer for this ministry. Ministering on the frontlines, we need God's daily protection and anointing.

graphic Bibles

Donations of soft-cover Bibles are always welcome! (Leather or imitation only. Hard-cover is considered a weapon. We avoid paperback editions, because we have found they are quickly destroyed in the prison environment.) We are SORELY in need of Bibles and can never keep up with the demand from chaplains and prisoners. If you know of contacts for Bibles, you could help us immensely by pursuing those leads in our behalf.

graphic Program Information

You can help The Missing Link collect information on solid, Christian, residential programs for troubled youth and adults. We need people to help locate these programs worldwide and send us the information on services provided. (A special form will be provided to collect this data uniformly. The form is at our web site.)

graphic Contributions

The Missing Link is a family ministry and it takes a great amount of money to purchase Bibles, Bible studies, and other Christian literature for inmates, not to mention the postage and office expense involved in getting the materials out to inmates. We don't require it, but we'd like to offer you an opportunity to become involved in this ministry in a practical way - perhaps through a love offering. This would really help us out and make it easier for us to provide inmates with the materials they need so very much.

graphic Miscellaneous

  1. We need donations of materials to pave a driveway and volunteers to do the paving.
  2. We need donations of materials to replace the trim on our building and volunteers to do the work.
  3. We need volunteers to donate their landscaping skills and a nursery to donate what is needed for the landscaping.
  4. We need donations of carpeting and volunteers to lay the carpeting.
  5. Please, if you can help us in any of these areas, let us hear from you by phone, fax, or e-mail - whichever is most convenient for you.

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Thank You to Our Prayer Backers - You're number one!

We couldn't stay on the frontlines without your prayer support. Please remember, your prayers are VITAL to this ministry and much appreciated. We know as we unite together and believe Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, great things will be accomplished for the Kingdom of God. Let's continue to keep our chins up and our knees down!

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How to Reach Us

[Phone, fax, web, e-mail, or regular snail mail...phew!]

Internet E-Mail Address

World Wide Web Address:

Snail Mail:

The Missing Link, Inc.
P. O. Box 40031
Cleveland, OH 44140-0031

FAX: [440] 960-1871
Telephone: [440] 282-1683

Your help is so much appreciated!

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We Need to Hear from You

[Who me???...Yes, you!!]

Hey, thanks for taking the time to show your interest! You can return this form by e-mail, snail mail or fax - whichever is most handy for you. By the way, your comments and suggestions are most welcome!

-------------------------------------------------- cut here----------------------------------------------

Chaplain Mario,

[ ] I will faithfully do my best to remember you and The Missing Link in my prayers each day.

[ ] You have stirred my heart, please pray for me.

[ ] By faith, as God enables me, I will commit myself to a Monthly Faith Promise of $_______.

[ ] Use my gift where needed most.

[ ] Please provide me with envelopes for giving. I'm enclosing my regular mail address.

[ ] Please contact me, I want to help with a special ministry need.

[ ] Please send me information on an affordable Christian alternative to health insurance.*

[ ] Please send me information on how I can save 30-50% on my long-distance phone bills.*

*Beloved, I only mention these to provide you with a way to give these tremendous savings to missions! These programs are not a part of The Missing Link. We only refer these as a service to you.

Important: Please provide a business-size (#10), self-addressed, stamped envelope for this referral information. Your SASE really helps save our ministry time and money. Thanks for being so considerate!

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Some Food for Thought... [Yummy!]

Be good to your brother. You may share a cell with him tomorrow.

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How Do I Subscribe to This Newsletter? [Free advice!]

That's easy! Just press here to

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This web site is a service of
The Missing Link, Inc.®
Linking Troubled Youth and Adults with Life-Changing Programs
Web site -
Chapel Site:
Home of David Wilkerson's Times Square Church Pulpit Series Multilingual Web Site

Copyright © 2003 - The Missing Link, Inc. ®

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Last updated December 25, 2003.

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