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The Missing Link Newsletter

January 1999 Edition

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

  1. Still Busy with Suicidals - Can you help us?
  2. From the Prison Mailbag - Feedback on Black Samson
  3. Why Is Inmate Participation in Bible Studies So Valuable?
  4. Feedback from Internet Folks - Let's open the e-mailbox!
  5. Inmate Art
  6. Inmate Poetry - A special thank you
  7. The Drug Addict's Marriage Creed
  8. Free Ministry your request!
  9. Are You Online?...Send us your e-mail address.
  10. Memorial Gifts - To honor and remember people you love.
  11. Thank You to Our Prayer Backers - You're number one!
  12. How to Reach Us [Phone, fax, web, e-mail, or regular snail mail...phew!]
  13. We Need to Hear from You [Who me???...Yes, you!!]
  14. How Do I Subscribe to This Newsletter? [Free advice!]


Still Busy with Suicidals

Not all prisoners live behind the wall. Many live in prisons of their own making, including those trapped in a vicious, relentlous cycle of suicidal thoughts.

As you may already know, the Christmas holidays are often a very depressing time for many people. Just since December 5, we have received over 50 requests from the Internet for David Wilkerson's Suicide book to be shipped to suicidals. The majority of the requests came directly from the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Three suicidals were military personnel. We also received requests from as far away as Canada, Guam, Latvia, Russia, and Switzerland.

More on Suicide

Can You Help Us?

We spend a great amount of time, searching online church directories for ministers in these locations, so we can ask them to follow up these requests. Right now, we could use several online volunteers to match suicidals with local ministers for followup. If you'd like to help in this needy area, please let us know by e-mailing us.

One suicidal called me last night to tell me the book clearly depicted suicidal progression exactly as she had experienced it. The further she read, the more she believed David Wilkerson knew her life like a book. Suicide provided her with clear Scriptural answers to the gnawing questions she has been asking for so long, both thoroughly convincing her of the sinfulness of entertaining suicidal thoughts and offering her a lifeline of hope.

More on Suicide
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From the Prison Mailbag

Feedback on Black Samson

"Chaplain Mario,

"I am going to be very brief with this letter. I am currently serving a ten-month prison sentence for a charge that I got two years ago. I was originally placed on probation when I first got this charge. I violated this probation a short time after receiving it. I eventually turned myself in and received my prison sentence. This all happened over a period of about two years.

"I received the gift of life in Christ when I first caught this case, in 1996. I have had an awful amount of ups and downs that I could not explain and sometimes really discouraged me. But for some reason, what the Lord had given me, I could not let go of.

"I related my life very closely to Black Samson. I had been in prison before and was a person with many, many bondages. I think about the chains that I read about in this book. I never had physical chains like the ones he had on his neck, but I had spiritual chains that were just as real. I think that all Christians can relate in one way or another, the dropping off of the chains.

"Jesus gave me a new life, new hope, and a new attitude. There are still chains and we are still prisoners, but we are prisoners of Christ and our chains are of being partakers of the afflictions of the Gospel (2 Tim. 1:8).

"This book has been such an inspiration to me. I pray that as I prepare to leave this place and return to my Christian family that I will never let its meaning depart from me. I have not read many books in my life, but I do believe that this book is the second best I've ever read. I need not make mention of the first."

"Please send copy of How To Be Born Again." - Roderick (Ohio Prison)

How to Pray for Roderick

"Dear Mario,

"I want to thank you for coming to [left blank] on Monday afternoons to bring a message of hope. Your Chicken Soup messages are very uplifting which we inmates need most.

"Your studies of Proverbs are very helpful to my salvation and keep me walking with the Lord Jesus. I have signed up for correspondence Bible studies.

"We are still having trouble with the pass system. More inmates would like to attend your Bible class but can't get passes. Thanks a lot for the years you have worked at prison ministry carrying God's Word to us inmates.

"I would like a free copy of How To Be Born Again." - Dan [Ohio]

How to Pray for Dan

"Dear Chaplain Mario,

"I was reading this book called Black Samson and it touched me in a special way.

"I've been through a lot during my sinful days. It took me coming to prison to realize that God has been in my life from day one of being born. God never departed from me. I departed from him." - Vaughn [Ohio]

"Dear Chaplain Mario,

"I am an inmate, incarcerated here at [left blank]. One day as I was going to the porter closet, I saw some religious books, mostly Bibles, that other inmates left behind.

"But there was one book that really caught my eye. It was Black Samson. I myself am from [left blank], where I never saw or read this book before. Most of the guys down here are from Cleveland, Ohio, and most say that they have read that book.

"The point that I am getting at is that book (Black Samson) has really helped me with my understanding of God. It has given me a clean understanding on what God wants from me. I really enjoyed that book. So much that I am going to take it home with me, whenever I get released from prison, to share it with my family and new friends. So if you can, send me more literature on our Father and what He wants from us men. Thank you very much." - H. [Ohio]

"Dear Chaplain Mario,

"I have just finished reading Black Samson and the life and realization that Maweja has lived is quite similar to mine.

"I am in prison for something that I thought was right at the time. I was bound in slavery to Satan. In the short time I have sent here, I have been at war within myself to bring myself back to my Lord Jesus Christ. My war is very similar to Maweja's. One step at a time, I find myself being set free by God's grace. Being in here (prison) things happen every day that make me want to change my mind and continue living the path the world sees fit. I am beating myself for getting myself in this situation. The anger inside me is slowing down my walk with the Lord. See, because I'm in prison doing time, my family is on the outside doing time, too. That makes me want to hate myself. I do love Jesus. I am having an extremely hard time understanding His ways. I know in my heart they are right. Maybe I do understand His ways. I'm just compromising within myself to fulfill the needs of my flesh. I guess the help I really need is in fellowship with other Christians.

"I do not yet know if you can send me the book How To Be Born Again" but any reply you can send will be greatly appreciated. Like I said, I need fellowship and where I am among men my age (20) I can't seem to find it. When I read this book, I finally felt as if there was somebody out there who understood how I felt. That gave me some relief. I didn't feel all alone any more. I know the Lord knows how I feel but communicating with someone of the flesh who understands my feelings helps ease the feeling of loneliness." - John [Ohio]

More on Black Samson
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Why Is Inmate Participation in Bible Studies So Valuable?

The head chaplain of one of the largest prisons in our area spoke at our church service, giving an update and sharing with the people the contribution we have made as a ministry. He pointed out that a study was made by the Center for Social Research which showed that inmates who participate in a Bible study can reduce the likelihood of inmate recidivism.

The research findings specifically reported that only 14% of prisoners, who maintained a high level of participation in a Bible study like ours, were rearrested within a year of their release from prison, compared with 41% of prisoners who attended no Bible study.

The state of Ohio spends $14,000 to keep an inmate for one year. The chaplain pointed out that if only ten inmates that we minister to do not come back to prison, we have saved the state $140,000. If a hundred inmates do not come back, we have saved the state $1,400,000 - not a bad return for your investment in this ministry! Just imagine if we would receive only 1% of what the state saves as a result of our presence and continual contribution from our Bible studies!

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Feedback from Internet Folks

Let's open the e-mailbox!

I was interested in learning more about the teachings of God, and I was wondering if it is at all possible to recieve a free Bible (physical book), the King James version. If this is not possible, do you know anywhere on the net where I can receive a free Bible?" - Neil [Canada]

* * *
"I'd like to request a book [Suicide]. I really need something to help me." - Anonymous [Missouri]

* * *
"HMM... SUICIDE... I'm always thinking about it. Your book looks interesting. Unfortunely I can't read it on my workplace. So, please, send me printed one if you really think that it will help me to find reason to live." - Nick [Russia]

* * *
"I am currently struggling with suicidal thoughts. I am in Christian therapy. I am an incest survivor and a Christain. I know suicide is wrong but sometimes the pain is too great. I have attempted suicide before (the first time at age 12) and have been in ICU 2 times with several hopsitalizations. I do not want to committ suicide but the flashbacks and pain are so consuming. Please send me David Wilkerson's book on Suicide. Please pray for me. I want to live a life pleasing to God but I feel so dirty and shameful and unworthy. I also have trouble trusting God because while the abuse took place (ages 5-12 and a few times from ages 12-10) dad was taking me to church and also served on several church committees. How could God let that happen? I know God is soverign and is my only hope. Please pray for me. I need to find peace. I can not stand this pain much longer." - Connie [Ohio]

* * *
"I hope this site will help me. I'm very close to the edge right now. The only thing I'm holding onto is my 2 young boys. Thank you for putting this site here." - Barbara [Texas]

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Inmate Poetry

A special thank you

The Bus to Heaven

I fell to my knees one night.
This time it was out of fear or fright.
I was searching for a way hrough the darkness
Which Satan has brought to stay.
I heard a sermon from a man who said there was hope.
When he was done I felt like a dope
Jesus Christ is the way for me.
This Chaplain Mario made it easy to see.
Self-pity, hate and sorrow was so deep in my heart
It was tearing my insides apart.
I gave my life to Jesus our Lord.
Praise God Almighty, I'm now aboard!

- Jim [Ohio]

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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 business-size, self-addressed, stamped envelope when you make your request.

Address your request to:

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

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

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Are You Online?

Send us your e-mail address

[globe] Send us your e-mail address. You can now subscribe to this newsletter online and receive it in your personal e-mailbox. You can also view it in color on the World Wide Web.

Thank you letters and receipts can be sent by e-mail, saving our ministry the cost of stationery, envelopes, addressing, and postage. Plus, e-mail is faster than regular mail.

Just press here to

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Memorial Gifts

To honor and remember people you love.

This column will be used monthly to list gifts given IN HONOR or IN MEMORY of someone. Your name
(if desired) will be published along with the person's name whom you are honoring or memorializing.

In Memory of:
Corrie Lykken

Given by:
Merle and Marie Lykken
Alcester, SD

This gift was given in memory of their daughter, Corrie Lykken, who was tragically killed by a drunken driver.

If you wish to designate a "Gift in Honor," or a "Gift in Memory," please clip and mail this coupon, along with your gift, to:

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

Your Name:_______________________________________


City, State, Zip:____________________________________

Person you are (Check one)  [ ] Honoring or  [ ] Memorializing:

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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!]

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.
(See Premier Online Newsletter.)

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

That's easy. Just press here to

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