the Lives of Prisoners
Dear Friends of IPM,
Many of us, including countless prisoners, have been blessed through the ministry of Chaplain Ray. We are thankful to the Lord that He continues to use this ministry to proclaim His truth. Many of 'God's Prison Gang' are rejoicing with Chaplain Ray, Leola, and Pastor Bob as they worship in heaven together. Many of our faithful ministry partners are also there rejoicing. 'Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses...' (Hebrews 12:1). We rejoice here on earth as we praise the Lord for His mighty works in reaching many lost souls. This month, we remember Frank Costantino's testimony and ministry.
In His lifetime, Frank went from 'gangster to dedicated Christian.' He stands in a long line of transformed servants of the living God. The Apostle Paul gave similar testimony to the powerful work of God in turning spiritual rebels into fruitful ministers. 'And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus' (1 Timothy 1:12-14).
It is the mercy and grace of God at work in our hearts that enables us all to serve our Lord. His mercy through Christ holds back the awful judgement that we all deserve. His abounding grace in Christ pours forth the wonderful resources and blessings that we could never deserve. Those who humbly rely upon the Lord are thereby transformed to serve God effectively. Those who continue to walk with God in this manner end up with a testimony of faithfulness. 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith' (2 Timothy 4:7). This was Paul's testimony. Many bear witness that it was Frank's testimony as well. This can be the testimony of many inmates, and of us also.
Rejoicing in the Reality of Transformed Lives through Christ,
(for all of our “Chaplain Ray Family” and the IPM Team)
|Letters from Prisoners|
Dear Director Dini,
Blessings to you and hope that this letter found you well and full of joy by the Holy Spirit and love. The Bible Dictionary and Concordance reached me in good order. Thank you. Pastor Bob sent me an encouraging letter once that stuck to me in my heart with rich scriptures and great advice. It seems that you are also an inspiring teacher of God's Holy Word, and that He has trusted to deliver words of comfort and growth to an audience of spiritual hunger and thirst. The manner of instructions that you presented is being followed wholeheartedly, and by the grace of God, understood as you deemed to be necessary for my spiritual needs. I do indeed believe God's words to be true and pure, and Holy Ghost inspired. I seek daily to find truths from the Father, as an insatiable fire, never getting enough. I also pray to the Father casting all cares on Him for He cares for me, is the same as an invite. The way I see it, I can't ask too much or chat too long. There was a time when I felt lonely and I prayed to God, 'Please be my friend.' I was tearful at the time and my heart saddened. I asked God not to leave, but listen, if He would, while I talked. My earthly father had died only two months prior, and I had not been getting any mail. But not that so much as I felt like God had ignored me and wouldn't hear my prayers. I wept while talking with the Father, and at some point I felt His presence near me. I cried even more, but in a joyous sense now that the Father was in my cell with me. I could feel it. When the conversation stopped I went to sleep, content that along with much thanksgiving, God and I were on good terms.
John G., Texas Prison
Please! Please! Don't Stop What You Are Doing!
IPM, I'm without words to express how elated I am with the books sent to me. I have fully taken the road Christ's way forever! Actually, there is not any other way. Thanks for the books; they're so clear with information I questioned for years. Now I'm clear! Please! Please! Don't stop what you are doing!
Thomas S., California Prison