"An Inside Perspective"

January 2004


My dear family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ!
Praise God for another year closer to Home! For me, as a prisoner, there is a two-fold home. First of course, is my Home in glory with the King! It is written, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Secondly, I am still battling in the courts to find my way back to an earthly home.

I lost my most recent round of appeals, yet, I am being taught through His breaking (crushing) to rejoice in God’s most perfect will. As we submit and surrender “it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised (trained) thereby.” Crushing results in brokenness and brokenness bears fruit. We would never break (crush) ourselves, it is a work done by God, intimately and with purpose. Even as “Salvation is of the Lord” to unbelievers, so also, “brokenness is of the Lord” unto His own. You never saw anyone crucify themselves did you? But our God’s “thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways.” Indeed --- God did crucify Himself, in Christ, by “the hands of sinful men” and then willingly bore the sin of His people openly in public shame. It is written, “… He was crushed for our iniquities [and] it pleased the Lord to crush Him.” The Son of God was “crucified before the foundation of the world” in the heart of God the Father --- “what manner of love is this?”

Through all of this crushing in my life, Sister Debbie’s Dad, Bob Carver, has taken me under his wing. I am honored to lovingly, with much gratitude and privilege, call him, Dad. He has adopted me into his family “as one born out of due time” and he calls me son. He is now, at 70, in the jails full-time and he is happier than he has ever been! The other day, as we spoke on the phone, he said without a thought, “I am so glad that you went to prison.” At first, I was a bit taken aback. But upon reflection, and after hearing his reasons, I too was glad I went to prison. Certainly not glad or proud of my sinful crime, but shameful, yet rejoicing in how God birthed this ministry through my sin. Over the last 13 years God, to His glory, has blessed countless men and women through this ministry. It amazes me how the Lord is able to sovereignly bring good out of our sin!

This year we have determined in our hearts, by the leading of the Lord, to finally pursue and establish the Holy-Way house. God has raised up Glenn and Barbara Nelsen, a Godly couple, and He has moved their hearts to become full-time workers in this ministry. They still have to go through the process of being approved by our board of Elders and are raising their own monthly support. Glenn and Barbara are prayerfully considering being the live-in “House” parents, so to speak, for the Holy-Way house.

This is new to all of us and we are seeking your prayers, support and any advice or input you may have. The Holy-Way house will, for now, be for women. Debbie works daily with women in jails and prison and they have many needs. All their situations are different, but we have noticed a common thread running through them all. There is need of a place where they can live and be discipled, counseled, and loved until they can get on their feet and function on their own in society. Many of these women have lost everything and apart from the Lord’s intervention they will be swallowed back up into fallen society. They need us desperately! They have children, parole, transportation needs, court battles, financial needs, fines to pay, etc. All the while they have the “scarlet letter” of “ex-felon” on their back and people will not hire them. What are we going to do with these women? That’s right, we are going to do just what the Lord wants us to. We are going to be there for them, we are going to love them, grow them and hold the hope of the Word before them. Let us do for them what the world cannot.

You may say, “will it ever make a difference, there are so many of them?” Well --- let me tell you a story. There was a man walking down the beach after a great storm and there were thousands of washed-up clams on the shoreline. He was watching a jogger run along and every once in awhile the jogger stopped, bent over and picked up a clam and threw it, as hard as he could, back into the ocean. The man stopped the jogger and said to him, “Why are you doing that, it won’t make any difference, there are thousands and thousands of them!” The jogger bent down, picked up another clam and threw it, as hard as he could, back out into the ocean. He then turned to the man, looked him in the eye and said, “It made a difference for that one!” That is our heart and approach toward these women, there are thousands of them, but we aim to help the ones that the Lord has “picked up” and thrown into the Body of Christ. Let it be said of us that we worked for these women as hard as we could!

Sister Debbie is considering selling her house. Glenn and Barbara are willing to step out in faith and leave the life they now know for these women. We need a house and property. We know the Lord could supply the money, but we want you to pray with us, by faith, that the Lord will put it on someone’s heart to donate the house and property! Then we can use the money we do have to establish it. God is well able! Lay hold of this vision with us and let us pray to this end. We don’t know, geographically, where the Lord wants this house of His to be, so we need much wisdom! These women are in the middle of their brokenness, they need a home just like you and I do. Please help us help them!

Joyfully in Jesus,
Love Phillip

"Remember Those In Prison, As if Chained to Them"