Hi,                                                                                                                                                  May 11, 2006

Peace & Love to you. I pray this letter will find you well. I am personally writing to you because I have a web site where I try to encourage folks to write to inmates who are currently serving time in prisons and/or in jail. I do this in my service to the Lord and not for any type of financial gain. I do not charge anyone to be listed on my web site, nor do I charge anyone for writing to inmates. I simply do this in hopes that God’s love will be revealed to someone who needs to be loved and know they have not been forgotten by the outside world. I am nobody special, I just happen to love the Lord. This does not mean that I am better than you or anyone else. I am a far cry from being perfect. I believe anyone can make a bad choice or choose the wrong road at anytime in their life. Often times, it’s only because someone did not care or love them enough, and basically it most likely forced them into a desperate situation.

I found you on a web site while doing a search on female offenders. Up until recently, all I had on my own web site was male inmates. In March I included a list of female inmates located in Kentucky and Oklahoma. Now last evening I added you. I cannot guarantee that anyone will ever write; all I can do is have hopes that they do.

My ex-wife was incarcerated in the Hamilton County Justice Center, here in Ohio, and it wasn’t a pretty picture. She was locked up for failing to appear in court over her non-payment of child support, when technically she was not mentally or physically able to even work in the first place. That was nearly 4-5 years ago and we are not together any longer. However, the experience certainly awakened me to how terrible it is for inmates, and how often they get very little pieces of mail while they are locked up. We also had a friend named Carol, who was locked up for a while. My wife would write to her every single day. The other inmates would see her getting a letter every day, and ask her what makes her so dang special. She would simply say; "I have a Christian Sister on the outside who loves me." Well, at the time, the Lord gave me a vision and I pictured Carol receiving several letters per day. I thought, Wow, wouldn’t it be absolutely awesome and a true witness to God’s love, for all the other inmates to see what a difference it makes, when one chooses to love and trust in the Lord, as Carol had done? Well, I was attending a wonderful church at the time, and I posted a letter on the bulletin board in the hall, asking folks to write to Carol. Several weeks went by and the only person who bothered at all to write to her was my dear Uncle Jesse. I was really disappointed, to say the least. Carol had even attended this church a few times, yet still nobody cared enough to write to her. One Sunday morning before leaving my house for church, it was weighing on my heart that nobody bothered to write to her. I thought to myself, "Where is the Love?" I was trying to think of what I could do to get these folks to seriously picture what the Lord had shown ME. At that moment, I looked down and saw a small yellow post-it notepad lying on my desk. I picked up red magic marker and drew a big red heart on it and colored it in solid, and then I took a black magic marker and drew a big black circle around it and put a straight line through it. I folded the edge around a toothpick and it looked like a small flag. As I walked past the bulletin board at church that morning, I stuck it smack in the middle of my letter. Needless to say, the pastor wasn’t too impressed when he saw it, and on Wednesday evening he was commenting on some issues concerning the church. Then he said; "For now on, nothing goes on that bulletin board out in the hall, unless it is approved by me first. I am getting sick and tired of some folks going around here saying that there is no love in this church, there is plenty of love in this church." At that moment, I jumped up and said "Brother Frank! I am the one who put that flag out there on that bulletin board. That letter hung on that bulletin board for THREE Weeks, and the only one who even bothered to write a letter to Carol was Uncle Jesse. I’m not trying to say there is no love in this church; I am saying there is not enough love in ANY of the churches out there." I cannot recall now what else was said but I can assure you I was on a roll. J When I got home, I decided to write a letter and send it to about 30 different churches, of several different denominations, requesting that they write to Carol to help encourage her while she was in jail. I explained all that had transpired in my own church. I picked these churches randomly out of the local phone directory, believing in my heart that the person responsible for opening up the church’s mail would read it and post it on their own church’s bulletin board. Out of 30 letters, not even ONE person wrote to her from any of these churches. I was amazed at how cold folks can be. Good Grief, I was not asking them to send money; all I was asking for was a simple letter or card of encouragement.

Well, the whole experience was very sad to me and I was very discouraged. This was surely not the way God intended His children to act. There are some serious problems out there with our churches today. Folks are too wrapped up in their own lives and do not have the pure giving love that is truly required; to set the example of what a Christian is suppose to set. And this is the very reason Christ died for us; to set the example; and to show us the way. God has laid it upon my heart to not allow this experience to have been in vain. So now, in my spare time, while I enjoy sitting at my computer sharing Christian music with folks I meet online, I have a web site devoted to encouraging folks to write to inmates. Currently I have 7 male inmates on the web site, and a total of 72 female inmates as well. As I said, I cannot guarantee anyone will write to you, but I wanted to at least let you know that you are there. If you would prefer not to be on it, please write back and let me know. I’m sorry I can’t do more for you, but I am only one man and I simply do not have the time to write a personalized letter to each and every one of you. I do however, try to reply as best I can with time permitting? It has been a true blessing to me as I read some of the replies that I have received back after sending this letter out.

Please feel free to write me back and let me know if you would like to remain on the web site until your release. It would be most kind of you if you could also let me know whenever you are released or transferred to a different place, so I can remove you from the web site or update your address? It would also be nice if one of you could let me know what the mail rules are at your facility, such as the number of photos you are allowed to receive and if color ink is allowed in your letters? I also have an inmate birthday calendar on my web site and I add each of your birthdays to the calendar, along with your address. I am hoping that someone might at least send out a birthday card? I have no idea how effective it will be, but it’s worth a shot?

Hebrews 6:10 - For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

I thank God for this opportunity to write to you. If you know of any inmates who never ever receive mail from the outside, and are in need of an encouraging word, please let me know who they are and I will add them to my web site as well. Perhaps the Lord will lay it upon someone’s heart to write to her. But please understand that my web site is not intended to be a match making service. Any inmates who write to me with an ad-like letter saying what they are "looking for", requesting to be added, I will not add them.

May God bless you always in everything you say and do; and may you bless Him too.

Love in Christ,
Gary Gideon

2322 Nicholson Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45211-6117

Initial Replies from a few of the inmates this letter was sent to
(these letters are Audio MP3 files read by Gary Gideon)
Click on any title in the playlist to start the Flash Player

Amy Darnell 5/16/2006
ID # 18087

Initial Replies from Kentucky & Oklahoma inmates a similar letter was sent to on March 8, 2006
(these letters are Audio MP3 files read by Gary Gideon)

Ashely Haire 3/13/2006
ID # 18080
Becky Bishop 3/13/2006
ID # 18082
Chantal Roach 3/13/2006
ID # 18081
Shandy Brown 3/13/2006
ID # 18083
Erin Schloemer 3/19/2006
ID # 18084
Betsy Bartsch 3/21/2006
ID # 18085
Detria McIntosh 4/24/2006
ID # 18086

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