Hi, my name
is Richard. I am 50 years old. I’ve done 24 years in prison for something I
can never pay for. I was young and
caught up in the worldly ways of drugs and fast living. I have never thought of myself as a violent
person, and I did not intend to cause the violent crime that I did. I have had the chance to grow to an adult in
prison who has a decent record while here.
I have had a few problems, most of them when I first got here in
1988. My prison
record has no violence in it.
I have had
trustee status while in prison, even as far as a trustee can go, “I-A”. When I
think about what happened in 1988, I honestly say that I should be here. When I think about the man I am today, I feel
I would be a law-abiding citizen in the free world. I have many friends who are doing life in
prison who I am sure, given the chance, would do right on the outside of the
time in prison, I have found ways to reach out into the free world spreading
the good news that is revealed to me in the Bible. When I first came here, I had a high school
diploma but had never read a book from cover to cover. I was, needless to say, very depressed when I
came here. I opened the Bible and the
Words of Truth seemed to jump out of the pages at me. I found peace beyond understanding that I never
had in the free world. I wanted to share
that peace with people, and one of the ways to reach out was by painting Jesus
rocks, called the Rock of My Salvation.
I painted 25,000 rocks in the 8 years that I was permitted to paint
them. I gave these rocks away for free
in hopes of spreading the Word of Salvation to the lost ones in the world.
letters from many people in many different places, even some from other
countries. I returned a personal letter
to each one of them and sent them each more rocks to give away. I had the chance to minister to children and
when I did, I did not tell them about prison.
I avoided the subject with them, instead encouraging them to pay
attention in school, listen to their parents and to pay close attention to
their Sunday school teachers. My ministry
was meant for adults, but when I received letters from the children I had to
tone it down to a proper children’s level.
After I was no longer allowed to paint the Jesus rocks, I started a track
ministry called “Reaching Out from the Inside”, although I liked and made more
progress with the rocks.
many others deserve the punishment we got, but I also believe many of us deserve
another chance. Please help to give us
that chance by supporting, in an active way, this cause. Just like the Jesus rocks, if you work at it,
it will reach many people. Just think of
the progress that could be made if many went to work! Please, because many of you have given up,
renew the hope you had in the beginning and do more than try. “Make a difference!” You will, and I and many others love
and thank you for making the way for our new start in life.