Saturday, June 16, 2012

Writing to an Inmate

David, his mom & sis - visit in prison
Here at 1st Writes, we talk about writing as a ministry. Some of us write devotions or inspirational blog posts. Some of us minister in our fiction writing by building our themes on Biblical truths. Some of write Christian drama. Some of us do a card ministry and encourage the sick and home-bound. Today, I want to talk about prison ministry. It's personal to me.

David Welsh is my good friend, Patti's brother. He committed a crime five years ago in Washington State. He's been serving a 10 year sentence. I've been writing to him off and on over these five years. He has five left to go. 

I never thought I'd write an inmate. Never thought I'd know an inmate. I had only met David once or twice before he was sent to prison. He looked tough, but he was well loved by his family. When Patti first asked me to write him in jail, I felt very uncomfortable. I didn't really know him. I didn't want the mailman to see I was writing to a prisoner. But, as time went by, I realized it was every bit as good for me to write him, as it was for David to receive my letters.

I am supposed to get out of my comfort zone for Christ. I am supposed to share Christ's love with others. David's sin is no worse than my sin. Our sin, no matter what it is, put Jesus on the cross.

So, today, I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe writing to an inmate is not what God wants you to do, but I bet, there is something God is whispering in your ear to do. Be his hands and feet and minister to someone who needs Christ.

Here is a poem I mailed to David today:

I'm Not Done Yet 
by Dawn M. Hamsher

Though the road is long and may seem tough.
I can survive it, God is enough.
As I sit and think about my past.
It’s time to look ahead at last.
My journey here is half-way done.
The future is bright, just like the sun.
And the reason that I’m here at all.
Is for his purpose and his call.
My work on earth is not complete.
Help me, Lord, stay at your feet.


  1. That is a great poem and I think it's great that you are writing to David. You're giving him a hope that he might not have otherwise. I think people forget that criminals, most of the time, as just people that made some bad choices. They shouldn't be ignored. Good for you, getting out of your comfort zone.

  2. I love that. It's something we all need.

  3. Dawn--THANK YOU <3

  4. Very encouraging, Dawn. Thank you for the challenge.

  5. Dawn- Words cannot express my thanks...

  6. Terrific post. Very much needed. I know there is something outside of my comfort zone that I'm supposed to do... and I know he's getting me there slowly but surely :)

  7. I'm sure having friends and family write to him help him through the difficult times. And it's exactly what Christ himself would do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Awesome poem! Awesome assignment! If I can think of something to write, I will give it to you to mail.

  9. God is enough. Well said.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

  10. You minister to all of us with your example! Thank you for encouraging me. I was fearful too but i wil pray and follow where God leads me!