Tom & Wendy
Tom and Wendy Horton are wonderful friends and partners in our prison ministry.
New Report: April 2013
A REAL THANKSGIVING MEAL
Every year Tom goes down to Angola to do a prison wide “pest control for Jesus” -It started as a small assistance for Warden Cain and quickly became a ministry to the men. Over a 4 day period Tom makes life throughout the vast prison complex more comfortable, and shares the love of Jesus. This year was no different. He came away with many stories, and this is just one-one of “Playing it Forward,” one of a fish and 5 loaves of bread-one of the widow giving her last coin.
Tom began at 8 that day-with many “camps” to cover. At about 1:00 AM, he was in Pine Dorm, looking a little frazzled. As he approached one inmate’s bed to spray around it, the inmate asked. ”Can I get you some pop?” Tom said “I’d love that, I haven’t had lunch or dinner today. That would be great!” The inmate pulled his trunk out to offer him a seat, and as he did, men from all over the dorm brought honey buns-pop-even one inmate’s dinner of chicken. (the one fish and 5 loves turned into a whole meal-with fellowship included) To people living outside a prison, this may not seem like much, but this trunk holds all their clothes, books and food. The food is bought by their own money, which isn’t much for most of them. They brought the food and then sat and talked about Jesus with Tom.
Every Thanksgiving we have a wonderful family meal with all the trimmings. Bu on this night, in April, around a huge dorm with many men, God gave us one more thing to be thankful for. That He has allowed us to reach the unreachable, touch the untouchable. Some of them may not know Jesus-but they know of one man who travels 15 hours in a truck to work day and night, just to show them someone cares. As one inmate told him, “This shows more to us about Jesus and Love than any sermon.”
Tom is the logistic coordinator, “life lessons” teacher, and our Master of Ceremonies for the regional events that are focused on spiritual renewal. Wendy is the “Story Teller”-using stories and story telling to bring messages from the Bible to reach the inmates hearts. She is also the assistant administrator, keeping everyone on time-and working within the schedule I make for each prison.
THE OLD MAN AND THE PARK BENCH
THE OLD MAN SAT ON THE PARK BENCH OUTSIDE OF THE SCHOOL. THERE WAS A SCHOOL YARD IN THE DISTANCE AND HE COULD SEE CHILDREN RUNNING AND PLAYING. HE NOTICED ONE YOUNG BOY WHO PLAYED ALONE. IF FACT EACH TIME HE WENT TO PLAY WITH THE OTHERS THEY IGNORED HIM AND TURNED THEIR BACKS ON HIM. HE SLOWLY WALKED TO THE BENCH AND SAT NEXT TO THE MAN. “WHAT’S THE MATTER LITTLE BUDDY?” THE OLD MAN ASKED? NOONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH ME, AND IT MAKES ME SO SAD. THE OLD MAN TOOK THE YOUNG BOYS FACE IN HIS HANDS AND SAID” NOT TO WORRY-BECAUSE WHEN I LOOK INOT YOUR EYES-I CAN SEE GOD HAS GREAT THINGS IN STORE FOR YOU”-GEE THANKS MISTER THE BOY SAID AND RAN OFF TO PLAY.
AN OLD MAN SAT ON A BUS STOP BENCH. IN THE DISTANCE WAS A HIGH SCHOOL, WITH ALL KINDS OF KIDS FLOODING OUT IT’S DOORS. HE WATCHED AS THEY ALL CAME OUT AND WENT INTO EACH OTHERS CARS HEADED FOR HAMBUGERS AND COKE. ONE LONE TEEN WALKED SLOWLY OUT THE DOOR AND SAT NEXT TO THE MAN. “WAITING FOR A BUS SON” THE OLD MAN ASKED. “YUP-GOT NO CHOICE” SAID THE TEEN-NOONE EVER ASKS ME TO RIDE WITH THEM OR GO OUT AFTER SCHOOL- “NOT TO WORRY” THE OLD MAN SAID-I CAN LOOK IN YOUR EYES AND SEE GOD HAS GREAT THINGS PLANNED FOR YOUR LIFE”-“YEA-WHATEVER” SAID THE TEEN, AS HE GOT ON THE BUS.
THE OLD MAN SAT IN HIS CAR-OUTSIDE THE BAR. HE NOTICED THE MAN STUMBLING OUT OF IT’S DOOR, ALMOST UNALBLE TO WALK. “SIR” SAID THE OLD MAN-“CAN I POSSIBLY TAKE YOU HOME-YOU DON’T LOOK IN ANY CONDITON TO DRIVE. “YEA-I GUESS SO-CAN’T FIND MY KEYS ANYHOW” THE MAN SAID. “CAN I ASK YOU SOMETHING?” SAID THE OLD MAN…..HOW DID YOU GET IN THIS CONDITON TONIGHT? “12 BEERS WILL DO THAT TRICK, SAID THE DRUNK..
“NO I MEAN TO THIS PLACE IN YOUR LIFE” THE MAN SAID?
“HMMM-LET’S SEE-NO JOB-NO MARRIAGE-NO FRIENDS-AT LEAST FOR THE NIGHT I CAN FOGET THIS ALL.—-THE OLD MAN HELD HIS SHOULDER AND TOLD THE MAN-GOD HAS SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOU-I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT-BUT YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF HIS WAY-AND ALLOW HIM INTO YOUR LIFE. NO AMOUNT OF BEER WILL EVER DO WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO-THINK ABOUT IT.
“MY HOUSE IS THE NEXT ONE ON THE RIGHT-THANKS FOR THE LIFT.” THE MAN SAID AS HE HOBBLED OUT OF THE CAR.
THE OLD MAN SAT IN THE PEW, WAITING FOR THE GUEST SPEAKER. THE CHURCH WAS FILLED TO THE TOP, ALL AWAITING THE MAN THEY HAD COME TO SEE.HE DELIEVERED A POWERFUL MESSAGE OF FAILURES IN HIS LIFE-FAILURES THAT ONLY GOD COULD HAVE TURNED AROUND. AFTER HIS MESSAGE THE OLD MAN WENT UP TO THE FRONT. HE WADED THROUGH ALL THE OTHERS WHO JUST WANTED TO SHAKE THIS GREAT MANS HAND.
AS HE APPROACHED , THE MAN STARED IN WONDER AT THE VERY FAMILIAR FACE HE HAD SEEN THROUGHT THE YEARS. AS HE REACHED FOR HIS HAND HE SAID-“I KNOW YOU-THE OLD MAN ON THE BENCH”
THE OLD MAN REPLIED-YES I HAVE BEEN WITH YOU-FROM THE VERY BEGINNING-YOU SEE-I AM—YOU. I THOUGHT IF I COULD JUST TELL YOU-THAT EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OK SOME DAY-THAT GOD REALLY DID HAVE A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE-I COULD HAVE SAVED YOU FROM ALL THE HURT. BUT AFTER HEARING YOU-I REALIZE GOD HAD HIS HAND IN THIS FROM THE START-ALL THOSE THINGS THAT HURT YOU THE MOST-MADE YOU WHO YOU ARE TODAY. I ALSO LEARNED ONLY GOD CAN SAVE US FROM OURSELVES-
THAT HIS GREATEST BLESSINGS COME FROM THE RAINDROPS IN OUR LIVES.