We have an obligation to visit those in need, like the sick or those in prison. Perhaps we do not need to do that all the time, but at least from time to time. It is interesting that the Bible says to come unto them with a physical visit. Many times it is not enough to send a message, email, or card. Nursing homes are also a great opportunity to visit the sick.
The Smyrna Prison Ministry
We have briefly mentioned our prison ministry from time to time over the years. That ministry was brought home to us in the beginning of October when we went to the annual banquet of Prison Outreach of Delaware where we met two former inmates from our Bible Studies of the past: Jason and Carl. These men are pictured below. They are now continuing on with the Lord, but I am sure they could use some prayer. It is not that often that one sees visible fruit from a ministry such as this.
The Smyrna prison is the main long-term prison for the state of Delaware. Off and on, Ken was involved in this ministry for about 28 years until Covid. He would teach (when home on furlough) one of three or four Bible study groups on Wednesday nights. Jason remembered that Ken had taught on Proverbs (with practical rules on how to live).
The prison administration never seemed too anxious to have the studies. They seemed to always be moving us more toward the door. We started out in the buildings with the inmates, then they moved us to the chapel, then to the visiting rooms, and finally, they cut the studies back to every other week. Covid gave them a reason to stop us altogether and the studies have never started again. The inmates sacrificed to attend the studies, especially toward the end enduring strip searches every time they came. We have been told that there is very little chance the studies will start again; but pray that God would do a miracle here.
We sent out the Spring Edition of our journal “The Fundamentalist” all over Brazil in September. It mainly covers the ICCC Congress that took place in June in Collingswood. The lead article was a final message from the Congress on “Worthy is the Lamb.” There is a letter from a Brazilian pastor who attended the Congress entitled, “Gratitude to the Almighty.” There are pictures from the Congress and the resolution on “Gender and Sexuality” from the Congress is on the back cover. There are also continuing articles on our Protestant Heritage and on Bible versions.
Ken continues to preach and teach at Marcus Hook and Kingsville, and we have continued our door-to-door tract ministry with them. We attended the Faith Presbytery meeting in Charlotte in September. Ira also helped a couple of days in a local Vacation Bible School. We were able to attend funerals of longtime supporters of our ministry, Nancy Paashaus and Gene Faucette. Ken spoke at the fall missionary dinner of Collingswood, also in September.
We have enclosed a picture of our newest grandson, Paul, with his mother Christina and Ira; he was born on September 24. We also have another new grandson from Mark (and Lydia) on the way, due in January in Florida. There is also progress being made in getting Ken’s old Barracuda back on the road.
Luke and Leah are doing well but are still recovering and doing treatments. Pray for wisdom with the treatments of Leah.
Thanks, as always, for all your prayers and support.
In His service,
Ken and Ira Olson