Carmen Ministries' Newsletter
Issue: 2011December 2011
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A Time to Count Our Blessings
a year in review 

Carmen Ministries' Board Members (l to r): Jim Hoyt, Bob Dell Elba, Tony Wood, Lorraine Howard, and Dan Miller

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

                                                                   2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Carmen Ministries, its Board, and the young men we minister to humbly thank you for your support throughout 2011. During this year, we have been blessed with the opportunity to provide assistance to many; we have God to thank and you for your continued support.

We especially thank our dedicated volunteers who spent countless hours performing the Lord's work on behalf of Carmen Ministries. While many have contributed their time and treasures, we want to specifically mention the Carmen Ministries' Prayer Team, the 'Gardens & More' volunteers (see page 2), the involved local churches and clergy, Christian Motorcycles, the Gideons, Market Street Missions, and the ECS Ministries. Thank you.

To all who have volunteered the gifts of time, treasure and/or talent to Carmen Ministries helping us overcome our challenges, we thank you  sincerely. May the 2012 year shine the Lord's blessings on you and yours.

                               Tony Wood and the Board of Carmen Ministries

They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.

                                                                       Revelation 12:11 

Special Forces
a young man's journey from despair to faith 
My name is Mike, and I grew up in a good, Christian household although I didn't quite follow God or believe more than the fact that He existed. My life was hard growing up though, and it got really bad when I was seventeen. I experienced the loss of a very close friend - I called her "my little sister."

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Prayer Request from Teens


  • Please pray for my family's well-being and pray for me to complete the program.   
  • Please pray for me to be happy, to complete the program, and to get my GED. Also pray that my family is good.  
  • I ask that you pray for my family. Help them to stay strong until I come home. Also, when I go home, help me to stay strong and stay out of trouble. If it's possible, can you please get a few stamps for me? Thank you.  
  • I ask that you pray for me and my family. Please guide my sister rightly. Help me make better decisions. I pray that my friends accept my decision to leave the gang life.  
  • I would just like you to pray for me so that I can maintain my composure. I try to stay focused, because I'm too close to going home so I have a lot to lose. I hope I stay out of trouble when I get home too.  
  • I ask that you pray that I pass my GED so I can move on in my life. Top 
"Gardens & More" Ministry
planting seeds of hope . . .  




The "Gardens & More" ministry was launched last year. Gardens were prepared in May at the Voorhees Residential Center. The idea behind this project was to get the boys working on something positive, productive and fruitful thereby giving them a positive outlet for their creative energy.

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Carmen Ministries is looking for volunteers to continue this program in 2012. If interested, please call Tony at 908-835-7805.


I Hope You Can Come See Me
a young man's request 


To Dad,
What's good, Pops? How are you doing? I just hope you are staying healthy and strong. But I also pray that God is blessing you and your family and that He continues to use you and is expanding your ministry.

As for me, Dad, I'm still the same - just trying to keep a positive mind and attitude as well as keep my eyes on Christ, Dad, but I'm falling off.

I hope you can come see me when you are available. I just hope you are growing in your 'community' up top.

And I hope you like my picture! God bless you!

                                                                      Your son, Josh    Top
Excerpts from Letters from Our Young Men
a glimpse into their lives 


I used to be ungrateful. I was uncaring and unable to bring myself from the bottom to the top. I always felt like I needed something to make me happy: a girlfriend, a drug, a drink, a thing. I found out that nothing made me happy. I was displeased and unsatisfied by things, places and people. I always wanted more; nothing was ever enough. I let my greed and selfishness get to me, because I didn't care about anyone besides myself. But now, goodbye Mr. Ungrateful. I'm seeing the changes in myself and the person I have become.

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Calling All SinnersVinnie
a call to conversion
My name is Vinnie, and I am currently serving a five-year prison sentence. I come from a wonderful family with two amazing parents. I am the youngest of three children. Growing up, I always attended church and went to a Christian school until the 8th grade. My troubles began when I got distracted from a promising future by a world filled with drugs and compromise. Just like everyone in this world, I had a choice. The choices I made led me to prison and losing my freedom.

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Ministry Sponsor: S & R Property Maintenance LLC

Please patronize our ministry sponsor, S & R Property Maintenance LLC. To contact Sean McLaughlin, Owner, via email, click here

Ministry Sponse
In This Issue
Special Forces
Teen Prayers
"Gardens & More"
Come See Me
Letter Excerpts
Calling All Sinners
S & R Poperty - Our Sponsor
Newsletter Options
Carmen Ministries in NJ
Goodbye Addiction
Words to Live By
Carmen Ministries Info

Our Mission

provide every youthful offender the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel, to grow in his or her relationship with Christ, and to become a responsible, contributing adult.  

   Newsletter Options

Welcome to the first edition of our electronic newsletter. Carmen Ministries is moving towards reducing the cost of printing communications by sending electronic transmissions. Initially you may receive both printed and electronic versions. While both contain the same information, they will look differently.

Our electronic communications will be provided more frequently and at less cost to the ministry so that we are able to offer  more support for our young men.

If you would like
electronic communications only, please email us by clicking here.

Carmen Ministries and its Board welcome your input and feedback. Please email Tony by clicking here.  

Send us your email address to be sure to receive future Carmen Ministries communications

Carmen Ministries in NJ 

Quite often our supporters ask us what facilities we serve. We have prepared a snapshot view of our activity within the New Jersey system. The system has been and continues to be in a state of flux; facilities are closing and inmates are being shuffled around. Once things settle down, Carmen Ministries will update the list of facilities served.

Click here to get our current list of facilities served.


Goodbye Addiction
a story from Vinnie

I remember when it first started, and you were my best friend. When I was happy, when I was sad, and when I thought things couldn't get worse, I turned to you. You never really helped me out; you just slowly tore my life apart.

You used to be able to control me like a toy soldier. But now my head is back on track, and I'm here to tell you good-bye. I hate you and will never forgive you for what you did to me. But what I can do is forget you and get back to the real man I am. No more stealing for you, no more partying with you, and straight up no more association with you. You are my worst enemy, and I will tell everyone to stay away from you.

I can't change the things we did together, but you better believe I know your power and what you are capable of. You can't control me anymore. It's over! I realized you were always around, but if I had a choice to hang out with you or someone else, you always got me to stay with you. What was I ever doing around you?

You are dirty, dangerous, self-destructive, unemotional and uncaring. You didn't care if I ate or if I died. You didn't care about me pushing myself away from family and most of all you hurt... You will be a part of my story, but you are out of my life forever. I am strong, sober-minded and I have God on my side, so don't even think about coming around here anymore. Goodbye!

Words to Live By  
Even if we let go of Jesus, He never lets go of us.

Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, I am with you. Be not dismayed: I am your God and I will strengthen you. yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my right hand of justice.

When the waves are taking you under, just hold on. Hold on. He will never forsake you. Never!

Thank you Jesus for saving my life!

Read Mike's story here!

Carmen Ministries Info

PO Box 421
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Tel: (908) 835-7805
Fax: (908) 835-7808


Board of Directors:

Executive Director/President:
Tony Wood

Chariperson: Daniel R. Miller

Operations Director: James C. Hoyt

Treasurer: Lorraine Howard

Vice President: Robert T. Dell Elba

Secretary Emeritus:
Brian Hancock, Esq.

Editor: Hunterdon Business Services

Newsletter Note
Names of the incarcerated have been omitted to provide anonymity. Articles, interviews and letters may have been edited and condensed for use in this publication. Every effort has been made to preserve the original intended message.