A Message of Thanksgiving from Anthony Wood
Mr. Anthony Wood
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals involved in helping Carmen Ministries throughout 2012. We faced many challenges and obstacles this year, and we couldn't have persevered through it without the help of all the dedicated men and women who volunteered and provided support to our ministry. Even while dealing with these challenges, God gave us so many wonderful blessings to keep us going and continued to pour out His great love upon our ministry. May God bless us all and keep our hearts always open to His plan. Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!
CEO, Carmen Ministries
Hello. My name is Anthony. I'm a 21-year old disciple of Christ and a member of the Elite Special Forces. I wasn't always a part of this special group. Like other young people my age, I thought the world was mine and I didn't need any help. I was so WRONG!
Before my incarceration, I thought I was the quarterback and God was the sideline player who I went to when I needed a quick play to get over my troubles. But God gave me a rude awakening. He took me from the highest point of my life or what I perceived was the highest point with my friends, women and popularity and made me rely solely on Him.
I am currently serving a three-and-a-half year sentence that I must say I am grateful for. It not only made me focus on what was wrong in my life but made me find the key element that I was missing - LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 speaks on what love truly is. And with this new-found doctrine and divine revelation, I minister to you, my brother and sister, about how immeasurable my God's love truly is. So take your time; don't rush your walk with Him. He will show you incalculable signs and wonders. Just have faith and He will take care of the rest.
God Bless and I love you because He first loved me!
Brother in Christ
On the left is a picture of a card that was designed by John, one of our incarcerated teens. The inside of the card reads: God is all wise and powerful. His will is perfect, yet he doesn't always act in ways that we understand.
A Bible verse that really resonates with John:
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Top
John made this set of rosary
beads with threads and
lots of faith and love.
God works in mysterious ways. Two days ago, I was thinking of you while I finished making this rosary and I said to myself, "This one is for Tony." I started looking for your address but could not find it. The following day, Sunday, I looked again but with no luck. On Monday, the guard gave me your letter. I was surprised how God answered my prayers.
Every day at 12:30 eight of us have a fellowship Bible study. This has been going on for the past ten months. I will be up for parole soon and pray it gets granted.
Thank you for all your encouragement. I have been keeping an open mind and using this time wisely and taking computer classes. You and I are being helped at the same time. "That is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." (Romans 1:12) We own our destinies! Top
Excerpts from Letters from Our Young Men
As you read these excerpts, you will see that these boys have such simple requests and desires. We can see them grasping for hope and wisdom. Their fear is always that they will fall back into sin and old habits. Their biggest challenge is leaving behind their old lives and anything that causes them to repeat the patterns of their past. Our goal is to continue to mentor them and to help them find the things in their lives that offer them encouragement and allow them to contribute positively to their communities. Please continue to pray for them and for our ministry so we are able to provide them with the skills they need to live productive, happy lives.
I am at the laundromat washing clothes for my family and myself. I love the feeling of going to work every day to provide the things for my family and watching them smile at the hard work I do to get us by day by day. I love you guys.
* * *
I am from one of New Jersey's most urban communities, surrounded by the usual drugs, gangs and solicitation. Even though I grew up in a small house and shared a bedroom with my siblings, I never wanted for anything. I didn't know it at the time, but I was very spoiled. I was often picked on and called hurtful names growing up. People said that I talked, walked and acted different than they did. I didn't understand this because I thought I was just being myself - the person God had created.
Everything changed for me when I turned thirteen and decided to "fit in" and follow in the footsteps of my peers. I started smoking marijuana which led to more dangerous drugs. By the time I was nineteen, I pretty much tried every drug with the exception of IV drugs. I forgot about God and everything else. I hurt my family. I committed crimes and did shameful and terrible things.
The result is that I am now incarcerated and have a huge sentence to serve. But God took all that bad stuff and gave me happiness. Life now has meaning. God is my Savior, and He saw how distraught I had become. That was all a test. He wanted to see how far I'd succumb. And when I fell hard on my face, He lifted me up. Things were rough at first, but when I put it in God's hands, He changed it all. I am more alive today than ever. I continue to learn about God and patiently work with Him and through Him. He gives me the strength and courage to start over and do things right. And you can, too. Just believe. Top
Read More Excerpts from Letters
Fathers 'R Us
From the day we are born, as we grow from infancy, we tend to want to be grown up. We start to imitate our parents, and we take in their every move. The Father is the typical leader of the family and as we grow, we look to him for support, help and guidance. As we grow to be teenagers, things are changing, and we get more freedom; we see the world through different eyes. We tend to feel like we can do everything ourselves. We want to be the father figure now, in control and sometimes even become know-it-all's. But we still look for a role model. Many times, aside from our fathers, we turn to musicians, actors or other popular figures.
Read More Top
|A Poem From One of Our Boys
Sometimes inspiration can come from the darkest of places. Here is a poem written by one of the young men Carmen Ministries has ministered to:
I am locked behind dark prison walls,
But I hear the voice of Jesus when he calls.
I've made some mistakes while here on earth.
He was with me from the time of my birth.
He tells me He's forgiven me of all my sins,
That gives me a warm feeling from deep within.
I ask Him to bless me in my time of need.
I feel close to Him when I'm on my knees.
Late at night I lay awake; on my face there is a smile.
For I know I will only be here for a very short while.
One day these ole iron doors will open and I will be free.
Then I will walk away from these walls and a new day I will see.
So my friend if you find yourself just like me; alone and lost,
There is a way out for you to go; it's free without any cost.
Just bow your head and ask Jesus to come inside,
From that moment He will be your Savior and guide.
Seek His face and read His word and you will see,
Jesus gave His life for sinners like you and me.
So hold your head high and put a spring in your foot,
Because you and Jesus just gave the devil the boot.
|Ministry Sponsor: Power and Light Electric Service LLC
Please patronize our ministry sponsor, Power and Light Electric Service LLC. To contact Bruno Deeney via email, click here.
To 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.
|Welcome to the second 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.
|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.
|Inspiration for our Boys
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail."
"We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."
Martin Luther King
"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
|Carmen Ministries Info
PO Box 421
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Tel: (908) 835-7805
Fax: (908) 835-7808
Board of Directors:Executive Director/President:
Daniel R. MillerOperations Director:
James C. HoytVice President:
Robert T. Dell ElbaSecretary Emeritus:
Brian Hancock, Esq.Editor: Hunterdon Business Services
Teen Prayer Requests
I pray that I will become serene and content with the man I want to be.
I pray that the Lord just watch over me and my family and son. I also want to thank the Lord for bringing Mr. Wood into my life and opening my eyes to see that the Lord is always with me. Open my heart and allow me to speak what's on my mind.
I pray that my parole will be approved next month.
I just pray that God will imbue His name on all the kids who have yet to find the love of God.
I pray that my mom will enjoy life and be healthy enough to see all her sons grow up to be successful. I pray that my mom will not have any more economic problems.
I just ask that the Lord bless my family and Mr. Wood who is family, too.
I pray that I unlock my innate potential and prosper. I want my sister, brother, grandparents, peers, friends and foes to go on with their lives and do well.
I pray to pass my G.E.D. l also pray that I do a good job and get my permit. I pray that I stay healthy and on the right path when I go home.
I pray that I change my behavior and also go home and make something of my life. I also pray for my family and pray that they are okay out there while I'm in here.
I pray that the anger that fills me sometimes will diminish.
I want to learn how to admit when I am wrong and humbly become more confident when I am right.
I pray for patience and wisdom.
I want my big brother to get on the right path and be successful.
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.