Charles Senteio

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Letter from the Dallas County Jail

Saturday afternoon I received in the mail a letter from Keith, a guy I initially met about a year ago as part of the Saturday morning ‘church’ group led by James Reed that visits the Dallas County Jail.

  • "I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me...Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
    - Matthew 25: 36, 40

Keith has been a regular attendee of this group and Tuesday morning he decided to write me this letter. I’m sharing here as it gives you a sense for what goes on in there, it also may touch upon some stereotypes of what prisoners think of their condition and what they’re doing about it. I’ve eliminated last names and other identifiers to protect anonymity.

May 30, 2006
6:30 a.m.

Bro. Charles,
Greetings to you Bro. Charles, you are a very bright light to me in the things of the Lord. May God our Father show his kindness and mercy through Jesus Christ, His son and give you great peace of heart and mind. First of all I want to thank you for being a faithful servant of the Lord, God tells me to imitate messages that God allows you to share and the other Bro. that come along with you. I personally want to tell you and them that your Faithfulness, your Reverence and the Honor that you have for God and His Son show through your diligence in studying his words and in bringing them to us Brothers who have made choices in life that were not so honorable to God or to other people. I thank God for you all. I thank God for every spiritual blessing that He promised us in the His word. I’m so joyous about my future and the things that I’m about to face. I have a 30 year sentence Bro. Charles, never in my wildest imagination did I think I would be in this type of situation or be able to stay of a sound mind while in it. I took a lot of things for granted! Now I take nothing for granted. You know I now take responsibility for my actions. I never took responsibility for them before, I either played the blame game or passed it to my mom or my girlfriend at the time. I’m so relieved and happy that the punishment that was given to me by God was the best thing that could have happened to me for it has taught me to pay attention to God’s Law. Bro. Charles it’s early Tuesday morning – I’m sitting at the table with my Bibles opened – there’s only two other people that are awake at this time – there’s approximately 3 others still asleep – we only supposed to have 32 in here but its 40 – due to overcrowding – but I see it as God’s Mercy and Grace being shown to men in this day and time – a lot of men are not realizing that.
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A lot of people don’t make it to jails or institutions, they go straight to the graveyard. I thank God for reviving my heart – I know that His decisions are right and this punishment is right and is doing me good. I’m listening to these two guys complain about whats not right with the law, the guards, the rules and regulations in here – that all sounds so foolish to me because to me, and what I have to learn, they are failing to realize whats really wrong and what the real problem is with them. No matter what we face in life nothing compares to the suffering of Jesus Christ – He suffered not for doing wrong but for us – sinners To be Reconciled to God – for us who do wrong so that we can be saved from the punishment of sin. The things that you given me – I need, God knows that – I take those same messages and share them with those who come through these doors. Thank You Bro. for being open to God’s wisdom and His understanding, you have encouraged me and given me Hope. You – Bro. Byron, Bro. Reed, Pastor Alexander, Big D and all who are connected with you – Have Inspired Me. I’m an only child Bro. Charles – I just have my mother and my daughters. I thought – Now I have God and You guys as my Brothers. Bro. Charles my Mom’s name is Ms. Betty xxxx, she’s been a mother and father to me. I haven’t been the best of a son – but she’s always been there for me no matter what! I want so bad to make my mother Proud of me. I pray that someday I’m able to do that through the Lord’s Blessing – I want her to know that I appreciate her Love and time spent raising me, she did right by me – I have done wrong by her. I want her to know that she didn’t Fail as a mother – I Failed as a child. Bro. Charles I was so inspired by the message Saturday about the Lady that’s taking chemotherapy to stay alive. Please let her know that her strength in her circumstances helps strengthen me in mines – Thank her for her inner strength in life and in God because He’s not done with her yet and He’s not done with me. Her Faith has already made her a overcomer. Bro. Charles I Love You Man and I can’t wait until the next meeting. Bro. Charles I know that you are a very busy individual and your hands are full – I’d like to ask you to check on my mother for me whenever you can. She lives in East Texas, Longview. My mom is 63, my grandmother is 100 and my mom currently see’s after her. Just call when you can if you can – Her number is (903) 753-xxxx. Her name is Betty xxx. I would appreciate that. Also Bro. Charles I would like to put you on my visiting list once I get to TDC – Texas Department of Corrections – you might or might not be able to come but I consider you someone close to me. I’m going to end this but Please tell everyone that your associated with and connected to that God’s word is going forth even in here and Faithful men are carrying it out Amen! Tell Everyone at Smokey John’s I said Hi and God Bless.

Keith xxxx

P.S. Bro. Charles could you Please bring me another Pen thank you this one has been of good service Thank You!

Psalm 119:49 – 51 – Never forget your promises to me your servant, for they are my only hope. They give me strength in all my troubles; how they refresh and revive me! Proud men hold me in contempt for obedience to God, but I stand unmoved. Amen

I thank God that You accept Me and the other Bro. Who are with us on Sat. I feel so comfortable with you because your not as the world – they would Reject us – You receive me just as I am – as A born Again Christian – I don’t have to compromise my life to be accepted by You or by people who are connected to you – who believe in what you do – when you take time out of your life to share with others who have been in bondage by their Choices.
(Turn Over Please)
Bro. Charles, We are dependent on the strength we draw from one another; Words spoken give encouragement – Love practiced draws us closer. Those who Trust God can help others do the same. Thank You.