50 years ago some guys came into the lives of my friends and I back in Lake Forest, Illinois with a message of love. The message was channeled through story of Jesus Christ. It was the last type of message I wanted to be associated with. My whole world was about being “Hot”… that is, like all teenagers, I wanted acceptance and love but had no sense that real happiness might be waiting on a different plain. These Young Life folks came around and spent time just listening to me and the others in my group and I was disarmed; all the walls I’d built were breached… my tough soul had been invaded… I wanted to be like these new guys. Learning a new way to live / learning kindness and humility, isn’t, as far as I can tell, instinctual for humans… as least not for the ilk I came from on the North Shore of Chicago. It was a dog eat dog, materialistic environment. But God had done a number on me and now, after long years in the wilderness and also “making holy tents” I’ve found the opportunity to incorporate experience, faith and amazing friendships into a ministry that majors in hope for the folks, like me, who need it the most. The world is chaotic but revolving around in the debris are people God loves and one of my beliefs is that, with the Divine Spark, all of us can be part of the Change that will make the Creator glad.
I’m an inmate at Airway Heights Correctional Facility in Airway Height Washington. I’ve know Gib Pellet for approximately 8 years. I became interested in Gib when I overheard another inmate talking to him on the phone.
When the conversation ended I asked this guy who he’d been talking to because he seemed really happy, like he was in a lot better place than before the conversation. He gave me Gib’s contact information and I wrote Gib a letter. The result has changed my life.
Gib’s not only become my friend and flown all the way to Washington State to visit me, he’s spent hundreds of dollars of his own money and probably as many hours helping me market my leather work and communicate with family members and attorneys and has worked tirelessly to get my sentence overturned. Prison is a horrific place and a place where hope doesn’t exist for a lot of us on the inside.
Because of my relationship with Gib I feel hopeful and I have stronger faith in God and the way love can overcome evil. – Scott
To whom it may concern:
Not a lot of people care about guys in jail. Gib Pellet and his friends have reached out to me and take the time to call and write letters and also help with things like extra clothes and funds for media and healthy snacks.
More important than those things is our friendship and Gib and Diane and Russell drive an hour each way about once a month to visit me. It really means something to guys in jail to have people who are willing to take time out of their days to be our friends when it seems like we’re otherwise forgotten.
When I get out now I will have people I can say will help me which makes a big difference in dealing with parole boards. I hope Gib’s organization Common Ground Outreach gets your support and keeps growing because they are doing great things for people in prison.
-Montana / Oak Park Heights Corrections Center