42 Years and Counting

Tomorrow is March 1st. For the past month and a half I have been visiting with this Christian household comprised of an elder and his wife, (Dennis and Maurine Chesley) with one adopted son, a single mother and her two young children (Charlotte Oda), and what would soon become 4 single women, Judy Hullings, Gaye Hurtig, Cindy Warner Baker and Lindy Combs. Lindy didn’t live in the household, she rented a room in a home nearby. Tomorrow Judy will drive me down to the YMCA at 836 So. Wabash in Chicago to pick up my sole possession, a box of books. We will return to Evanston where I will reside with this household during my term on parole, for I have just left prison after 6 1/2 years. (For bank robbery). Nobody in the household will ever ask me what I was in for. We are bound together in our belief in Jesus Christ, yet we are pretty much strangers (to me). Looking back I can see many questions about how this could turn out, but none are asked. This is God’s plan, on that we all agree and pray that it is so. There is no more dressing to this story. The household did come down to the prison to meet me for the first time on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day. Dennis and Maurine were friends with Mary Lipscomb from years past and while Mary was in the Fellowship she was not part of this household. Now how well did Mary know me? Very little and only as a volunteer and school teacher in the prison. Everybody is trusting God on this one. For the past month and a half I have been looking for work. In the back of my mind I am realizing that getting out of prison has never worked for me, 3 months the longest I have ever made it. The Bureau of Parole stated, “There is no reasonable probability that you will live at liberty without violating the law.” These people, every last one of them are committed to helping me adjust every step of the way. The date was March 1st 1978, 42 years ago. Thanking God and these people is why I celebrate this date every year.

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