Grateful Hearts at Prison Visitation
Happy Thanksgiving! We’re writing to you from behind the razor wire to say THANK YOU for your ongoing prayers, support, and encouragement.
Max Lucado wrote: “Gratitude gets us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments…and to discover His heart. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. So practice gratitude.”
Our best tips on staying thankful:
List your blessings.
Why are we thankful? Our prayers for an eventual end-of-sentence date for Jason have not been answered in the way we wanted. But God is answering our prayers for fruitful ministry. Following my message at a Florida prison earlier this year, one-by-one inmates stood up and said:
- “Your son led me to Jesus.”
- “Jason shared food with me many times. No one puts money into my account anymore.”
- “Your son asked if I’d be his workout buddy—and he got me into shape.”
- “Mrs. Kent, your son is famous throughout the prisons in Central Florida because he cares about us, shares Jesus with us, and works with your non-profit organization to help us get resources we need. You can be very proud of him.”
Remember God’s faithfulness.
Moses stood at a burning bush, marveling as he heard God’s voice. When did God remind you of His presence at a time when it was hard to be thankful?
- Friends united to become our “Stretcher Bearers.” These people came alongside us and met our needs when we were financially, spiritually, physically, and mentally at the end of our rope. They gave us support and help throughout the 2 ½ years leading up to the trial—and far beyond.
- People continue to pray for us. Jason said, “I believe the only reason I’m not depressed, have my sanity, and can serve others is because of the prayers of God’s people.
- God never wastes sorrow. As we are transparent and honest about our journey, others open their hearts up to us. We share tears, prayers, and encouragement.
Give to others.
Many of you have continued to contribute to www.speakupforhope.org. As you consider your year-end giving, would you consider a contribution to our nonprofit organization? Gifts can be designated for:
- Jason’s ongoing ministry behind the “razor wire.” We call him our missionary inside prison walls.
- Christmas gifts to spouses and children of inmates.
- Military spouse scholarships for Speak Up’s training for global evangelism and Bible teaching—wherever Uncle Sam sends them.
- Scholarship assistance for training former inmates and the families of inmates to share their powerful testimonies.
You can give on-line at https://speakupforhope.org/donate/
In the comment section, please designate how you would like your gift to be used. You’ll find information at that link if you prefer to give via check. Some may want to give through the National Christian Foundation or through matching funds at your place of employment. We appreciate you so much!
Thank people who love and support you.
Right now, Gene, Jason and I are thanking God for you! Countless inmates and the family members of inmates have been blessed and encouraged by your gifts in the past. Your generosity brings tears to our eyes. (For Jason’s address, see below.)
Ephesians 5:20 says, “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Question: What are you thankful for right now?
Guidelines for sending mail to inmates in Florida prisons has recently changed. If you’d like to send a letter or a card to Jason during the holidays, please mail it to:
Jason Kent X26713
PO Box 23608
Tampa, FL 33623
Postage stamps can no longer be sent to Florida inmates. Pictures and articles can be sent in a card or a letter.
Books cannot be sent from an individual to Jason, but they can be sent via any on-line book vendor, a publisher, a bookstore, or through an organization—but the address for books is:
Jason P. Kent X26713
Desoto Annex Correctional Institution
13617 S. E. Hwy 70
Arcadia, FL 34266
Thanks again for blessing our son with excellent reading material.
Registration is open for the 2023 Speak Up Speaker Certification Course, for speakers interested in developing their signature keynote presentation. (Begins Jan. 26 for six consecutive Thursdays, from 2:00-4:00 pm ET.)
Carol Kent is a bestselling author and an international speaker for women’s conferences and retreats. She’s the executive director of Speak Up Ministries, which includes the Speak Up Conference, an event committed to helping people develop their speaking and writing skills and Speak Up MasterMind and Intensive Coaching Groups for speakers, writers, and leaders. Carol and her husband, Gene, have founded the nonprofit organization, Speak Up for Hope, which benefits inmates and their families. If you’re working on your signature keynote presentation, check out the Speak Up Speaker Certification Course.