November 26, 2011
Friend of The Forgiveness Foundation
Re: December 2011 Newsletter
I pray that you spent a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends, cherishing the blessings our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has showered upon us. My thoughts were somewhat distracted after observing the mother of Paul Ezra Rhoades fight for the life of her son. Paul was executed on November 18, in Idaho, convicted of murdering three people almost 25 years ago. The thing that caught my attention about Mrs. Rhoades was the unconditional love which she had for her son. She acknowledged, as Paul did, that he was a ruthless killer, yet she loved him as much as any mother could love. She pleaded that his life be spared to the very end. I have been praying for her, praying that the Lord will heal the pain that she is suffering and that she found some peace over Thanksgiving in the four children that she still has.
Paul’s story is sad. At the age of four he contracted polio. He had numerous surgeries on his legs, however he continued to walk with a limp. The police were called to the Rhoades’ home many times during Paul’s childhood to resolve domestic disputes. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade and started working for the family drywall business. He got addicted to meth and was high on meth during all three occasions he committed murder. He lived at home until he was 30 years old. He was moved out by the police when he was arrested. After Paul was convicted, sentenced, and went to prison two important things happened to him. He got off meth and he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. Paul’s request for clemency was denied. The families of the victims wanted Paul to be executed. Paul did not want to die, but Paul was ready because he surrendered his life to Jesus. It is never too late. We may look at three murders and say Paul is a horrible murderer. When God looked at Paul before he came to Christ he saw a sinner, not a criminal. When God looked at us before we came to Christ he saw sinners. When God looked at Paul and us after we came to Christ he sees the righteousness of Jesus, the gift of perfect love. I do not understand and I am thankful God took the time to tell us so that we may understand; Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Please pray for Paul’s family, and the families of Paul’s victims, the Baldwin’s, the Haddon’s and the Michelbacher’s. Please pray that the Lord grant them peace.
Chelsea Richardson, 27, was convicted of masterminding a plot to kill her boyfriend’s parents so he could inherit their $1.56 million estate. She was only 19 years old at the time. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in Texas. This week a Texas Judge reduced her sentence to life with the possibility of parole. The judge learned that the prosecutor withheld critical evidence from Chelsea’s attorney that demonstrated that she was not the mastermind of the plot, the reason she received the death sentence. The evidence was notes from a prosecution witness, a psychologist that established another woman as the mastermind behind the murder scheme. Fortunately, prosecutorial misconduct doesn’t happen often but one time is one time too many when it is done by the people who have taken an oath to uphold the law. Fortunately, Chelsea’s attorney discovered that evidence was withheld from them and vigorously pursued the offenders. Prosecutorial misconduct is one way innocent people end up in prison.
One man is scheduled to be executed during the month of December:
December 6 – Gary Haugen - Oregon
Please pray for Gary. Please pray for salvation if he is unsaved and peace if he is saved. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of Gary’s sins at Calvary and all that remains is for Gary to accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior to receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Please pray earnestly for Gary keeping in mind that in God’s eyes murder is a sin and in the eyes of Oregon; murder is a crime that in this case is punishable by death. At Calvary, over 2,000 years ago, Jesus accepted the punishment for the sin of murder Gary committed and now Gary needs to accept the salvation and forgiveness Jesus desires to give to him.
The families of the men Gary is convicted of killing are forced to suffer through the murder of their family member once an execution is scheduled. Living through it as it happens is beyond anything I can imagine, much less living through it every time these men are given an execution date. Please pray for salvation for the unsaved and peace for the saved.
The family of the person convicted of murder and sentenced to die needs our prayers also, please pray for them. It is impossible for me to imagine what the parent of the condemned person is thinking and of the pain they must be suffering. Please pray for them. Pray for salvation for the unsaved, peace for the saved, and the ability to forgive.
The Forgiveness Foundation desires to let every man and woman on death row in the United States know that Jesus is there for them by sharing the gospel with them. Our mission does not entangle us with the legal system of the United States. Our mission is to share the gospel with every man and woman on death row. We need your help to share the gospel. The Forgiveness Foundation, like all organizations, uses paper, envelopes, toner, postage, printers, computers, office space, telephones, the internet, and a website to share the gospel. It is through your prayers and generous financial support that our ministry to men and women on death row and throughout the world is possible. We thank those who pray for us regularly and those who help us with our financial needs.
In September TFF wrote to you advising that we needed a little more than $25,100 to complete 2011 and to upgrade our website, internet, and printing ministries. As I write this letter we need just a little over $10, 400.00 to upgrade our website, internet, printing ministries and purchase the stamps we need to mail our hand drawn Christmas cards.
We ask you to prayerfully consider:
(1) A gift to help us with our expenses for the rest of 2011, we need:
(a) Our Christmas card outreach is only $340.00 short of having the funds necessary to purchase all the stamps we need to mail all the Christmas cards.
(b) A new high volume letter printer $5,500.00
Website Upgrade 2,300.00
Imac Mini computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse 1,440.00
(2) Prayerfully consider helping us reach the men and women on death row throughout the calendar year of 2012.
You may make a gift by going to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, clicking onto the PayPal tab and following the instructions or by mailing your gift to The Forgiveness Foundation, 100 2nd Street NW, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902.
In closing, I ask you to remember our ministry to the men and women on death row and our World Wide Web ministry. Our Web ministry continues to grow. People in 85 countries are worshiping on our website. Please pray for our ministry, that we share the true message of Jesus Christ with all we encounter and for our financial needs.
For unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the Government will be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV) Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is rapidly approaching, the old year is almost past and the New Year is rapidly upon us. We at The Forgiveness Foundation wish you and yours a blessed Christmas.
Rodney Rexrode, The Forgiveness Foundation
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