Dick Snavely, Boss and Friend

Got word last night that Dick Snavely, founder of Family Life Ministries/Network (headquartered in Bath, NY) had transferred into the presence of our Lord.

He had been ill for many months, was ready…even eager…to step out of this life into the next.

I’ve known Dick at some level for almost four decades. For 21 of those years he was my “boss” as I served at Family Life.

For all of those years he was my friend.

Certainly not old enough to be my dad, but he was as close to a Dad as I had.

Over the years I sought his counsel on many crucial decisions. Over those years he offered unsolicited counsel, but in a kind and gentle way that I recognized was designed only to help me mature as a man and as a follower of Christ.

Perfect? Of course not.

And he’d be the first to say so.

But consistent, caring, and compassionate.

He wrote and published an autobiography several years ago An Ordinary Guy with The Extraordinary God which is also a history of the ministry he founded.

I last saw him a couple years ago. He was frail, but had a sharp mind. Prayed for me before I left.

And I pray comfort for his precious wife Jackie, and for the rest of the immediate family; and for the Spirit-extended family…the thousands upon thousands of lives “impacted with the message of hope” through this wonderful man.

If you never had the chance to meet him, perhaps I’ll have the privilege of introducing you to him in glory.

During times of victory (radio sharathons etc) Dick always…as in always, led us in singing this song…

 

What Happened in the Joint?

crossroadsJune 10 I once again went “Behind The Walls” with the Bill Glass prison ministry.
This time I was the coordinator, overseeing 27 volunteers, 14 of them “freshmen,” first-timers. This time the institution was Crossroads Correctional in Cameron, Mo; a maximum-security prison.
It is one of the prisons in which I minister a few times each month, and have for about eight years.
The yard was coated in sunshine, and the concrete reflected the sun and bounced the 92 degree weather around.
Due to security issues, and in light of recent activity, the warden decided to only let one (of five) “houses” out at a time; so what had been planned for two long sessions became five shortened sessions.
A thundering NASCAR (#18) drew gasps and appreciative applause. Then a motorcycle/bicycle trick riding team did their thing…and it was great. The gospel was shared, and the offenders given the opportunity to “huddle” with team members (Behind the Walls volunteers).
As I was coordinator I roamed the yard ensuring the volunteers were interacting properly. Under direction of the yard sergeant I had to herd the men out when the sarge told me it was time.
The thrill for me is that I got to see a guy I’d not seen in 7 years; he had gone to the “hole” for a few of those years. He seems to be doing well and said he’d be coming back to my Bible study. Pray for Harley. I first met him during a KAIROS event; he was 18, sentenced to life; came hardened, God broke him, I was able to pray with him as he committed his life to Christ…
I also saw another guy for the first time in two years. He checked himself in to PC (Protective Custody) because he thought one of the gangs was after him. He advised that the PC volunteer Bible study leader had quit, and asked if I’d consider taking his place….an opportunity I am praying about. I may be able to work it out to speak to the PC guys on the Mondays I do an earlier Bible study with several offenders.
The “Behind the Walls’ teams were in two other prisons, and the total population of the three institutions is 4,922. By the end of the day it was reported that 740 offenders sought counsel, and over  250 of them said they trusted Christ Saturday.
We were also privileged to visit the two Ad/Segs (Administrative Segregation…politicallyadseg correct way of saying “the hole”). These men are out of their individual cells three…as in 3, hours weekly. We must “converse” through the crack between the door and the doorframe…I’ve been there before, it was eye opening for the other volunteers.
After dining on fine cuisine  (perhaps a stretch…I am blessed that I was incarcerated in Oregon State Prison…a “progressive” institution back then…virtually every thing we ate or drank was produced on the prison honor farm..I ate better there than I did four years in the Army…which isn’t saying much, but…) we did two more packed programs.
It was an exhausting, draining day, but laced with His presence, power and peace.
Again, if any of you are intesterested in learning more about being part of a team let me know and/or check out the websight: (CLICK HERE)
​Pray with me that what the Lord began today will be carried to completion. Pray also for the opportunity for me to continue to interact with these individuals during my “normal” ministry at Crossroads.