HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PHILIP!

Today is Philip’s 64th Birthday! And, it is Day 224 in prison.

He has 872 more days to serve his prison sentence.

In 284 days, Isabella will be 18 years old. Wouldn’t that make all this a mute point?

You would think with all the underage sexual abuse going on in this country, that the courts would have stopped all proceedings against Lisa and would have protected Isabella from the abuse she had been suffering at the hands of the “other mother.” But NO!

Lisa, Philip, Ken Miller and Timo Miller did what they had to do to protect a little girl from a runaway court system.

Continue to pray for Philip and Kathie as they endure this injustice.

You can donate here: https://419fund.com/projects/philip-zodhiates/

Prayers Needed!

After 217 days in prison, Phillip is very ready to go home.

The judge in Philip’s case, Judge Arcara, may either vacate his sentence or reduce it. The judge has given the government until August 3 to respond.

If Judge Arcara denies the request, Philip has a request for clemency ready to file with the D.O.J., but it cannot be filed while anything is pending in the courts.

The prayer request: JUDGE ARCARA WILL VACATE (OR AT LEAST REDUCE) PHILIP’S SENTENCE!

Please pray now and spread the word for others to join in this prayer request.

ONLY JESUS!

Day 106

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 –

One thing I’ve grown to understand is that our present prison system is highly inadequate when it comes to prisoner reform. Statistics prove my point, as a 2005 study by the federal Bureau of Statistics showed 76% percent of inmates are re-arrested within five years of release. This confirms my own observations from discussion with other inmates. The vast majority I meet seem to be repeat offenders. So what’s the answer?

Admittedly, there are some good programs within our prisons primarily providing a high school education and trade vocation training, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

However, another of my observations, backed by statistics, is the fact that the recidivism rate will never truly be reversed unless criminals have a change of heart. Yet by-and-large, that’s simply not happening. Reformation of the heart is definitely not something evidently being promoted successfully. Prison life seems to foster the opposite, at least according to my brief time behind bars. There may be many reasons for this I will not go into.

Yet I also understand that only Jesus Christ can truly change a heart – whether it is in prison or outside of prison. Those who have come to know the Lord in prison truly have been transformed of the heart. According to a May 2017 World Magazine article, independent studies have shown the percentage of inmates who have graduated from a Prison Fellowship program and have been re-arrested within a few years was as low as 14%. I know of no Prison Fellowship program in Ashland FCI, but I do know the men who have gone through significant Bible correspondence courses and it does seem to have an impact.

So what’s the solution? I have thought a lot about this and brought this question to the Lord. I am the type of person who likes to find a solution to what seems like impossible problems.

I know the government won’t condone full-fledged evangelism within the individual prison units, as I understand some guards don’t even allow group prayer meetings within the individual units, stating that all religious meeting must take place within the confines of the chapel.

Teen Challenge, however, a former client of Response Unlimited, has developed a model for the type of program that’s needed to turn prisoners into productive members of society. Few who enter Teen Challenge’s substance abuse programs do so as born-again Christians, but the majority who leave have given their lives to Christ with nine in ten having been set free from their addictions permanently. It’s all voluntary. A similar program that’s highly successful for teens is that of Freedom Village USA, and I’m certain there are others. But they’ve got to be residential programs run by churches or Christian organizations, which also provide job training.

These programs would be voluntary and would reduce the length of the prison term by the length of the program, with an understanding that if a person leaves the program, they straight back to prison with no chance for even a halfway house. Halfway houses run by the government, or government contractors can continue as an option for those who don’t want to go through a Christian-based program. But to continue as a faith-based center, it must maintain a recidivism rate below a certain percentage – say half the current rate of government-run programs. You and I know only Christ can change hearts to this degree. This would also cut the cost for the government tremendously. Basically, the churches would step up to the plate and take responsibility for their own communities. These “Christian halfway houses” would provide employees for local businesses, create numerous opportunities for local believers to do volunteer work, disciple new believers, and help churches truly transform their local communities. It can be a win-win situation.

The point is, the system is broken and needs fixing, beginning with the perceived value of a sinful man whose heart can change.

Philip Zodhiates

Victory!

One small victory, but it is a victory!  The Virginia civil suit against Philip Zodhiates, Linda Wall, et al., has been dismissed by the court!

The Vermont case is still set for hearing in December.

At least there will be no more attorneys’ fees for defending litigation in Virginia.

The irony of all this is that on April 16, 2020, Isabella will be 18 years old and all this civil litigation will be a mute point. That’s 10 months from now.

Why 419 Fund?

Why should Christians support 419 Fund?

  1.  It is Christ-centered.
  2.  “419 Fund” was derived from Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
  3.   419 Fund was created to counter the big crowdfunding site, which discriminates against Christians and their struggles against the culture.
  4.  Our core values are: Sanctity of Life, Defense of Marriage as one man-one woman and Religious Liberty.
  5.  419 Fund is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
  6.  Donations are tax-deductible.

If you agree with the tenets of 419 Fund, you can help us by:

  1.  Spreading the word – tell 10 friends.
  2.  Praying for this ministry.

If our mission echoes your values, please consider supporting one of our Funding Opportunities with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use and is secure.

https://419fund.com/projects/

May 14 Letter

DAY 177 – 919 TO GO

May 14, 2019

Dear Praying Friends,

Today I received a letter from a friend in Missouri that asked me a lot of questions. So Jon, this letter is intended for you, but as I know many here have the same or similar questions, I thought I might as well share my answers with all! So here goes…

  1. I often wonder what the rest of your day is like (besides spending time in Scripture and writing)?
  2. I normally awaken around 7 or 7:30 and spend until lunch time (between 10:30 and 11) reading the Bible and in prayer. Of course, I also brush my teeth and make instant coffee, and usually email Kathie good morning greetings. After lunch, I’ll read a book (I’m on my 55th book), or begin writing my journal until noon, and then, if the weather is nice, I will go outside to the recreational yard and walk 2 ½ miles around the track. I try to do that within 40 minutes. I then usually will read until I come in between 2pm and 3pm. Once in a while I might play a game called bocce (I’ve done this twice in 5 months). I will come back and read more, or write, until bedtime, which is between 10:00 and 11:00. Supper is between 4:30 and 5:00 for me. Once in a while, I may listen to the radio for a break, or work on a crossword puzzle. TV is available, but I don’t watch it. That’s pretty much my day. However, I am now taking two classes: one at 2:00 on Tuesdays (the Case for Christ video series) and a business class for two hours at noon on Wednesdays.
  3. What are your fellow prisoners like? Do they cause trouble or do they leave you alone?
  4. I am, for the most part, treated with great respect, even admiration, by other prisoners, especially those who know why I am here. This is a huge answer to prayer! In our unit of around 100 men, there are a number of true believers – probably four (including me) who I can say are truly on fire for the Lord. One of them has just become a believer since I came. Others claim Christ, but I wouldn’t consider them on fire by any means. Although I believe they have accepted Christ, they do not show fruit of the Spirit. The majority (except the Muslims) would claim to also be Christians, but have never truly been born again. They are what I would call hereditary Christians. I’ve met a few who have just walked away from their “religion.” For the most part, the Muslims are respectful, with the exception of one, and willing to dialogue. The most difficult thing for me is hearing all the profanity, which seems to be everywhere except from the on-fire believers and the Muslims. So for the most part, I just keep to myself, unless someone has questions, problems, or just wants to dialogue with me.
  5. How is Kathie really doing? Do you get to see her?
  6. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4). This truly defines Kathie. But to be honest, she really struggles with me being here (the injustice) and needs me to come home. She has had a lot of physical health problems and doesn’t feel she has fully overcome the pneumonia from February. She has spent months trying to find a lawyer in Virginia to take the civil case, and is constantly busy handling phone calls and emails from many people. She continues to fully trust the Lord and is believing in God for miracles. And even when she is feeling poorly, she makes the trek just about every week just to see me (9-10 hours total drive). She is the best, most faithful, God-fearing wife a man could ever have. But she misses me enormously, and has trouble sleeping without me by her side.
  7. Do you have phone usage – I think I saw there was no internet usage?
  8. I get 300 minutes of phone privileges a month at a cost of around 8 cents a minute for local calls and 23 cents for long distance. We have no access to the internet, but can email up to 100 people through a specialized email system. The cost to email is 5 cents per minute and there is a 30 minute limit per session.
  9. How is William and the business doing?
  10. By the grace of God, Response Unlimited is carrying on, and William is doing a fine job. My son Josiah also quit his managerial job this past winter at Chick-fil-A and is now working with Response Unlimited. There will be a new FAQ page at www.responseunlimited.com that was actually part of Josiah’s long-distance tutorial. Response Unlimited is currently not setting any records, but it is more than breaking-even, and I praise God for that!
  11. Is there anything else I/we could do from a distance that will make life for you or your family easier?
  12. I wish there were. But really, the most important thing is to keep praying! The civil suit in Vermont is supposed to begin in December. There are always a lot of challenges at home, managing the home front. I know your prayers are sustaining us! I suppose you could recruit others to pray for us and to pray for revival in the church!
  13. And most importantly, how is your spiritual heart? I know you are studying and learning and writing and sharing, but how is it down deep inside?
  14. I miss being with Kathie the most. And my granddaughter, who turns 1 this month, wouldn’t let me hold her when she was here on Monday. I hate that. I do speak with Kathie every day for nine or ten minutes, which is what I look forward to the most (besides the visits). Sometimes I get tired of reading and feel bored, so I turn on one of the Christian radio stations and that helps. But deep inside I am grateful to God for the opportunity to learn so much that He has shown me for the first time over the past 5 ½ months. And I enjoy teaching and encouraging other men in the Lord. I grieve for many of their souls, and wish the Holy Spirit would provide some genuine breakthroughs when it comes to their repentance and salvation. All in all, I am truly blessed and thankful to the Lord. I have nothing to complain about and am so very thankful for all the prayers and letters of encouragement. God is truly watching over me. I just wish soon He would allow me to go home. I’m not bitter, but I do want to move on with the rest of my life. This has been a good experience in many ways, and I have certainly learned a whole lot about my fellow man and other things God has showed me. I have everything to be grateful to God for. Thank you for continuing to lift us all up in prayer!

In His Service,

Philip

 

38th Anniversary!

Today is Philip and Kathie’s 38th wedding anniversary.  Let’s give them a special gift today!

Donate $38.00 to Philip’s defense fund.

Besides, what remains unpaid from his defense prior to entering prison, there will be more attorneys’ fees for defense against the pending civil suit.  With Philip in prison, there is no way to work and earn money to pay these expenses. Let’s come together and help this righteous couple. Philip has been wrongfully convicted for a crime that never happened to appease the LGBT community.

Philip drove Lisa and Isabella from Virginia to New York while Lisa had full custody of her daughter, NO travel restrictions and full use of their passports. Where’s the crime?

Please help me make their 38th anniversary apart a little brighter. This will be the first time in 38 years that they will be apart for their anniversary!

Janet Stasulli, Co-Founder and President
419 Fund

Day 160 – Letter from Philip!

May 05, 2016

Dear Janet,

Today at 2:00pm marks exactly five months since I walked into the front door of Ashland Federal Correctional Institution. It is hard to believe, but if I am indeed granted early release from the compassionate release part of the Prison Reform Bill President Trump recently signed into law, as my manager is telling me, I’ve already nearly served a quarter of my expected time. And, there is a chance, if I find favor with prison officials, I could be released even earlier than that. And so, I want to take today to thank all of you who pray for me, Kathie, my family, and our business regularly. I believe your prayer is carrying us through. God has blessed us in many ways, and He has answered prayer in amazing ways!

And so, it was very appropriate, and served as a reminder to me of the significance of this day that as I began my day, as I do each day, with The Daily Bread devotional. It took me to II Corinthians 1:8-11. For it reminded me not only of the significance of the day, but the significance of God’s answers to all of your prayers. For even though I remain in prison, I have the peace and joy that can only come from the Father in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit has given me purpose and meaning even through these trying times. I have learned so very much, and it no doubt is a time of preparation as I continue to wait upon the Lord for whatever He has for me.

We continue to need your prayers, especially as Kathie continues to struggle with her health. It is no doubt hardest upon her.

And so, there is no better way to thank you than to quote the Apostle Paul, as he thanked the Corinthians for their prayers during his time of suffering (not that our suffering in any way compares to Paul’s): “But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer, and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also are you sharers of our comfort.

“For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us…that we were burdened excessively beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;…that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; Who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope.

“And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many” (II Corinthians 1:6-11).

Again, at this five month mark, thank you for your prayers. And for the cards, letters, gifts, meals, and calls (for Kathie). Words can’t fully describe our appreciation, and I thank and praise God for you each day! Please don’t stop praying!

In His service,

Philip

Letter from Prison

Dear Friend,

If you believe God put me in prison merely to be a blessing to others, it is only partially true. I am now convinced that He has me here for another purpose – to learn and grow in Him and His Word. Of this, I have become truly convinced. For example, never would I have taken such significant portions of each day reading and studying God’s Word and listening to the voice of His Spirit. For what he may be preparing me for, other than my own edification, I do not know, nor can I speculate.

I also learn a lot from others, including my friend “C”, who miraculously came to the Lord when he hit rock bottom in an isolation cell. He’d lived a life of self-pleasure, a wanton lifestyle of addictions, violence, sex, and misery. His mom had just died. And the mother of his two youngest children and his sister had also just died of heroin overdoses. So they locked “C” in isolation, afraid he might become violent.

Every time we study Scripture together, it seems “C” reminds me that one word should exemplify the life of a true Christian – obedience! And this is very true. I see it reinforced over and over again as I read through the history of Israel and Judah in the first half of the Scriptures.

Everything seems to hinge on the obedience of God’s people. Life versus death. Health instead of disease. Prosperity instead of drought, famine, and calamity. Peace rather than war. Victory instead of defeat. Joy and happiness rather than despair and sorrow. Confidence and courage rather than dread. Wisdom and knowledge rather than confusion.

However, with obedience comes other characteristics and attributes we find clearly portrayed throughout the Scriptures. God blessed when the people and leaders turned to God for direction. When they forgot God and did what they thought right in their own eyes, not seeking His directions and advice, God’s directions and blessings and victory were not there! We see this over and over again!

And this shortcoming, trusting in our own judgment rather than seeking God’s direction and advice, becomes more and more prevalent the better and easier life becomes for us. And that’s when pride can easily set in, as it did for the kings of Israel and Judah. They start out well, seeking God’s direction, and God blesses them in every way. But then one day they skip the step of asking God first whether they should do something specific, or go up to battle. This often leads to their downfall and destruction. Look at the examples of Saul, Solomon, or Joash. That’s why Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes later in his life.

Jesus Himself reiterates this principle when Peter began to doubt his trust of the Lord to keep him afloat as he stepped foot on the Sea of Galilee’s surface. As soon as Peter’s faith began to waiver, he began to sink.

And, as “C” constantly reminds me when we look at Scriptures together, it all comes back to obedience. Our obedience is predicated on our love for our Savior, who gave Himself for us. And hence we should give our lives willingly to Him in complete obedience – out of a true love that never wants to destroy the intimacy God intended us to have with Hm.

This is why God compares our relationship with Christ as that of a bride. We are the bride of Christ; He is the perfect groom who gave His life for His bride. This “submission,” or obedience out of sheer love, is the picture God intends between a man and wife; for a husband must love his wife as God loves his church.

Thank you for your continued prayers and letters of encouragement!

In His Service,

Philip Zodhiates