Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

A REBEL'S STORY


Woof, Woof:


My name is Rebel. I am a Pink Nose Pit Bull. I was born into a family that was raised and trained to fight. However, one of the family members, Adam, a young man of about 17, saw something very special in me and rescued me from that horrible fate. When I was about six months old he realized that he could not protect me forever since I was getting old enough to train. Family were pressuring him to train me for fighting. One day he put a collar and leash on me and we went for a walk. While we were walking down the highway a PT Cruiser pulled up beside us and the driver asked us if we wanted a ride.


We accepted the invitation. While driving, the driver asked Adam where he was going and what he was doing. Adam explained that he was looking for a home for me. The driver invited him and I to a place he called “The Ranch”. I did not know what that was and my little heart was beating with anxiety. When we arrived, I found it to be a big play yard with a pond, pool and trees. There was a dog there with ducks, turtles and birds. I loved it. I went playing immediately. I saw rabbits and boy, was I happy. I felt right at home.

 

While I was playing, Adam and the one called “Ron” talked. About an hour later Adam called me and gave me a big hug and told me I was going to live here at “The Ranch”. I said good-bye to Adam and he left.


My new home was wonderful. I nosed around and tried to play with my newfound friend, Foster. He was a big dog and was more about protecting everything then playing. Boy, was he going to be a challenge. I love to play. Since Foster didn’t want to play with me, I thought the ducks would like to play. They quacked and headed to the pond with feathers flying all over the place. I like feathers.


My new daddy was very busy. He loved his animals but he had so much work to do he really didn’t have much time for us. He looked at me like he did the other animals, he love me, but I was a “dog” to him and could pretty much take care of myself.


I could see that he was hurting inside. I learned later that his son left him for what dad called “The world”. Daddy was under a burden. His son had spent so many years in and out of prison that daddy’s heart was very sad. I knew right then what my job was. I had to bring love back into daddy’s heart. He had been hurt so many times in his life he had built up a wall to protect himself from all those hurts.

 

It was summer when I arrived at “the Ranch”.  The days were hot and lovely.  Dad taught me to swim.  That was so much fun.  I learned to dive in after the toy dad made me.  We had so much fun playing keep-a-way.  I would get out of the pool and dad would throw the toy into the water.  I would dive in and try to get it before it sank.  If it did sink, I dove down to get it.  So much fun.


Daddy had an extra doggy house and made it up real nice for me.  I think dad was expecting me to live outside like Foster.  He didn’t know that I was not an outside dog.  Not me.  Not with my thin coat.  Nope, I was an indoor dog.  I could tell that dad had never met a “dog” like me.  He was just expecting a dog who would roll over to get his belly scratch.  Nope, not me.  I was intelligent and a thinker.  I could figure things out.


I tolerated being outside at night for a couple of months.  The nights were warm and lovely.  I got to chase the rabbits and explore the 4 acres.  However, the days began to get shorter and in the high desert, when the sun goes down, it can get cold.  One night it got real cold.  I was shivering, sitting on the sidewalk, looking towards the door of the home wishing for daddy to come and get me. 


In the morning the door opened and out came dad to go to work.  He took one look at me shivering and felt so sorry for me, he gathered me up in his arms and said, “That is enough, you will stay in the house from here on out.”  I was very happy.  Daddy’s heart was beginning to warm.


The home we lived in was a 10x50 trailer.  It was so old it had mildew and was rotting.  It was falling down and when the 60 to 80 mile-an-hour winds blew, I feared for the trailer.  It would rock and roll.  Then, when it rained, I had to find cover or I would get wet.  Daddy tried fixing the roof many times, but I could see he was getting old and roof climbing just wasn’t good for him. 

There was no room for a “bed” for me, so I made myself at home on the couch. 


I studied daddy and learned that he was very committed to his work.  He love to serve and help people.  He love especially those people he called, “inmates”.  I wasn’t sure what that meant, but from listening to daddy, I decided that they were much like me, behind a fence and under the control of someone else. 


I was hoping they were having as much fun as I was having.  I was truly loved, but dad still did not know how much deeper his love could go.  I had more work to do on his heart.

Dad would leave me out to play while he went to work in the office.  But I didn’t like being by myself.  Besides, Foster just wasn’t learning how to play fast enough.  So I went to the office door and knocked.  Daddy was very surprised to hear my knock.  He opened the door and let me in.  I looked around and found a little sofa I could use as my “office”.  I made myself right at home.  From there on out, I went to work with daddy every day. 

Daddy’s work kept him busy all day long.  I noticed that from sunrise to way into the night daddy was working.  I thought this was too much for him.  He needed to play.  It was wonderful when we got into the pool to play, but I learned it was not for “play” but for his broken back.  Daddy was in an airplane crash in his younger years that should have killed him.  I am very thankful that it did not.  If it wasn’t for daddy, I don’t know where I would have ended up. 


Daddy was teaching me about a person called “Jesus”.  He said Jesus saved his life so he could do this work for Him.  I didn’t know about that, I was just very thankful he was my daddy.  I was also very thankful for the kind lady who donated the pool to the ministry.  I think my playing with dad helped him in his “aqua-therapy”.  Dad started feeling better and was soon taking more time to be with me, play with me and read to me.

I wanted to help daddy as much as I could.  He worked so hard I knew I had to find something I could do.  I did notice that he put a lot of paper into a very noisy thing that chewed up the paper.  So I knew right then what I could do.  I asked daddy if I could chew up paper and boxes that were no longer needed.  He said yes!  Yippee!  Oh, you want to know how I asked dad?  I would go over to the trash can under his desk, and I would quietly stand there with my head next to it.  Then, he would tip the trash can over a little bit which allowed me to put my head inside.  I would nose around until I found just what I was looking for, pull it out, and go chew it up.  But I always waited until daddy gave me the Ok.


In my last family, I saw the brutality they used to train my family members.  I didn’t like that at all.  So I was very interested in the training that daddy gave me.  If I did something wrong, he would sit me down and look me in the eye and tell me what I did wrong.  Then he would show me what I should have done.  I liked that.  I learned English real fast.  Of course it took time to translate from English to doggy, but daddy was very patient.  When he spoke to me, he would wait for me to translate it in my little brain, then when I understood what he wanted, I would do it.  This was fun.

I found the ranch to be exciting.  There were lots of things to do like playing in the leaves.  I think daddy expected me to pull my weight and help rake.  Ya, right. 

Then, of course, there was tree climbing.  With over 80 trees on the ranch, what fun I had.  I went  around and inspected every tree to see if it was right for me to climb.  When I found the right ones, dad and I had lots of fun.  He would say, “Up, up” and I would run and jump up into the tree.  Then daddy would throw a ball to me and I would catch it.  Such fun.


Daddy was under a lot of stress.  He talked about money and how there was never enough to pay for all the ministry needs.  I watched him as he printed, collated, folded and stapled the newsletters.  Then, there were all the letters from inmates he had to write.  And of course, I came to realize that the most important aspect of this ministry was putting out the book, “Change Your Life Biblically”.


Daddy said that Jesus sent His Holy Spirit and dictated that book so inmates could find Jesus.  From all the letters requesting the book, I think a lot of inmates were finding Jesus.  He would sit and read the letters to me.  I think daddy loved having me listen so quietly to him work.

I soon learned that daddy had a strange habit.  Every four hours or so daddy would have worship.  We would walk around the 4 acres and talk to Jesus.  I loved walking with him and listening to his prayers.  Sometimes we would get in the pool to have prayer.  Of course that was only in the summer.  Then we would go inside or sit by the pond to read the Bible.  I enjoyed this.  If we were inside I would hop up on a couch close to daddy and curl up to listen.  Sometimes daddy would kneel down at a chair and pray to Jesus.  Whenever I heard or saw daddy kneel down, I would run and climb up on the chair and we would put our heads together and pray.  I liked praying with daddy. 


I loved the Sabbath. Friday afternoon daddy would put down his work early and we would go have our Sabbath bath.   Daddy would make sure the water was not to hot and not too cold, but just right for me. It felt so good having daddy spread the liquid soap all over my body. He would make sure that even my paws and in between my toes were clean. I could tell, daddy loved me.


On Sabbath I had more time to be with daddy. We took longer walks or sat by the pond taking to Jesus and reading about Him. Daddy said he built the pond for Jesus. It was a wonderful place to meet with Jesus and listen to Him.

One day daddy became very excited. He said that Jesus had provided the credit so we could build a new home and put in solar panels. We needed the solar panels. Daddy told me he had waited 13 years for Jesus to provide. With all the printing, computer work and other uses the ministry has for electricity, solar was a blessing. Daddy said that the ministry’s electricity bill used to be about $500 a month. Now we just had to pay off the credit card. But that was ok since the interest was less than the old electric bill.


After the solar panels were put in, we built a new home on the old trailer.  We took the old trailer down to the floor and re-built it with real wood. I had so much fun inspecting and making sure they did it just right.  Now it didn’t leak, it didn’t rock and roll and it was clean from mildew and rot.  I loved it.  We built the bedroom up-stairs.  I did not know what “up-stairs” meant. 

When the stairs were built, daddy showed me how to go up them. I was scared at first. This was so new to me. I didn’t know if I could trust those steps. But I saw that daddy made it up ok, so I carefully followed in his footsteps. However, when he showed me how to go down, I didn’t want to listen, so I took the easy way, and jumped. Ouch! did that hurt! Daddy was very concerned for me and held me close. He looked all over and felt me very carefully to make sure I didn’t have any broken bones. I hurt for about a week. I used the stairs after that.


I trusted daddy. I knew he only had my good at heart. His heart was melting and he was beginning to take me into a closer relationship with himself. Daddy taught me how to tell him when I hurt. I would go to him and say, “errr, errr”. That let daddy know I was in pain. He would then put his finger on me in different places and when he reached the place that hurt, I would then continue with “err, err”. I would let daddy know how bad it was by how loud I gave the “errr, errr”. He was very smart, my daddy, and I learned how to communicate with him.


I would let him rub the medicine on without giving him any trouble. Sometimes it would hurt real bad when the medicine was rubbed in. But I would turn my head away from daddy and growl real loud, like I wanted to bit his head off. But daddy knew I was just in pain and would never hurt him.

Daddy made me a toy to play with. He said that was better than a store bought toy. The toys sold at stores only got chewed up and cost lots to replace. So he made a sock toy that could be washed and replaced very simply. I love my “buddy”. I slept with it, played with it, eat with it and when I was hurting, it kept me company. What I did learn was that if I chewed up the toy, I might not have a toy to play with for a while. So with my new toy, “buddy”, I would be very careful and not chew it up.

Daddy got me a very nice bed for under the stairs. That way, I could lie there and look all around the house. I loved keeping track of daddy from there. Wherever he was, I knew what he was doing. And when daddy got close to a door, I was up and ready to go with him. This was my spot.

 

I loved working with daddy. Every day I would go with him to the Post Office. Here I am inspecting the mail to make sure we got it all. God’s mail was very special and we would pray over it and ask Jesus to touch the hearts of those receiving it. Daddy was very concerned about something called a “devil” that was always trying to hurt and destroy the ministry. I kept my ears and eyes open for him. He wasn’t going to get past me.


I would stand with my two front paws on the armrests of the front seats as we drove to the Post Office. That way, I could look all around and make sure no one would hurt the mail. Then I would put my head down and daddy and I would rub cheeks together. He would talk softly to me and rub my check with his. Then he would bring his right hand up and scratch my chin. I loved going to the Post Office with Daddy.

Here I am enjoying the ride to the Post Office. May God watch over and bless each day’s mail. May the hearts be touch and lives come to know Jesus. I liked the high desert. It was nice and warm in the summer and cold in the winter. Great for cuddling up with daddy.


Sometimes daddy said I could not go with him. He said the time away from the Ranch would be too long for me to be in the car. Especially in the summer when temperatures would reach 120*. So daddy would very gently tell me I had to stay here. I would walk away very sad. But I understood that daddy knew what was best for me. Of course I waited for daddy to return. How happy I was when he came back.


I would hurt inside to see daddy under such pressure with all he had to do. He keeps praying that God would send a young man, like He did me, to help daddy. I do my best, but I just don’t have the dexterity to do all that daddy needs done. Daddy says that our lives are never to be about ourselves. We must always serve others. He kept talking about how we are to follow the example of Jesus and live perfect. I decided that is how I wanted to live.


Daddy kept saying how he was praying for a young man who could read, write and speak Spanish. That way, we could translate the book into Spanish. How many more lives we could reach for Jesus.

 

I did have to learn a new way of living. Here we are vegetarian. Of course daddy bought dried dog food for us. In fact, one bag of dried dog food would feed Foster, me, the ducks, the turtles and the fish. So for very little, it supplied the food for all God’s animals at the ministry.

I of course lived with daddy so I had to get used to fruits, nuts and veggies. But I found that made me much healthier. Here I am helping daddy with lunch. Daddy said we don’t want to waste God’s money on food that is not essential, so we eat very simple. During the summer when the fruit trees had fruit on them, I would go and pick the fruit off the trees and eat it. I loved apples, apricots, plumbs and peaches.


Here I am helping to make supper. One potato can go a long way in feeding both of us.   I guess that is why I stay so thin and healthy.

 

Daddy said that when the funds get low, he will have to send me out to work. I looked at him like, “What?” So he showed me how I could be a great help. I thought this was a great way to help the ministry.


One time when I was about one and a half years old, I got real sick. Daddy was very scared. I was at the point of death. I would eat nothing and could hardly lift my head. Daddy was crying. He got down and prayed for me. I then lifted my head and was OK. I like what daddy did. He says that prayer is very important in our lives. I’m a believer!


I learned from daddy about a very special day. It was called the “Sabbath”. On Friday morning, daddy would clean the house. That was fun. He cleaned the kitchen, shook out the rugs, washed the windows and vacuumed the floor. One day while shaking out the rugs, one fell on the ground below the deck. Daddy started to go for it, but he saw me standing by the steps. He asked me if I would like to go and pick it up for him. I was delighted to help daddy. I went down and picked up the rug very carefully and brought it up to daddy.


Daddy began calling me “son”. I felt like a son to him. He treated me just like he would a son. He would talk to me and explain things to me. Whenever he brought some equipment home, I was very curious as to what it was, so daddy would let me look it over, smell it and investigate it. Daddy would ask my opinion of things. I thought that was very kind of daddy. He didn’t have to, but he would ask, “Rebel, would like to go for a walk with me, or wait here?” Most of the time I would go, but sometimes, like if the weather was very bad, I would let him know that I wanted to stay in the house. Sometimes I knew he was just going out for a quick moment and coming right back, so I would tell him I wanted to wait. I appreciated daddy asking.

 

Daddy would take my “buddy” and hide it from me. I liked this game. I would search high and low for it. Up stairs, down stairs, under pillows, under the furniture and behind the chairs. It was so much fun. When I found it, I would take it to daddy and say, “See, I found it!” After a few weeks of this, I thought it would be nice if I hid it for daddy. So one evening while he was busy on the computer, I took the “buddy” and hid it, then went to daddy to tell him. At first he did not understand. But soon he did and it was so funny to watch him get on his hands and knees to look for the “buddy”. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. My tail was going in circles. Finally I could no longer wait for daddy to find it and went to show daddy where it was. We laughed and played tug-a-war. After that, I would hide it a lot and daddy would have so much fun trying to find it.


When daddy and I played tug-o-war, I could easily win. I was strong and daddy was getting old and tired. He would be turning 66 in January! He could hold on for a while as I tugged and tugged and pulled with all my might. But then he would let go and I trotted off with my tail held high. I won. But I soon learned that it was not fun “winning”. I had the buddy, but I was alone and daddy was alone. That was no fun. So I began letting daddy win. We would pull and pull and tug and tug, and then I would let go so daddy would win. When he won, we could continue playing and that was more fun than winning.


Usually, after daddy “won”, he would hold the buddy over the couch and I would jump up for it. But then he would move it to another couch and I would run and jump up for it there. Back and forth we would go. I loved that so much. It was far more fun playing with daddy. I didn’t really want to get the buddy, it was just so much fun running and jumping with daddy.


The home we had was very simple. The furniture was all old and donated. Most of it, I learned, was from daddy’s parents. The rocker was the one his mom rocked him in when he was a child. So I wanted to be very careful and not hurt any of the furniture. If daddy put the buddy some place I was not used to, I would sit and wait until daddy let me know how to get it without hurting the furniture. If daddy threw the buddy and it landed some place I was not sure of, I would sit or lie down and wait for daddy to show me if it was ok to get it and how to get it. I loved our home and wanted to take good care of it.


Teaching Foster to play was very hard. When I first came to the ministry I was only six months old and I looked up to Foster as my teacher and mentor in “doggy” things. Four years later, his possessiveness became aggressive. He would become stupid and would want to fight over something so trivial. All I wanted to do was play. At those times I had to put Foster in his place and let him know that all we were doing was playing. After Foster understood that, I would back down and let Foster be my teacher and mentor again. I loved Foster and he loved me. He just needed to learn how to play and not get all possessive over something. He had some bad traits that needed to be loved out of him.


One thing I learned from daddy, it wasn’t about winning. Winning left a person lonely and in the end, he lost. But to “lose” and give to help others, that was winning. It is more fun to bless others and to be with them than to accumulate things and be alone. I liked that. I didn’t want anything, I didn’t want to “win”, I just wanted to be with Foster and daddy. To play with them, help them and do all I could to bring them joy, happiness and love.


Something else daddy taught me. He said it wasn’t nice to beg and want. He said we had to be content with want we had. I thought that was a good idea. So when daddy was eating, I would not bother him. I would lie down and wait until he was almost done, then I would quietly go sit by him and ask if I could have what was left. Most of the time He shared with me. I let daddy know that he could let me “wash” and all he would have to do is dry.


Daddy would work many long hours in the office. I would lie quietly watching and listening, but soon I realized that he needed someone to remind him when to stop. So when I saw him get frustrated or upset, I would go over to him and place my chine on his leg. That would calm daddy down. He would put his hand on my head and rub it. That soothed him even more. Then I would let daddy know that maybe we should go for a prayer walk. He would agree and off we would go.


I really appreciated how clean and neat daddy kept the office and home. I felt very special living and “working” here at the ministry. Daddy always said that to be clean and neat is to be like Jesus. Not only in our surroundings, but also in our lives. I wanted to help daddy keep it nice. When I had to do my business, I would go to the door and knock. Daddy would then open the door and let me out. When I was done, I would go back and knock again. Then daddy would let me in. He was a very smart daddy.


I noticed that not many came to the ranch. Daddy was all alone. It appeared that people were more interested in “winning” in their theology than loving and caring for others. They judged daddy by what he believed instead of by his heart of love. They wanted daddy to believe in their church or their food and anything else they did. All daddy was doing was teaching the love of Jesus and what Jesus taught, but people seemed to love their church, their theology and their things more than Jesus. I was sad for daddy. When we read the Bible together, I learned that Jesus encountered much the same attitude in His day. The Pharisees were more interested in their church and what they had then in loving and caring for others.


I was very happy that Jesus brought me into daddy’s life. I just wanted to bring him all the joy and happiness possible. I could see that my plan was working. He could not stand being away from me. We were inseparable. I was proud to be a part of the ministry and helped as much as possible. The difference between my last home of fighting and this home of love was so vast, I loved it.

One way daddy said I could help was to write inmates. So many inmates were hurting. He felt it would be good for me to write them. So I started writing inmates. Soon letters were coming back from inmates telling daddy how much they loved my letters. The letters seemed to bring them joy and calm them down.


Daddy’s heart was now fully in beat with mine. Our hearts beat as one. I loved our prayer walks around the property. We would do that about four or five times a day.


Daddy’s heart was now ready for another test. Through the four and a half years I lived with daddy, we read through the Bible many times. I learned that God loves animals and used them many times to help people. One time he used a donkey to set a man straight. I thought that was cool of God. We animals can see what humans can’t

Another time, God used a whale to help Jonah. I thought that would be a great ride. Seeing how much I liked water, I asked daddy if we could go to the beach together and maybe see a whale. Of course we don’t have the funds to go anywhere. But that is ok, living here at the ministry is a wonderful life.


Then there was the time God use black birds to feed Elijah. We have black birds here on the property. I love to play with them. One of them has become a very good playmate. He comes close to me and says, “let’s play chase”, so off we go. He stays just a few feet ahead of me, flying low to the ground, to keep me running after him. That is so much fun.


Then there was the donkey that Jesus used to ride on. We animals have been used by God in many ways. I had the privilege of serving God in helping my daddy find love, peace and joy again.


But now there was a greater test. While I was living, daddy loved me and still didn’t understand the full love he needed to have. So Jesus let me give my life so daddy would understand how we should never take anyone or any animal for granted. I died November 23 at 7:45 in the morning.


Daddy was heart broken. For three days he prayed and pleaded with Jesus to make me well. But God saw I needed to sleep for daddy’s development. At first, daddy wanted to get mad at God. But then he realized that we all must work for Jesus and submit to His plan for our lives. He let me go and placed me in the hands of Jesus.


He buried me with my head facing a Yucca Tree. I am happy to have served and brought so much joy to daddy.


Now I must say good-bye to all of you. I will not be able to write any more letters. But God will keep all of you. Always remember that Jesus loves you and no matter what, all will work out for good.


Daddy is probably crying his eyes out right now. I loved him so much and he loved me. But now I know that God will find my replacement for the next stage in daddy’s growth.


Woof, Woof,


Rebel