Let Life Begin Now

April, 1978
1978 HFP, Volume 10 Number 2

The popular TV series "Dallas" premiered on CBS, and would run for 13 seasons. A Gutenberg Bible sold in New York City for a record $2.2 million. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, sent the first of 16 mail bombs he would send from 1978 to 1995. And the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain began operating the world's first cell phone system.

Our newspaper continued to be distributed free by prison chaplains in jails, youth correction facilities and other institutions across the U.S. and in several foreign countries. We also promoted Bible studies, pen-pals, free New Testaments and other programs for prisoners. Our editor Duane Pederson was often asked in those days to perform weddings for prisoners he had visited while behind bars.

Our friend Robert wrote of waking up on a park bench in the south Bronx, a borough of New York City, lonely, homeless and jobless, and with no peace in his life. "As I viewed the world from that park bench," Robert wrote, "I felt alone." His life was totally empty. Through a chance meeting with a young Christian, Robert experienced a powerful encounter with Jesus, who lifted this young man "from a park bench to a life of real living."

Another friend, Lorre, was living a dead-end life of depression, pills and even attempts at suicide. Then, in a chance encounter with Jesus, Lorre "felt the peace of God sweeping over me." The hopelessness that plagued her life was gone forever.

Four men serving time in prisons in California and Missouri had written to us. R.W., who wrote from a federal institution in Springfield, astonished us when he said, "things are going great here. The Lord has touched a lot of the men in here lately. I've been sharing God's word at work and trying to get them to attend the inmate services, Bible classes and prayer groups."

Andre, a young Jesus person from the Netherlands, had found a copy of Duane's book "Jesus People" in the book rack in a chapel in his hometown of Waddinxveen. He found our address in the back of the book, and began writing to the HFP. In the summer of 1978 Andre traveled from the Netherlands to California and spent three weeks here getting to know us, working at a Christian summer camp, and exploring southern California.

Our brother Jackson Wilcox drew the cartoon at right. The photo at lower right shows Duane Pederson baptizing a young Jesus person in the chilly waters of the Pacific ocean.

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