Happy New You

January, 1979
1979 Visit, Volume 1 Number 1

The federal minimum wage was set at $2.90 an hour. Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels and great-grandfather of socialite Paris Hilton, died at the age of 91. The state of Ohio paid $675,000 in reparations to the families of victims of the 1970 Kent State shootings. The Vietnamese army captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge. And in Salinas, California, Cesar Chavez led 5,000 farm workers on a mass walkout in the United Farm Workers lettuce strike.

Still publishing as Christian Prison Volunteers, in 1979 we tried something new, a tabloid sized newspaper called Visit: Friend to Friend, distributed in over 270 federal, state and county jails, prisons and other correctional facilities across the United States. We also were offering correspondence Bible studies and a pen-pal matching program with Christians "on the outside".

Our articles, letters and true-life stories were written mostly by individuals who had themselves served time in prison. Our friend Poncho had served time in prison ... five times! He had joined a street gang at the age of 12 and was a leader of the gang at 17. For years the gang life took him in and out of state prisons, until finally he landed in the federal prison at Leavenworth. Tired of the life he had been living, Ponco "was dirty, weary and miserable. I cried out to be changed, and felt the power of God taking over in my life."

Our friend Chris told of her journey from a jail cell in Florida through the hopelessness of drugs, alcohol and prostitution to a place of peace where "God worked miracles in my life. He led me into a warm fellowship of His people. And he has me working and witnessing in the very rehab center where I once stayed."

Our brother Jackson Wilcox created a two-page comic based on the incident in John 8 where the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. "Neither do I condemn you," Jesus said to her in one of the most joyful statements of the entire New Testament. "Go, and sin no more."

The photo at right shows the Hollywood Cross standing on a hill that is visible throughout Hollywood. The photo at lower right shows our editor Duane Pederson with two young Jesus People at a gathering.

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