by Dale & Sandy Russell

Being exposed to prison culture brings a level of discovery like no where else.  Such was the case this week in a conversation with one of our AIC’s.  He usually calls once or twice a month and this last dialogue was quite entertaining AND creative.


Now, let’s stop for a second and give you some background on what I just said.  First, it has become more politically correct to refer to an inmate as AIC – Adult in Custody.  We are trying to transition to that term but might go back to ”inmate” from time to time.  The Oregon Dept of Corrections uses both – for now.

Secondly, yes, an AIC can call.  It is a one-way process as we cannot call them, but through a pay-per-minute program they can call us. Our conversations are limited to programs within Visions of Hope, but any AIC can call family, friends or anyone else they choose.


OK, so let’s continue setting the stage for this recent conversation.

He has also provided over $2300 for bibles in Uganda!

Ronald is a regular sponsor of an Otino Waa child and communicates frequently.  He has also provided over $2300 for bibles in Uganda! Wait, how can that be possible?  With help from family on the outside he contributes monthly to VOH and we forward the funds to our Ugandan contact, Pastor Douglas.  Douglas conducts community outreach programs and is always eager to have bibles to hand out to new believers.  Today we can safely say over 340 bibles, in local language, are in the hands of new Christians!


This brings us back to our original subject,

How to Turn an Orange into a Bible”


Prison culture creates an immense amount of creativity when it come to food. Everyone gets the same food, but some of it might be used as barter.  Ronald trades his dessert items for oranges and asks others to give their unwanted oranges to him because they have purpose. Members of his bible study group also contribute oranges to the cause.

Now, track with me here.

Ronald desires vitamin C which he has purchased in packets at the commissary. These cost $3.00.  He gets plenty of C with his orange supply.  Each $3.00 he saves he puts towards his bible fund, which he projects to be about $80/mo. for 2020.

Within Ronald’s economy he has calculated one orange = 53 pages of a bible.

(He has a copy of one of the Ugandan bibles in the Luo language.)

15 Oranges = 1 Bible

Next time you eat an orange (remember to wash it first 😊) consider how much more value it has than you ever knew before!

Ronald has a goal of sending $1000 in 2020….. FROM PRISON!

He just learned a family in Bend likes what he is doing so much that they pledged to match each of his dollars.  Recently, this was revealed to him in one of those phone conversations which turned a bit silent as his tears of joy overwhelmed his words.  He is now doubly determined to go strong, encouraged by where God has led him and others.

But wait, it gets better.


Ronald’s request to Pastor Douglas is to get photos of the bible recipients and names (if possible) so he can commit to pray for each by name and face.

 What does this tell you and me?  Maybe we should re-evaluate what we are doing for the world around us. How committed are we to those whose lives around us that can easily be changed? Can we be as creative with our funds?

Ronald uses oranges to be a world changer. What if YOU can too?


Here’s the plan. YOU help match Ronald’s bible fund.  Any amount will work.  Imagine the next conversation with him when we share how you became an additional partner.

The tears of joy will easily double.





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