I want to tell you about a wonderful lady and her ministry to prisoners. This is not a standard pitch for someone I have only read about. I have known her for about fifty years and I was married to her niece. So we go way back.
She is a widow now, and in her widowhood began, very slowly at first, a ministry to prison inmates. Her name is Minerva Lee Buckmaster, and her ministry is called F.I.S.S. She has sent 1,000 Bibles to inmates in seven states.
She told me the story of one of these men who was trying to read a King James Bible. Trouble was, he could not understand it. In frustration, he threw it across the room. There are, of course, many reasons he had trouble reading it.
Many prisoners have a low educational level and cannot understand a Bible translated in 1611. Some are not very competent in English. But the hunger is there and there is help for them in the form of the New International Version or NIV.
Purists may decry the NIV, and they have their reasons. I, myself was raised on the King James. But I figure an NIV that is held and read is much better than a KJV that cannot be read.
Lee told me about a letter she had received from an inmate requesting a Bible. "Could your organization please send me a Bible?" "My organization," she said, "I do it all from my kitchen table."