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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Remembering Tracy Marksberry

This June 15th, it will be 2 years since my sister was taken from me. It was one of those shocking events that hits you like a ton of bricks and you don't know if you'll ever recover. Some background:

Tracy had always been the "black sheep" of our family. Always just this side of the law, never quite crossing that line. Her weakness was marijuana. Had been since probably middle school, I figure. You could talk to her until you were blue in the face, but you would never convince her that "mary jane" was bad for her. Inevitably, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was arrested and spent some time in the jail at Rockport, Indiana. While she was cooling her heels, her 4 kids and their father (kids aged from around 19 down to 4) were left to fend for themselves.

Around that time, Stan and Sandy Long, of Promise Jail & Prison Ministry, received what they term a "message from God" that they needed to travel down to Rockport (about a 4-hour drive from their home in Lafayette, Indiana). They were short on funds, but scraped together what they had, filled the tank of their van, and headed south on faith alone. When they were in Rockport, they talked to a number of inmates, but were especially taken with my sister. Tracy had a great sense of humor about her and could make you laugh, no matter what was being discussed. After spending some time with her, they did something I never dreamed would happen -- witnessed Tracy accepting Jesus Christ into her heart. She didn't become a holy roller, not by any stretch of the imagination, but you could tell there was something different about her... a confidence that wasn't there before. Stan and Sandy met my parents and started a relationship which continues to this day. When Tracy got out, she had to spend some time in a little jail in Podunk, Kentucky for violating an earlier probation order with this Rockport arrest.

Tracy waited until her time was up then set about trying to get her life back in order. She was determined to try and straighten up. She told me that she had even quit the marijuana....I don't know if she really did or if she was just telling me what I wanted to hear, though I prefer to think the former. Tracy had one more fatal mistake that she was to commit. While trying to get her life straight, she was prescribed various medications (anti-depressant, etc), but they were by different doctors at different locations, so drug interaction was something that wasn't considered. The mix of drugs made her a little loopy and forgetful and finally late on the night of June 14th, 2004, she took too many drugs and overdosed. Her middle son had the displeasure of being the first one to find her, on the kitchen floor, when he arrived home shortly after midnight. She died shortly thereafter.

I take some comfort that Tracy died knowing Jesus, though I still wish I could hear her laugh or wish that she would make me laugh again. Since then, I've tried to help Stan and Sandy any chance I could get, when I have extra money. And now, I ask that you prayerfully consider doing the same, should you feel led to do so. I am including below some of their promotional material to help explain their ministry better.

The Promise Ministry exists only by the grace, mercy, and provision of God our Father. We, as faithful servants of Him, desire to fulfill the great commission in Acts 1:8 and be witnesses of Jesus "to the end of the earth". We do not force anyone to receive our witness, but those who answer the knock on their heart's door by Jesus (Rev 3:20-21), receive His salvation (promise book pg 134) and request our assistance, we provide the following services:

  • Prayer

  • Bible Promise Books

  • Large print Bibles

  • Through the Bible, Bible Studies

  • The Visitor ... Quarterly Newsletter

  • Assistance with family needs

  • Promise Kids Christmas assistance

  • Employment and housing needs

Promise Ministry operates solely from the faithful donations of those who share in this mission of mending broken hearts. If you desire to support us, all donations are tax deductible & eternal (Matt 10:42)

Thank You and God Bless You

Promise Jail & Prison Ministry

P.O. Box 6736

Lafayette, IN 47903

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