Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Le Kompa

by Eulie

I lay in bed and look out the window. 
I see clouds forming on nature’s canvas
And painting the sky with shades of grey.
I don’t need my radio to drown out the everyday
Chaos of my surroundings.
The approaching storm gives my batteries
A much needed breather.

I close my eyes and am transported
To a Caribbean concert hall.
Thunder pulsates through the walls
Like beating drums.

The wind is the guida,
The rain a tambora,
And the lightening clashing cymbals.
The storm is the Maestro and
Together they play Kompa (Haitian Music).

I listen to the music.
It reminds me of my life
Before it was stained like
This barred and soiled window -
A window that has witnessed
Tears of regret for all the misprints
Of my life.

The storm fades. The song ends.
I wish to open the window
And smell the wet earth,
But it won’t budge.
It imprisons me.

One day, I will not have to look
Through this barricade.
I will be set free
To try again and

Go back to life after the storm.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Walls Speak

by Eulie
Cell block of Kilmainham prison in Ireland

I know these walls can talk. It's true.
I hear them daily, I can hear them now.
Shhhh, can you?
No? Okay. Come a little closer.
Not yet?
I know it's hard to hear with the officers shouting,
Inmates counting, doors slamming,
And women shrieking in despair.

It's not quiet here. Not ever.
Not even for a minute.
When it's too quiet - something is wrong.

Even in the night, when the noise ebbs and
The daily, mundane routine ends,
The time when my mind takes over,
And the sounds of silence pierce the air
With stories of shame,
Stories of fear,
Stories of bad choices,
Stories of abandonment,
Stories of humiliation,
Stories of poverty,
Stories of neglect,
Stories of abuse and pain.

Even the walls cry out, "Mercy, Grace!"

I know because I hear them.
They cry because they're
ugly, beige cinderblocks - not worth a second look,
Not worth a first, for that matter.
Mostly they cry because nobody hears them.
I know this because they told me.
They scream inside with the longing to share stories,
To talk about mistakes made and lessons learned,
To teach through experience,
To tell others they know what it is like to walk a mile in their shoes.
But no one wants to listen.
Will you read my writings and listen?

* * * * *
Eulie is my pen pal through Letters 4 the Lord.  I am blessed by her friendship and her letters.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Amazon Reviews

THE WOMEN OF BLOCK 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry

"Linda provides one of the most poignant, raw, and honest accounts of "life" in a women's jail that I have ever read. I especially appreciate how she reveals the emotional and spiritual journey she traveled while teaching in the jail. I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda last year about her experiences and was even more impressed by her work after speaking with her." ProfBreeWill

"This book is a story, it's powerful and inspiring. The book is about jail ministry, it's about women in prison and about the roads these women travel. But, more importantly it is an experience. If you have not been in prison, read it. If you have you may have written something in this book. The personal stories are rare, common and bring light to darkness.If you are in a book club consider this. If you are not, be sure to share this book with your friends. Linda Pischke has taken her consistent visits, her care and compassion, her heart for God to those who will listen. She has listened. You should read!"  Toni Dunn 

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To see all of the Amazon reviews or to write one of your own visit: 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life In Prison

By Eulie                                                                    

"Do not fear anyof those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested . . ."    Revelation 2:10

Prison, need I say more? Prison is the most horrific, life-changing mistake that I have ever experienced. It is the tragic result of the foolish choices which I pursued. 

In this environment, you can make the best out of a bad and negative situation, or you can allow it to consume you, swallow you whole, as it slowly destroys your soul.

For me, this frightening odyssey has been and continues to be a vivid eye-opener - a priceless, indelible learning journey - if you will.

I can honestly say that this awful, stagnant place has been a "blessing in disguise."  The majority of my education here has been of a spiritual nature. My faith in Jesus is stronger than ever before. I believe, with all of my heart that I am using this time away from the "free world" wisely. I am acquiring the necessary knowledge to "Ace the test!"

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To read more about women in prison visit:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

THE WOMEN OF BLOCK 12 on Bold Living

Linda Pischke's Interview with  
Diane Markins
Saturday, June 22
11:00 am PDT   (1:00 Milwaukee)

Bold Living w/Diane Markins

Why Prison Ministry?
by Linda Pischke
The United States leads the world in producing prisoners. In 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 2.3 million men and women incarcerated in the US. Eighty-five percent of these individuals are non-violent offenders who will eventually return home to live in our communities.
Whether we pay higher prices for goods and services as a result of theft, or come into direct contact with someone who has committed a crime, all of us are affected in some way by the actions and decisions of these individuals. We can no longer live with the illusion that if we just put enough bad people behind bars, our society will be safe.
The barriers to successful re-integration are overwhelming for offenders who lack basic education and job skills. Even minimum wage jobs can be out of reach for individuals with a criminal record. An offender can lose everything while incarcerated. Unless there is a family and a job waiting for her, it is unlikely she will secure shelter, furniture, transportation, and medical care without the help of community agencies.
I have seen inmates go through this process multiple times. If a woman has exhausted all of her options for free resources, she may choose to return to an abusive partner who pays the rent and most likely got her in trouble in the first place. If that is not an option, the more resourceful woman will survive the only way she knows how: stealing, selling drugs, or selling herself. If arrested again, she becomes another statistic in a process called recidivism.
Can prison ministry really make a difference? The answer is “yes.” I have seen people turn their lives around because someone cared enough to mentor them. We will not heal every hurt or find a solution to every problem, but I believe Jesus calls us to love the unlovable, share the Gospel, and show mercy to everyone touched by the criminal justice system. The outcome is not our responsibility. The healing comes from him.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Prison Ministry: Write a Letter - Save a Life

Screen Beans character holding mail and jumping for joy 

When I first signed up for a prison pen pal with Letters 4 The Lord, a ministry in Harrah, Oklahoma, I was a bit skeptical. Even though I had been working with women offenders in jail ministry, I was not sure I wanted to communicate with someone I'd never met.

I was given two names: Nancy who is now back home and connects with me on Facebook. and Eulie who is serving life in a southern state. Eulie and I have been writing for about 2 years and I must say, it is one of the most gratifying volunteer positions I have ever experienced.

I once heard;, "You can save a life by writing to someone in prison." I don't know if that's true, but here is an excerpt from one of Eulie's letters to me:

"One of the best things about having a good friend during this journey is all the grace you get. For instance, I'm guilty of my charge, yet you have compassion towards me, the accused. A godly, good friend that is not hardly phased by the sensational reports on me. I just can't begin to express my gratitude. Each of your correspondences makes me feel as though an arm has been put around me. Your mere presence "via mail" in my life speaks volumes. I pray that you find the truth in my words and writings . It's important to me that you witness my weakness and brokenness first hand and as long as God permits - that you stick by me. I thank you for reflecting God's grace."

If Christ has put it on your heart to "visit him in prison," please consider a pen pal. It's easy, it costs the price of a stamp, it will change your life and the life of another person.


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Learn more about prison ministry at::

Monday, May 20, 2013

Writings from Prison - Visible Scars


My Inmate I.D.
by Eulie

A visible scar . . . I have many.
Let's start with the one that literally weighs less than one ounce.
It's made of polypropylene and fiberglass - the dimension is 8 1/2 X 5. . . .
Approximately 1 cm wide, inflexible.
If tampered with, it's liable to part in halves.
Occasional use of swiping has caused several tracings and indentations.
The shade? It appears  to be off-white, blanc that bleeds into the color rouge, noir avec jaune.
What a waste of rich colors.
The vertical barcode contains the apparent visible data -
A stoic image of me is a reminder of my reality,
A friendly reminder, if you will of the consequences of my action.
I'm instructed to have this object in my possession at all times.
What a shame that my state I.D. is not visible to you right now!.     

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Writings from Prison - Continued

Criminal and prisoner behind bars

Any Moment in Time . . .
by Eulie

Any moment in time when a woman didn't believe in herself,
Any moment she would put her dignity in a storage room.

Any moment in time when a woman didn't know her self-wroth,
Any moment she would let someone demean and crush her heart.

Any moment in time when a woman didn't follow her dreams and settled for less.
Any moment when life felt like it was falling apart at the seams.

Any moment in time when a woman didn't understand the real definition of sacrifice and love,
Any moment in time she neglected herself and let someone give her self-esteem a shove.

Any moment in time when a woman didn't see what her soul desires.
Any moment in time she needs to know that she will be granted that second chance in life.

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For more information and writing by women in prison please visit:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Writings from Prison

Close-up of hands writing an appointment in an office calendar 
Words on Paper
by Eulie

Bellowing screams, it echoes in the cell. A vacant hallway elongates beyond reach.
My throat is hoarse and raw, yet I continue to call out her name.
Once silenced, due to guilt, I am sentenced.
The words are "Life without possible parole."
My words, my voice, my plea
They bounce and ricochet on all corners of the wall.   
Uncalculated words, slurs, and stutters destine to deaf ears.
Words that now bleed on an arsenal of coherent thoughts.
It is with the loss and agony of silence on this paper,
I pray for partial justice.
Can you feel my pain? Can you hear my pain? Can you see my words?
How will you look at me when my name is uttered once more?
Meaningless, collective words spewed out to determined my fate
Once the gavel was struck.
The beginning that will never end has started.
I want you to drink my words slowly.
I would offer you a thousand lifetimes to atone for this sin.
"The ultimate crime," more words not of my own.
I ache for you to believe that it was a mistake.
Can you hear my words?
My once shattered words, combined now
Make me whole.

It's Over
by Eulie
It's over, for now, but it is not the end.
At least that's what it looks like, right?
Nothing is ever permanent in life.
It's all meaningless.
Worthless grains of sand bare my footprints.
The sea is vast in a world of its own, unmeasurable.
Windows sealed,
Heavy doors and rusted barbed wire gates locked.
Many keys exist far beyond my reach,
Dare me to turn the door knob and venture towards
My freedom.
Today, everything that existed will be no more.
But tomorrow it all starts again.
So, goodbye for now
Until next time.

Copyright 2013, Eulie P. Printed with permission of the author.

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To learn more about women in prison visit:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dinner with Pat

Pat Nekola

There's always plenty to eat when our Joyful souls group meets!

Chef, Pat Nekola showed us how to make nutritious Roasted Chicken and Veggie Salad with Chocolate Cherry Cake for dessert.

She also entertained us with fascinating stories about her experiences as a teacher, caterer, and speaker.

Pat is the author of many books including Alzheimer's activities, cooking for picnics, bridal showers, catering, children's parties etc. For more information visit:

Thank you, Pat. We all had a great time! 

Latest Amazon Book Review

Smiley emoticon reading bookI have led a very sheltered life, so I was amazed at what I learned from this book. I am so impressed at what the author has done. I am counting my blessings more than ever. God has blessed me so much. The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is because the stories of the women in Part 2 are so disturbing and some people may have a really hard time getting through them. If you can handle it, though, they are seriously fascinating and heart wrenching. I truly admire the courage of the women and the writing style of the book. I agree that you can be laughing one minute and crying the next. The book totally kept my attention. I have a mentally ill son and that has given me a much greater understanding and compassion for those suffering from brain disorders. This book has given me a different outlook on those who are behind bars. They must be accountable for the choices they have made, but they are still loved by God and should be by us as well. We can hate the sin but love the sinner. God bless Linda for bringing these stories to light. And God bless all those who have lived the life of "Block 12." Cookie

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I have a dear friend named Eulie. We met two years ago through Letters 4 the Lord, a Christian pen pal Ministry serving inmates across the United States. She lives a long way from my home in Wisconsin and chances are we will never meet. Eulie's letters enrich my life. I've asked her to share some of her writing:


Today I am still haunted by my past. Every month has a valuable and significant meaning. Whether it is a birthday, an anniversary, an insignificant holiday, flowers blooming, or the scent of baby powder. Reflecting on family gatherings the present days changes absolutely nothing. What was then has tainted my present and possibly my future.

There is a speck. . . . a distant hint of light at the end of my tunnel. Could it be wishful thinking or is it because of my spectacles that bring clarity to view. I choose to believe the glare and shadow ahead leads to my new destination.

My past is a lesson learned. I am armed with incredible strength. This strength overwhelms me with power of the mind. Unidentifiable and shapeless buttons that are beyond anyone's reach, unless I actually point it out.

Consequences are like a mine. I am cautioned by every step taken by not willing to detonate. Since being boxed-in is not an attraction to my destiny.

Hope is my new-found alliance. Optimism fuels and energizes my mere existence in this temporary setting. Thank God for hope and new awaited beginnings.


Since everyone and everything has been taken away from me, I now have faith in God. That's bending it a little if you will. You see, I was raised to believe that certain images would bring fruits, blessings, and protection into my life. Rituals if you will, at the ceremonies, the dances, chants, sacrificing of certain animals and other traditional performances was supposed to please these gods. Little did I know that my soul was offered to Satan without my permission.

Who does such a thing? Did you know that Satan can perform miracles? So he is the father of lies and illusions. I wonder if my mother and grandmother knew of the consequences that were ahead. Generational curses.

It used to be so easy to believe in the nothingness and of the one that rules the world. Just light a yellow or white unscented candle. Make the request before the gods, as if it had the power to intercede for anyone. Write down the name of the subject in question seven times, then prepare a feast for the gods.Set it up in a vacant room because the gods are greedy and selfish with the food. Drums and a few other instruments to play and entice a dancer to spin and move about erotic or just let loose. And before you know it the dark spirit has invaded the dancer's soul. The sacrificing of the goats or chicken never made any sense because afterwards the animal's corpse just laid out in the opening so the flies can feast on it. No proper burial.

Today I have faith in God - Jesus Christ my Lord and personal Savior. All that I had to do is believe in Jesus and repent. No sacrifices, ritual, un-devoured feast, worshipping false gods, images or idols.

Now that's bending it and it feels exhilarating.

My sadness has reached its plateau.
Dare me to claim healing and victory as my own.
All of a sudden I'm smiling again and it's because of you. 
You shed an inexplicable cheer in the atmosphere.
My heart embraces the wave of energy that seeps from you.
The smile that was once strained, now comes effortlessly.
All of a sudden, I found my best friend.
Hope eludes me and it denied my countless appeals.
Yet, I am still optimistic and convinced of a second chance.
All of a sudden, hope has a new identity.
Nothing is permanent in life.
The elongated tunnel that was pitch black
Is now luminous and vibrant.
All of a sudden, darkness breeds sparks of light.
Your presence ignites precaution because
He that rules the world wants to deprive me of such. . .
The inevitable yearns for justice.
All of a sudden, liberty resounds in my thoughts.
And all of a sudden . . . . 

Copyright 2013, Eulie P., Published with permission of the author. 

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For more stories written by women in prison visit:

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Our instructor, Sierra.

Start with an 18 inch frame made from 1x3 in. pine.

Personalize the frame with paint & stencils.

Wrap the painted frame in packaging tape - 2 layers in opposite directions.

You're ready for a drum circle!

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Drum kits are available at:

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Easter Waukesha County Jail Inmates

1,000 Home Baked Cookies

41 Dozen EggsEaster eggs

1500 Pieces of Chocolate

                                   Lots of Helping Hands



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Some thoughts on Christmas at the jail - by Jane Babcock 

 This past Christmas Eve was one I will always remember, for in the time frame of five hours I was placed in two very unique settings where the meaning of Christ’s presence among us became very clear.
The first was our 4:00 p.m. service at St. John’s.   I sat with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren along with hundreds of other families, who had come together to celebrate with joy and excitement God’s gift of his Son, Jesus.  We sang traditional carols, heard once again the Christmas message, shared in communion, and enjoyed lovely music, all in a setting of a sanctuary magnificently transformed to reflect the beauty and meaning of the season.  I don’t remember a Christmas Eve when every element of the service was put together with such care.  I left reluctantly.  I wanted to stay forever.

My family disperses on Christmas Eve after church, and so after a quick dinner, I went over to the jail, where I had been given permission to meet one-on-one with some of the inmates on the ground floor.  Ground floor is the segregation area of the jail, housing inmates who are on suicide watch, who are in the first stages of detox, and who have been isolated because of behavior issues.  In contrast to my past visits when the noise level has risen to distracting levels, there was this night a hushed silence enveloping the entire floor.

Christmas Eve is an emotional time for nearly everyone.  For those, who are incarcerated, “Christmas present” is often so painful that it is dismissed and memories of happier times brought to mind – but not always.  Many of these men and women have lived in turmoil all their lives and have really never experienced a truly happy Christmas and many more know that they will never go home - that all Christmases to come will be experienced behind stone walls or razor wire.

 It is impossible to express what it meant to me to be allowed in – the only visitor that cold night.  You’d have to experience it.  The men I saw were more than grateful.  They couldn’t believe that someone who wasn’t required to be there was there simply to be with them.  We talked about the present – how they were doing, their fears, hopes, sometimes despair over the possible resolution of their cases. We talked about past memories, family, and hopes for the future.  And we talked about the wondrous gift given over two thousand years ago – to shepherds, wise men, to the world and what that means for their lives today.  We laughed, cried in one case, prayed together, and I passed out a wonderful Christmas devotional.  But the most important gift they received that night was the real presence of Christ given in the form of someone who simply “showed up”.  What they didn’t realize was that what they had given me that night was far greater than the little I was able to give them.

The contrast to the lush beauty of St. John’s was remarkable, but the words kept coming to me, “It’s simply two sides of the same coin.”  The coin, of course, represents God’s people – the living body of Christ.

As I have grown older, it has become increasingly clear to me that we are all on a journey – a sacred journey.  Our paths take us through many experiences and cross those of many kinds of people.  I believe that we are here to learn from everything we experience and to constantly ask the questions, “How will I respond to the gospel message?  Where am I called to serve?”

I no longer believe in “them” and “us”.  We are all one – the same coin, so to speak.  Our experiences may vary greatly, but our paths and destination are sacred.  It is my privilege to be able to serve.  What a wonderful surprise God had waiting for me – one far better than I would ever have imagined.  Where is your path taking you?

Friday, January 11, 2013

"The Women of Block 12" Gets 5 Star Review!

Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest - 
2012 literary review:

"Dramatic and revealing stories about female prisoners . . . inspirational . . .  the human dilemma explored with depth and sensitivity . . . touching and uplifting."