August 10, 2001
Dear readers and friends of Betty,
times in life, a person faces the challenge of either standing up and
acting according to what one believes, or of withdrawing and remaining
silent or unwilling to act. Betty faced such a challenge last year when
a man on death row in Texas wrote to ask her to be his spiritual advisor.
This meant she would need to visit him regularly in prison as his officially
recognized "minister". It meant she would help him prepare emotionally
and spiritually for his death and then to be with him on his appointed
day to lend support and to witness his execution. In Betty's tender feelings
and great love for people, she knew how difficult it would be for her
to experience watching a person be put to death. She also felt the awful
weight of responsibility in guiding this man in a manner most beneficial
to his eternal spirit and in a way that would please Father in Heaven.
the letter, Betty prayed sincerely over the matter. She came away with
the conviction that there was a heavenly purpose at work here, that God's
hand was somehow in this request, and that she should accept. She wrote
back, agreeing to act as the man's spiritual advisor.
into a lot of detail, Betty has now wanted her dear readers and friends
to know about this. For many months now, she has been corresponding with
this man and visiting him in prison, acting in capacity as his spiritual
advisor or official minister. The man's name is Jeffery Doughtie, and
he is on death row in Livingston, Texas, for two murders he committed
in 1993. If you've seen the movie, "Dead Man Walking," you have
an example in the Susan Sarandon character of the kind of role Betty has
taken on in Jeffery's behalf. In some respects, this has been as difficult
and as challenging as the movie portrays. I have accompanied Betty to
the Texas prison each time, and I know the difficulty and the level of
her sacrifice. I have stood in the guard house and watched her take that
long walk across the yards and into the compound alone and know of the
courage and conviction behind her every step. I know that when Betty reminds
us of Jesus's message: "Above all else, we are to love one another,"
she means it! Her highest goal has been to take God's love into that hellish
place and deliver it against many odds to a man so much in need of that
has been the focus of Betty's efforts. It has been for his protection
that she has not come forward publicly before. The
day is soon, however, for our last trip to Livingston, and Betty feels
she can now appropriately share. Jeffery Doughtie will be put to death
on Thursday, August 16, at 6pm. If you desire to, please pray in support
of her on that day as she stands with him in his greatest trial. But more
importantly, please pray for Jeffery, that, to the end, he will be firm
in his convictions of God the Father and of Jesus Christ. Pray that he
will go to his death in dignity, and that the power of love in his heart
will be strong to carry his spirit back to heaven and the presence of
God. Pray for Jeffery's two children who walk such a difficult path. Pray
for the family of the victims, that they will be without bitterness or
hate. Also, we might pray
for those who will administer the lethal injections under government authority.
Help us, Lord, to use proper judgment in this and in every moral issue
where sacred life and death are involved.
pass on to you many thanks from Betty for your support and love. And I
thank you personally for being who you are: people who are dedicated to
heaven's cause. May we all step up to the challenge of being loving individuals
in every moment and in every circumstance. May we do our part to courageously
bear God's Love into every darkened corner of our world.