Cory Stewart - Testimony in a Letter

Good afternoon. How are you today? Im doing pretty good. Thank you so much for your wonderful letter, your testimonies, and the "map" where conventions are held J. It was wonderful to hear from you again! :-)  I will share my testimony in this letter.

First, I'll tell you how my day goes from start to finish. It's the same everyday! I get out of bed at 4:30 a.m. every morning. (It's the quietest time of the day!) I pray, meditate, have a study, and sing a hymn or two. I then go to breakfast at 6, come back, and write a letter. If I have time, I'll sing hymns, before I go to work, at 7:50. I return from work at 11 AM and go eat lunch at 11:10. Afterwards, I read a study, pray, and then write a letter. If I have time, I'll sing some hymns, before I go back to work at 1 PM. I'm finished with work at 3pm. I'll take my shower, then come back to my cell. I'll do laundry (every other day) and sing hymns until 3:50 or so. Supper (tea for you, J) is at 4:10 PM. Afterwards, I'll read my study, pray, and then we have standing count at 5pm. Mail is brought around afterwards. After I'm done reading my mail, I write letters, sometimes I'll also look at my pictures of friends and family or any other things that fill my time. I get a magazine that has pictures from the Country that I like looking at, J. Sometimes I just like to just sit here and think! I try to go to bed about 8:30 PM (It's later if I get a visit at night. Visits are over at 9PM ­ it takes me about an hour to wind down. :-) ) I have my last study and prayer of the day before bed. So there you have it! :-)

I’m allowed 4 visits a week. The Sisters usually come Tuesday afternoon from 1-4 PM. Bruce, Geralyn, Ryan, and Holly Baseman usually come Monday evening from 6:30 - ­ 9PM. Geralyn tries to come a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, too, and if my Mom is here, she'll stay for 3-4 visit periods in a row like ­Monday afternoon, evening, and Tuesday afternoon.

Now for my testimony. I'll first begin to tell you that my parents Jerry and Jane Anderson, Sisters Dawn and Amy and Brother ??, are my adoptive family. I was adopted after I was in prison. Although the legality of my adoption is not yet complete, we are hoping for it to be soon! I'm sure you'll agree with me that the law or a piece of paper doesn't tell me who my family is, but my heart! I grew up with my Bro and Sisters B?? was 4 years ahead of me in school. Dawn and I were in the same class and graduated together in 95, and Amy was 2 years behind me. So I've known them all my life! My Mom has loved me ever since I was about 3 years old because of all the abuse that she was hearing(?).  I'm sure you'll understand that I do not share my childhood. It's too much pain and sorrow and I do not with to recollect it! Even though I can't forget my first 19 years, I wish I could! I do thank God for those years, because it has brought me to where I am today and maybe I can help someone who has gone through the same or similar experiences!

I committed my Crime and was arrested August 1st, 1996. I was suicidal all my teenage years and I wanted to die that day. I couldn't kill myself, because I felt, I KNEW, I'd go to hell! So, I tried to get law enforcement officers to kill me, thinking I'd have a chance in going to Heaven, maybe "squeak through!" I was convicted of 2 counts of attempted Homicide, Armed Robbery, 2 Counts of reckless endangerment and fleeing an officer, on April of 1997. No one was hurt. I was sentenced to 86 years, with 2 years running concurrent (so really 88 yrs) on June 16th 1997. I was sent to prison on the 23rd.

Now, I need to back up. After my arrest, and after 3 days in Solitary Confinement, I threw up my hands and cried out to God, "If You're really there, PLEASE help me turn my life around. I cannot continue to live like this!!!" He heard my prayer! I often think of Psalms 40:1-3. Dawn wrote me a letter in October, 2 months after my arrest. She told me in her letter, "The Cory Stewart who did that crime, is not the Cory Stewart that I know." To this day, I do not know what she sees in me, that no one else seen! NO ONE would've said that! People of my town and surrounding towns, weren't surprised that I did what I did! My only conclusion is Dawn was looking beyond my flesh and seeing and loving my soul! That was the first time in my life I ever felt loved! Just from those few simple words! I cried and cried and cried!!!

So, Dawn and I continued to correspond. She came to visit me for the first time in November 97 and again, 2 weeks later in December. My Mom first came, July of 98. She would read my letters that I was writing to Dawn. When Dawn left and moved to Carolina, I began to correspond with my Mom. Anyways, she would see things in my letter, that showed her there was something "there." (I had begun to read the Bible in the County Jail).

At Convention in September, she asked Gwen (??) if she and Anita Byles would come visit me. December of 1998, I had my first visit with Gwen J. (Anita wasn't able to get on my list for a few more weeks.) When I sat across from both of them, I could feel the love they had for God, His people, way, the work, and for lost souls radiate from them!!! I've looked for that kind of love all my life, but in all the wrong places! I wanted that, I NEEDED what they had!! 3 months later I professed, March of 1999. :-)

I have continued to grow and mature spiritually ever since. God has begun a beautiful work in my life and I want to keep soft and submitted into His loving hands, that He can finish what He has begun! I love God, His way, and His people SO much! It is a beautiful family and a beautiful way of life. I will do whatever I need to keep it and to obtain the Eternal promises God has made, for those who endure until the end!!  I guess I can share the rest of it with you, seeing most everybody already knows.

God spoke to me about the Harvest Field, August of 99, and asked me to give my life to helping save souls. I know virtually nothing about the work, but I could not say, "NO" to God, after all He's done for me! So I vowed my life to the work! The next 2 years I asked God about 6 different times if He really wanted me for the work. After all, I was in prison with an 86 year sentence! Each time I was reassured with a, "Yes!"

June of 2001, I made my offer known to Charles Thain and George Peterson, the Wisconsin Overseer and Oklahoma Overseer (I was in Oklahoma at that time.) Yes, I have 86 years, but really, I only have ONE day! This life is just ONE day at a time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet been made.  The things that are impossible with Man, are not impossible with God!  Peter was delivered from prison twice! God is a Miracle worker and miracles still happen today!

I Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it." When God makes promises, they are forever! God does NOT fall short of His promises! So, I'm living one day at a time, loving the place God has given me here in prison, being the little light and example I CAN be! There are redeemable Souls in here too! Gods timing is perfect and when it's time, Ill get out of prison.

Did I tell you in my last letter that my good friend and old cellmate, Ron Cherek (?) professed, recently?! :-) :-) I was soooooo happy to read of it in his letter!! I knew he would make it!! Well, Thanksgiving Day is November 27th for us in the United States. :-) It's my favorite Holiday. I love all the good food especially, Pumpkin Pie! (Here Cory has drawn a smiley face with its tongue hanging out!)

Monday evening Bruce, Geralyn, Ryan, and Holly Baseman, came to visit. :-) I love being with them! Tuesday afternoon Margaret Skillbred (?), and Cheryl Lilley came to visit, J. We had a wonderful visit and study in Isaiah 10 and 11! Thursday afternoon, Geralyn B surprised me. :-) I really appreciate her changing around her schedule to come visit me!

I read Revelations 22 after lunch. I don't understand a lot of this book but every time I read it, the more beautiful the picture of Heaven I get! People are afraid to read this book because of the plagues, etc., but God's people don't have to fear those plagues, or Hell, because we are focused on and living for the promises of an Eternal life! That brings peace and Happiness to our hearts! We will not face a wrathful God but a gentle and merciful God!

We read, "Behold, I come quickly.” At best, our lives will continue 100 years. At its worst, it could end today! We have been forewarned and given the opportunity to be prepared. It's ONE day at a time. We want to be ready TODAY! If tomorrow comes, we can count it a blessing. It'll be one more day, we can become more Christ-like, lay up more treasure in Heaven, and be a light and example to this perishing world, in hopes to win, at least one more soul to Christ! All for Now.

I hope this finds you well, encouraged in the Lord and always Smiling! :-) Take care. Please tell Dalton "HELLO" for me. :-) You 3 are in my daily prayers.


With love in Christ,