Walls Unit – 2-27, 28- 2020

     I hope this post finds everyone doing well in this new year. Possum Talks is preparing for our fortieth workshop this Friday and Saturday, 2-27 and 28, at Huntsville’s Walls Unit. Eight years ago we piloted the program at The Walls, so this is a milestone moment for us. Over that time we have gotten to know many of the men in white there, severally of them because they have faithfully served as stewards and small group leaders every time we’re given the privilege of being there.

     This workshop will be particularly memorable because we will have two of our original Possum Talks participants and their wives coming back after their release, to serve alongside the team. Isn’t that just fantastic (see attachments)! We’re thrilled to have them and can’t wait to hear what they have to share with the men. Both these men and their wives are people of God who are making a difference in their community in and around Houston. And their wives have a story of what life was like without them.

     After this many workshops, I’m frequently faced with the question: Will the message be fresh? Will it have the impact it did eight years ago when we were all – participants and team – pumped and eager to serve? This week, as I’ve prayed about our time together, several scriptures have come to mind that are a reminder of the importance of knowing and remembering why we do what we do and from whence comes our provision.

     One is 1 Corinthians 13: 1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” These words focus on the “why” of ministry as centered on Christ and trusting that God will provide the “how,” the “when” and the “what” as He wills.

     Another is a reminder I noticed specifically for the church in Ephesus described by John as a message from Christ himself in Revelation chapter 2:3 and 4, “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” This is a reminder that we “do” because we love Jesus but includes the caution that if we ever resort to a rote routine or worrisome overplanning and dependence on our own strength, that our words and deeds will lose their freshness — if I forget the love I had at first.

     Finally, the Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3 and 8: “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence … For if these qualities [including brotherly love, and love] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
     Wow! What more encouragement can I ask for? But … I do ask for your prayer that our team may continue to serve with the compassion of Jesus and by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Thank you so much for your prayerful support and interest in Possum Talks.

     Blessings to all!


2020 Possum Talks Workshop Schedule

Following is Possum Talks’ workshop schedule for 2020! It promises to be another busy year, for which we are most grateful:

  • January 11, 2020 – Buster Cole State Jail in Bonham, Texas
  • February 28 and 29, 2020 – The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas
  • April 18, 2020 – Choice Moore Transfer Unit, Bonham, Texas
  • June 20, 2020 – Buster Cole State Jail, Bonham, Texas
  • August 21 and 22, 2020 – The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas
  • October 3, 2020 – Choice Moore Transfer Unit, Bonham, Texas

Buster Cole State Jail 1-11-2020

     My goodness! Can you believe 2020 is already here? Just in time for our thirty-ninth Possum Talks workshop, this time at the Cole Unit in Bonham, Texas. Shari informs me that we are scheduled through August of this year, so we look forward to another great year of service opportunity as we bring the life-changing message about the Faithful Father to Texas prisons. Since many of our participants never had a dad who was consistently present in their growing-up lives or was missing altogether, the workshop focuses on the example of the one true father, his undying and incomprehensible love, and how to love our children in the same way he loved the Prodigal Son.
     The roster for Saturday, 1-11,  includes 70 participants, church workers and our team of volunteers. Speaking of volunteers, we are so grateful for the sacrificial giving of our team. Most of them have been with us for every workshop throughout Possum Talks’ eight-year history — and on their own dime. Can you believe? This shows their servant’s heart and demonstrates the loving compassion of Jesus every time we meet for a full day or day and a half’s workshop.
     You know, I am convinced that the message of the Faithful Father of Luke 15 is desperately needed among our men and for men in all prison populations, especially when I see how many young people these days have turned to sex, drugs and violence as a way of life. To hear of the men’s pain when communicating with their children who are making the same life choices and being unable to impact their lives meaningfully is a constant source of frustration and reminder to them of their own destructive past. And sadly, they can do little about it from behind bars. But then God shows up with us! We believe their only hope is to know the Father’s love for them, then show them how to reach out to their children.
     God has been so good to us for all these years, and He continues to confirm our work through his word (Matthew 25, et al.). But He also listens to your prayers for us, and we consider them absolutely vital so that we may continue in a scripturally relevant and meaningful way. So we do encourage your prayers for all of us \for (1) effective ministry, (2) travel mercies, and (3) most importantly that God would be glorified.
     Thanks again that we can bring our prayer need to you and that we may be assured you do take us before him. Blessings to all in this new year, 2020!

For him …

2019 Possum Talks Workshop Schedule

Following is Possum Talks’ workshop schedule for 2019! It promises to be another busy year, for which we are most grateful:

January 12, 2019 – Buster Cole State Jail in Bonham, Texas
February 22 and 23, 2019 – The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas
April 20, 2019 – Choice Moore Transfer Unit, Bonham, Texas
June 8, 2019 – Buster Cole State Jail, Bonham, Texas
July 20, 2019 – Estes Unit, Venus, Texas
August 16 and 17, 2019 – The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas
October 5, 2019 – Choice Moore Transfer Unit in Bonham, Texas

Possum Talks Team To Descend On the Terrell Unit!

Our Possum Talks team will be traveling to the Terrell Unit in Rosharon on Friday, October 31st for our second workshop. We were so warmly welcomed on our first visit  by Chap Tom and “1st Lady” Wendy – not to mention all of our brothers in white –  that we are  looking forward with great anticipation to seeing all of our old possum friends and making new ones. Please keep our PT team and all attendees in your prayers.

On April 17, 2014 Possum Talks received Governor’s Award

On April 17, 2014 Possum Talks was presented the Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award for Most Innovative Program at a ceremony in Austin, Texas.  It’s a great honor for the program, especially after only one year of programs.

  • May 11, 2014.  Shari and I just learned of the passing of one of our beloved speakers at Possum Talks. Coach Foster Allen — football coach at Williams High School in Plano, wounded Iraqi War veteran, dynamic speaker and teacher, friend, loved and respected by so many in the Possum Talks program, and most importantly, bold believer and God’s servant and mouthpiece — passed away in his sleep in the late hours of Saturday morning, May 10,  from complications of diabetes. Foster was only 49 years old.  He is survived by his wife Angela and seven-year-old daughter Amayah.  Foster gave his all to sharing his life with the men of Huntsville’s Walls Unit. He truly loved them, cared for them, poured out his heart to them, and prayed for them. The men also supported him and prayed for him during his lengthy hospitalization. And as part of the Possum Talks team, we’ll miss him more than any of us can say.  But we trust that Foster is with our God and resting with him in that glorified body.  Thanks in advance for your prayers and your interest in what God is doing at the Walls.  God will provide.  God will protect.  God will heal the broken-hearted. (Psalm 34:18, Psalm 68:5, Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 52:7, James 1:27.)  Foster Allen’s picture appears on the Home page of this website.
  • The Huntsville, Texas Walls Unit site for Possum Talks IV on May 22 and 23, 2014 as well as reunion for all previous Possum Talks graduates.
  • June 2014. Possum Talks welcomes Wanda Washington and Chris and Stephanie Lofton as our newest team members. Wanda is the wife of Keith Washington, our artist and peer coordinator at The Walls Unit. And Chris and Stephanie bring an incredible perspective to our team from having spent many years behind bars. We’re so thankful to witness God’s faithfulness in providing the perfect folks to help dads learn how to become faithful fathers behind bars.


  • The Rosharon, Texas Terrell Unit site for Possum Talks on June 21, 2014.  We’re excited about meeting and working with the possum dads there.
  • What a weekend Possum Talks had at the Terrell Unit in Rosharon, Texas in June. We were welcomed so warmly by Chap Tom and his wife Wendy, whom the inmates lovingly call 1st Lady. From the moment we first met our group of “possums” on Friday evening until we dragged ourselves away late Saturday afternoon, we experienced such an outpouring of love and friendship that it was hard to leave. Many tears, laughs, stories and struggles were shared during the weekend. And the entire Possum Talks team returned to our homes feeling blessed beyond measure that we accepted the Lord’s invitation to be a part of His work inside prison walls. Some of us will be returning Labor Day weekend to assist Chris and Stephanie Lofton in a special Father’s Day celebration, when children and fathers will be reunited for a day. And then Possum Talks will return October 31 and November 1 for our second PT workshop. Stay tuned …
  • Possum Talks will return to The Walls Unit for Possum Talks V on September 12 and 13.