A note from Stan Zenk


August 10, 2001

Dear readers and friends of Betty,
Many 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.
Before answering 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.
Without going 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 love.
Jeffery's welfare 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.
I 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.

Stan Zenk


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