I have been blessed to learn that much of the prison population has no-one on the outside, from the free world, to write them letters of support and encouragement. I now have 12 penpals that I write to each month and it is getting hard to keep up with who told me what about their situations, families and resources. Some of them have zero resources and go to bed still hungry every night because the food served just isn't enough to hold a grown man over every night. Most of them are lonely beyond words and just need a little mail once in a while to support and encourage them.
I am inviting others to become pen pals and write a few inmates every month. Of course they will ask for financial help but usually accept the words "I can't" with no problem. Go with what your heart and finances dictate to you in this instance and of course pray about it. My response has been a gentle but firm no in the past because I cannot afford to share my meager funds but I feel God placed it on my heart to write to other ministry leaders. Remember the bible charges us to remember the prisoners. I also need someone to help me to organize and implement the service to more inmates through my own ministry or that of CPP MInistry's who is also in dire need of penpals to write to inmates.
Every letter I've received includes the statement " Your letter put a smile on my face." It is such a pleasant surprise for them to hear their name called at mail call because some of them have no one at all writing and encouraging them. No one on the outside to care if they are saved, know God's word or have hope in tomorrow. Some are serving long or life sentences of thirty or more years and some are serving shorter sentences. I never ask what they were put in prison for, although some of them do explain eventually. If God has used this post to place writing to some inmates on your heart, be sure to respond for details about who to contact for the names of prisoners in need of penpals.
One of my main focuses and concerns is are the saved? Do they have the Lord's salvation, do they have hope in tomorrow?Do they have at least one person writing with spiritual support and encouragement? Please contact me if after praying about becoming a penpal the Lord places it on your heart to do so.
Eventually, I'd like to be able to provide each inmate with $10 to $15 once in awhile, but someone told me that is actually harder on them. It seems that if they receive funds from the outside, even $10 once in awhile, they aren't eligible for indigant supplies for the next 90 days. It can be hard to do without for ninety days. Also many of the prisons take half of anything you send the inmate. Some of these inmates are talented artist and poets or writers, some specialize in the bible and others in the legal field. Many would attend college or high school if they had the means. Many don't have any self esteem at all. Most only realized their talents after years of incarceration but all of the inmates I write to have found GOD through this journey.
Please search your heart. I prefer no funds come to me but go directly to the inmates if funds are sent just as you letters will go directly to the inmates.
May God Bless You All,
Your Sister in Christ,