When you write a letter to a man or woman in prison, it is more than just words written on a piece of paper. Those words have the power to breathe life and hope into their hearts. Crossroads Prison Ministries has a team of more than 5,000 volunteers across the world who write letters of encouragement to men and women in prison.

Our students tell us that the letters are the most impactful part of Crossroads’ ministry. Here are five ways that your letters to men and women in prison make a real difference in their lives:

1. Lifting loneliness: Many men and women in prison frequently struggle with feeling alone, especially those in solitary confinement or those who don’t have regular visitors. We often hear from students who say your letters lift their spirits when they are feeling lonely. Many students hold on to their letters for years and return to them as a source of hope and comfort.

2. Giving guidance: Many Crossroads students have very limited understanding of the Bible and have a lot of tough questions. Your letters help guide students to finding answers.

3. Extending encouragement: Simple words of affirmation and encouragement go a long way in a place that is full of discouragement. One student recently wrote us and said the letters she receives give her “hope in a hopeless place.”

4. Powerful prayers: Students love to know that someone on the outside is thinking about and praying for them. Many Crossroads volunteers will write out prayers for their students in their letters, and those prayers are powerful.

“Incarceration is tough. Loving people, willing to pray and speak life into us is so important,” a student recently told us.

5. Sharing your story: Sharing your testimonies and stories is a powerful way to connect with men and women in prison. We have heard from many people who love to hear testimonies, because it gives them hope that God too will be faithful to them.

Interested in writing to men and women in prison? Find out how you can get involved.