James is a former prisoner in Florida. While he was behind bars, he developed a close friendship with an elderly woman through exchanging handwritten letters.

James didn’t know Katherine when he was first connected with her through Crossroad Bible Institute’s Bible study program, but that soon changed.

Over the course of three years of correcting James’ Bible lessons and exchanging letters with him, Katherine’s unlikely friendship with James grew. Here is James’ last, heartwarming letter to Katherine after they finished the Bible study program together:

Dear Katherine,

Anything I say here would be incomplete without saying I truly regret this must be my last letter to you. I do not have the words to adequately express my gratitude to you. You have given me far more than you know.

As I look back, I am even more aware of this. You have taught me well. And more, you have brought the very presence of Christ to my life. I know He has touched your soul in a special way, in a way such that you are able to touch others. In a way that you are able to deliver Christ’s presence to someone through something as simple as a letter. I know this to be true, because I have experienced it each time you write.

And as I write to you, I see and hear and feel God within me in ways I do not experience otherwise. You have blessed my life. I could only hope to try to be such a mentor to someone as you have been to me.

Thank you for the insight about giving my worries to the Lord, even though worries will come again, and the daily commitment I must have to continue to give again those worries to Him. I see how this can keep me “in touch” with Him daily. I have begun to see how hardships can be blessings, because they bring us closer to Him.

I appreciate your hope for me and confidence in me. I know God will provide for my needs. I know that less is more. I know if I finish last, I finish first. I know that true peace can only come through Jesus Christ, and not through any contrivance or contraption of man. I feel very free lately. I will survive. In fact, I believe I will succeed. I look forward to my life ahead, not that it won’t be difficult at times. You told me I’m an overcomer. I know that what you know is true. And so, I will overcome.

Katherine, whatever good I become, whatever good I will do, is at least in part because of you. You are the perfect mentor and role model. God has blessed my life through your teachings and gifts of the Spirit. We have forged a bond of brother and sister in Christ that will not be broken.

Your friend forever,


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