By Doug Cupery
Church Mobilization Director
I recently took a tour of Rikers Island, an overcrowded jail facility in New York City that holds an average population of nearly 10,000 prisoners. As I met with some of the men and women locked up in this facility, I faced the sobering reminder that many of them have absolutely nothing.
They have no money to pay for commissary or phone calls. They have no money to buy stamps to send a letter home. This financial burden makes participation in the Crossroads program impossible. For years, Crossroads Prison Ministries has been connecting prisoners with mentors on the outside, allowing them to develop a relationship as they study Crossroads Bible lessons together.
Unfortunately, over the years, we have heard from countless prisoners who have been forced to drop out of the program because they could no longer afford stamps. We have also heard from men and women who would like to join Crossroads but can’t because they simply can’t afford it. The stories are heartbreaking.
Because of this, we have been inviting donors throughout the past year to make prepaid postage a reality for Crossroads students. And we are happy to announce that, beginning this month, all lessons will include business reply envelopes. That’s right—Crossroads donors are covering postage for all students!
This is an answer to prayer and a revolutionary change for the ministry. It is also a significant financial investment. But it’s the best kind of investment, because we are investing in the people God has called us to serve. Since we are sharing the good news about God’s grace that He freely gives to all, we believe that we should offer the Crossroads program free of charge.
We anticipate that paying for postage will increase student enrollments significantly. That will present us with the exciting challenge of drawing more volunteer mentors to Crossroads.
As you rejoice with us, I ask that you think about the people in your life. Who may have the time in their schedule and the compassion in their heart to encourage people behind bars? Tell those people about Crossroads. Share with them why you love the ministry and invite them to become a Crossroads mentor.
We are so thankful to God for providing the resources necessary to reach even more people behind bars, and we are grateful to you, our faithful mentors and donors, for your commitment to our mission.
Your financial support of Crossroads will help continue to pay for student postage, allowing men and women in prison to stay in God’s Word with encouragement from mentors on the outside.