Every day, people across the country are writing letters to people they’ve never met in prison. They share with them their lives, their stories and words of encouragement. The letters they send are often received by men and women who have no other contact with the outside world.
Crossroads mentors are making a difference. Here is a letter from a Crossroads student imprisoned in Georgia who discusses the impact Crossroads mentors have made in his life:
“You don’t know how much all of the mentors have helped me with their words of encouragement and their feelings on some of the questions. When I don’t answer the question right, they would explain to me the right answer and why, giving me more understanding. Each one has been down to earth, helpful and caring and has shown the love of Christ in their hearts. Even when I answered a lot of questions using my past experiences, they listened to me with the love of Christ and prayed with me on certain matters. Y’all just don’t realize how that made me feel!!
A lot of people would not try to get to know the students, seeing them just as a ‘student.’ But Crossroads makes you feel like you are a someone and a child of God and a brother and sister in Christ.”
Bobby picks up on a few things that Crossroads wants to instill in all its mentors:
- Mentors strive to be down to earth (not over-spiritualizing everything). They should be helpful, caring and exhibit the love of Christ in their letters and comments.
- Mentors have the “ears of Christ” listening to students’ experiences and stories with compassion and empathy. And then praying fervently on their behalf. Handwritten prayers are powerful!
- Mentors make prisoners feel like they are someone. So often prisoners are defined by their crime or by their inmate ID number. Mentors are in a unique position to help students see their value.
If you are a Crossroads mentor, check out the Just For Mentors newsletter and videos for tips on how to be the best mentor you can be. If you are not a mentor and would like to join the team, click here.