Writing2John remembers what it was like to feel all alone behind prison bars. But he also remembers the warmth and hope he felt each time he read an encouraging letter.

John was a Crossroad Bible Institute student for two years while he was incarcerated. “Crossroad helped me to make it through some tough times,” he said, recalling the truths he gained from the lessons and encouragement he received from letters from Instructors.

Now more than a decade later, John is the one sending messages of hope. He said he became an Instructor, because he knows that CBI lessons and personal letters can change lives.

A letter to one of his students closes: “Today I sit in my own apartment here in Detroit, Michigan. I went to school and got a GED, went to college and received an associate’s degree and now am welding in Detroit. I tell you this so you know you’re not alone.”

Like John, CBI Instructor Samuel says a desire to give back motivated him to join Crossroad after being released from prison.

“I know how an inmate feels, and I know my letters to them will make a positive change in their lives,” he said.

CBI Instructor J.R., who also was a CBI student at one time, said he likes to offer practical advice: “Get involved in as many Christian activities as possible while you are in prison” and “find an accountability partner,” he tells them. Upon release, “attend a Bible-believing church,” he counsels.

J.R. said he desires to give back, because his life was shaped by his Tier 2 Instructor. “She seemed to really care about me and especially about my grandson who had a brain tumor,” he said.

Instructors come from all backgrounds and experiences. If you are interested in encouraging and bringing hope to people in need, consider volunteering as a CBI Instructor.