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Dear Friends,

Francisco is a former Crossroads student I met recently. He spent several years in prison and is now released. As we talked, he vividly described to me the anticipation he felt every day during mail call when prison guards delivered the mail to prisoners.

On days Francisco didn’t receive a letter, his heart would sink as he walked back to his bunk. But if he did receive mail, it would lift his spirits and bring a smile to his face.

While he served his sentence, Francisco rarely received visitors or mail—except for letters from his Crossroads mentors.

“Nobody from my church came to see me. Not one. How many letters did I receive from my church? None,” Francisco said. “But the letters from my mentors gave me fresh air for the whole week.”

The regular encouragement from Crossroads mentors kept his faith alive and fed his growth in Christ. Francisco shared that the exchange of letters and lessons with his mentor gave him the courage to keep going. Now he is a Crossroads mentor and finds himself playing this role for others who are in the same situation he was in.

Thanks to your support, mentors all over the world have heard the cries of people like Francisco. They have learned these prisoners’ names. And they are prayerfully putting pen to paper, reminding these men and women trapped in darkness that they are not alone.

Since January, when we began offering students prepaid envelopes for returning their lessons, we have seen a significant increase in the number of lessons returned to our office. This growth is incredibly exciting! Each of these lessons and letters represents a person in prison who is finding hope, encouragement and love in the words of their mentors.

But, because of this increase in students, we desperately need more mentors to come alongside them. We are inviting you to help us grow our team of mentors. Your financial gifts will enable us to spread the word to the Church about the great need for mentors who will bring the love of Jesus to some of the darkest places in our world.

Your support will also allow us to continue strengthening our resources that equip and empower current mentors to write life-giving letters to students. Thanks to donors like you, we have introduced Just for Mentors, a monthly publication packed with tips, encouragement and ideas about how to mentor students well. The enthusiastic feedback from mentors has been overwhelming.
Jennifer, who has been a Crossroads mentor for fifteen years, recently wrote, “The newsletters for mentors give such great insight, encouragement and tips. I want to thank you for investing in me as a mentor. You have reignited my passion for this ministry. Please keep the help coming as long as you can. It is such a blessing.”

Will you join us as we find, equip and empower people like Jennifer to minister to men and women behind bars? Your support is needed now more than ever. Passionate, caring mentors are needed to come alongside the growing number of Crossroads students.

We are rapidly approaching the close of our fiscal year at the end of June, and we need your help to finish the year financially strong. Will you give a generous gift that will launch us into a new ministry year? Your support will help us get the word out to churches and build our team of mentors. Your gift will help inspire and further equip our current mentors. More students like Francisco will find hope and transformation in Christ.

Francisco’s story of life change is just one of many that are unfolding in our midst here at Crossroads. As we continue to awaken the Church to its call to remember those in prison, we will surely hear many more stories like this. Thank you for your partnership in this important Kingdom-expanding work.

 

With a heart full of gratitude,

 

 

 

Lisa Blystra
President & CEO
Crossroads Prison Ministries

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