Shirley is an 86-year-old grandmother. Her 49 grandchildren and great grandchildren affectionately call her “Saint Shirley,” and not just because she is generous in sharing her homemade cookies and banana bread.

Shirley has been a mentor for Crossroads Prison Ministries for years, faithfully reviewing Bible lessons and writing encouraging letters to men and women in prison.

Her grandson, Ben, wanted to find out why she has been writing to prisoners for all these years. He captures her response in this short video.

“I know I can’t relate to them in everything,” Shirley said in the video. “I know my home has been totally different than most of them. I have a large family and I’m very involved with them. Some of them don’t even know what an ordinary family life is. And I try to tell them that. I want to help them enjoy life.”

But most importantly for Shirley is sharing love and hope.

“It’s important to me, because I want them to understand truly what the love of God is. Christ loves them all,” she said.

It’s people like Shirley who are the lifeblood of the ministry of Crossroads. Mentors’ words of guidance and encouragement have the power to help men and women on their spiritual journeys. If you too would like to impact the lives of people in prison, please consider becoming a mentor.

Grandma – Letters to Prisoners from Ben Lemmen on Vimeo.