Dear Friends,

Most of Esteban’s life has been an ongoing battle against drugs and alcohol.

By the time he was a teenager, he was an alcoholic and a cocaine addict. At age twenty-five, he landed in a drug rehab program. By his fortieth birthday, he had returned to rehab nine times.

“I was never able to quit drugs until I came to prison,” Esteban said.

But without drugs, his life felt empty.

“I have tried to commit suicide twice. I’d pretty much given up on life in prison,” Esteban said.

In 2010, Esteban joined the Crossroads Prison Ministries mentorship program. Through Crossroads Bible studies and encouraging letters from mentors, Esteban has found a renewed purpose in life.

“In the last few years, I’ve gotten closer to God. My Crossroads studies are the reason I am alive today,” he said. Esteban also acknowledged that his mentor, Diane, has played a big role in his spiritual transformation. “The letters of encouragement my mentor sends me are always a blessing,” Esteban said. “I couldn’t wait to hear from Diane and receive her input.”

Every day, all around the world, Crossroads mentors like Diane are stepping into the lives of men and women in seemingly hopeless situations and offering hope. They are writing words of love and encouragement that people in prison can cling to. As a result, these men and women in prison understand that they are loved and accepted by a gracious God who created them in His image.

During this season of Advent, we remember how God’s Son left His seat in Heaven to descend to earth and take on human flesh. He came not as a celebrity or ruler; He came as a loving, humble servant. He laid hands on lepers, healed the sick and ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. He spent time with the people society had forgotten—loving them, healing them and making them whole. In short, Jesus intentionally stepped into their mess. As we remember when God became present to us in human flesh, let’s also remember the call for us, Jesus’ Church, to be present to the hurting, the vulnerable, the overlooked—to purposefully step into the mess. Many of you have faithfully responded to this call, selflessly serving those behind prison walls who are so often forgotten and dismissed.

Throughout the past year, your generous financial support has made it possible to provide prepaid postage for Crossroads students’ Bible study lessons and to add an easy-to-read introductory Bible study series. As a result, the number of students in the Crossroads program this year has nearly doubled. More importantly, about half of the students who complete the introductory Gospel course request more information about how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

With this incredible surge in student growth, we urgently need more mentors who will step into the brokenness of prisoners’ lives, bringing the hope of the Gospel to those who are desperate to receive it.

As I write this, there are more than 5,000 Bible study lessons in the Crossroads office that have been completed by students and are waiting to be sent to mentors. Each lesson represents a person trapped in darkness and pain, searching for hope and purpose, seeking to know God in a deeper way.

As Crossroads anticipates this continually increasing opportunity for Kingdom expansion, we need your help. This exciting growth and powerful impact come with significant costs. Your year-end gift is vital to sustaining our growing team of mentors as they come alongside the many students in our program. Your generosity will help us continue to provide postage as lessons travel between students and mentors. Your support empowers us to equip mentors so they can continue to share the love of Jesus with Crossroads students.

During this Christmas season, as we remember Jesus becoming physically present to us and entering into our mess, think about whether He may be inviting you to join us in being present to prisoners amid their messiness, brokenness and pain. Will you consider making a generous year-end donation that will allow Crossroads mentors like Diane to bring Jesus to prisoners like Esteban?

Your support means that more men and women in prison will find new life in Christ. It means that more mentors will grow in their faith as they answer Jesus’ call to love and care for people in prison. What a beautiful Christmas gift.

With deep gratitude,

 

Lisa Blystra
President & CEO

P.S. Will you consider making a generous donation to Crossroads that will empower more mentors to bring hope to our rapidly growing number of students?

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