USA (Crossroad Bible Institute/MNN) — On Christmas Day, prison is the loneliest place on earth. The 2.2 million men and women who are incarcerated in the U.S. are without hope and encouragement.
But Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI) hopes this year you help give the hope inmates need. Your encouragement will literally transforms lives.
Executive Director Lisa Blystra shares Clinton’s story, a prisoner whose life changed after reading a CBI student’s hope-filled lesson.
In 2013, Clinton wrote to CBI and told the ministry he felt defeated and hopeless:
I write to you because I don’t know where to turn from here. I have destroyed my life and others with my addiction. I so truly want to rid myself of the darkness that haunts me daily. I have tried to find someone to help me. I know I have done wrong. Is there any solution? Is there any help for me at all?
CBI immediately started writing to Clinton on a regular basis, giving him words of encouragement and telling him there is a solution. He received a gift package, including a Bible and lessons which introduced him to his solution: Jesus.
As time passed, a flicker of hope started growing in Clinton. Letters back and forth continued, and he sought to understand the meaning of what he was reading. In the responses, Clinton was reminded that no one is beyond the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus.
After so many words of love and care, Clinton eventually came to Jesus with a renewed sense of purpose and hope. His knowledge and understanding of Christ’s love continued to deepen And, his passion to live his life for Christ was stirred. In this, he sought out a community of faith in the prison where he could grow spiritually and encourage others to do the same.
Recently, Clinton wrote again to thank CBI for the gifts he had received from them:
An ordinary table. It sits in a room of 76 inmates. At one time this table represented the casino where grown men would gather around and gamble all of their money away, arguing about cards or dice. But one day it became to be known as Church 200.
This is where a group of total strangers come together as one to study God’s Living Word. They soon become a family. They are of different ages, color, background, and crime. But they do not judge each other. They come together as one and serve the one and true living God. They share their thoughts, grief, inspiration, prayer requests and God’s Holy Word. To some, it is an answered prayer and a miracle in the middle of this chaotic world.
This year will you give hope and encouragement to incarcerated people on what is the loneliest day of the year for them? It could change lives and start a new journey filled with promises. Give them a chance for spiritual transformation by partnering financially with CBI.