For prisoners, it’s the loneliest time of the year

By December 19, 2022

USA (MNN) — Christmas can be the sweetest time of the year to spend with family and loved ones. But it can also be loneliest time of the year for incarcerated men and women.

“The holidays are an incredibly difficult time for men and women behind bars,” says Anne Hamming, communications director of Crossroads Prison Ministries. “They know all the festivities that are going on outside of prison walls and they are not able to participate in them with their families.

“Many people behind bars are parents or grandparents. Many of them have children growing up without them home. So especially for those men and women, the holidays can be incredibly painful to get through.”

Art by Sean Rikers, the cover art of Crossroads’ 2022 Christmas card. (Photo courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries)

However, God has not forgotten those in prison. Crossroads makes sure prisoners know that by mailing Christmas cards to their incarcerated Bible study students.

This year, Crossroads mailed over 18,000 Christmas cards to men and women behind bars.

The Christmas cards feature beautiful artwork by other prisoners, and serve as a profound source of encouragement.

Hamming says, “To put it in context, many of them get zero mail. They get no visitors. So on top of the ones who feel the pain of being away from their families, others feel the pain of utter isolation and feeling forgotten. Many, many students tell us that our lessons and our Christmas cards are the only mail that they get.”

Crossroads can always use more believers who are willing to volunteer as mentors in the Bible study program. It’s like being a Bible study pen pal with a prisoner.

What better time than Christmas to begin a new mentoring relationship with someone behind bars who needs the encouragement of a Savior?

(Image courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries)

Hamming says, “Many of our volunteers can do it at their convenience. Several of them volunteer while they’re having their morning coffee before they get their day started. It’s really easy to volunteer with Crossroads. It’s a small time commitment. It just takes an hour to reflect and if you have some encouragement in your heart that you can put down on paper, it means the world to someone living behind bars.”

Learn more about becoming a Crossroads mentor!








Header image courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries.

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