Michigan church volunteers writing letters to lonely prisoners

By February 25, 2021

USA (MNN) — South Church in Lansing, Michigan has truly embraced the biblical command to remember those in prison. With the help of Crossroads Prison Ministries, they’re encouraging incarcerated men and women through mail-in Bible studies and letters.

Doug Cupery, Director of Church Mobilization with Crossroads, says, “South Church is a significant volunteer group that reaches about 40 prisoners every month with biblical truth, with words of encouragement, words of hope, words of peace, and I think really most of all, they reach them and just say, ‘I see you and you are important to me.’”

Marlene Tebben, a Crossroads mentor from South Church. (Photo courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries)

There is something powerful about a group of believers unified in prison outreach, especially during the pandemic. Prison visitors are even more restricted and loneliness is common.

Writing letters is a unique opportunity for the Church to show God’s love to those who desperately need it. 

“Most of those men and women that we incarcerate do not receive words from outside the prison walls,” says Cupery. “They don’t get letters and they have nobody to call. So often, we’ll hear from our students that the letters that our mentors…write them along with the Bible study [are] the only words they hear all month from outside those walls.”

Crossroads has nearly 3,000 volunteers serving their Bible study students in prisons. But there are around 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States today.

Cupery says, “Often, I’ll ask myself, ‘What would it look like if we could reach 200,000? What could it look like if we could reach a million with truth? What would it look like if we reached all 2.2 million? What would it look like if we could reach all 10 million men and women who are incarcerated in this world?’

“I believe it is the Church’s responsibility to do this. Because if the Church doesn’t do it, who is going to?”

Antonio, a student with Crossroads Prison Ministries. (Photo courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries)

Check back next week when we’ll share a testimonial from a South Church mentor serving men and women in prison!

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor with Crossroads, learn more here.






Header photo courtesy of Crossroads Prison Ministries.