I've been involved in the Prison Pen Pal Program since 2005. In that time I've written and received countless letters. There are lows and there are highs, but I keep writing because I know it's my calling from God.
February 2009, I receive a letter in the mailroom from Odi, not addressed to anyone in particular, but from a prison. Being the Adult Prison Pen Pal Coordinator, I handle those incoming letters. Many of them are requesting Bibles, Bible studies, or to be added to the pen pal list. This particular letter, as others have, tugged at my heart in a way I had to respond with more them just the general information.
One letter led to another, and without the man asking for me to be his pen pal, nor I saying I would be, we’ve continued to write. Each letter is filled with opportunities to mentor, praise, uplift, and give hope and love.
This mans heart was heavy with unforgiveness. I just happened to have not one, but two books I’d purchase sometime ago about forgiveness. I sent both, and he received much from reading them, and even went on to share them with others.
I can’t tell you how many times God has placed me in a Sunday service that’s helped me to speak much needed words to my pen pals. How many times a book crosses my path that later cries out to be sent to someone specifically I write to. Even in reading my daily devotional, I often run across one that fits the struggle one of my pen pals had just written me about.
This is what Odi recently wrote me:
“Thank you for blessing me with your friendship, your inspiration, and your mentorship. Because of people like you, it’s not hard to see just how good God is”.
Now that’s what serving the Lord is all about. Odie’s words spoke right to my heart, for its words like that, that reaffirms God’s hand in all of this. What a blessing it is to bless others.
This is just one of the reasons I share the love of Christ. I want everyone to feel the love one receives when serving the Lord. Instead of a vicious circle of serving oneself, it's an amazing circle of love and hope.
May all you who serve be blessed as you have blessed.