I remember the first time I read Hebrews 13:3: “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them.”
I wondered, “How can I do that? I don’t even know anyone in prison.” Then I learned about a ministry where volunteers can go into the county jail and share God’s Word with inmates. I began doing that—and continued for many years, later focusing on incarcerated teens. I realize this is not something everyone can do.
Yet there is something followers of Jesus CAN do from the safety and comfort of their homes: Years ago I became a mentor for Crossroad Prison Ministries! … https://cpministries.org/ CPM Bible studies go to participating prisoners throughout the U.S. and beyond. The Bible studies are available in the English, Spanish, Mandarin and Indonesian languages.
Typically, a mentor new to CPM will correct one Bible study per week and write a letter of encouragement to that prisoner who is taking Tier 1. When students reach Tier 2 and 3, they are connected with a personal mentor who journeys with them in their studies throughout the entire tier.
The best part? The recidivism rate drops for prisoners who study the Bible, come to know the Lord and are born again. What is recidivism? Recidivism refers to a tendency to relapse into criminal behavior. Inmates who are released and later relapse into criminal behavior, are re-arrested and re-imprisoned.
In order to become a mentor, one must contact CPM and complete their online form, view the 90-minute training DVD sent to your home which also comes with a manual with an answer key and everything you need to know to become a mentor. You must indicate agreement with CPM’s Statement of Faith and receive endorsement from your pastor or church board.
The studies always include some essay questions which take longer to assess. Prisoners will often submit prayer requests or share their situations, which helps when composing your letter of encouragement.
Currently there are over 40,000 students enrolled. More prisoners request to be enrolled daily and more mentors are always needed.
How safe is it? Very! The prisoner completes his/her Bible study and sends it to CPM headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There it is checked for contraband and sent to a mentor to correct. Headquarters also sends the mentor an envelope to use with CPM’s return address in Michigan. When you write your letter you do not sign your name. Instead, you sign it, “Your CPM Mentor.”
God uses CPM to impact the lives of both prisoners and mentors. Testimonies come from students who say their mentors had just the right words to say when they needed to hear them or that their mentor was like the father or mother they never had. Mentors write to say they thought they would be the ones ministering but discover the prisoners are also ministering to them!
Is this something the Lord is putting on your heart? For more information go to http://cbi.fm/get-involved.
- Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
- SONG: ONE BUSINESS IN LIFE – Quote by John Wesley, circa 1780; Remaining words and music by Kathleen
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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