Writing to someone who is suffering because of their beliefs can offer much-needed encouragement, but is more than that. It can get better conditions for prisoners. It gives you an easy way to connect directly with people you’re praying for and is a great opportunity to spur one another on to do something practical about injustice. Connect & Encourage is your resource for all the information you need to write letters and cards to people that need encouragement.
Will my card make a difference to the person who receives it?
Yes, it really will! Gloria from Cuba told us, “Sometimes I ran out of the strength to pray myself. In the darkest moments, when we felt totally hopeless, alone and desperate and we couldn’t even pray for ourselves, it was alright because we knew there were people all over holding us up in prayer, when we ourselves could not.” Imagine thinking you’re facing a horrific situation all alone. Maybe your husband is a church leader who was killed after he refused to stop preaching. That’s what happened to Gloria’s husband. Maybe you’ve been imprisoned because of your faith and then you get a card from a person on the other side of the world who’s thinking about you. Your cards could be a lifeline in someone’s darkest moments, just like they were for Gloria.
Will my card really help their situation?
Yes, it will! We’ve seen a prisoner’s conditions improve many times once they start getting mail from abroad. They’ve received extra food, more exercise, and much-needed medical care as a direct result of your cards and letters. What’s more, Pastor Truong in Vietnam was able to share his faith with his prison guards after they asked him why he was getting so many cards. If a prisoner receives lots of mail from abroad, the prison authorities know that people outside the country have heard about this prisoner’s case, so they can’t get away with mistreating the prisoner.
What do I write?
Here are some guidelines:
Write a little bit about yourself – where you live, what the area is like, your family, your hobbies, etc.
Most of the people featured in Connect & Encourage are Christians. You could write an encouraging Bible verse in the card, and some Christian greetings such as "God bless you" and "May the Lord be with you." Even if the person who gets your card can’t read English, receiving it will still encourage them by reminding them that they’re not forgotten. Writing relevant Bible references is useful for non-English speakers so they can look up the verses in their own language. If you’re happy to receive a reply, it’s safe to include your name and address on the cards. Many people have developed rewarding relationships in this way, by writing to and hearing from people who suffer because of their faith.