“I GOT IT! I GOT IT!” were the words written on the outside of the envelope. As I torn open the envelope I was curious to read what had my pen pal at Western Va. Regional Jail so excited. Here is an except from her letter:
“I GOT MY GED! I’M SO EXCITED! I had to wait until I was 47 years young but hey at least I can say I got it! I feel like a ‘big girl’ now. You know April,before, I didn’t care because I had no one who encouraged me to do anything but drugs. But, since I’ve met you and the ladies
(other ladies in our community who also write) I feel so much better about myself. I want to do things in my life now. When I get to prison I’m going to sign up for VCCW classes
which are college classes through the prison.”
Several of us in our community began writing Donna after a friend asked us to reach out to her. Donna was a complete stranger to us. The only person who knew her was our mutual friend Angie, who serves as God’s Ambassador of Hope within the walls of WVRJ. Our mutual friend Angie, began sharing life with Donna; attending church together and watching football games. Angie also began pouring the love of God into her, taking her though God’s word, lending her bible and glasses and helping Donna study for her GED. Now, because of the encouragement of both Angie and others, Donna holds onto hope. In one hand she holds unto her new GED and in the other hand she hold onto her new Savior!
I stood in my kitchen and cried. Thankful tears. Humble tears.
Just this past Sunday I stood in that same place in my kitchen when the father of a soldier serving in Iraq told me about the changes that has occurred in his son’s life. I smiled and silently offered prayers of thanks while the dad spoke. I mentioned that I wrote to his son to encourage him (a young man I had never met). What the family did not know was that I had been praying for God to change his circumstance and move him or if necessary move others. God answered that prayer! I doubt my letter to Nathan has even arrived overseas yet. But, it does not matter because God does not have to wait on the post office to answer prayers!
Dear friends, I write today to encourage you, but not to keep it for yourself. Yes, it is time consuming to write to others. Yes, it might even be a bit awkward, at first, to write to a complete stranger. But take the time to encourage someone on a regular basis. God will bless your obedience and you will be making a difference in someone’s life.
I end every blog post with these words from Paul, who spent most of his ministry encouraging others from jail. These words are as true today as they were 2,000 years ago:
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12