Serving Beyond: Letters of Hope Partnership
A reflection by Megan Lui and Rachel Miller, members of our Business Operations Team
It doesn’t take much hindsight to recognize our world’s complete state of exhaustion and frustration. This year has been rough. And it seems that with each passing month, the world has become even more divided and hurt. In times like these, we realize how desperately we need a Savior and how unfathomable the love of Jesus is to redeem such a broken world by paying our ransom on the cross. It is because of this inexplicable love that we have the greatest assurance!
Keeping these thoughts about our theme of assurance in mind, the Business Operations team, in spearheading the search for partnerships this semester, felt convicted to invest in a partnership where the team could pursue authentic human relationships safely but personally, even during these unprecedented times. Our goal was that we might be able to encourage others (and, perhaps, ourselves in the process, too) with the hope that we can find in Jesus. Our search led us to Letters of Hope, an initiative that strives to empower and encourage folks in prison through the delivery of personally-written letters and the donation of Bibles. Letters of Hope is a program within a larger organization called God Behind Bars that uses their resources to introduce families to Christ, helping inmates grow with their loved ones in faith. They also equip prisoners with the skills and knowledge to reintegrate themselves into society by allocating their funds towards helping prisoners find jobs, buy homes, take advantage of academic opportunities, and reconnect with their families.
Letters of Hope, like YHWH Apparel, is centered around wanting to help others come to know and accept God’s steadfast love for them. Through our team’s written letters to inmates, we hope to encourage our communities to spread the Word of God. We especially want to encourage inmates through these personally constructed letters because many have not been able to see their loved ones or attend church services during the pandemic. With these letters, we pray that the inmates may persevere through difficult times and find comfort in the undying love of Christ. Consequently, with the money made from this semester’s sales, we plan to send Bibles and devotionals to those in prison, hoping that the tangible words of God will guide their spirits and bring them comfort.
As a Christian organization, our team wants to remind everyone, even those incarcerated, that they are worthy of God’s love and that His love is deep enough to satisfy all our needs. And as much as our lives are now limited to a digital world, we know God is no less at work, and that it’s still important to care for those who are often marginalized in this world. In 1 Corinthians 9:19–23, Paul wrote:
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
No doubt, our circumstances limit our physical presence in this partnership. But we’re confident in a God who is bigger than any circumstance, one who truly and perfectly becomes “all things to all people.”
Ultimately, we hope that through our monetary support, written support, and prayers, we can help people find assurance in a well that never runs dry: Jesus. We’re so excited to be working with God Behind Bars, and we ask that you pray for the inmates receiving our letters and funds!