Pen PalsClick here to View the Pen Pal Rules and Guidelines
We are happy you are interested in the Pen Pal Ministry. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Matthew 9:37. Most of the inmates who contact us are already Christians and some are new Christians. Occasionally we hear from unsaved inmates who are in need of someone to show them how to be born again, and they have indicated this on their application. If that is the case, we have already sent them material about how to be born again. Many have been taking our correspondence courses while they were waiting for a pen pal. We are so blessed and privileged to be allowed to lead many inmates to the Lord. They all need encouragement and prayer!
Since we started keeping record by computer in 2000, we have ministered to over 15,000 inmates in over 6,000 institutions in all 50 states as well as England; Thailand; and Zambia, Africa, with our pen pal ministry, our intercessory prayer service, and our correspondence ministry.
The Pen Pal Ministry has over 200 active volunteers. Many of those volunteers serve as intercessors (along with many others) for prayer requests of inmates. At this time, we have volunteers in 25 different states across the US.
Most inmates we minister to are lonesome and have been deserted by their families when they become incarcerated.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Does the inmate have to know my name and whereabouts? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we ask you to use a nickname. You will instruct your inmate pen pal eto reply to you c/o the church post office box for your protection. We then put the letter into another envelope and send it on to you.
Do I need special training? Training is provided and support is on going. We are always available for guidance and help.
I don’t have anything in common with an inmate. What can I say to them? You will receive the inmate’s application which includes his born again testimony, hobbies and his spiritual needs. Then once you begin corresponding, you will be able to talk about things he/she mentions in the reply letters, give advice, pray for them, and give them encouragement regarding whatever particular problems they are facing.
How much time is required of me? On the average, the inmate writes once a month and it may take you no longer than 30 minutes to an hour to write them back. You can also type your letters if you like.
Do I have to belong to Evangel to be a pen pal? Not at all. We have pen pals from many other states and churches. We welcome all born again believers.
Can I visit or call the inmate? No. Each prison facility has many restrictions such as: no photos, no visits, no money sent, no phone calls, no stamps, and no books from the pen pal volunteers. We could possibly lose our good standing with the prison facility if these rules were violated.
What if I get too busy one month to write? You may want to send a greeting card and let them know you will write soon. Or you can send copies of Christian articles you feel might minister to them, from any Christian magazines you may subscribe to, along with a short note.
I am very busy, do I have to come to meetings? No. The best part of being a pen pal is that you can have your own ministry right out of your own home. It’s a great ministry for shut-ins, stay at home moms, the handicapped, someone who has no transportation, retirees, people who have free time on their job, or for someone who wants to be in ministry but has little time for ministry meetings, events, fundraisers, etc.
What can I expect to receive out of this ministry? According to one of our volunteers, “You will receive blessings on top of blessings, new friends, the joy of being used by God in the life of a needy person…. small things I have said in a letter are appreciated beyond my wildest expectations!.... that’s when I know the Holy Spirit is working through me and this ministry!”
We are constantly in need of more pen pal volunteers. At this moment we have over 300 applications from inmates waiting in our office for volunteers to begin writing them. Some of our volunteers are writing to as many as 30 or 40 inmates because we just don't have enough help. God is truly bringing in a harvest through this ministry - and we need workers to help bring it in!
God Bless you!