How much can you do with a dollar and a handful of change? You can buy a can of soda or a fraction of a gallon of gas. Most discount stores start at an even dollar. Can you give a Christmas gift? Can you show your child how to give a gift that could save a life? I have found a way you can.
The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor who spent many years imprisoned for his faith.
VOM enables individuals and families to write letters of encouragement to men and women in prison because of their faith, through a program called Prisoner Alert. It is simple and easy to use. Once on their website, you can choose what to say from a long list of Scriptures and encouraging phrases that have already been translated. You can write to a number of people imprisoned around the world in several different countries.
These are people who are not so different from us. They worry about their children. They’re concerned about providing for their families. But, the circumstances they face are often much different from ours. If you organize a prayer rally, will you go to prison? If you protest a school policy that you believe is unfair to your children, will you be taken away from them?
Can writing a letter really make a difference? VOM’s answer is a resounding “yes.” VOM has collected numerous reports of prisoners being released, treated better, or strengthened and encouraged because of the letters sent. Even when officials don’t deliver the letters, someone reads them. Lives are changed, even saved.
What do you want this Christmas? Do you know what the prisoners want? Our prayers. Will we give that? And will we do something more?
Will you take a few moments with Prisoner Alert and get to know one or more of the prisoner’s stories? Decide how much of the story is appropriate to share with your child. Then call them in to pray with you for the prisoners you have chosen. Ask them to help you select the verses to include in the letters. Sign the letters as a family. Perhaps you can make a trip to the post office together to mail them. This gift that could save a life costs only a dollar and a handful of change.