Connect & Encourage
“[My wife] told me she received many cards…She said these people were all praying for me. It made me feel like I was part of a big family.”– Nguyen Van Dai, Vietnamese human rights lawyer living in exile in Germany
When you’re feeling alone, receiving a card from someone you don’t know – on the other side of the world – can be life-changing.
Maybe you’re in prison on unjust charges; maybe you’ve experienced violence and harassment from your neighbors; maybe a member of your family has been “disappeared”.
Maybe you’re losing hope. And then a card arrives, with a message of encouragement and support, and you realize you’re not alone.
And that’s not all. Your cards can even get better treatment for a prisoner, as cards arriving from abroad make the prison authorities realize that the case is known about internationally, so they can’t get away with mistreating the prisoner. We’ve seen this happen many times.
Download our free resource, Connect & Encourage, to find addresses of people who are facing injustice for their beliefs and would love to hear from you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I write Christian greetings and Bible verses?
Most of the people featured in Connect & Encourage are Christians, and it’s OK to send them cards and messages that are obviously Christian. However, if you want to be on the safe side, or the person you are writing to has different religious beliefs (we always indicate this), cards with colourful pictures or landscapes are always appreciated.
What if I can’t write in the person’s language?
Even if the recipient can’t read English, receiving a card can still bring them hope and encouragement by reminding them that they are not forgotten. If you can write in their language – even if it is just a phrase or two – please do! They will appreciate your effort.
Will my letters actually reach the intended person?
Although some letters may be intercepted, we do all we can to ensure that most will reach their destination.
Is it safe to include my name and address on my cards?
As long as you are happy to receive a reply, it’s fine to include your contact details. Many people have developed rewarding relationships in this way.
You might also receive requests for financial help. Always contact CSW before you respond to these requests.
Can I send letters to every country CSW works on?
We have only included people in Connect & Encourage if we know that receiving messages won’t put them in danger.
However, in some of the countries we work on, this could further endanger the recipients. Instead, please remember these people in your prayers, asking God to grant them strength, protection and comfort.
What do I write?
Write a little bit about yourself – where you live, what the area is like, your family, your hobbies, etc.
You could write Christian greetings such as ‘God bless you’ and ‘May the Lord be with you’, and an encouraging Bible verse, including the reference. Writing the Bible reference is useful for non-English speakers so they can look up the verses in their own language.
#2 Our principles
We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs