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A cross-border ministry is matching seminary students in Mexico with Spanish-speaking prisoners in the U.S. who need Christian encouragement.

Students at All Nations Seminary in Juarez, Mexico, spend one evening each week grading Bible lessons mailed in by prison inmates. They also write letters back to the prisoners.

All Nations Seminary is a ministry of the CRC’s All Nations Church of Lake View Terrace, Calif. It also partners with Sunshine Community CRC in nearby El Paso, Texas.

Rev. Daniel Kuiper, who teaches at the seminary, says the letter writing expands those ministries’ reach while improving the students’ education. “They begin to apply what they’ve studied, especially pastoral care, and apply that on the front line,” he said.

 “I like to help people who are in need,” said student Esperanza Orozco. “This is a way to apply my learning and to obey the words of Jesus.”

The idea came from Jeananne Kuiper, wife of Daniel Kuiper. Jeananne knew Spanish-speaking prisoners in the U.S. would be encouraged by contact with Christian leaders who shared their language and culture. So she arranged for the Mexican students to reply to homework submitted in Spanish through Crossroad Bible Institute, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based prison ministry offering correspondence courses.

“The students put time and prayer and effort into these letters and realize this is a powerful way they can minister,” she said.

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