Being alone and away from home is difficult, especially at Christmas. And for those who are incarcerated, this time of year can be especially lonely as many are estranged from their loved ones and may not receive many visits or correspondence.

That’s why the Columbia church sends Christmas cards to people in prisons across the country every December. Each of this year’s 300 cards included personal messages of encouragement from members and was accompanied by a 2021 calendar and a prayer request form they can send back so the church can pray for their specific needs.

“Thank you for the Christmas card and Scripture,” wrote back one of last year’s recipients. “Please keep me in your prayers this coming year.” He wrote about how much he longed to be reunited with his family and the pain of his recent divorce. He also asked for prayer for his parents’ health and that he would be released in time to care for them when they needed him. “Pray that I will be successful in life and that God will be my number one,” he added. “My soul desires Him and I want to be better. Thank you again and bless you in all you do. See you in heaven.”

To send the cards, the Columbia church partners with Prayer for Prisoners International, a faith-based prison ministry in Cañon City, Colorado. They provide the church with a list of names and addresses, along with guidelines for volunteers. For more information about sending Christmas cards to people in prison, visit