How to Use These Courses with Your Pen Pal
We have been using these lessons in our ministry for a number of years, and now we want to make them available at no cost to their loved ones or anyone who ministers to the incarcerated. It is easier than you think. Just download the course and send your pen pal one lesson with each letter, or if you prefer just send them the whole course. Sending one lesson at a time would make the postage cheaper, because each lesson is usually just two pages (one sheet of paper if it is printed front and back). That is all there is to it. If you prefer something else there are other alternatives discussed below, but don't feel constrained by them. If you find a way to use these courses to minister to your imprisoned pen pal which has not occured to us, please let us know and we will add them to this list.
With a couple of exceptions discussed in the opposite column most of the courses are formatted the same. Page 1 of each course is an introduction and an outline, page 2 is the copyright information, and page 3 is the beginning of the first lesson. Each lesson consists of a page with scripture based questions and the next page with the answers to the questions on the page before.
What we do is mail them the first three pages with a letter. They mail back their answers with their next letter. We make positive comments on their work on the questions in our letter and mail the answers and the questions on the next lesson with our letter. Most of them really enjoy this and learn a great deal.
(A) We mail them the course introduction and the first lesson's "questions page" with their normal letter.
(B) They return their answers with their next letter.
(C) We comment on their answers (which we return to them) and mail that lessons "answers page". We also send the "questions page" from the next lesson. (The lessons are just one page so there is no extra postage involved unless you write a really long letter.)
(D) We repeat steps B & C until the course is complete.
(E) We like to let them pick which course to take next, but there are no rules about that, or anything else. However, you can use these lessons to help in your jail or prison ministry, please do.
Just remember, the Bible is the authority, and the Holy Spirit is the teacher. Since you are just a fellow Bible student with them, anyone can use these lessons in their pen pal ministry.
There are some exceptions to this formatting but the same techniques will usually still work.
In the Prayers & Promises series, each lesson is six pages long, instead of 2. However, since the questions and answers are still on odd and even pages respectively, you could still use the same process and just use each lesson with three consecutive letters.
The Book-by-Book series has a different number of pages for each lesson, but again, they are formatted odd numbered pages with questions, even numbered pages with answers, so the same process would work. However, the last 2 pages of the lesson has a lot of subjective questions, so you might want to consider spreading those questions out over some time by just asking the question in your letter at an appropiate time. You will know what is best for your pen pal.
The Greek course was designed as a year long course for homeschoolers. It probably would not work as a correspondence course. I have used it that way some, but I know Greek, so I could answer their questions. Unless you know Greek or are willing to learn it with them, you might not want to use this course at all. However, maybe it will be just the thing for both of you. It is entirely up to you how you make use of these materials with your incarcerated pen pal.
Probably the most important step is to pray over the lessons and letters before you send them. It is our hope and prayer that what we offer here will bless you, and through you, many others.
We suggest that you encourage your inmate to form a small Bible study group inside the walls. Here are some tips you can send to them with the study material to use in leading their group.
Please bless these lessons and everyone who uses them. Let the Holy Spirit teach us all to be conformed in obedience to Your perfect will. May we all come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Word better through these Bible studies.