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In a world where compassion and understanding can sometimes feel in short supply, Bethel International UMC (BIUMC) stands out as a beacon of hope, extending its warm embrace to those who need it most.

Through their involvement in Kindway, Embark’s flagship reentry program across four Ohio prisons, the church has managed to touch the lives of incarcerated individuals in a profoundly meaningful way. As part of their ministry, they sign and send cards four times a year to the inmates participating in Kindway. After their latest mailing, the church received a collection of touching thank-you letters that speak volumes about the impact of their support.


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The expressions of gratitude from Kindway program participants echo a sentiment that goes beyond mere words. "You folks have no idea how appreciated you are," writes one individual, underscoring the profound impact of a simple gesture—receiving cards signed by the congregations of BIUMC. In a place where isolation can often reign, these cards become more than pieces of paper; they become symbols of connection and community.
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"I will keep your church and all of the Kindway supporters in my prayers," declares another thankful soul. The power of prayer is evident in these letters, demonstrating their strength and love for Jesus. The knowledge that individuals within the Bethel community are being held in the thoughts and prayers of those behind bars creates a powerful connection, transcending physical boundaries.
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"Thank you for choosing to not only support but WELCOME returning citizens into your community and church family," expresses a letter, highlighting the significance of inclusivity. The act of sending cards becomes more than just a charitable endeavor; it becomes an invitation, an acknowledgment that everyone deserves a chance at redemption and a place in a supportive community.
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"All those names let me know there are people who care for me and others like me," reads one poignant line, emphasizing the significance of personalization. The act of signing each card transforms the cards from generic well-wishes to personalized tokens of care. It reinforces the idea that each person is seen and valued, fostering a sense of belonging.
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For an in-depth exploration of the impact we’ve had, I invite you to read the full thank-you letters from four of the participants, linked above. These heartfelt expressions of gratitude provide a unique insight into the transformative power of compassion and connection. 

Bethel International UMC's commitment to the Kindway program serves as a powerful reminder that small acts of kindness can have profound and lasting effects. So much of our lives are marked by division, but BIUMC has managed to bridge gaps and build bridges of connection. Through the lens of these thank-you letters, it becomes evident that the impact of their efforts goes far beyond the prison walls, creating a ripple effect of hope, inclusion, and humanity.