ASHE COUNTY — Being incarcerated can be one of the greatest challenges a person ever faces in their lives. Inmates are away from their families, out of a job and sometimes, just have no hope at all for the future.
Ashe County resident Candace Cox hopes to change at least some of that.
Cox, along with co-founder Kim Friesland, have recently started the F.A.I.T.H. Ministry, hoping to reach out to inmates in Ashe County as well as other parts of the state and country in hopes of bringing a little hope and happiness into their hearts.
“About three months ago, God placed it in my heart that I needed to reach out with my faith. I love to write and I love testifying to people, so I decided to start writing to inmates,” said Cox. “I started with some inmates I have known personally that are in jail. The first initial letters I sent were my testimony and about salvation and I felt it was important for them to know that they had forgiveness through God.”
Cox also sent Bible study information to them and has since found out that through her early efforts, there have been three salvations and one baptism from the inmates she has reached out to.
F.A.I.T.H stands for Forgiveness After Incarceration Through Him, a message that Cox hopes will reach the hearts of all of the inmates her and her ministry get in contact with.
Besides Cox and Friesland, two other Ashe residents, Heather Nance and Nate Wolford, have also started to send out letters and testimonials to inmates. The group hopes to add even more volunteers from the High Country to get their message out and reach even more incarcerated people.
“I want people to think about how many people are in jail. It is really sad that when you talk to these inmates, their family and friends have given up on them. It’s so eye-opening to listen to their testimonies, some of them have lost everything, but they always have God to turn to,” said Cox.
Volunteers will be asked to sign a waiver form to follow the rules of the F.A.I.T.H. Ministry so the group won’t be responsible if writers don’t abide by the rules set in place for safety purposes.
These letters are designed to provide hope and encouragement for inmates that need it during the weakest moments of their lives.
“If you can just imagine looking at four walls all day, having nobody, but knowing that whether you are religious or not, you have something there for you. It’s powerful,” said Cox. “If we can help them now, my hope is that when they get out, they’ll stop doing drugs or they’ll stop doing whatever they did to get in jail in the first place.”
If you are interested in becoming part of this ministry, you can find them on Facebook by searching “F.A.I.T.H Ministry” or you can email Candace Cox at [email protected] .
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87