An Encouraging Word Ministry


As new testimonials are added to the site—from Encouragers, Insiders and Comforters—earlier testimonials are moved to this page. This makes certain that the ministry is able to remember the stories that have been shared over time, while highlighting the newest testimonials elsewhere on the site.

July 2021–Encouragers and Insiders of the Month!

This BIRTHDAY Mattered! INSIDER Ms. Jessica, Denver Women’s Correctional                                               

“Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, it was very heart warming and the message that went with it brought tears to my eyes…not bad tears but good ones.  I needed that truth to be revealed to me, so I was very grateful for that. Ms. Debbie, I’ve made some bad choices and I’m not proud of that. I just need a second chance to get out and be there for my family. My son is only 17 and he’s out in the world with his little family, his baby boy is due in July and they are out there on their own. I need to be out there to guide him, help him and provide for him. He has done so good, but he’s struggling so much. I’ve made some bad choices and I’m not proud of that. I just need a second chance to get out there and be there for my family. Jeremiah 29:11 says ‘ I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

These QUOTES Matter!

ENCOURAGER Ms. Hazel: 18 assignments since 2018

“I am encouraged more than ever before because this virus is causing us to “call on the name of the Lord Jesus” even more!!! Our faith is being increased because we’re getting to know Him better through “prayer”…talking to Him about our needs and problems, and situations; then “expecting” Him to do it for us…and meet every need on our behalf!  Hallelujah!”

INSIDER Mr. Marcus, TX/LA Border   

Marcus closes his letters with:


2 ANNOINTED 2 B DISAPPOINTED                                        

This SURPRISE Matters! DONATION from INSIDER Ms. Candace before release 

“Today, I’m so blessed as I sit here writing you and Ms. Karen (Encourager), I’m graduating Therapeutic Community today! And I received your farewell (Mizpah) letter yesterday! I was so wondering where I was going to tithe and I was praying & asking the Lord, to show me, and it’s on my heart to send this to Encouraging Word.  I feel so blessed at this time in my life. I couldn’t feel this way without the help of your ministry. I want to thank you very much. I should be out on the 16th of June.  I’ll send word.  God Bless.”

This THANK YOU Matters! INSIDER Ms. Kimberlee, LaVista

“I just want to say thank you (Ms. Debbie W., Encourager) for being an amazing and great support. I have been accepted to the half-way house, so I leave next week. You were a great encouragement with all the letters and stuff. God Bless You!   Always-Kimberlee (written on her personal, hand made card)

This WATERCOLOR Matters to Us!

Insider Ms. Kelly (DWCF) send the image below to her Encourager Ms. Faith. It is a perfect depiction of Nolensville with hills, huge trees, winding roads, country estates, and lots of peaceful space and color. Thank you Kelly!

Original Artwork by Insider Ms. Kelly

This TESTIMONY Matters! INSIDER Ms. Candace, Colorado, 18 letters in 1 year

“Thank you so very much for your Encouraging (Parole Hearing) letter. I almost felt as if I was leaving to go to college and saying goodbye to my family! Yes, I cried a few tears! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  Yes, my Parole is on May 26 and my graduation from T.C. Program is April 30.  I couldn’t have done this all without all the love and kindness from my personal Encourager and the love of the Lord that works through your ministry! Ms. Debbie, It all started with you and I don’t want it to end with this. I’d love to see that it be a stepping stone while I’m on parole and I want to become an Encourager and lead more small Bible Study groups, not ever forgetting about the encouragement your ministry gave me while being incarcerated. What a testimony to my life. Stronger together, weaker apart. Thank you so much. I will continue to correspond and I’m very blessed to have had this time with you 2 beautiful ladies.”

This BIRTHDAY LETTER Mattered! INSIDER Ms. Amber, LaVista

“Thank you so much for your letter and the birthday wishes. It meant so much to me to receive that and to read the words that came with it. This year has barely started, but it’s already such a different one for me. I’m getting closer to God and learning how to build a relationship with HIM. I’m also learning my self-worth and not just accepting the affirmations I give myself, but also believing it to be the truth whole-heartedly.  I appreciate your letters very much and that you never stop telling everyone that we’re unique & special. Thank you for always reminding me that God loves me and made me in HIS image. And thank you for keeping me and my children in your prayers. It’s very much appreciated, even if I don’t speak it.

This BLESSING Matters! ENCOURAGER Ms. Debbie W.,  10 assignments since 2018

“I am blessed to be participating in Encouraging Word Ministry in so many ways. I am able to share special favorite bible verses, inspirational pages from Sarah Young’s many daily devotionals and bible studies.  My spiritual journey has been enriched by the letters, prayers, and personal testimonies of these women’s continued faith in God and His abounding love, grace and mercy he showers upon them. My prayer life is more focused and spirit driven than ever before because of the relationships I have been privileged to be a part of through An Encouraging Word Ministry.”

These SURPRISES Matter! $100 DONATION from INSIDER + Mother’s Day Card to ALL  

An Encouraging Word Ministry is a self-funded ministry, so imagine how amazed we were to receive a surprise $100 Western Union MoneyGram from one of our Insiders!  That was a first!

And one of our “Brother-in-Christ, Insiders” sent a Happy Mother’s Day Card “To ALL the Mothers at Encouraging Word Ministry.” Thanks be to God! who always provides and surprises!

This QUOTE Matters! Insider Ms. Onesia, LaVista

“My Jesus Calling devotional is probably the most important book I own. I can thank your organization for that.”  (As of today, over 450 new, personal “Jesus Calling” daily devotionals and Bibles have been provided to Insiders by the EW Ministry.)

May 2021–Encouragers and Insiders of the Month!

Mr. John (Encourager)

Mr. Torri, (Insider/Texas)

Insider Mr. Torri and his Encourager John have exchanged more than 40 letters so far. Below are excerpts, condensed with his permission.

“I’m sending prayers out to you and Encouraging Word Ministry. I have learned a lot these past 5 years walking with God here in prison, thank you for all the encouragement you give me. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. God has truly blessed me when he placed Encouraging Word Ministry and you in my life. I got accepted into the Faith-based program. You have been a real inspiration to me. I look at myself as I walk the path with God to leave the past life behind me and strive for the future God has planned for me. I want to thank you & Encouraging Word for being a part of my life when I really needed you to talk to.  I have to change so that I can lead my family & friends to Christ. This cycle the world is in now has to stop and we can only do it with God’s help. We are having a blessed revival lock-down now with singing, and testimonials on what we are doing to further God’s Kingdom in our lives. The revival has been going so good that the doors of this prison system have been flung open. Men who have been locked up 20, 30, even 40 years have finally made parole and all of them are men of God. Now tell me our God isn’t awesome! I’m also leading a Prayer Call every Monday-Thursday here in our dormitory. I received your letter on a day when my life changed. I’m currently in quarantine…everything is shut down. Nothing but people being rushed to the hospital on a daily basis (written in April 2020, shared with the ministry this month).

“The whole world is in an uproar now with all this racial tension going around. Things like this are happening because God is not in the midst of our lives. We’re supposed to love everyone just as we love God. In God’s eyes we are all family no matter what race, color, or ethnic background.”

“Brother, thanks for the birthday wish. If it is part of God’s will, He will bless me with another year. If not, I know that I will be spending eternity in heaven with my Lord and Savior who is the Head of my life. These years that I have been corresponding with you have truly been a blessing and learning experience.”

“I want to thank God 1st and foremost for allowing us to correspond. Also, I want to thank Encouraging Word Ministry for placing us together. Like you said, ‘We have both grown in God over these years.’”

April 2021–Encouragers and Insiders of the Month!

Ms. Teri (Canada)

At 17, she was an Insider! When she says she understands her Insiders, it’s for real!  In September 2005, she gave her life to Christ. Raising a blended family of 5 children, Teri took a leap of faith to share her testimony to spare them from making the same mistakes. Today all 5 of her children are Christian, knowing her testimony and loving her for it. God has been so good to me and ,as I say at the end of the tape, “There Is Hope!” Her goal for her prison ministry…Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.—Proverbs 3:5-6. Proudly introducing Ms. Teri at the end of this documentary on providing for ex-offenders:   

Ms. Chris (Georgia) and  Ms. Hazel (Colorado)

Ms. Chris, a fellow employee in Texas, moved with the Bairds to Colorado in 2002; now a faithful “Encourager” residing in Georgia. Ms. Hazel, her sister in Colorado, is a faithful and prolific writer for this ministry. Together they have faithfully encouraged 27 Women Insiders!

Insider Socorro P. (Colorado)

“I would like to thank you for the beautiful Bible and Jesus Calling (devotional). I love the bible. It makes me happy to know how wonderful our God is and how he sends us beautiful and loving people such as yourself. Thank you for the prayers. You ladies are truly amazing. Thank you for being the meaning of love for Christ.”

Insider Denise R. (Colorado)

“I am so thankful that I have you as a pen pal. You always send such beautiful cards and they always say such beautiful things. The cards really help me get through the days here.”

Insider Anthony W. (Texas)

“Hope You’re Feeling Better” card for the wife of Encourager, Mr. Al. Anthony writes: Hello Mrs. Al. I just want you to know that I am praying for you always, knowing that God will heal you in your pain. I hope that this card will put a smile on your face and know that you have a brother/friend praying for you. Hope you feel better soon. God Bless you and your family and take care and be safe. Peace and Blessing, Always, Anthony

Hope you are feeling better card


The Encouraging Word Ministry is made up of Encouragers, Insiders and Comforters. Click the links below to read the testimonies sent in by each group.  The best way to learn about the impact of the ministry is through their words. Let them tell you the story!

“Encouragers” companion and walk a faith journey together with our Insiders. We do not preach, teach, intercede or fix them. We listen and care. Based on the Stephen Ministry model, men write to men and women write to women.


“Insiders” are incarcerated Christians seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ and other Christians. Each one completes a “Ready to Fly” form that aids the Encourager with poignant prayers and devotional topics relevant to them.


“Comforters” are Insiders who have become God’s hands and soul from the inside. They lead Bible studies and pray for others. Some even provide necessities for those who cannot work and have no money at all, from their own resources.