February 2023 – Making Connections through Global Friendships 

February 2023 –  Making Connections through Global Friendships 

Finding a Modern-Day Pen Pal 

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:18 


Pen pals are long-distance friendships maintained by writing letters to each other. They provide an opportunity see the world through another person as you learn about their culture and language on a more personal level. Pen pals are for anyone wanting to learn a new language or culture. You don’t have to travel as you can see the world through a pen pal. 

The Daily Californian published a list written by Melissa Boling of reasons why you should have a pen pal.  

  • Create a connection with someone new. 
  • Learn about a world outside of our own. 
  • Writing letters improves your skills. 
  • It encourages patience and provides a way to slow down. 

This is the link to the full article https://www.dailycal.org/2020/06/24/reasons-why-you-should-get-a-pen-pal/ 

Program Idea 

The Salvation Army has partnering territories throughout the world and officers from our home territories serving globally. Reach out to a global officer from your territory in advance and ask them to connect you with women’s ministries members in the country where they serve. Use the corps address at both locations to help protect privacy. Be cautious not to send packages with items, because there is often a fee charged in other countries to receive packages. 

Offer guidance on how to write the first pen pal letter from:  www.thepencompany.com › blog › write-first-letter 

Here are a few of their suggestions:

  1. Tell your pen pal where you found their details.  
  2. Keep it personalized.  
  3. Don’t overdo it.  
  4. Ask your pen pal some questions.  
  5. Mention what you have in common.  
  6. Tell them a little about yourself and your family. 


Cover tables with multicolored tablecloths and use globes as centerpieces. If possible, place a stationary set at each chair that they can use to write their first letter.  


Serve global cuisine from countries represented in your pen pal exchange.   

Away from Home 

My husband and I left the United States in 2003 to serve in Mexico. It was not an easy transition for me because I did not speak Spanish. I quickly found a friend in our building where we lived who spoke some English. I was so thankful for Rocio because I needed that personal connection. However, I felt so alone when I went to the office and corps building because I could not communicate with people. I quickly learned that I had taken for granted the ability to communicate with people and the power of words.  

I remember receiving my first piece of mail about a month after our arrival. It was a card from a corps in the United States. As I read the card, I sat in tears because of the words that strangers wrote to encourage me. Over the years that we served in Mexico my favorite thing was opening mail. It seems so simple, but that mail included encouraging words in a language that I could understand. Those words were powerful.   

We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” It is a short verse and seems simple, but it is powerful. Our words have power. They can encourage people or tear them down. They can give people hope or make them feel hopeless. They can bring light into someone’s day or cause them to feel lost in the darkness.   

Whether it is through a text, phone call, social media, or a letter, I urge you to encourage people with your words. I know a text is easy, but a card or letter is something that shows extra effort and something they can touch, feel, and even keep bringing out again when they are feeling discouraged.   

Our words are powerful, use them to encourage someone today!