From the International Director
Two years ago in November, my wife Marylin, Lifeline’s President Dr. Romney Ruder and I were overjoyed to facilitate a training in Kigali, Rwanda. What made the training so special is that we had approximately 20 individuals that represented 12 countries around the continent of Africa present. Each of these individuals served as ministry leaders to the incarcerated in their home countries.
Up to that point, we wrestled with how to reach so many countries with our training and how to introduce and facilitate the Malachi Dads program. It was impractical to try and bring the leaders to the United States. Attempting to get everyone in a central location would have been difficult with such different schedules, time zones, and travel implications. Then of course, we had language barriers (our materials are often translated into the language of the home country). Finally, there was the biggest problem which was cost. It was impossible to underwrite the cost of getting these partners to the U.S., not to mention being a logistical nightmare.
We had what we thought at the time, an epiphany. Why not take advantage of the closeness of proximity of the students to one another and the cheaper travel costs in Africa? Instead of trying to bring the students to us, we would go to them, with regional trainings. So that’s what we did. And today we have thriving ministry happening in these countries. After completing the sessions, we high-fived one another that God had provided the wisdom to go this route. This would be the way we do training in the future….or so we thought.
Fast forward to August of this year. For months we had been trying to determine how we could train another group of ministry partners representing countries in Central and South America. Travel bans and COVID protocols made it virtually impossible to organize any in-person events. However, the broadening use of technology (specifically videoconferencing), opened up a new avenue for training that we had not used in mass.
Well, let me cut to the chase. We organized a three-day training event spread over the course of three weeks and made the training available to two of our global partners. By God’s grace, we had over 300 people register for the training representing a host of countries and five continents. For us, this is huge!
But I had to chuckle at the comparison of where we were two years ago. We praised God for the insight to bring the training to the trainer and we thought it was revolutionary. Yet God had bigger plans in store when we used a different modem to train leaders.
Please pray for the hundreds of new trained leaders we have in Asia, Central America, Europe, South America, North America and Africa. Let them be the hands and feet of Christ in ministering to the incarcerated and their families, in their country. Please pray for financial support that we can reach more countries with our Malachi Dads and Hannah’s Gift program materials.