Welcome to the President’s Corner – a space for updates, reflections, and insights from Lifeline Global President Dr. Romney Ruder. This space will include reflections on prison ministry, stories of restoration, and the impact of incarceration. Some of these articles have also appeared in our newsletters.
Be sure to stay up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletter!
Why you should support the less fortunate
Hello Friends, Some of the biggest joys I have in my role is when I see engagement between the local church and our ministry to the incarcerated. Recently, a friend of the ministry shared a Psalm from her Lenten readings. It was Psalm 140:13, "I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy." Our friend Carrie says, "I think this is a great tie to the challenges we're facing right now. But the psalmist declares that 'God helps those who cannot help themselves. If we would be more like God, should we
How You Can Help Your Neighbors Achieve Restoration
Friends, Just like the lawyer from Luke 10, I want to ask: Who is our neighbor? Merriam-Webster defines neighbor as “a person who lives near another.” Yet, it does not define the word nearby. Within five miles near me, there is a county jailhouse, and within 50 miles near me, there is a state prison. Are the men and women locked up in those places considered my neighbors? I ask this as last week, we ushered in the Lenten season with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. Billy Graham defines Lent: “As one of the oldest observations in Christendom, Lenten tradition
Reflect the Work of Christ in Your Daily Lives
Friends, I was sitting with the CEO of a large manufacturing company. As a Christian businessman leading a very profitable company, I was hoping to engage him in taking a deeper look at our ministry with hopes that he or his company might become financial partners. Yet, instead of talking about ministry to the incarcerated, the conversation followed a similar path that I had with a multitude of Christian leaders; that is, trying to identify the answer on how Christians are supposed to reflect the work of Christ in their daily lives. In assessing his own life, this business executive
Change Families, Give Today
Friends, During advent, I love the imagery Isaiah uses when prophesizing about the coming of the Savior: Immanuel. His picture speaks to a barren land where there was once a thriving forest. Yet out of the stump springs a new shoot from the root of Jesse. God kept His promises to restore His people. Only He could take a wasteland and spark renewal. This same symbolism can be applied to the ministry of Lifeline Global. God takes the criminals of society, the forgotten, the imprisoned, presumed to be “barren” in their ability to contribute, and uses these men and
Returning Hearts Celebration Success in Mississippi
Friends, I give praise and thanksgiving to Christ for the opportunity to have redemption through His sacrifice! For the first time in the history of Lifeline Global Ministries, we hosted a Returning Hearts Celebration (RHC) in the state of Mississippi at Parchman Prison, and due to the wonderful planning and support of volunteers from around the country, I would call the event a success. Enough so that we are already talking about the learning lessons from RHC to help in plannings next year’s event. Two people who were critical to making RHC happen were Pastor Phil Zalinski and his wife,
A Second Chance
Friends, It never fails. At the closing of Project Mañana International’s Returning Hearts Celebration in the Dominican Republic, a little boy of probably five or six was having a hard time saying goodbye. It was a complete turnaround from earlier when the same boy approached a man he hardly knew with apprehension. Yet after a couple of hours of companionship, sharing, and fun, this little guy quickly gained something he had never had in his life: love from his father. But as the day ended, this child was beside himself in tears. He couldn’t process how the immense feelings
Transform and Restore Lives through Hannah’s Gift
Friends, My attention was caught recently by an intriguing title from a formerly-incarcerated author. "Paganism on Parole" by Awyn Dawn is the story of a deepening faith as the result of incarceration. Sadly, it is the story of a deepening faith in a version of Wiccan. The religious group that reached her behind the walls taught her about paganism and the mysticism of the occult. According to her, paganism was one of the fastest-growing religions in her facility. This was a wake-up call to me - and hopefully to the Christian church - about the missed opportunities of reaching
Increasing ministry opportunity
Friends, Well, I do not want to get ahead of ourselves and say that our schedule is the same as pre-Covid, but we are certainly excited about all the activity that is taking place. While many of our Program Partners remain on the sidelines for a variety of reasons, some partners are using this time to accelerate their local ministries, and our partners in Georgia, Florida, and Washington continue to add to the size and depth of the number of facilities and/or inmates that they serve. Likewise, our statewide programs continue to gain traction. In fact, we recently had
Parental training context and studies
Friends, We make it no secret that our programs at Lifeline Global are intentionally Christian-based. Our Malachi Dads curriculum was developed around the verse of Malachi 4:6, and our Hannah’s Gift program is rooted in the Biblical story of Hannah. It is evident that God paints a clear picture in scripture of how a man and woman are supposed to be in the eyes of the Lord. Just as important is how they are called to be as parents of their children. Once in a while, though, it is important to provide context to our ministry that looks beyond
Lifeline Global Ministries: Opportunities after COVID
In the next few weeks, Lifeline will be re-engaging with the state of Oklahoma, for a rollout of our Malachi Dads and Hannah's Gift curriculum. Our initial start had been postponed in 2021 due to Covid protocols. The chaplain’s staff has now given the green light that they are ready to renew state-wide programs in the facilities we had yet to reach. In partnership with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, we have just completed the translation work of the Malachi Dad curriculum, "The Heart of a Father" into the Russian language, and are eager to begin utilizing our
Mid-Year Check-In on 22K in 2022 Goal
Dear Friends, After coming off of a record year of enrollment of students, we set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal for 2022 to reach 22,000. Hopefully, you have been made aware of this goal by our hype around “Reaching 22,000 in the year 2022” in much of our promotional efforts. To reach this goal means that Lifeline would need to raise almost $700,000 just to cover the cost of materials for these students. I would love to say that we are well on our way to meeting and exceeding this goal, the truth is that we are on pace
Malachi Dad Graduation LIVE at High Desert Prison
Today we had the opportunity to conduct a graduation ceremony for Malachi Dads at High Desert Prison.
Living into the Kingdom Story
What storyline are we a part of? This Lent, I have benefited significantly from the writings and teachings of others.
Staying Ahead Through Wise Decisions
Technology continues to impact all our lives. Some for the better, like advances in medicine or enhanced safety. Some for the not so better, like phone chimes during church service or mindless games that waste our time. Lifeline Global’s ministry to the incarcerated and their families is not immune to these advances.
22,000 in 2022
At Lifeline Global Ministries, we serve a God that there are no goals that are too big for. That’s why I wanted to make public our organizational goal for 2022: TO REACH 22,000 INCARCERATED STUDENTS!
Liberty in the Light
“For every thousand people hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the roots” H.D Thoreau.
I used to have a boss who started a large, nationwide ministry to urban communities. He argued that the Christian church could be most effective in global evangelism and discipleship if it focused on the large, urban areas of the United States.
God Loves the Incarcerated
How does God feel about the incarcerated...The Message goes even farther in its statement. It says that “God leads the prisoners to freedom”.
Life Together-Remembering the Inmate
This summer, I spent some time with members of our church doing a book study on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. If you have not had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it; especially during these times of isolation due to COVID-19. The piece spells out the importance of Christian community and that we belong to one another through and in Jesus Christ.
We Strive Without Reciprocation
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the live-streamed event of the Global Leadership Summit with about 150 men serving sentences at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Hutchinson, KS. After not being allowed into prisons or jails around much of the country, it was great to finally get an opportunity to have some fellowship; even if only for a few days/
Find a Good Coach
In all aspects of life, if you want to be successful it is going to take hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance.
Ministry Update, Spring 2021
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, there were an estimated 2.3 million males behind bars in the U.S. in 2020.
Incarceration and Easter
Easter has always been my favorite time of year. The 40 days leading up to Easter offer time to praise and worship the Lord.