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.
You have certainly heard me speak this past year about the success we’ve had with our video curriculum. This technology has allowed us to reach more inmates than ever before. Likewise, last fall I wrote about the transformative Zoom training we had for our international partners that allowed hundreds of participants to join us from around the world.
Now Lifeline is faced with a growing new technology. While e-readers and electronic books on tablets have been around for a while, they have not been widely used within prisons or jails. By implementing better security protocols, more states and counties are exploring their use.
For Lifeline, it would be terrific for us to be able to download our materials so that every inmate has access to our training. Unfortunately, there is not one unified approach to address this process. Some states are looking to purchase hardware where they can download their own material. Others are looking to purchase fully loaded machines. There are even organizations that are working to integrate changing programming (similar to what you would hear on Christian talk radio).
Lifeline is trying to stay ahead of the curve so that we can take advantage of whatever direction a state/county system decides to take. We can certainly use your prayers that we are making smart decisions as to next steps. Innovative technology can be expensive, and we want to ensure we are being good stewards and not going down a technology rabbit hole. Would you keep Lifeline and this specific topic in mind in the days and weeks ahead?
We know that God will provide us with the path that best allows us to reach those behind bars.
-Dr. Romney Ruder