Posts by John Rusnak

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

We met Jacob (pseudonym) at the County Detention Center a few years back. I mentored him for several months before he was sentenced to a 15 year term in State prison for murder. Recently, Kim asked him to tell us the lies he believed that led to his choices and his incarceration. His response is…

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Weddings NOT Funerals

After reading this article in the Baltimore Sun, 18-year-old man shot and killed by Baltimore police during pursuit, I was exasperated. The judge had provided leniency for this young man in court one day and he was killed the next after making the choice to return to the game. We never had the opportunity to…

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The God Ask

An invitation: At unCUFFED we have been seeking God’s wisdom to stay on His path, not our own. We have prayed for opportunities to serve and He has been faithful to open doors at an increasing number of facilities. We have prayed for volunteers and they are being supplied. The last component is financial resources.…

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Does God Love a Murderer

As violence increases in Baltimore and Maryland we are called to minister to more and more young men who have committed heinous crimes. We say that we understand and practice the unconditional love of Jesus Christ but there are times when we are scared or even repulsed by the actions of the boys we serve.…

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Quads & Fellowship in a new facility

Last week, we received approval to start work in a new facility, the Baltimore City Correctional Center. We continue to work with juveniles being held in the City’s Pretrial Wyatt building but BCCC is a new facility for us. BCCC is a minimum security facility downtown that houses inmates sentenced to time in the Department…

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Walking in Gideon’s Footsteps

I’ve been reading Judges 7 and thinking about Gideon. He was camped out near the Midian enclave with 32,000 men ready to attack but God had another idea. If Gideon won the battle with those overwhelming numbers God knew that Israel would be boastful saying “My own power has delivered me.” God stripped them down…

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Lifelines

When a 17 year old boy writes out his life story it should be filled with summer camp stories, high school antics, sports teams and their big games, falling in love, hard work in school, plans for the future, and a discovery of his faith in a Creator. Sadly, for the boys we work with…

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Grateful for Re-connections

You often hear the good stories from us of young men and women who are making choices to change their lives but prison ministry, especially with kids, can be an uphill struggle at times. For every kid we make a connection with, another one walks away. The lure of the street and the easy money…

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Lost Hope

Isaiah 22 discusses the attitude of the Israelites, during a time of tribulation. They have no confidence in God’s providence nor fear of His judgement. Without the hope of a future, temporal or eternal, their only sane choice is to say “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die!” We meet so many young…

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Looking for a Father figure

I met 17 year old Jack (a pseudonym) about a month ago.  He has been incarcerated for 5 months and was recently transferred to the juvenile tier at the Baltimore County Detention Center. He is well spoken, thoughtful and curious. During a recent Impending Class we were discussing mentors and who these boys follow. Jack…

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