After turning 70, OneWay staff member shares excitement for the next stage of life
At 70 years old, Melody Ruge says she has finally found her dream job. After marrying at 18, being a stay-at-home mom, a tax preparer and a restaurant owner/manager, Ruge joined OneWay’s team in 2022 as a finance assistant, processing online donations and helping support the programs and people of OneWay.
She embraces this new stage of life with gratitude.
“I’ve been saying for a few years that I’m in the fourth quarter of the game,” she explains. “I am thankful to the Lord for the life experiences He gave me that brought me to do what I can do today.” She encourages other retirees to consider how God might have given them life experiences for just such a time as this.
Ruge has no shortage of life stories she could share. Just six days after graduating high school, she got married, having her first child three years later. As her children grew, she would spend 30 hours a week in their school, volunteering in the library and as a room mother, earning her the title “professional volunteer” from her husband.
When their children were grown, Ruge and her husband bought a Culver’s franchise, which they managed for 11 years. At a little over 50 years old, unsure of what the future might hold because of health issues that run in their family, the Ruges realized they wanted to spend as much time as possible volunteering. For them, that meant selling their house, buying a motorhome and traveling the world doing work in South America, Canada and Africa.
Ruge joined the OneWay team in June 2022, after learning about an opening on the Finance Team. Her favorite part about being on the OneWay team is the people. “Whether it is the staff or donors,” she says, “we are all working together to spread God’s truth. It is humbling to be among godly people using their gifts and talents, which are amazing, and to know that God can powerfully use a woman whom He wired to enjoy adding columns of numbers.”
Her son, Chris, who works alongside her at OneWay as Director of Prayercast and Mission Network News, says she has always been a rock for their family. “She provided a beautiful environment to grow up and love the Lord in,” he says.
Looking back on the more difficult parts of her life, Ruge wishes that she had just started off every day recognizing that God is worthy. “Then the rest of the day is in His hands,” she says. “That constant thinking that I have nothing without the very breath that He gives me. I think that a lot of the stuff in my past would have gone a lot easier if I had taken that path every morning.”
Every day, she devotes herself to that very idea: God is worthy to receive back the gifts He has given her as she enables the work of the Great Commission.