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Excerpt from a letter by Jill Rowe

April 2, 1998

NTM Counselling Centre:

I must admit I was really surprised to receive your letter about the sexual abuse.

My oldest daughter, Krista, is now 19.  She was in the little dorm in the late 1980’s.  It does trouble me that such a great time span has passed before an investigation was started.  I do know that the executive committee knew about this long before 1997.

We first found out about this when Krista was 13 or 14.  We were on staff at Durham and were having a lot of difficulty in our family.  Many factors came into play, one being the sexual abuse in the dorm.  We found a note Krista wrote talking about how useless her life was and all she wanted to do was end it.  It referred to the abuse from “Uncle Dave”.  I can’t remember all that she wrote but needless to say it was upsetting.

We took this note to Chet Plimpton to get his advice.  We were in counseling with him at that time and it seemed like the way to deal with it.

Chet told us of other reports of abuse in the dorm and how one family was taking Dave Brooks to court.  He told us other families were not told about this happening because of the seriousness of it and it was felt better to keep it as quiet as possible.  The only families who were notified were ones who Dave said he assaulted.  Dave never named Krista as one of his “girls” so we were not told.  Looking back I cannot understand why a child abuser would be trusted to tell all the truth and I think all the families with children in the dorm should have been notified.  It was wrong on the part of the leadership to decide what they did.

My husband even called Dave to confront him and Dave assured him that he never touched Krista.

I don’t believe that Dave Brooks never assaulted her, I never did.  All those involved at the time felt he was sincere about it and was remorseful for what he did.  I never found out what happened with his court case, the man should be in jail for what he did to those girls.  Yes, I am bitter towards him and for the way the mission handled the whole situation.  There was more concern about what effect it would have on the mission than that of Krista.  I know there was concern from Chet and those at Durham who knew, but the right actions were never taken.  We were left to try and figure it out and we never had the expertise to handle it.

I also know that Senegal is not the only field where this kind of abuse has gone on.  I only hope there is now better education of all those involved to detect this kind of thing.

Always in the back of my mind was the fact that my girls were going to the dorm and would live among people who loved the Lord and would nurture my children.  All my married life I lived in fear of my husband and believed that the time my girls spent in the dorm would be a time of love and spiritual growth for them.  For Krista it was the opposite, she was one of “Uncle Dave” favourites.  I do hope she writes you, she has a lot of unresolved things to face.  As far as I know my other daughter wasn’t involved.  She remembers nothing about any of it.

I am assuming your letter was sent out to all parents and children who were there at that time.  I hope you keep us involved and informed.  There has been too much secrecy about this.  If there is any further court action I would want to be a part if needed.  I don’t know of anyone else to contact.  I hope this is finally resolved and stopped from happening again

Jill Rowe

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  1. shadowspring
    September 10th, 2010 at 09:15 | #1

    Elijah III :
    If you look at the annals of NTM it can be readily established that sin in those early days was dealt with swiftly and openly. According to one old-timer when rebellion arose in the camp to assume a non-delegated leadership position, the sin was dealt with pronto and with transparency.

    Sorry but, “when rebellion arose in the camp to assume a non-delegated leadership position, the sin was dealt with pronto and with transparency” is not at all reassuring.

    What I am reading is that from the very beginning, any challenge to authority in NTM was seen as a grievous crime. That is in itself very problematic. After all, it was men and women in authority over others who committed the abuse, and even higher authorities who covered it up.

    Knowing that from the beginning NTM was a heavy-handed authoritarian organization is not at all reassuring. Not at all….

  2. kristas friend
    September 9th, 2010 at 08:32 | #2

    I went to school with Krista during this time. She was my friend. 1992. Grade 8.
    She confided her story to me at the time.
    reading this has me in tears.I have never, will never forget that conversation with Krista. I always kept a special place in my heart for her. knowing what she went through and knowing her courage and love for her god, despite everything, is inspirational. But my heart trembles for her family and the tragic chain reaction her abuse set in motion. The shattered families and lives destroyed by this abuse have, in my opinion, been given no respect or love from NTM, which creates an element of despair I have no words for. Krista I remember you always and Jill, you and your other daughter are in my prayers.

  3. Elijah III
    September 27th, 2009 at 07:46 | #3

    If you look at the annals of NTM it can be readily established that sin in those early days was dealt with swiftly and openly. According to one old-timer when rebellion arose in the camp to assume a non-delegated leadership position, the sin was dealt with pronto and with transparency. Everything was administered and ministered in the LIGHT of God’s Word. I’m sure there are numerous accounts that could be shared…
    Someone of the past has wisely noted that organizations go through several stages though out their history before their tragic downfall. 1. A MAN has a vision. Who hasn’t heard the amazing story of Paul Flemming. 2. Through that person begins a MOVEMENT. For the sake of space I will not mention all the wonderful people who joined him in that vision. 3. Then there is a MISSION. I can still remember when potential missionaries were challenged regardless of education, age, the number of children a family had, and with very little emphasis on health issues. 4. Unfortunately NTM has seemed to move into the final stage which is that of becoming a MONUMENT. It is at this level where an organization becomes an authority unto itself and original core values are discarded.
    It would take a spiritually calloused monster to not hear Jill’s heart in this testimonial and not act so there can be swift and open healing and restoration for all.
    To Jill and all the Fanda Eagles we say: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace!

  4. Gene Long
    August 3rd, 2009 at 23:04 | #4

    “He told us other families were not told about this happening because of the seriousness of it and it was felt better to keep it as quiet as possible.”

    I think I get the point. Suppose word were to spread. Think of how the parents of other kids would feel. Think of how prospective missionaries would feel. Think of how supporting churches would feel. Think how YOU would feel.

    How would they react? How have YOU reacted to the stories you’ve read on this blog?

    The only beneficiary I can see from keeping this as quiet as possible is the reputation of NTM.

  5. August 3rd, 2009 at 22:09 | #5

    Jill, your story breaks my heart.