Joint Statement of New Tribes Mission and GRACE
September 8, 2010
Since the release of the original and amended GRACE report, GRACE and NTM continue to
receive inquiries and questions from MKs and numerous other parties throughout the world.
NTM and GRACE also continue to receive additional information regarding the Fanda boarding
school. Accordingly, GRACE and NTM are issuing this joint statement to assist interested
parties in understanding the report and the process.
First, in the GRACE report Dick Day was listed as being identified on an NTM document as a
sexual abuse perpetrator. NTM acknowledges that Dick Day’s name was identified on such a
document, but that it appeared as a result of a clerical error by NTM. The name that should have
been listed instead of Mr. Day is an individual whose name already appears within the GRACE
Amended Final Report. Instead of listing Dick Day’s name with an explanation cited in a
footnote, GRACE acknowledges its failure in that it should have followed up with NTM about
the fact that Mr. Day’s name appeared on the document without any supporting records. Dick
Day has not been accused of child sexual abuse. NTM and GRACE have personally apologized
to Dick Day for these grievous errors. Other than the NTM document, which NTM
acknowledges to be an error, GRACE has received no evidence that Mr. Day ever abused a child
and, therefore, he was never included among the personnel recommendations made by GRACE.
Second, in light of the statements made by Mark Adams to GRACE on the eve of the amended
report, GRACE conducted further inquiries into the conduct of Mr. Adams and has provided a
fuller explanation of the information GRACE has received regarding this matter. This
explanation is contained in the attached Addendum to the GRACE report.
Third, NTM asked GRACE to provide additional detail concerning the conduct of six personnel
before acting on the GRACE recommendations. Although GRACE has sought to protect the
identities and personal information of those victimized at Fanda, we also recognize the need of
NTM for additional information and the standards GRACE used in assessing the documents as
well as written and oral statements we received. This additional information is contained in the
Please use the comments to discuss.
- On and between June 24th and June 26th, the GRACE team will be meeting with over 15 individuals who were adults during the days of Fanda and who were in some way related to the operation and/or oversight of the school. Some of these adults have been quite defensive of how NTM operated Fanda, while others have been extremely critical. As you can guess, these meetings will be critically important and most likely very difficult. We covet your prayers for these days of meetings. Please pray that God will give us the wisdom to search and find truth as we learn from, confront, and challenge those who are in attendance. These meetings will provide GRACE with the final pieces of the puzzle needed in order to prepare our final report and recommendations.
- The GRACE team will meet on June 26th for the purpose of collecting and finalizing our primary ideas and recommendations for the preparation of the final report.
- GRACE will spend the month of July drafting the final report and recommendations.
- GRACE will deliver the final report and recommendations to the MK’s and NTM on a date yet to be determined in August.
- Sometime after the delivery date, the GRACE team will be in communication with the MK’s for the purpose of answering any questions or concerns that any of you may raise regarding the contents of the report and/or the recommendations.
- Sometime after the delivery date, the GRACE team will meet in person with the NTM Executive Committee to review the report and to begin working out the implementation of our recommendations.
April 10 Update – letter from Grace
Feb 23 UPDATE
VA went very well. About 15 former MKs were there to share their stories in individual interviews with the Grace team. Grace asked intelligent questions and displayed appropriate outrage about what happened at Fanda and the resulting NTM coverup. This was the first experience for some of us in realizing that by speaking up we are part of the solution – not the problem. To speak up is strength and bravery. Thank you to Grace for their hearts and time and expertise.
Grace will speak to many more MKs and Ms (missionaries and former missionaries) in the next month and they are shooting for final recommendations by end of spring/early summer.
Please email Grace if you still want your voice heard. We are so encouraged. Love.
Happy 2010 everyone. This is going to be an amazing year.
People have been asking for an update so I thought I’d let everyone know that things are happening! Those of us MKs who want to meet with Grace will be traveling to Virginia most likely the weekend of Feb 19. After that the phone interviews will commence and we should be seeing the final letter of findings by late spring/early summer at the latest.
So many letters are pouring in from MKs who have had an experience of abuse at other NTM schools around the world but because it is now out in the open are finding support/seeking counseling and starting to face those things we might have tried to never think about but that affect us nonetheless.
If anyone wants me to attend their interview/phone interview with Grace I am available. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love to all,
I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Boz Tchividjian and I am the Executive Director of a non-profit organization called Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (hereinafter, GRACE). During the past months, GRACE has been working with former students (hereinafter, MKs) who attended the Fanda School in Senegal and New Tribes Mission (hereinafter, NTM). The purpose of our work is to independently and comprehensively investigate and review numerous allegations of physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse that was perpetrated upon MKs while attending Fanda. Though you may very well find this to be a very difficult and painful subject, I ask that you make every effort to read this letter in its entirety. Please understand, GRACE is not a representative of NTM but is working independently with all parties involved.
UPDATE: There is some misinformation floating around about GRACE, namely that they are “representing NTM” in these abuse matters. In the words of GRACE themselves, they are not NTM’s hired gun, they are a completely independent third party organization who promise to be completely unbiased in making their final report and recommendations.
Hi all Fanda ex-MKs,
Those of us who are seeking closure in this matter would love if you were all willing to speak with GRACE and tell them what you were or were not aware of what was going on on the field. The more insight we have on this matter the more thorough their investigation can be. I personally would be so grateful for your participation.
If NTM lawyers or anyone else “representing NTM” contacts you I would encourage you to refer them to GRACE. We know from speaking to GRACE that they hold the position that the cover up that happened at Fanda is Biblically wrong. GRACE does not represent NTM in any way but has agreed to mediate for both parties as an objective third party.
GRACE would love the opportunity to talk with everyone who attended Fanda from 1985 until it closed in 1997. Please feel free to contact them directly at email@example.com.
I hope everyone takes this opportunity to give your thoughts and share your perspective. I understand some of you wont have abuse claims…GRACE wants to hear from you too. Everyone’s input will be helpful in uncovering how this abuse could have happened.
I’d love to talk to anyone who wants to contact me.
I have had the opportunity to attend a conference GRACE held at Calvary Church in Ft. Lauderdale on how to respond when child abuse occurs within the church. GRACE holds the position that the cover-up of abuse within the church and missions is sinful and those who participate in these cover-ups and inappropriate responses are culpable and must be held accountable.
In a nutshell GRACE’s position on what occurred at Fanda and other schools around the world and in the church is this: GRACE hates sin and coverups. GRACE says God abhors sin and the non-response of the church is sin, and sin will always be revealed in His time. The priest and the levite who passed the wounded man on the road to Jericho were almost surely on their way to do “good religious works” and were probably on their way to the synagogue. But the samaritan was a friend and a neighbor, as we are called to be, and God does not excuse injustices committed in the name of the “greater good”. In fact He abhors it. Doing good works is not an excuse. The church (mission) is culpable spiritually and criminally for covering up.
Last weekend Bonnie and I also flew to Philadelphia to meet with Diane Langberg of GRACE. GRACE is an organization that we feel we can trust to be impartial and to advocate for us for resolution and justice. We want to encourage you to communicate with GRACE your stories and your desires for justice. We have given GRACE the go-ahead to investigate our stories and read all the documentation that NTM sent them on Fanda. Your voices now are going to be instrumental in giving the big picture of what Fanda was like and what really went on.
Please feel free to email me at any time for information. I am also more than happy to sit in on any MK interview if it would be a help to anyone. Let us know if there is anything else we can do. We are excited and encouraged to see resolution and justice to these matters.
Child Abuse by the NTM Fanda Field Committee?
moderator note: initials are chosen randomly and do not reflect actual names
When A, B and I were in the little dorm at Fanda in the same room, B was touched by the dorm dad. In that year A told her mom that B and I were doing stuff to each others boobs and asked her mom if that was OK. ( I only found out about this next bit a few weeks ago). Her mom went to the Fanda FC and told them about it and said that this was not normal developmental behavior and she thought that either B or I were being sexually abused (The mother of A had been abused as a child).
Instead of investigating abuse they interrogated A and asked her what else B and I had done together, she said “nothing”. Then they called mine and B’s parents to Fanda, telling them what A said we had done but nothing about possible abuse. They sat B myself and our parents and all the FC men in a room and I don’t remember exactly what they said but they said that we had done something REALLY BAD. They humiliated us and told us to tell them what we had done together. We just cried. This went on for a few days while they told us how sinful these things were (they never actually told us what we had been accused of doing) .
Our parents went home after those first few days then (my mom only found out about this the other day) it got worse. They brought the dorm parents into it ( the dorm dad was B’s abuser) and they told us quite descriptively what we could have done which was nothing that A ever told them we did and told us it was wrong and we need to confess it to them. We cried a lot. We were forbidden to have any contact with each other. We were questioned together and apart.
I think the dorm parents may have initiated the continued investigation. I can’t understand why they were even involved. When we still confessed to nothing they got us individually in a room with a FC members wife and the dorm mom who hated us because I think she may have had some idea of what her husband was doing. This had gone on for around a week all up by now. We finally both admitted to doing stuff with each others boobs and insisted that there was NOTHING else.
After we told them this they dropped it and it was never brought up again. We always thought that A had told them a bunch of lies and I only found out that she didn’t A FEW WEEKS AGO when I finally found the courage to actually talk about it to her. I also thought that her mom must have told the FC because she thought we were dirty rotten kids. My parents thought that the bit that they were involved in was an overreaction.
All of this destroyed my relationship with my mom. She didn’t stand up for me. And I thought that she believed A’s lies ( which turned out not to be lies) and supported the FC. I told her after this that I didn’t want her to hug me anymore and I decided I was on my own in the world. I hated and didn’t trust any adult. I feel SO sorry for my Mom. She had no idea what actually went on! I love her SO MUCH now and have a very good relationship with her, but this change in our relationship only started to happen after I turned 18.
So… instead of investigating if there could have been any abuse they ATTACKED the abused in front of the abuser. Us children were abused by the FC. I would go as far as to say that it was sexual abuse by them at times. This happened in the 1990′s.
Hello Former Fanda MKs,
We are in the process of forming a committee to respond to NTM’s choice of third party investigative organization. We are not yet certain that we can agree to mediate through GRACE but in the event that we decide we can we want to be prepared.
If you would like to join the committee please email us. My primary goal is for the protection of the MKs during the investigative process. Email me to find out more or just to let me know your thoughts. This is all of our decision and the committee is being formed for all of our protection, since NTM chose the third party without any input from any of us.
We are moved by what God is doing through this blog. Please keep praying for God to thoroughly expose the depravity.
A brief summary of our story follows.
In June 1988, just prior to our June 18 scheduled return from furlough to Senegal, we had several phone conversations with Frank S, field chairman in Senegal. We taped one of our phone calls during which we resigned from the field. Then, with urgings from the Executive Committee and a meeting with them in Jackson Michigan, they assured us that they would work with the Senegal committee and the field committee would hear our hearts and be sympathetic with the direction God was leading us in not sending our girls away to boarding school. They encouraged us to return to the field.
In July 1988 we returned to Senegal. We were met with disdain and accusations from our field committee. We were mocked, ridiculed and scorned. The confrontational meetings sometimes lasted up to 5 hours at a time. We were told that the blood of the Budiks was on our hands if we didn’t return to Chobo. We were told that we were making our children into gods. At one meeting a FC leader said to John, “We are four, you are one, God can’t lead you by yourself. “ At that point John told them “Well, if that is your doctrine, then I don’t see how I can submit to that kind of leadership.” That enraged one of the leaders (Bob A) so much he got within inches of John’s face and raged at John that he was in sin.
If you are with NTM you probably recently received this email from us:
Dear New Tribes Missionary,
It is with a heavy heart that we come before you to humbly inform you
of what happened to us as MKs in NTM boarding schools around the
world. We ask you to read the documentation that proves that New
Tribes knew for 20 years about what happened to us yet did nothing to
act on that information. Some of the child molesters are still with
New Tribes to this day, and NTM will no longer communicate with us
about these events.
All documentation can be read here:
Please stand up for us and ask your leadership to stop ignoring these
horrible crimes, and to do the right thing, repent and turn from this
sin. We don’t want any more children to be harmed because of the
unconfessed sin on the part of NTM leadership. We know much good is
being done around the world by good missionaries such as yourselves,
and we hope that your work will be fruitful, and that your mission
will take a stand with us against these abuses.
The Fanda Eagles
An hour later NTM sent out this memo to members:
New Tribes Mission has been informed that at least one and possibly several former Missionary Kids (“MKs”) connected with New Tribes Mission have recently made statements to the media alleging that they were victims of excessive physical discipline or otherwise suffered abuse at some overseas NTM schools in the 1980s or early 1990s and that NTM has failed to satisfactorily respond to the alleged abuse.
If you are approached in regard to this matter by media and any other outside party other than current and former NTM members and MKs, please refer them to the NTM media spokesperson, Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404.
If friends, supporters or others approach you, you can verbally share with them the information that we have shared with you in this document. We urge you to refrain from saying anything that may be taken as negative toward the MKs who are making these statements. We value every MK and their families and are committed to seeking the truth. If you as a member have information related to this subject, please contact the Child Protection Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Kari and Bonnie,
On behalf of the NTM Executive Board I would like to request the note below be posted to the Fandaeagles blog. Thank you.
Announcement from the New Tribes Mission Executive Board
In recent months, a number of MK’s have come forward to express anger, frustration, and hurt as a result of abuse which occurred in the NTM Senegal field during the 1980’s & ‘90’s. Though NTM has taken some steps in the past to address some of these complaints, the responses were too little, too late. NTM acknowledges its failure to satisfactorily respond to the disclosures of this awful abuse. The current leadership of NTM has unanimously determined that this issue must finally be addressed in a comprehensive manner which serves those who were abused and ultimately serves our Lord and Savior.
Though NTM desires to demonstrate authentic repentance and service to those who have been affected by this grave sin, it needs much guidance and counsel in how this is to be best accomplished. Therefore, NTM has sought the guidance of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to insure that it painstakingly responds to this matter with truth, compassion, and completeness. GRACE is an organization whose sole purpose is to train and equip the Christian community in how to respond to disclosures of child sexual abuse in a manner which serves and honors those who have been abused. The GRACE board of directors has over 100 years of combined experience advocating for the protection of children. You can learn more about GRACE and its work at www.netgrace.org <http://www.netgrace.org> .
It is the prayerful desire of NTM that GRACE will be able to work with all parties to bring about authentic healing, restoration, and change.
Monday, July 27, 2009, 5:40 PM
Hi Kari, Bonnie & Vicki,
As I mentioned the other day, we’ve been checking into using a third party review group and have been corresponding with GRACE (www.netgrace.org) an organization started by Billy Graham’s grandson, Boz Tchividjian. We contacted them about three weeks ago but these things take longer than we expected.
If you check out the website you will see the other directors of this organization, in particular Diane Langberg. We would have confidence in using GRACE as a third party review group and would appreciate it if you could check them out too.
We want to move ahead with an organization that is acceptable & one made up of professional, qualified people who are well acquainted with abuse issues and will handle these with sensitivity & understanding. We feel GRACE would be a good choice.
Tibby on behalf of the CPC
Monday, July 27, 2009 8:26 PM
Have you made up your minds about this, Tibby?
Because we were under the impression that you respected our input, and we feel we should really be the ones choosing the third party.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 12:33 PM
Thank you for this reply to the CPC’s e-mail. We obviously want you to be able to support and have confidence in any third-party review group. Would you be willing to check the GRACE group out before this dialogue continues? We really believe you can have confidence in their professional abilities, their qualifications and their unbiased perspective. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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
Why do they sound so reluctant to have to do something about child molesters? Maybe being molested is also good for children. Oct ’93
7/31/09 — Nothing has been done for Vicky, Kari, Bonnie, Joie, Miriam, Miriam, Naomi or anyone else who has had contact with us through this blog, including MKs from other schools around the world. Abusers named here are still serving with NTM. Unbelievable. Still have not received the list we were promised, and the CPC is not answering our emails.
*Update 7/22/09 – As of today, we still have not received the list we requested.
- The onus is on Vicky to decide if P’s should be disciplined or not. This is something NTM should handle and leave the victim out of it. She has informed them of the actions she wants taken, and has gotten no response.
- When Victoria called them today, requesting regular updates on their investigation, she was told by the CPC that they weren’t aware that we wanted updates. We have made it very clear that we want updates. In fact, after meeting with them for 19 hours in May, we were promised by them that they would send us regular updates.
- Most of the victims have not been contacted by NTM about their allegations. We have personally been told by the CPC that they can’t communicate with us because of our blog. The Senegal Field Committee is also refusing to communicate with us because of the blog.
- No one has followed up with us about conducting any third party investigation.
- NTM has not reimbursed past counseling charges for most of us.
- Any communication that we have received from NTM since starting this site has been posted to the site.
In fact, the only things that we have not posted to this blog are a very few comments that were calling NTM “maggots” and saying that “NTM can burn in hell”. We choose to distance ourselves from such comments as they do not reflect our heart and the heart behind this blog.
Edit 7/9/09 – Aside from someone in Senegal working on making up (from old yearbooks) the list we requested, we have not heard any response from NTM since our last update – specifically, the EB. Our emails are getting no reply. It seems that things are being left up to us once again. And it is clear that NTM is not following their own manual. Victoria’s abuser should have already been confronted, as their own manual dictates. It seems (from a phone call) that NTM is asking Vicky to confront her own abuser. This is not acceptable.
We have been hearing from more people behind the scenes, who are also not being cared for by NTM.
Dear readers of this blog – if you feel strongly about this, please post here – that we will not accept being ignored for one more day. -bonnie
In light of your renewed commitment to transparency we, the collective MKs are requesting a list of all MKs and all dormparents/teachers who were closely involved with Fanda from 1988 until the school closed in 1997. We request this be emailed to email@example.com by COB 7/7/09 at the latest.
Edit 7/6/09- We have heard from NTM that they are working on this list and will be sending it to us shortly. Thank you.
Adults who were abused emotionally, spiritually, physically and sexually while children in a New Tribes Mission boarding school in Fanda, West Africa are speaking out and seeking justice. The boarding school was for the children of missionaries with New Tribes Mission. It has long been the established practice for missionary children to be sent to boarding schools while their parents served in foreign countries. This practice is not unique to New Tribes Mission, but has been an established practice of most mission boards that I have ever known.
What makes this particular school and situation stand out is that there is now extensively documented evidence that the mission board knew of the sexual abuse by 1987 but did nothing about it. As of the present time, more than 20 years later, they have still taken no legal action and persist in ignoring the pleas of former victims for justice. They are making token noises about the systemic abuse but have done nothing definitive.
Read the full article here
Investigators claim to have found more than 6,000 pictures and 250 video clips of child pornography on the computer of NTM Member Joel Price. He was subsequently indicted on two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. No charges of sexual abuse were filed and the police do not believe that he had any sexual contact with children.
Here is the timeline:
April 2008: Internet Crimes Against Children task force traced child porn being shared on the Internet to Price’s previous home
May 2008: Joel Price’s computer searched
June 2008: Joel Price resigned from his position as “Youth Pastor” with New Tribes Mission, Sanford, Florida
I was not sexually abused by Dave B. or by anyone else during my lifetime, and for that I am very thankful.
I arrived in Fanda at age 11 in 1993 and was sent to the dorm within 3 weeks of arriving in Senegal for the first time in my life. My parents requested extra time to spend with us kids, but were denied it by the field committee. Although I was excited to be in Senegal, it was very difficult. My dorm parents at the time told me I was a bad influence on the other girls due to the fact that I had just come from Canada. Consequently, they blamed me for many things that I did not do. My dorm dad had an anger problem and repeatedly took me into his office and yelled at me to such a degree that I would cover my face, but I would refuse to cry as I did not want to give him the satisfaction. He also threatened to expel me from Fanda many times. My dorm mom accused me of being a Lesbian at one point and also neglected me when I was sick, which was often that year. I found the atmosphere at Fanda to be judgemental and harsh and my self esteem was damaged through my experience there. It has taken me a long time to rebuild a positive self image.
Unfortunately, when I arrived at Fanda, I heard vague stories of what Dave B. would do to the girls. This was difficult for me to process as a young girl. In 1997, the field committee discreetly recognized the fact that several girls were sexually abused in the dorm, but did not provide any support for the children at Fanda to process this terrible crime. In fact, it was brushed under the carpet and I remember being told that “God was in control” and that all would work out “to his glory”. Perhaps these statements are true within a qualified context. But as a result of these statements I came to mistakenly believe that God must be cruel, forcing girls to undergo sexual assault (as he was in control) through circumstances beyond their control. These thoughts may seem unreasonable now, but to a 15 year old who was not given proper teaching, they were only logical. I began to feel out of control of my life, as if I were a pawn controlled by God, predestined to do “his will”. As a 17 year old when I returned to Canada, I mentally broke down and had to go on antianxiety medication for 2 years. I also attended counselling sessions with a cognitive therapist as well as a psychologist. Both of these professionals helped me to restructure how I perceived my life as well as the lives of others. They helped me to realize that I was in control of my decisions and my life and that some ambiguous god was not. What a relief it was and is to know this truth.
What terrible crimes Dave B. and other people committed when they abused children at Fanda. Their crimes severely affected the children directly involved, but they also affected other children who listened to the abused, wanting to be a support, but also being inadvertently damaged. NTM needs to take responsibility for their lack of action at the time (as well as now) and also for the general damage done to children sent to their boarding school in Fanda, Senegal.
I was sexually abused many times by Dave B as a young girl, mostly
during sleep over’s with his daughter. He drew me in by telling me
that I was his best friend and that we could tell each other all our
secrets. He was quite smart in knowing how to win a child’s affection.
Because I wanted that unfortunate “friendship” at the time, and have
never really felt upset by what happened, I thought that it had not
affected me. Only in the last year I’ve realized that it has. Issues
that I thought I was born with were too coincidental with the issues
that others deal with after similar experiences.
I recently learned that my father had gone to NTM headquarters years
ago, trying to see justice done. Not just because of me, but because
he loves his past Fanda students so much. He had an excellent idea on
how to get Dave B arrested on US soil, but the idea wasn’t
used for one reason or another. I want Dave B. prosecuted because I
believe that he is still doing it to others. I’ve heard that he has
“repented” and is now running a men’s Bible study. I remember him
talking about his close relationship with God while he was touching
me. Don’t be fooled! I was as a child, but we are all adult’s now.
I am not writing this as a victim, but instead to help bring things
into the light. Most of us were quiet for too long and I admire those
who have had the courage to get things moving. I have many happy
memories of Fanda, particularly the sports, and I was privileged to
have some excellent role models. The Rabes, Cheri Colombe, and my
parents are just a few of the many who come to mind. I hope that they
aren’t thinking that those were wasted years after reading the things
that were going on.
I am not naive to the harshness, legalism, and power trips that were
also going on. I tried hard for years to follow all the rules that I
felt were necessary to have a relationship with God. After failing
over and over, I told God that I was not able or willing to follow so
many rules, and so would not be continuing to try. I was surprised
that He hasn’t gone anywhere. I still feel Him close beside me and He
continues to bless me constantly. I hope that others haven’t blamed
God for what went on. I have found Him to be our biggest advocate. I
was so encouraged to hear from some of you also, and how you have come
through this. We can make a difference today, by watching out for the
children around us, and by being that safe person that they can talk
We are wondering at your reluctance to communicate with us. When Larry Brown emailed us, and asked us to post his email to our blog, we took it to mean that you supported the blog, and you chose that time to underline your commitment to transparency.
Please understand that going public with our abuses is an extremely difficult and vulnerable time for all of us. We made the blog because NTM had stopped communicating with us and was unable after 8 months of “investigations” to make any concrete changes to their structure. When we asked you for updates, we only received a vague, “We’re investigating”. When we asked for an idea of when to expect action on your part, Larry told us he couldn’t give us even a tentative timeline. Can you understand we have been hearing that you are “investigating” for 12 years? We cannot wait 12 more, or one more.
We were hoping you could be grateful for the blog, for helping us all to understand and uncover what really went on at Fanda. How much of what you now know because of the blog would you have discovered on your own? Probably very little. And there is so much more that is not even on the blog. So much more. When Marv repeated at the Tallahassee meeting what the CPC has said to us before, “It was so long ago, how can we ever know what really happened?” it became clear to us that you didn’t expect nor care to ever know. That was another slap in the face to Senegal MKs. We were there, we know. Ask us.
It is sad to say that it appears that you are dedicated to transparency only when you feel it serves you. I sincerely hope we are wrong about this.
What we are hoping you can think about is this, is the CPC for the victim, or does it exist to protect NTM? We feel if the CPC was for the victims, you would be pulling for us, encouraging us to tell our stories, communicating often with us, questioning our abusers and pushing hard for their dismissal. It seems the role of the CPC is merely to protect the overall mission image, otherwise you would understand what a travesty it is to tell abused children that you are sure their abuser was repentant and wouldn’t abuse anyone else. This is not something an independent child protection agency would ever communicate to an abused child. Do you understand why?
What we have trouble fathoming in all of this is WHY wouldn’t NTM’s response to abuse claims be, “We are outraged that this happened to you in our name. We are so sorry. We will IMMEDIATELY contact these alleged abusers, and keep you informed every step of the process, keep you involved, encourage you to get into counseling and be a support system for you if you feel safe enough to talk with us. And if anyone is found to have abused a child under our watch, we will dismiss them immediately. NTM has no interest in protecting pedophiles and child abusers. We will not be a safe place for people like this ever again. We will investigate swiftly and promise resolution in a matter of weeks for the victim and prosecute anyone guilty to the full extent of the law, and by doing this we will send a clear message to future child abusers and molestors, not this mission. You may not join NTM to prey on the innocent. Our MKs have value to us and we will protect them fiercely.”
NTM, one final plea. It is our belief and a biblical promise that relationship can be restored if there is repentance for sins. We believe our relationship could be fruitful and fulfilling and better than we can imagine. Hear our hearts and respond.
Kari, Bonnie, and the Fanda Eagles
Please read the questionnaire here.
NTM, we would like to ask you, have you taken the steps you commit to in the below questionnaire regarding each Fanda abuse confirmed in this website?
MK SafetyNet Questionnaire for Mission Boards regarding Allegations of Abuse ~ Response New Tribes Mission
Does your organization have a policy regarding the handling of allegations or suspicion of abuse of children in schools operated by you or schools where the children of your missionaries are sent?
“ntm does know, but did nothing! my parents told the mission to remove the couple from NTM or my parents would leave…my parents left the mission….need i say more? they wanted to put me on the stand or meet face to face with the couple. my parents said they would not allow any more hurt seen done to me. i was sexually abused when i was 11 and my parents only found out when i was 19 because the dorm dad had some sorta breakdown and started talking a little too much….next thing you know the president of NTM is knocking at our door….that’s when my parents found out. i have never seen my father sob the way he did. and never the less the couple is still being “good ole missionaries”.
When I was seven years old, I went to Fanda.
I had the B’s as dorm parents, and it was… bad. They were physically, emotionally and sexually abusive to all of us who lived with them. (I say all, because we were all abused by them in one form or another) They were dorm parents for my first three years at school, and the things I learned during that time took the rest of my life to work out and un-learn.
Hello Kari, Bonnie (and all):
We read your recently posted blog with great sadness. We want to apologize again for the hurts you have experienced and to let you know that we at Read more…
“dear bonnie, i don’t know who started up that blog, but i was very dissapointed to find that there was really only one story going on there! there were several other girls who were abused by other dorm parents years later, including myself. not to mention that most of us suffered from various abuses, not only sexual, but EMOTIONAL, VERBAL and SPIRITUAL.
I think some of you would be surprised to know that though we only gave the link to this site to 70 MKs from Fanda, those 70 passed it on and more than 1000 people from NTM have visited the site in the two days it was up. Most of the anonymous commenters are not MK’s, but are former and current NTM missionaries who are righteously and rightfully indignant about being lied to by leadership about the type of environment they were placing their child into.
Just want to take this opportunity to share a bit of my story.
I was an abuse victim of Fanda, as outlined in the documentation supplied on this site. My story was covered up by NTM.
Years later, I had a life of deep depression, drug addiction, a runaway with a death wish. I was full of self hate and anger and insecurity. I told my parents in a letter from one of my rehabs to give up on me. “Consider me dead already”, I said, “I do.” I believed in God but believed he cared nothing for me.
In the last few years I was introduced to a grace-based church and have come back to Christ and a life of passion and joy that I am so privileged to know. I look back on my wasted years and instead see so much life sprouting there. I am humbled by the relentless sowers along my path who were not dissuaded though I treated them with contempt. I’d been hinting at coming back to Christ when a few years ago God tackled me and brought me to my knees in tears at His goodness and grace. I still spend a lot of time there. Legalism taught me that God hated me but Grace taught me that I am loved indeed. Legalism bound me to impossible perfection but Grace freed me and gave me a heart that longs to obey Him. I still sin, I am remarkable at it, but by the grace of God I get up again to seek Him. I am the prodigal daughter and my testimony is this, there is no life apart from Christ, it is only a half-life, a cheap copy, a chasing after the wind. What I have in Him is life to the fullest. Life Indeed.
While I am one of the creators behind this blog and know that I am not to stop until all this is brought into the open, I want to encourage everyone that this life is ours to claim today! We do not need to wait for repentance or an apology or retribution or justice to start living a joyous life. While my heart longs for it, I know repentance from NTM or even justice is not something my life hinges upon. And today I can forgive because I’ve been forgiven indeed. Even me.
If video doesn’t load please listen to the song here.
I realize that asking for repentance is not a quantifiable thing and it may be hard for you to know “what we want”. Repentance is so much more than fulfilling someone’s demands so you can ‘get to the other side of this’. While I think true repentance would illuminate your path and make clear the steps of restitution, I understand that we cannot count on repentance. I believe real repentance would look something like the below, when acted upon out of a broken and contrite heart.
1. A phone call to every one involved in NTM Senegal (missionaries, parents, MKs, abusers) offering reimbursement of counseling expenses. Provide quality and intensive counseling for a lifetime or however long it is desired at a licensed therapist of the MKs choice.
2. Every person in leadership at that time to be investigated (out of house) as to their involvement and if it was determined they showed any knowledge and lack of response to be immediately dismissed from NTM.
3. A letter of apology written to the Senegalese national church.
4. Public pages taken out in newspapers expressing your deep sorrow and desire to stand behind us now and become our greatest advocate.
5. Each abuser named who is still with NTM to be thoroughly investigated in the presence of NTM, any interested MKs and parents, and an outside mediator/lawyer. Dismissed immediately if found to be guilty, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
6. Get a qualified therapist on staff, immediately.
These are things we would like to see happen. I believe a contrite heart would reveal more steps you can make toward restitution and the repairing of the relationship between you, the mission, and us, those who possibly know you best as we grew up under your leadership. Ours hearts really long for a restoration of that relationship. You were our family, and our church.
Words cannot say how disappointed I am regarding New Tribes Mission’s lack of effort to claim responsibility and enforce legitimate consequences for Bill P. A child (my brother) should never be abused. This crime should not happen, ever. Especially when it undermines the trust of parents and child, at no fault of the parent. If sufficient consequences are not dealt to the abuser, regardless of how much time has gone by, it destroys the victims belief in their self worth and importance. Why would this not be so? What reasonable and thinking adult would deny this reality?
The aftermath of my own abuse has affected my children as well as myself and my husband. For years, I suffered from severe depression, and alternate periods of mania. For years, I carried such terrible anger inside me.
Why, if there is true repentance on the heart of the committee, is it 20 years now and still no phone calls or reaching out toward those that have been wronged in the name of NTM? Only form letters. Why? Is there real repentance? No, this is just a problem that had gotten too large to control or to hide and had to be acknowledged. NTM always had time when people were ‘in sin’ for personal interrogations, lengthy meetings and judgments of sin. But woefully little is done when it is time for them to repent. Do you think NTM needs to make a real study of repentance? (MK to CPC 4/09)