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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:32 pm 
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Thank you Tambo MK for shedding light on this for me. Perhaps you will be influencial in getting the word out to more of the Tambo survivors.
I'm glad you joined the forum and hope to see more from you!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:33 pm 
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I am a Tambo survivor. I have been reading through pretty much the whole site for the last few days and I figured it was time for me to speak up. I spent 11 years at Tambo, which probably makes me one of the "lifers" that Sherpa Dude was referring to. I don't want to be silent, but I have been very hesitant to weigh in. My heart has been very heavy for my fellow MK's and all that they have suffered at the hands of those given charge over them. I pray for them and I pray for so many of the NTM leadership who is trying to clean up a mess which was not their own to begin with. They have a huge and difficult task on their plates and I pray for God's strength and wisdom for them as they do their human best.

The main reason I have been hesitant is because I don't know that anything I have to say will be all that helpful. However, since much of this blog is calling us out for our silence, the least I can do is share what I have. I was not abused at Tambo. I lived in the dorm for most of my years and I can honestly say that Tambo was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I realize that by saying that, I have lost my voice to speak with many who are reading this. I will now be considered brainwashed, too timid to share what I really feel, or clearly in denial. Was my time at Tambo perfect? Were there no situations that I though unjust? Of course not. No one's childhood was perfect, even for "missionaries". Please don't feel that I am detracting from the pain or the experience of others at Tambo. I am speaking for myself and myself alone.

You know what I chock those injustices up to, who I blame? Fallen people. People fail. They do. I do. I hurt because of other people's failure and other people hurt because of mine. That's a big part of what sucks about being sinners. That's how I explain the things about Tambo I didn't like. Again, if your experience at Tambo was different from mine, please don't feel that I am devaluing what you experienced. My intent is only to share my view of the picture.

I should also share that I am back with NTM. Now I have lost the other half of the readers because I am obviously just towing the company line and defending the mission I grew up in. That's just the thing, though. I was not given a company line and this isn't the mission I grew up in. The name is the same. Some of the places and people are the same, but it is a completely different feel. I can't speak for the fields because I haven't served there, but I can speak for the training and what I see from here. This is different mission than I grew up in. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here. The idea of child abuse at my boarding school was a completely foreign concept to me till a few years ago. I was naive and ignorant because my experience was so far removed from that. I do remember several things coming up at Tambo while I was there during my time, but they were dealt with. I do not and will not expect any leaders, organization, or system to be able to keep people from sinning. The encouraging thing I saw through my time at Tambo and exponentially more in the training is the difference in how things are responded to. There is a difference in the leadership here and it is a difference I believe in. Will they now prevent all sin from being committed and never make poor decisions? Nope. I guarantee more failure is coming, but that is because we are all human and sinners. I will follow these guys because I have seen their quality.

Just a short statement about the difference I have seen as it pertains to Child Protection. The training requires a nearly 2 week course on child protection that is probably the most intense course in the training. It is heart breaking, gut-wrenching stuff, but it is good and it is necessary. It is a priority and will continue to be here.

I guess to conclude, I would like share that I hope this post is not in any way taken as a slight to those who do not share the same view of their time at Tambo. I don't mean for these thoughts to devalue what you experience. My hope is that by hearing a story of someone who spent 11 years at Tambo and found it a generally positive experience your spirits will be lifted. I am thankful for so many of the staff and the way they did everything they could do to nurture me and equip me for life, in spite of their shortcomings. Sorry if I have offended anyone by this post.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:17 am 
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Thank you so much TamboLMT for coming out here with us. I think it will be an encouraging thing. We need to hear from more who did not have really bad experiences like most of us had. Thank you for pointing out that ntm is changing. This is encouraging.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Thank you Tambo LMT and Jerry. We need the good stories on here too. Not everyone was affected badly. I'm encouraged by it and glad to see we can show love towards those who have positive memories too. But by saying you would not be in NTM now if NTM was the same as it was, it indicates there was some bad. No, an organization cannot make sure that no one in it sins, but an organization can provide leadership that encourages openness and grace, not fear and legalism (which facilitated the abuse of power and then other abuses in NTM in the past). It is really encouraging to see the change in NTM, I agree. I also would not be in it if it were the same as it was when I was growing up.

Some things that come to mind that were helpful for me were written by Rroym awhile ago (quoted in blue):

"Not every person sees the same event as abuse. There are many people who go through what is a terrifying experience for others and they come out just fine. Trauma is memory storage problem. For some of us an event gets stuck in our memories and we cannot process it. Other people it is like water off of a ducks back. They stayed present in the situation and processed it as they went. There are a number of psychologists, neurologists, and professional counselors currently studying resiliency and what can be done to encourage it in people."

"Here is another interesting thing about trauma. In order to be traumatized a person does not have to experience it as the victim, but may become traumatized when they see something happen to someone else or even hear about something happening to another person. This worries me deeply about this site. It is possible that as stories are told here that people are taking on others trauma and not working through there own as the is the intention of the site."

"When people in authority start to tell the person that what they went through was horrible and that they should have problems from the experience the abused person can become traumatized. They are not traumatized by the event but by the people trying to help them."


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Some things that come to mind that were helpful for me were written by Rroym awhile ago (quoted in blue):

"Not every person sees the same event as abuse. There are many people who go through what is a terrifying experience for others and they come out just fine. Trauma is memory storage problem. For some of us an event gets stuck in our memories and we cannot process it. Other people it is like water off of a ducks back. They stayed present in the situation and processed it as they went. There are a number of psychologists, neurologists, and professional counselors currently studying resiliency and what can be done to encourage it in people."

"Here is another interesting thing about trauma. In order to be traumatized a person does not have to experience it as the victim, but may become traumatized when they see something happen to someone else or even hear about something happening to another person. This worries me deeply about this site. It is possible that as stories are told here that people are taking on others trauma and not working through there own as the is the intention of the site."
[/quote]

Rroym has much wisdom.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:08 pm 
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The quote didn't show up the way I intended. Everything except the very last line was quoted from Agast's post. Thank you Agast for sharing Rroym's post.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:53 pm 
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I may be like many other Tambo MK’s who have come across this website – internally conflicted because so much of what I read pierces like arrows but I still somehow feel chained to the NTM culture I was raised in, which elicits fear in me that somehow stops my fingers from typing a post. My internal agony over this seems to follow the mantra that I witnessed on the mission field with NTM: suffer in silence. Deep down, I know that a lot happened at Tambo that affects me to this day, however, I still feel disloyal to NTM by publicly acknowledging these thoughts. Furthermore, I still have family and friends involved with NTM, so I feel even more traitorous by raising my voice. The complex mish-mash of these thoughts and emotions leaves me mentally spinning whenever I try to sort through them enough to post anything. This is not because I haven’t processed my thoughts. I sought counseling for several years to talk through a lot of what has been brought up on these forums and other Tambo specific events. But even after dealing with things in counseling sessions, it is still difficult to let oneself relive memories and delve into topics that your mind thought you had already addressed. Particularly, it is difficult realizing the scope of issues that affect not only me, but so many MK’s from NTM boarding schools all around the globe. Up until now I felt alone.

As most people who have posted on this site, within the span of a few minutes my mind can sift through memories that take me from joyful laughter to somber tears. The friends from Tambo were like none other I’ve made in life. And the memories… like none other I’ve experienced. Both good and bad. In the same breath, Tambo can hold a piece of my heart and can pierce my heart. There was abuse, yes, and there were also tragedies that had just as much or more impact on me as a child. It was devastating to lose close friends and classmates to tragic deaths at a young age, especially since there were few resources provided for any sort of counseling. We all internalized those events and dealt with them in our own ways.

This post isn’t meant to be all-encompassing on the topic of Tambo; I’m sure we could each individually write a book on that subject. What I wanted to convey is that there are probably Tambo MK’s who feel internally conflicted as I do and have difficulty putting their thoughts to words. Tambo is a complex, complicated subject that helped form who we are. For me, it wasn't all bad, it wasn't all good, and I still don't know the full extent of how it affected me. But finding out I’m not alone in this journey is a therapeutic enlightenment for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Thanks, Chaski, for your articulate post. You express it all, so well ... what we experienced as MKs shaped us into who we are today. It's impossible to separate out only the good parts. And there WERE good parts. Thank you for speaking up. I hope we will continue to get the benefit of your voice.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:33 pm 
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@ Sherpa Dude
That's how I've felt with my states-side friends since coming back to the US - a goofy oddity! Most seem to enjoy the friendship for the crazy stories I have, not necessarily for who I am. The stories are easy to use to break the ice but relating with them on anything deeper becomes a whole different challenge! I think over the years I've become less and less "eager" to tell stories about my upbringing and now try mostly just to fit it. It seems to be a pendulum though, swinging back and forth between trying to act/be fully myself and then getting frustrating that people can't relate to me when I do that and therefore I pull back and just try to blend in. It's usually not until I get with other MK's that I can fully relate and just be myself, and that seems to be few and far between these days!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:26 am 
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Chaski when I first came out here I would often shake so bad that I couldn`t post. Sometimes it would take me three or four tries before I could post. Even then it really felt like I belonged here. What a tremendous blessing this place has been for me. I hope that you will be blessed and that God will give you real peace.


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