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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Bemused wrote:

P.s. You only need half of $1700. Because after a trip to this little paradise, why would you want to go back?


That says it all. Right there.

As long as you don't feed me worms.

I'm not a missionary anymore.

:lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:17 am 
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Raz wrote:
No, don't shut up ... this is all good. Who knows, there might even be a few current pinnacle perchers reading ... and maybe they will not be too high above us to give this some thought.

Another P for me was pedestal.

I was a part of one the most respected and renowned families in NTM. All but one us us children re-upped in the mission as adults. My own career was also pretty impressive. My husband and I had the rare privilege of being the first to enter a new tribe, baptize the first believers and translate the entire New Testament into their language. Our children were all well behaved and beautiful. And yes, I wrote many articles for the mission magazines!

On furloughs the pedestal felt so high I practically had a nosebleed. People were in awe of our sacrifices and our accomplishments. I had a syrupy spiritual response to everything. Praise and presents were piled on us all.

And I thought I deserved it.

In 1993 we learned that 6 years before, a co-worker we considered a good friend had betrayed our trust and violated our daughters, when they were only 11 and 6. That man made a mockery of everything I thought I was ... a loving, protective parent, a person blessed by God, a successful woman who lived a charmed life.

I took a tumble off that stupid pedestal and lay gasping in the mud and muck of real life.

I was a failure. My husband was a failure. My children were gravely wounded. My career was over. My reputation was ruined. My dream life overseas was done. God-- worst of all God -- had utterly failed me. Everything I thought I believed and stood for felt like a derisive lie.

We hobbled home, all of us in so much pain we could hardly breathe. Our broken family lay in the mud at the foot of that now-empty pedestal and struggled. For years. Through depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, unhealthy relationships, failure, humiliation, more failure.

Covered in the mud of failure I raised my head and looked around. All around me were people, as far as the eye could see. Broken people. Hurting people. Angry people. Honest people. Needy people. Real people.

No pedestal down here. No answers to the many questions every truly honest person has.

And ... I blinked my eyes. Could it be? This is where Jesus lives? Yes, it's him! Down here in the mud with all of us losers. Amazing!

And thus began the most important "ministry" of my life. No more perks or pedestals. No more prayer letters. I still don't know the answers. But the mud beneath my worthless old pedestal has become my holy ground.


Thanks for your post Raz, wonder if I can ask a few questions?

What happened to your supporters when you left NTM? Did they have any idea what your family went through? Did they switch their support to elsewhere or did they become disillusioned with missions?

I've seen reactions that I did not expect from supporters, very little outrage, more a little bit of curiosity and then disinterest. And yet over the years considerable sums of money had been invested in a product that was obviously faulty.

Hope you don't mind the curiosity.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:57 am 
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Aussie wrote:
Ha, ha. That would put you in Cook Straight (for those not familiar with Kiwiland, that it the bit of water that separates the two main Islands), hope you got a big boat, it can be rough. :o

The ever inventive Bemused will no doubt be bbqing those worms at the bottom of his garden with his homegrown veges. Nice bit of Reindeer on the BBQ and we can have a great reunion. Pity Raz is going to the Bahamas :lol: .



very strange as on the map I used it put me in the Kenepuru Sound... which is NOT part of the Cook Straight...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:51 am 
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Bemused wrote:
Raz wrote:
No, don't shut up ... this is all good. Who knows, there might even be a few current pinnacle perchers reading ... and maybe they will not be too high above us to give this some thought.

Another P for me was pedestal.

I was a part of one the most respected and renowned families in NTM. All but one us us children re-upped in the mission as adults. My own career was also pretty impressive. My husband and I had the rare privilege of being the first to enter a new tribe, baptize the first believers and translate the entire New Testament into their language. Our children were all well behaved and beautiful. And yes, I wrote many articles for the mission magazines!

On furloughs the pedestal felt so high I practically had a nosebleed. People were in awe of our sacrifices and our accomplishments. I had a syrupy spiritual response to everything. Praise and presents were piled on us all.

And I thought I deserved it.

In 1993 we learned that 6 years before, a co-worker we considered a good friend had betrayed our trust and violated our daughters, when they were only 11 and 6. That man made a mockery of everything I thought I was ... a loving, protective parent, a person blessed by God, a successful woman who lived a charmed life.

I took a tumble off that stupid pedestal and lay gasping in the mud and muck of real life.

I was a failure. My husband was a failure. My children were gravely wounded. My career was over. My reputation was ruined. My dream life overseas was done. God-- worst of all God -- had utterly failed me. Everything I thought I believed and stood for felt like a derisive lie.

We hobbled home, all of us in so much pain we could hardly breathe. Our broken family lay in the mud at the foot of that now-empty pedestal and struggled. For years. Through depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, cutting, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, unhealthy relationships, failure, humiliation, more failure.

Covered in the mud of failure I raised my head and looked around. All around me were people, as far as the eye could see. Broken people. Hurting people. Angry people. Honest people. Needy people. Real people.

No pedestal down here. No answers to the many questions every truly honest person has.

And ... I blinked my eyes. Could it be? This is where Jesus lives? Yes, it's him! Down here in the mud with all of us losers. Amazing!

And thus began the most important "ministry" of my life. No more perks or pedestals. No more prayer letters. I still don't know the answers. But the mud beneath my worthless old pedestal has become my holy ground.


Thanks for your post Raz, wonder if I can ask a few questions?

What happened to your supporters when you left NTM? Did they have any idea what your family went through? Did they switch their support to elsewhere or did they become disillusioned with missions?

I've seen reactions that I did not expect from supporters, very little outrage, more a little bit of curiosity and then disinterest. And yet over the years considerable sums of money had been invested in a product that was obviously faulty.

Hope you don't mind the curiosity.


Our handling of the situation back in 1993 was probably unusual. Within a short time after the discovery of the abuse (which had taken place about 6 years earlier) we realized our older daughter was in crisis, and we made a very quick decision to leave the Philippines and try to get help for her. We felt it was important to be transparent about what the reason for this unforeseen and drastic life change was. We revealed in a prayer letter to our supporters and friends that we had discovered our daughters had been molested by a colleague/friend. Even though she agreed to the wording in the letter at the time, this is something our daughter has never forgiven us for, as she holds very tightly to her privacy to this day.

Thinking back 21 years, I would say the main emotion I felt from our family, friends, supporters and mission members was pity. (There's another P!) It was clear to anyone who was around us back then that our entire family was devastated beyond words. Outrage was not something we or anyone else felt. At the time, we were not aware of anything the mission had done wrong or been neglectful in. We assumed everyone was as duped by that pedophile as we were. We thought we knew him well, and we were disastrously deceived and betrayed. I think our supporters picked up on our emotions, so at the time, outrage was not a part of the picture.

It was surprising to me how heartfelt some of the responses we got were, specifically regarding child abuse. So many people wrote to us or walked up to us to reveal that they too had been abused. That was the beginning of my education in the prevalence of childhood abuse and its lifelong consequences. That's when my pain and compassion began to spread outward to include people in pain who were not in my own family.

My activism started more recently. What I have found during the past several years is that people are so very uncomfortable with the subject of child abuse. I am an avid Facebooker, and I can easily get 50 or more "likes" and comments for a photo of a pretty sunset, but if I post something about child abuse, I can count the responses on one hand ... always from the same few friends. My Facebook friends run the gamut. Peers and young people. Long-time friends and recent co-workers. Friends with close (or past) ties to NTM and non-Christians. I have 400 friends. If statistics hold true, then at least 100 of those were sexually abused as children.

But the subjects of molestation, of pain, of failure, of PTSD, or of the search for justice bring an awkward silence. From almost all of them.

This is something I am still trying to understand.

Perhaps the fact that back in '93 I wasn't willing to make one vague comment about "family issues" in our prayer letter, and then shrink back into the corner and disappear, forecasted the truth that I really am a strange anomaly in the mission world. Or in the world in general.

"Unusual" may be a pretty accurate description ... of my entire life!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Many thanks for that insight. I wonder if your families decision not to hide what had happened, has prevented a bad situation from getting even worse.
I'm not sure why families I know do not speak amongst themselves about abuse matters in NTM, I suspect it is a mixture of denial, not wishing to upset supporters and pressure from management. And yet of the small population of ex NTM families that I know down here, about half have broken down, i.e. there is little or no connection between children and parents.
And yet despite this, some of the parents still meet in little prayer groups and no doubt pretend that none of it is their or NTMs fault, it is those old "bitter spirits" or "not walking with the lord" problem.

Take my own bizarre existence for example. I am estranged from my family, they are unsure where I live. My father was asked for 30 years to call a family conference to sort out the NTM related issues, yet he refused. He has been threatened by Dean Van Vliet (former PNG field chairmen then executive committee in Sanford) in the past to get me to stop inquiring about the past and he complied with the threat. I suspect that Crossview is pressuring my father to try and stop the leak of information about their past from continuing (I have in my possession a threatening letter written to myself) and no doubt my father is sycophantically complying to their threats and demands.

I guess like you, I could be labelled an activist against institutional child abuse, with, for obvious reasons a prime interest in the activities of NTM. What I've found I have come up against is an organisation that exudes the appearance of a wholesome, caring and dedicated piousness that has elite members who will sacrifice everything for a noble cause.
The truth is far different, as we have both found out. Broken lives after broken lives and a heavy handed approach to keep much of it from leaking out into the public arena.
And caught up in this mess are thousands of people, when added in are all the supporters, the many Tribers who just upped and left with little explanation and MKs who have disappeared off the radar.

You've done well to hold your family together and this is a credit to your hardwork, honesty and caring. Alas what has happened in my own family is a total lack of honesty, little caring and the only hardwork is keeping a lid on this awful mess.

And so we battle on, exposing this mess, often from our personal files, in an effort to help others feel they are not alone or make informed choices on how to handle what has happened in their own lives.
Thank you again for the insight into what has made you who you are. Yes you might be a little unusual, but with myself for company, you probably appear sanely normal :) .


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Thank you, Bemused.

Your words are insightful, wise and encouraging.

And I agree .... we are all a rather odd bunch.

What is it they say about "birds of a feather ...."?

I think that holds true for eagles.

:)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Talk about crying!
Thank you.
And we thought we knew all about each other.
Our lives have so many facets.
You have opened some new ones.
You are both so courageous.
(With so many others here.)
By covering up and not getting involved
Some people are missing the total richness of life.
I mean missing out on really living it.
Even if it was and is hard-----
What you have lived
And what you are doing now
MATTERS.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:53 pm 
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MATTERS SO MUCH…...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:53 pm 
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(To Raz and Bemused)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Thank you so much, dear MB.

:)


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