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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:22 am 
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http://www.ohio.com/lifestyle/letters-f ... s-1.461839

Letters from children in Philippine orphanage are source of charges against Hudson pastor, two others

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer
January 25, 2014 - 07:51 PM


The voices behind the charges against the Rev. Tom Randall, who is jailed in the Philippines, belong to children who were living at the now-closed mission operated by the Hudson pastor’s ministry.
“Two girls from the institution, at great personal risk, smuggled out letters [detailing abuse] to the teacher who gave them to [my daughter] who gave them to me,” said Joe Mauk, a missionary in the Philippines who reported alleged abuse at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines.
The orphanage, founded by Randall and his wife, Karen, in 1998 was raided on Jan. 12 amid reported allegations that the facility had been operating as a front for human trafficking and that children living there had been sexually abused for years. Randall, a pastor at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, and two orphanage workers were arrested.
According to Filipino news reports, Randall is charged with obstruction of justice for negligence in handling allegations of abuse and sex trafficking. Orphanage administrator Perfecto “Toto” Luchavez and his son, Mark “Jake” Luchavez are reportedly charged with violating Filipino anti-human trafficking laws. The younger Luchavez is also charged with rape.
At the time of the arrests, 31 orphans were rescued and released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Their sworn statements allege that they had been routinely raped since 2005 and that Randall failed to take action after being told of the abuse. The orphans reportedly avoided going to the police for fear of having to find a new home, according to media reports.
As the number of people calling for Randall to be freed increases, some are advising caution in declaring his innocence and encouraging prayers for the alleged victims of abuse. Swelling support for Randall is evident by the increasing number of followers (more than 35,000) on a Free Tom Randall Facebook page. The page, which is not owned by Christ Community Chapel, was created Jan. 14 by members of the church, which attracts more than 4,500 people to weekend services at campuses in Hudson, Aurora, Stow and Akron.
Beverly Shellrude Thompson, president emeritus of Missionary Kids Safety Net, said that, historically, it has been difficult to expose issues of abuse within overseas missionary communities. She said that while she is not assuming Randall’s guilt or innocence, she is hopeful that people will allow the process to continue, so that the voices of the children can be heard.
Missionary Kids Safety Net is a clearinghouse of information and support for missionary kids who were abused. Among the organization’s board members is Dianne Darr Couts of Akron.
“Whenever news breaks that a beloved pastor, missionary or family member is accused of a sexual impropriety or crime, the impulse of many within the Christian community is to discredit the report. This is also true when the accusation is one of negligence and/or complicity of not reporting sexual assault to the police and other civil authorities,” Thompson said. “It has been particularly difficult for Christians to accept that missionaries they have been supporting, both financially and through prayer, are capable of sexual crimes. It is also very, very difficult for missionaries to make a report that there is credible evidence that a colleague is either engaged in sexual abuse or is complicit in not reporting known sexual abuse.”
Mauk concedes that it was difficult to report his longtime ministry partner, but said he had “a legal and moral obligation” to protect the children.
“I am not the one bringing charges. I did pass on information [about alleged abuse] I received. I passed the information first and foremost to my longtime (33 years) friend and ministry partner, Tom Randall. We have ministered together on many outreaches over many years. He is one of the finest servants of the Lord that I have ever met. I considered him closer than a brother. I, of course, assumed when he heard reports of abuse that he would act immediately. This he did not do, in fact he said he knew of some of these reports and I should leave it to him to handle it himself,” Mauk said in email correspondence from the Philippines.
Mauk said that he reported the alleged abuse to his legal counsel and a pastoral-crisis intervention team to report to authorities. His daughter, who is trained in detecting child abuse by the Head Start program and who has worked in missions involving anti-abuse and child trafficking, and the teacher, whom the girls confided in about the abuse, reported the allegations directly to government authorities.
Since reporting the alleged abuse at the orphanage, Mauk said he has been accused of betrayal. He said when people ask: “How could Joe do this?” his response is: “Kids were being raped, what did you want me to do?”
Mauk’s cousin, Melanie Wasson, said she is disappointed that some of Randall’s supporters have painted him as a villain. As a member of Christ Community Chapel, she said it has been particularly disheartening to read remarks made by her pastor in his blog.
In the days immediately following Randall’s arrest, the Rev. Joe Coffey described Mauk as a “rival missionary” who made accusations against Randall and “a single man with a vendetta.” Coffey, lead pastor at Christ Community Chapel, characterized Randall as a friend of 18 years and “a remarkable person in a number of ways.”
The local church has supported the Randalls’ mission [World Harvest Ministries] for about 20 years.
“It’s been really hard for me. I love my pastor and I love my church and its members. And I also love my cousin. I just wish people wouldn’t rush to judgment, before hearing both sides,” said Wasson, of Tallmadge.
“Both Tom Randall and my cousin, Joe Mauk, have stellar reputations in the mission field and have devoted their lives to this cause. Missions are not in competition with one another but rather unite together in promoting Christianity throughout the world. My cousin acted in the best interest of the children, and I don’t want people to lose sight of that. We need to pray for the children and for the truth to be revealed.”
Coffey, who has since removed the negative descriptors of Mauk, said he has been operating on information that he received from Randall, who is a close personal friend. He said he understands that there are two sides to every story but that he trusts Randall.
Although he supports Randall, Coffey said that he is also concerned for the safety of the children. He added that he and his church membership are committed to the truth and continue to be vigilant in the fight against human trafficking.
“While we believe Tom is not guilty of negligence, our fervent hope is for the safety and care of the children removed from Sankey Samaritan,” Coffey said. “Our hope is that the accusations are untrue, that nothing happened to those children. But more than that, we pray for the truth to be made known and justice to be served if necessary.”
Several hearings have been scheduled and rescheduled for Randall, who is now awaiting word on whether authorities in the Philippines will move forward in his prosecution. Under Filipino court procedures, Randall can be held for 15 days, or until Wednesday when he will either be released from this charge and prison, or a decision will be made to try him for negligence in court, according to local church leaders.
“We don’t take these accusations lightly,” Coffey said “But we believe the evidence will result in the government dropping the case against Tom.”
Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or cjenkins@thebeaconjournal.com. She can be followed at www.twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:36 am 
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Thank you, Raz.
Keep the info coming.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:53 am 
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Here is a bio on Joe Mauk, it's worth a read. http://batangrizal.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... l-t-shirt/

Personally I admire him for speaking up, that takes guts.

Quote:
Mauk concedes that it was difficult to report his longtime ministry partner, but said he had “a legal and moral obligation” to protect the children.


Yes that would be extremely hard and fraught with danger and quite possibly negative consequences. But it is the right road to take and only the road that the brave few will embark on.

Now we wait for the courts to determine the truth of the matter.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Today souls of kids are being murdered by evil men who hide in churches and missions. And they are being defended by the incredibly naïve and stupid!!!!
For God's sake, get these men out of the Churches and Missions and before the courts before they do any more damage. This is the Holocaust of Christianity and it is a total disgrace. And websites like Free Tom are a disgrace, let's have the facts out in court first. Where is the support for those poor children who have lost their home because of this? Nowhere!!!! Because they are not famous, or rich or look like most of us.

This is our Holocaust and far to many are doing nothing about it!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Thank you Aussie! That is a good way to describe this terrible moral failure within a church/religious setting. It really is a Holocaust.

This whole situation has been very personal and very alarming to me. I've been rather obsessed with it ever since I first heard of Tom Randall 10 days ago. I am sure the fact that this drama is playing out in the Philippines is part of what makes it so personal, as that is where our own drama played out 21 years ago.

21 years! And it feels like no one has learned anything! In spite of huge efforts on the part of a few, to shine a light on this great darkness enveloping our churches and homes, and swallowing up the innocent children, has no one gotten any wiser than they were decades ago?

I was able to see clearly that there were legitimate concerns right away, just by doing a little on line research. 35,000 people apparently couldn't be bothered, and jumped onto this enormous bandwagon called the "Free Tom Randall" Facebook page.

I am incredibly disappointed in people in general. I am sad for Joe Mauk and his daughter, who have been so demonized by their own brothers and sisters in Christ.

And most of all, I am devastated -- devastated! -- for the children of Sankey Orphanage, who have been silently suffering rape and sex trafficking, some of which has been going on since 2005!

I am sick over this.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:25 pm 
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No, no, no!!!! You are not obsessed, you are just looking through eyes that have been opened wide by experience. So 35,000 don't share your concern, or probably any concern at all except for their own little pathetic kingdoms. You are not alone, you have the whole hearted backing of at least two of us. O.k. we are at the bottom of the globe and one of us is an Agnostic and the other an Alcoholic, but we're with you, waving the banner, writing the letters and posts.

What do these people want? Do they want to have to experience first hand the full horror of having a child abused, so that they can then fully understand where these perverts hide and how they operate!!!!! Heaven forbid.

This is the Christian Holocaust and it will never end as long as we close our eyes and pretend it is not happening.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Jesus had friends who were prostitutes, tax collectors and other not so perfect humans. So I'm sure Raz won't mind that two of those who stand with her are less than good and perfect examples of humanity.

"Holocaust" is a very strong emotive word and one that I feel needs to be used with much caution and respect. However in the context it has been used in the above posts, I am in full support.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:10 pm 
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A big thank you to my friends Downunder for your unwavering support!

:)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:22 pm 
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You are welcome, it is an honour to work with you.

I see on the Free Tom Randall site that it is now possible to click a link and bombard the Philippine NBI with the same message over and over.
Is it just me, or does this make others rather uncomfortable that the judicial process of another sovereign state is being interfered with? If there was a miscarriage of justice or a mistrial, then fair enough, but as this sad course of events has not gone before the courts yet, it could be interpreted as a flagrant attempt to pervert the course of justice, which will not serve Tom Randall's cause any good.

Somehow I doubt a site that said "click here to send your message of support for the restoration of the reputation of Osama Bin Laden to the FBI" would be tolerated and nor should it be! But what is the difference, both men are still to face trial (yes I know one is unlikely to go to trial, due to a little bit of military action) and both have strong support, despite serious allegations?

The point is, I think this latest tactic oversteps the mark of decency and lessens the credibility of those who lead this campaign.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:48 pm 
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I just saw that new "campaign", Bemused, and clicked on the NBI site to see all the posts (and there are MANY!).

Yes, I just had to shake my head at the misguidedness of this attempt.

Once again, no research. Anyone who knows anything about the very long, often uncomfortable history of Philippine-American relations would know that this is NOT a good idea, and that it will do more harm than good for Tom Randall.

A pretty dumb stunt. I don't even know what else to say.

Sheesh.


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