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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:50 pm 
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An excerpt from a very misguided, hurtful letter (from a family member) to someone who suffered sexual abuse from an NTM missionary. No doubt many of you can identify!!

Dear -----
I can assure that ---- does get it and has felt very deeply for you. She is worried that you don't want to move past this so that is why she wanted to give you that advice. I have wondered the same thing,----. I know you are on Fanda Eagles and have found people that understand what you are going through. That is good. I'm just concerned that you, along with others....... don't feed the anger and hurt, instead of helping one another to find healing and peace through the truths of God's Word. Forgiveness is not easy! But it is commanded, not just suggested. It is the only way to experience God's blessing and peace in our lives.
Unforgiveness and bitterness will eat you up, and also hinder relationships with others.

I can't imagine any abused person being helped or comforted by those words!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:07 pm 
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That is really sad. Not dealing with the abuse will also hinder relationship with others! There is a really good post somewhere on this website called "What Forgiveness is not" - very helpful! Forgiveness not ignoring the wrong that was done to us. It's very helpful to be able to bring things up here on this website, in a "safe" place, where what we say doesn't have to be perfect, and we do have support and understanding.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:10 am 
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Yes, forgiveness is commanded and yes, unforgiveness and bitterness will eat us up and hinder relationships with others. I agree with this statement. BUT...
Everyone needs to work through their abuse issues and not everyone does that the same. It takes time to deal with all the hurt and pain. It is a journey that for some may take a lifetime. The most important part is that each one is on the road to recovery. Forgiveness will come in time as the pain and hurts are dealt with.
God's grace is sufficient for all those who are travelling the road, even those who haven't gotten to the forgiveness milestone yet. I believe that God sends us His blessings as we need them--while we are on the journey. He does not wait to the end when we have come to forgiveness...this I can truely testify too. And peace will enter our hearts a little at a time til we have reached that forgiveness--then we feel totally at peace.
Please remember, that forgiveness doesn't take the pain away nor the saddness nor the grief. As I have stated before...grief is cyclical. It keeps coming around but gets easier to deal with each time and it also gets less intense.
I posted this statement in another forum but perhaps it is better off here:
For those who have never experienced sexual abuse, its hard to explain the depravity that takes place. The pain never goes away even when forgiveness takes place..."Let go and let God." I'm sorry if I offend anyone but I HATE that phrase. How can one let go of something one has no control over?? If I'm deprived of water and my body begins to die, would any of you stand in front of me with a thermos of water and say "Let go and let God"? That doesn't stop my body from dying. I NEED WATER!!! The same God who created our physical bodies created our spirits and souls. Would there be any difference?
It is the same for those who make blanket statements about just forgiving and getting on with life. It doesn't work that way. People need time to deal with the pain and hurt so that they can forgive. Its a process that can take a very long time.
I am so sorry for the hurt and pain this caused whomever recieved this letter. The person writing it should be ashamed of their insensitivity!
To whoever wrote this letter:
You need to speak to other abuse victims and see what they have to say because you certainly do not know what you are doing. You may think you are being supportive but unfotunately you are not. You are alienating your loved one...is this what you intend? Talk to someone who knows. Please! There are much better ways to support than that.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:39 am 
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I'm so sorry that the one grieving had to even read such a thing. People hide so well behind emails and letters, don't they? They hide also behind pious statements and preachy words.

Our presence on this site does not imply that we are "feeding the anger and hurt." Obviously this person has not been abused, or he/she would know that part of getting through it is being able to talk it out. For many of us, this board is the only place we can do that.

If someone is offended by our grief, let them be. It is OUR grief, not theirs.

I've found that grief is a journey. There is a point when you are absolutely angry and there is a point when you are desperately sad. Over and over it goes, like a cycle. When someone reads our words, they may assume that we are at the END of our journey, so they may become judgmental about our anger or sadness. They needn't be. We haven't completed our journey yet.

Forgiveness does NOT MEAN that we are done grieving!!! I will always, always grieve over the little 10yo girl who was horribly abused by her dorm father one night. It's hurtful to imply that forgiveness means I will not need to talk about that night again. I do. And that's okay.

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Lori McAlister


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:12 am 
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Grieving 4u wrote:
Dear -----
I can assure that ---- does get it and has felt very deeply for you. She is worried that you don't want to move past this so that is why she wanted to give you that advice. I have wondered the same thing,----. I know you are on Fanda Eagles and have found people that understand what you are going through. That is good. I'm just concerned that you, along with others....... don't feed the anger and hurt, instead of helping one another to find healing and peace through the truths of God's Word. Forgiveness is not easy! But it is commanded, not just suggested. It is the only way to experience God's blessing and peace in our lives.

Unforgiveness and bitterness will eat you up, and also hinder relationships with others.

This message is as good an example of Jesus' words to the religious leaders of His day as can be found.

Those leaders read the Bible regularly. They even read it in the original languages. But, they did not know it.

"Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? ... ye therefore do greatly err." Mark 12.24, 27

I have said this many times before, and I'll say it again here: The root of most (if not all) of NTM's problems has been a fast and loose handling of God's Word, a slip shod theology that will brook no questions. They have built on an uncertain, shifting foundation. They have come to conclusions and then gone to the Bible to find support for them, as witness Mr. Brown's fanciful application of the Naaman story. The comments above on anger, hurt, healing and forgiveness could have come from an advice column in the daily paper. They certainly did not come from the Bible.

I am so disgusted that this sort of rot is being handed out as spiritual advice to the victims of abuse. Our children are asking an egg, and we give them a scorpion.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:33 am 
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I took a lay counseling course at my then church when I was around 20.
Part of the course included sharing your story. So I did, very generally and trembling.

A lady came up to me afterwards and one of the first things she said was, "I
hope you've forgiven your parents." I was dumbfounded and thoroughly confused.

I avoided her as much as I possibly could after that.

The analogy that came to my mind is preaching that Jesus heals to someone who
has just lost a limb. The crying need is for a tourniquet. Good thing the good samaritan
didn't just tell the bloody and broken victim to forgive the bandits and move on.

"Words, words, words..."


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:08 am 
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Well said Gene!!

As you all know, I could type 5 pages of how NTM hasn't changed just from letters like the above that I receive. There is no real remorse in them over what has happened. It is only, "Why haven't you guys forgiven us," and "why are you all so bitter??" Yes, bitter. I bring that word up as I have heard it far too many times to count.

If something has become bitter, there is reason. Now, if you are a kid and bitter because you repeatedly can't have your way, then I think you are in the wrong with how you feel. You just don't understand. But when people have taken your life from you, and have zero respect for you being hurt over it, and still calling you bitter and trying to hid behind their religion as they are the right hand of God, then it should be plain and clear who is bitter, lost, and upset. I think they are overreacting to the hurt they have caused so many because I believe they now think that's what is expected. They are bitter at your pain. Let them be. Don't be concerned with their advice or their behind the scene guilt campaign. It has no affect on who you are today. Many of us have had a hard go of it. Many of us have fallen and fallen damn hard!! But we are all still here; we have all gotten back up. We keep moving ahead in healing and finding who we truly are. That's what is important to remember who you were before NTM, remember the happy moments in NTM, because even I have had them, and let those memories reflect the person you want to be after. We are allowed to feel every emotion that God has allowed us to feel. There is no right or wrong way to feel or how to react. It's our choosing.

I don't blame God for any of this so why would I need Him to heal me?? He didn't do it, it was man. Men out in jungles way far away from civilization that went bad.
Men that accepted the responsibility from the bible, twisted its power, and took it too far. Men that went in young with young families and were told how and what to think. Most of them GOOD MEN.

There's no mistake I hold NTM accountable for men gone bad, for power trips, conspiracies, abuse, and not taking responsibility when it was called for. It was a choice they made to correct the problems, to learn and move on, or to except them and keep the force moving deep in those jungles. They decided to keep it going without thought or responsibility to you or me or our families, and boiled down they left God behind too and lost his true teachings of compassion and love. They became men of no law, including the one they set out to preach. They became a law unto themselves. A law of mini gods. God will see them come to the end of their road but until then, they are responsible to us now and to the countries and governments and families they betrayed.

May God bless you all and may you all find healing and continue to heal and learn.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:46 am 
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Gentle Shepherd, come and feed us,
For we need you to help us find our way.
Gentle Shepherd, come and feed us,
For we need your strength from day to day.

There's no other we can turn to
Who can help us face another day.
Gentle Shepherd, come and feed us,
For we need your strength from day to day.


The letter at the beginning of this thread breaks my heart. I too, have had the experience of "being ministered to" by people who think the first thing they are obligated to tell me is that I must forgive.

Why do we do that to each other? Why do we think we have the right to speak for the Gentle Shepherd?

To all those who have been hurt within NTM, not only children, but ESPECIALLY children, I say, "I am so, so sad for you. Tears fill my eyes as I grapple with your pain. The injustice, the wrong that was done to you within our supposedly safe and close-knit mission family. I pray for healing, for redemption. Everyone's journey is different and no one else can tell you how your own personal path of healing is to be traveled. The waves, ebbs and flows, the gradual progression ... all so well described above. May the Gentle Shepherd lead us all."


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:06 am 
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Although I realize in saying "sorry" we are trying to reach out and "do" something, but may I suggest we stop using "I am sorry for your pain" or "I am sorry you were abused" and suggest we start becoming more positive and proactive and say that we "empathize" instead. Only from person experience mind you, have I felt ashamed and pitied by those who in essence "apologized" or "felt sorry" for me. Truly, this is only a suggestion. I've started using it myself. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Thanks for the tip on how to better communicate with the hurting, MK Wife. You are right. My heart hurts for those of you were were abused, but apologizing to you isn't the best way to tell you that.

Raz, so true, the Shepherd is gentle. He knows it takes time to heal and forgive and that we have to work through it and need to give voice to it. And as RMullens says, the pain will always be there and grief will cycle through us again and again. If we want to give advice, let it be GENTLE.

"If someone is offended by our grief, let them be. It is OUR grief, not theirs." Amen.
Children were deeply offended by the abuse that took place, and offended even more by years of silence.


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