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I will not let this go, come clean New Tribes, besides the sexual assualts, what about the years of censoring of mail of the children, it’s clear it was done so that abusers could keep the children from telling their parents what was going on. How tragic, missionaries send their children to “safe” “missionary boarding schools” that are staffed with pedophiles or control freaks. Please, if you truly believe that the Bible is true and God’s Word then do what is right according to scripture, not lawyers.
I cannot get this off my mind. This was supposed to be a “cutting edge missions organization, the reaction of the leadership shows that though there are certainly sold out servants for Christ in the field there is something very wrong in leadership. May our Lord protect those with integrity serving our Savior and dismiss those covering the sins as if God does not know.
I just found out about these horrific stories of abuse this morning from a New Tribes MK. I must say this person’s parents still serve in the field and the whole family is in emotional turmoil.I myself have been full time missions for years and am sick as I read of this sick abuse and the unbiblical “protect thyself” response of the NT Current leadership. As a member of the body of Christ if the Leadership does not come clean in a Biblical manner by investigating, removing all “leaven” from the organization and giving counseling and financial assistance for those who suffered to help get thier lives in order then the Secular world and authorities will most likely do what leadership fails to do.
We cannot begin to express our deep sorrow, anger and disappointment that reading the GRACE report and your stories has brought us. Thank you for your persistence and courage. We will be praying for you especially tomorrow and in the days ahead.
I think most of our parents felt this way. I don’t think there are many parents that would deliberately put there kids in a bad place. I know I wouldn’t! However, there are still parents out there who are putting there kids in boarding schools and will regret it later. i intend to tell them about what they are risking so that they can make the most informed decision they can, instead of blindly trusting NTM and what they have to say about there boarding schools (which is all positive so why not send your kids there?).
My parents deeply regret leaving us in a home. But i do hold it against them. they did because they thought it was the best way they could serve God.
my husband was an MK, and he is one of the most well adjusted, smart, loving people on earth..he too was abused, but not by the elders..hmmmm
Hi Catherine, are you still available? I’m trying to uncover some secrets in my family history and questions from my own past – and you might be really helpful to me. My family grew up at Prairie, and I graduated from there… If you have time, I’d love to be in touch with you. Thank you!
I’ve seen abuse in a boarding school AND we were also told that if we were bad or did something wrong, we would ruin my parents’ ministry and they would no longer be able to serve the Lord and would have to leave their work in the tribe. It always hung over our head…we would be the cause of their failer.
I am simply weak with sorrow after reading the Forum on Aritao. Grief and waves of nausea at the lives so changed by this repeated vicious crime.
Kari, the Forums are a great idea, but they’ve been hijacked by “outsiders” with their own agenda! Is there anything that can be done about this? I’m afraid it’s discouraging legitimate participants.
I agree 100%!
Are there any suriviors from Prairie Bible College on this site?
@Iguana I would like to thank you for asking the questions you did. I am an MK and continue to struggle, to this day, how my biological father could always be there for anyone else but his own family!!! If a person or couple can not even take care of themselves and/or their own family, in my eyes, they have no right to try and take care of anyone else. Yet, isn’t that what various “Christian” missions are asking of missionaries? I would like to know the true statistics of families that are asked to leave due to “medical” issues, aka: Depression, suicidal thinking, break downs… basically anything that the “mission” is not capable (or not willing) of handling. How does this happen? Neglect, spiritual abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse and the list continues. The bigger picture, to me, looks as though the mission invites and supports missionaries to give so much of themselves, that some missionaries have nothing left for themselves and/or their own families which in turn can lead to the above mentioned conditions. However, when missionaries reach a point of break down or are unable to continue with their given duties, the mission is quick to dismiss them as though they were lepers. Where is the Christianity in all of this? I know I am jumping around a lot here and that is because I have so much to say and find it hard staying on one topic. I will sum up by saying that I appreciate your concern and your questions. I hope that leaders, founders, CEO’s, missionaries and field leaders will take the time to truly engage these questions and make an honest effort to correct any wrong.
I hope people are still checking here to see what is going on. If you were or know about abuse suffered in any missionary kids boarding school please don’t keep your mouth shut and think things will go away. I wish I had spoken up years ago about the abuse at Mamou. Contact GRACE http://www.netgrace.org and tell them your story. Please Please tell your story and save other kids from being abused. Pedophiles don’t stop they just move to another place. Many of them have over a hundred children they have abused.
My heart breaks for each of you. My wife was abused as a child and I know the dark road that we have traveled is similar to what you have gone through. God has been faithful through the years and He will give you grace as well.
Is there another place on-line where we can connect as former Eagles?
there is a facebook group.
I was wondering if there was anyone on here who had attended Dalat?
Having just recently discovered this site and undertaken a cursory review of the comments, what impresses me the most is that no one seems to call into question the fundamental matter of sending children to boarding schools in the first place! Why do fanatical Protestants bent on converting the world’s indigenous peoples even consider getting married and having children? Why would a couple have offspring – the most important gift a person could ever receive – and then blindly send these children to an institution to be raised by people who do not care for them? Certainly if God allows a couple to bring children into this world, it was with the intent that they should be cared for by their own parents. And what about childrens’ rights? Shouldn’t the US Government (and other governments) prohibit this practice, or at least provide very strict oversight? I find it amazing that the boarding school I attended 35 years ago is still in existence, yet can find no official school Web page. Which makes me obviously believe that the barbaric acts that were committed back in the 70’s are still taking place and still being covered up. Isn’t it about time that Christians started focusing on responsibility towards their own family, charity, tolerance, and integrity, rather than saving the lost from the fires of Hell? If more Christians did this, their might be more Christians in this world.
In relation to justice against pedophiles, the current news surrounding Tony Alamo shows that justice can cross state lines. I would like to believe it can work across country lines as well:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? SO it’s OK for people to abuse kids because they are overseas? I surely hope that you don’t have children Mary… You have no idea about right and wrong and protecting our most precious children!!!!
“May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, ” The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servants.”
Those of us who are following this have not given up and we wait praying that you will be vindicated and the Lord exalted.
When our Lord began His earthly ministry it was with a resounding “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” When our Lord concluded His earthly ministry it was with an authoritative “…that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His name among all nations.” For three and a half years Jesus taught this concept unrelentingly to His twelve disciples. He taught this truth so well that when Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost the first word that came out of his mouth when asked by the ones in Jerusalem what they should do to receive what the 120 had, he declared: “repent”! The apostle Paul even as one “born out of due time,” we know grasped this central theme of Christ’s ministry when he said to king Agrippa: “…I…showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
In giving His last orders to the disciples our Master said: ‘…Teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Putting it simply Jesus was saying: “I have taught you many things now go and teach them to your disciples just like I have taught them to you.” The central theme of Jesus message was: “Metanoia”, or as it means in the original: Change your mind! Think differently! Think like God thinks!
One shakes in their boots when we read on this blog: “We know that what happened at Fanda, Senegal, is not uncommon to NTM boarding schools around the world”, and, “…what we find especially damaging is the abuse of leadership who chose not to protect us at the time in spite of documented evidence and who have still not repented nor sought justice for us today, 20 years later. “…not uncommon… and …have still not repented…,” is unacceptable in the Kingdom of God where a fixed mental attitude should be that of “Metanoia”!
In three and a half years our Savior accomplished just that. He trained twelve men and through them he turned the world upside down. Instead of abuse in its various forms and “unprotected sheep” we see men who fed the flock of God. They diligently and lovingly care for them. The blue print is there in Scripture. It must be applied! It is through “Metanoia”! It is through a transformed and renewed mind-set that one is qualified to discern what is good, acceptable, and perfect in God’s sight!
I certainly agree that the onus was upon NTM leadership when the events were first reported–and they still bear responsibility today. However, that should not keep the victims from pressing charges against their abusers today. They are adults now and, if previous posts are correct, there is no statute of limitations on these crimes. If the abusers were to be convicted of a crime, I expect it would drastically increase the pressure on NTM to acknowledge their responsibility in the matter.
If the victims are unwilling or unable to press charges for some reason, then I highly doubt the perps will ever be brought to justice–at least in this life.
I’m going to venture a guess that the victims, who were children at the time the offenses were committed, can be safely assumed NOT to have reported the cases or pressed charges against the perpetrators. At least not at that time. You will notice from this blog that they are no longer silent, though the passage of so much time has limited their legal options.
You will also notice from this blog, based on documents that NTM has released, that NTM’s main concern was keeping these things as quiet as possible, and protecting the offenders from unknown consequences in foreign countries. They have never had to face a situation of cooperating with the authorities in prosecuting a case, since things never progressed to that point.
We know that NTM holds seminars on the topic of child abuse for missionaries who are home on furlough. It would be instructive to know whether they tell parents to make sure that these crimes are reported immediately to local authorities in the country where they occur, or whether they are told to follow field leaders’ advice and decisions.
Parents of the victims, understandably traumatized and distraught, would naturally look to their “spiritual leaders” for guidance in these situations. After all, one’s kids don’t get abused every day, so it’s pretty hard to rely on your own experience. Offers to “keep it quiet” and strategies to “avoid further embarrassment” will not encourage the parents to report these crimes to local authorities.
All of these things, coupled with the fact that victims and their families were often unaware of other victims, has led to the unfortunate situation where the only avenue available for the victims of these crimes was to wait for NTM to get on the ball. NTM failed them miserably.
I am glad that the Fanda Eagles have had the courage and honesty to bring this subject to light. I commend them in no uncertain terms.
Mary, “third world countries” may not have “many” laws about child abuse, but the ones they do have are often very strict and impose severe punishment for these crimes. Here is NTM’s understanding of the situation of abuse which happens overseas:
“An interesting problem that has not been completely addressed is: What should be done with abuse allegations and resultant findings of an internal investigation in relation to the field of service? There is concern with regard to what authorities on some foreign fields of service might do to the offender. Since NTM does not usually involve local authorities in allegations and internal investigations, is NTM in some way violating local law as well as jeopardizing the mission’s presence in that country?” -NTM Abuse Manual, pages 12-13 (Available for download at http://www.mksafetynet.net/responses_new_tribes_mission.htm)
This manual was revised in 2002, not (to borrow the words of DP in the NTM Field Ministries Office) in “the ’80s when the understanding of how to . . . deal with these issues was much less known.”
Notice that NTM did NOT say, “What can be done to punish these evil people in countries where there are no laws?” No, their concern is for the offender! Perhaps that is why “NTM does not usually involve local authorities in allegations [of abuse of children].”
Has NTM been able to determine yet whether or not they might, in some way, be in violation of local laws by not reporting these crimes? Again, please note that their concern is not whether or not it is POSSIBLE to report the crime, but only whether or not it is required to do so. Do they mean to imply that these crimes should only be reported if REQUIRED to do so? If not, what DO they mean to imply?
Where does your understanding come from? Experience and research or is it just your gut feeling? In any case, your understanding is lacking in education. There are legal options for abuse that happens overseas. Not only were the pedophiles not brought to criminal justice but in many cases the abuser remained on the field and was held accountable to no one, not even an internal review board involving the victims. The point is, NTM did not even attempt to bring these pedophiles to justice. And your blasé comment seems to suggest that there was nothing Scott Ross could do anyway. We definitely object to that.
We deal with organizations everyday in this country. Organizations made up of individuals but held responsible as an entity. Look at what is happening right now with ACORN. Is ACORN management able to place the blame on certain individuals within their organization, fire them and wash their hands clean of the matter by pleading personal ignorance? If you’re following the news, you know there are serious repercussions for ACORN. It is no different for NTM. The organization is directly responsible for what was done by their members, even if some individuals in NTM leadership were personally innocent.
Sadly, in NTM’s case, many of those in leadership are also directly responsible for having the knowledge and covering it up.
It is my understanding if abuse happens overseas, the individual can not be charged in the United States. I also believe there are not many laws in 3rd world countries about abuse.
I don’t know the whole situation and I’ve never met Mr. Ross, but the mention of him as an advocate for the pedophiles caught my attention. You said that he hasn’t attempted to press any charges or reported any of the cases.
Have any of the victims reported the cases or pressed charges against the perpetrators? If so, then I’m curious about whether NTM was willing to cooperate with the authorities in prosecuting the case. If not, then I would like to know why they have not done so. Surely bringing the perps to justice is too important to wait for NTM to get on the ball.
To Anonymous MK:
You said: “[I]t appears individuals involved in these abuse cases have lost sight of the fact that New Tribes is composed of individuals.” My reading of the blog shows that a number of individuals have been mentioned, and specific examples given. You would have done better to give an example of your observation: “John Doe said thus-and-so. Has he lost sight of the fact that New Tribes is composed of individuals?”
You also said: “Blanket statements have been made about NTM’s leadership and the responses to the abused. . . ” That is something of a blanket statement, if you’ll forgive the observation. You would be more convincing, and of more service to the Fanda Eagles (and to others who have posted), if you were to give specifics or, better yet, post under the objectionable comments.
You are correct, of course, in saying that many individuals in New Tribes Mission are on the side of the Fanda Eagles. Many are probably following this blog quite closely. Here is a partial quote from one of them who is: “. . . I am rooting for both New Tribes to be who they can be for the adult MKs. I want to remain anonymous as, depending on the outcome of this huge issue, my New Tribes affiliation could possibly backfire on me.”
There are probably many more people affiliated with New Tribes who feel this way. They hope for resolution of this terrible and completely horrendous situation, but they fear lest taking a stand on it could “backfire” on them, depending on the outcome. I sure hope the anonymous person who posted this has not lost sight of the fact that New Tribes is composed of individuals, that they haven’t made blanket statements and that they know there are members of NTM who care about the abused and are trying to help them in any way possible. Provided they can do so anonymously, I mean.
You said that you feel that the MKs’ number one advocate is being abused and driven away. Is this based on first-hand knowledge? Perhaps it is, since you seem very well informed about correspondence between Scott Ross and Greg Burk (sp?). How do you know these things? As a licensed counselor, you would never divulge sensitive information given to you in confidence. Can we conclude, then, that the emails and phone calls to which you refer have been made public by both parties?
We know that Greg has had (and does have?) some serious disputes with Scott Ross; we don’t know what your connection to either person is. Do you know either party personally? We can evaluate Greg’s comments based on things he himself has said; we are unable to evaluate your comments at all, yet you present Scott Ross as being the number one advocate for the Eagles and seem dismayed that the Fanda Eagles don’t recognize him as such. Greg has posted under his own name; why haven’t you? Waiting for the outcome?
Dear Anonymous MK: I am not sure that you know what you are saying here. I have yet to see an instance in which Scott Ross has advocated for us. Sure he is an advocate- for the pedophiles. He has not attempted to bring one confessed pedophile to justice or to face criminal charges for what he has done. He has not even reported one instance of pedophilia to relevant authorities. How can he be called our advocate?
Please, if you have any information that might change my mind on this, post it. Up until now, all I have seen is the wishy-washy “handling” of these allegations, no resolution, not one peodophile even brought before the law for the crimes they have committed. Not one. Where does the “advocating for mk’s” come into this?
I am a former MK. I am also a licensed counselor and work primarily with at-risk children who have experienced all types of abuse. In no way do I condone what happened to our NTM mk’s in Senegal. It is terrible and completely horrendous. However, it appears individuals involved in these abuse cases have lost sight of the fact that New Tribes is composed of individuals. Blanket statements have been made about NTM’s leadership and the responses to the abused, when really there are NTM members who care about the abused and are trying to help them in any way possible. I also feel the mk’s number one advocate, Scott Ross, is being abused in his own right. Up until the involvement of GRACE, Greg Burk harrassed him through e-mails and phone calls, using explatives and name calling in an attempt to intimidate and belittle what Scott was trying to accomplish. The negative responses from the abused mks is driving away their number one advocate, whether they choose to recognize Scott as being that person or not. Forgiveness is for you, so you can overcome and move on with your life. Forgiveness is not for the perpetrator(s).
This is absolutely accurate. This comment resonates with those of us who have experienced the NTM leadership style first hand. New Tribes, please listen and change!!!!
Dear Fanda Eagles,
Thank you for your courage in telling your stories. I know it is tough making yourselves vulnerable and exposing your lives. I am sorry that the years I worked in Senegal I was too ignorant to figure out what was going on. I am sorry for the pain you suffered and still have. I am sorry for the tears you shed and the times of fear and loneliness you experienced. I have been praying daily for the Fanda Eagles since I first came across the blog and I will continue to pray for healing, resolution and restitution for you.
Submitted on 2009/09/07 at 6:18pm
Fanda Eagles you are to be commended for the way you are dealing with your dilemma and situation. You are conducting this matter in what appears to be a Godly manner in spite of your disappointments, hurts and frustrations. Congratulations!
As I looked over the fandaeagles.com blog I was faced with two choices: 1) keep quiet or 2) speak out. I have decided to speak out for various reasons that will become apparent as this writing continues. My purpose in writing this is in hopes that New Tribes leadership around the world will not only begin to listen to what the Fanda Eagles are saying; to those who have commented on this blog; but also to their missionaries and ex-missionaries worldwide.
The apostle Paul in a couple of passages of the New Testament “boasted” of his heritage and where he came from to prove that he was competent to speak on certain subjects. This I will do also: I was born of New Tribe parents; therefore I was raised, educated, trained, married, and served under New Tribes leadership for over thirty years. If nothing else we speak from experience. During the half century I was a part of, in, around, under and influenced by the New Tribes belief system I saw, observed, and assimilated many things, both good and bad.
The good: I received an excellent foundation in the Word of God. I was given many good tools that have helped in reaching the unreached for Jesus. A supporting church recently wrote us and said: Severing a long relationship with a solid and respectable organization such as New Tribes Mission seems to be an issue of major significance. We wrote them back and said: Yes, New Tribes Mission is a solid and respectable organization and leaving was an issue of major significance to us! We believe New Tribe Mission is a Godly organization. We thank the Lord for the almost 30 years we served under them as official missionaries. As I told one of the mission leaders at the time we were resigning, we felt it was like a divorce. It tore us up to be departing from a place that we were certain up to that point to be God’s will for our lives! We have no regrets for having served almost three decades years under New Tribes Mission.
What this blog has helped me to see and understand is not only the serious unresolved abuse scenarios that have gone unresolved for years, but also the serious unchallenged leadership behavioral patterns within the mission that for decades have been the fate of many a missionary who has failed to comply with the active or passive decisions of this kind of leadership style.
There are “blind spots” that NTM ignored or failed to “see” and deal with over the years. What I am about to say is no secret as I have spoken and written from time to time to the EC and field leadership to express what was on our hearts about these issues.
One of the major flaws of the NTM leadership structure in the past has been to be insensitive and unsympathetic to the leading and feelings of missionaries when passing down decisions by the hierarchy on issues that have affected people, works and no doubt lives in eternity. There are several cases that I could cite–even our own, but for the sake of time and space I will refer to one that has me baffled to this day. It involves missionaries who served in Senegal.
The couple, several years ago returned to the field after a time of home assignment. After the couple arrived on the field they were informed by the field leadership that they were to go to another work as they were no longer needed in the work they had been serving for seventeen years, even though the work was not in “phase out” and the couple did not feel the Lord was leading them to do the same. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to plead on behalf of this couple for a reversal of this situation. As a supporter of the couple, I was indignant! I pleaded with the EC to consider the thousands of dollars that were spent for this family to get over there. I argued that had they been informed of this decision, even though unjust, when they left the field it would have been a much smoother transition and much less costly–not to mention all the money spent to return from the field when there was no consensus to this situation. Can you imagine what image the children of this couple must have of NTM leadership today? Would anyone dare challenge them to reach the unreached under such leadership?
NTM does not have a history of listening to their missionaries and considering what they have to say. I know. I was there! This is very sad! Only eternity will reveal the thousands or even millions who have been affected by these decisions that lacked sensitivity and true discernment (1 Peter 5:3)
For many years I was baffled as to why our Lord in the Gospels would often say: …he who hath an ear let him hear… Jesus in His letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 left those words to each one of the churches. Then I read Ezekiel 2:5 that says: And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house… From this passage we concluded that those who do not listen are rebellious, obstinate and stubborn. When Jesus said: He who hath an ear let him hear, He was saying: Don’t be rebellious! Don’t be obstinate! Don’t be stubborn! Listen to what I am saying! It is very important that we listen to God and others.
My plea to the current leadership of NTM is: LISTEN to what people are saying, especially the Fanda Eagles!
2 Chronicles 7:14 says: If my people, which are called by my name… Let’s consider just this part. The people of God are called by His Name! What name is this? Believer…? Christian..? Brethren..? No! Isaiah 57:15 says: For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy… God’s name is HOLY! The apostle Paul wrote in his epistles to the saints or the Holy ones, as some of the foreign translations put it. The Bible says that we are to be Holy as He is holy. Hebrews 12 says that without holiness no one will see the Lord! The Scripture makes it clear that we are to come out from among them and be separate (holy)! All these passages are dealing with the fact that sin in the midst of God’s people must be dealt with severely and openly!
Pride is the first thing that gets in the way when getting things right! This is why the Lord says in the next part of the verse: …will humble themselves…and pray…and seek my face…and turn…
Do it NTM, for Jesus’ sake, for the sake of cleansing, for the Fanda Eagles sake, for the sake of the building of the Church of Jesus Christ and the lost that I know you have dedicated your lives for!!! Cut out the leaven, as it is written: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth!!
Submitted on 2009/08/04 at 3:39pm
I support the Fanda Eagles.
Submitted on 2009/08/04 at 4:15am
I was with a retired NT missionary in India recently. A child from the orphanage disclosed abuse by an Indian worker there. I thought asking for advice from this wise NT missionary would help me know what to do, but he could not believe it was happening and was more concerned about the harm to the work there than dealing with the abuse. Perhaps this is what the problem is with NT leadership – sweep it under the carpet, don’t tell anyone so that we keep our good name. The problem with this approach is ‘our good name’ will be sullied anyway and the important issue is protecting children.
Submitted on 2009/08/03 at 11:44am
I so appreciate Kari’s speaking that all that is hidden will be revealed. God will not be mocked. He is not usually early but is never late – He is on His own, perfect timetable. So now seems to be the reckoning time for all involved. And God desires truth in our inmost being – that is how we can stay in proper relationship with Him.
May God heal all broken and damaged hearts and show His glory through this difficult time for all the girls and parents who have suffered these many years.
Submitted on 2009/08/03 at 12:31am
for some reason “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” comes to mind. IF only NTM would learn from the experiences of the Catholic church and would deal openly with this.
It seems to me that dealing openly with the situation, admitting that mistakes were made and trying to rectify them, would do less to harm the cause of Christ and the work of the mission in the long term than trying to keep it all quiet and covered up.
Submitted on 2009/08/01 at 7:01am
I just learned of your blog from an old friend and was astounded to read these stories and even more sickened to think it was covered up! As a mother of grown children, my heart and prayers also go out to the parents of these victims. How awful it would be to have trusted these schools to care for your children while serving the Lord on the mission field only have that trust violated. We have supported NTM for years and are disappointed with their response. I pray that God brings healing to the hearts of the victims, conviction toward the perpetrators, and leads those at NTM to do what it right!
Submitted on 2009/07/31 at 10:38pm
I just wanted to let you all know how proud of you I am for sharing your stories. I am sorry that you had to live through all of that. I feel so blessed to have had the Penners as my dorm parents.
Submitted on 2009/07/31 at 7:39pm
I am a former ntm missionary, also served as field chairman for part of our time on the field. You have our support and prayers. Standing with you as you seek justice, closure and healing.
Submitted on 2009/07/29 at 11:50pm
Hi Sisters and Brothers,
my heart is with you. Even more so, you have the Father’s heart toward you.
Not one iota of Ron’s letter to John Mik. had anything to do with Father’s heart of love or the Spirit of Christ.
The one true God cares for His sheep… every last one! Even to the “expense” (so-called) of the “99″ others.
Ron Abram’s god was obviously not big enough to care for Kari through her parents rescue, AND also care for “the believers”. Ron’s god was (is?) the false god of institutional religion and pride. It is the blind and dumb idol of “Christian church planting” to fullfill the Great Commision of the North American church… at all costs.
The letter was the shameless and manipulative (attempted anyway) ramblings of a child… but definitely not a child following the leading of our Father’s heart.
So, the NTM US Exec. Board “are not really sure what else” they can do?
How about removing the evil person (”perpetrators”) from among them? Not just “most” of them, but all. Not just removing them from leadership, but from their “fellowship”… as our sister above so accurately enlightened from 1 Cor.5.
Unless Ron Abram has not personally gone to the Mik.’s (and prob. many others) asking for the kind of forgiveness that only the love of God can give (Godly sorrow)… then he has not been led to repentance for his UNgodly leadership at that time. Thus, any continued involvement of his on behalf of their organization would still be twisted. He should most definitely be seen as one of the perpetrators. The conspiracy of silence is the enabling environment of the guilty sick.
If not, and if the Exec. Board allows Ron to remain in their organization in ANY capacity (all missionary organization “staff members” are seen/deemed as spiritual leaders in the eyes of North American churches)… “then a little leaven will leaven the whole lump.”
Well, it already has. I suppose it was/is inevitable. But the good news is… the reputation and glory of the mission organization (insitution) is not our concern here… nor is it our Lord’s concern.
He cares about loving the hurting, and glorifying/manifesting Himself in and through them. It is the power of Him (His miraculous Love and Grace) that brings beauty… from the ashes.
Unfortunately, the well-being of the organization IS the on-going concern of the Exec. Board. Their title and job description reeks of it. It will only cease to be their concern when the institution is no more, and the Board is dissolved.
So, let’s not be surprised when even in the above e-mail the Board member’s underlying tone is one of, “Haven’t we done enough to appease you? Isn’t it time to move on? To forgive and forget?”, etc.
What’s he doing? He’s fighting for the very survival of the name/reputation of NTM itself! Or rather, IT is fighting for it’s own survival (he’s almost a hapless pawn). IT feels the danger of extinction looming, and it won’t simply die without a fight for survival. Too much is at stake.
What about all those innocent missionaries out in the field right now. Is God big enough to care for them without the mighty umbrella of NTM? I know he is; maybe we’ll see Him glorified, eh? (Yes, I’m in Canada.)
As you can tell by this lengthy soliloquy, I’m not an experienced “blogger”… my apologies, and thanks for your patience. I will end with sharing Heb. 12:25ff.
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Let brotherly love continue.” Let it be so. Your bro., M.
Submitted on 2009/07/28 at 4:58pm
I am a part of MkSafetynet, a Canadian. I have heard about the US law which allows prosecution of sexual crimes abroad, but have never been able to track it down (in spite of contacting at least one US lawyer). Do you have more information about that law.
Could you e-mail me with the name of the law at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it here?
Secondly, if you have the time to write up for our website regarding the church being bound by law to report abuse rather than investigate it internally we would love to post in on our website http://www.mksafetynet.net
This would probably tie into the new anti-trafficing laws and make it mandatory for missiona agencies to report allegations/suspcions of abuse in their current off-shore schools. So far, almost 100% of the written policies of mission agency’s have internal investigations (there are 15,000 children in these schools today, all of them offshore). If you are are willing to post something there, it could of course be anonymous.
Submitted on 2009/07/28 at 1:38pm
I read some of the stories here and I felt heart broken, but also hopeful. As the founder of TCKID, I wanted to leave a quick note to support your mission. Thank you for your great work, please keep it up & continue to give a voice to those who are suffering in silence.
Submitted on 2009/07/24 at 5:09pm
This is just unbelivable ….i pray for all who have been hurt and GOD will Help you bring them DOWN!!!! please keep your heads up and know that you and your families are in our thoughts and prayers!!!
Submitted on 2009/07/15 at 6:46pm
Some of us reading this blog may be like me; I check it almost daily and so want to see that New Tribes has taken a firm stand and are fully supportive of the least of these – the children who were harmed and now are adults. I am rooting for both New Tribes to be who they can be for the adult MKs. I want to remain anonymous as, depending on the outcome of this huge issue, my New Tribes affiliation could possibly backfire on me.
Submitted on 2009/07/13 at 4:37pm
I hope that justice is served and that these child abusers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All NTM staff always emphasized that our actions have consequences. And these people should not only have to repent, but should also be punished justly for their actions–even if it means serving time in prison because that is what is deserved! I am behind you ALL THE WAY!
Submitted on 2009/07/09 at 5:23pm
As a former missionary who has been doing advocacy writing and offering
support to MK’s, as well as the much larger population of survivors of abuse
by leaders in the faith community, I welcome your post. Please feel free to
contact me personally through my site http://www.takecourage.org
I know the reactions to your stories from NTM cause great pain. Sadly, what
you describe about the absurd apathy is far from unique. It is, in fact,
the norm in institutions of all sorts whenever someone comes to bear witness
of atrocities. And that’s exactly what you are doing–bearing witness,
which is really a gift to these people and a spiritual exercise! They do
not even want to “open” the gift to see what’s inside because of their
disbelief, born of shame and fear. It’s especially painful to experience in
the Christian community because of the pedestal and the power of the leaders
in this territory that claims to be following and speaking for Christ.
This collusion adds to your excruciating pain, yet it is important for you
to know that you are not alone. These people who are not receiving you in
the spirit of Christ have a lot of work to do before they can come to face
their own hypocrisy.
There may be individuals somewhere in the group who will do that.
Occasionally, individuals ARE eventually able to wake up and become strong
advocates. Unfortunately, they often become scapegoats along with you.
This is because the group, as a whole, remains in neurotic denial.
The more you expect them to quickly wake up because of something you say or
do, the more you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. I spent
years myself doing this. In every case I’ve ever encountered, most support
and understanding has to come from outside of the group where the abuse
There are many choices, but none of them hold guarantees. It is vitally
important that everyone in your group understands that in the beginning.
Your courage in speaking out is admirable. You offer people oppotunity
whenever you tell your story. You also put yourself at risk for re-injury.
Yet it is the telling of many stories, often over generations, that
eventually help to create paradigm shifts in groups.
I trust that MK Safety Net will be a source of the broader support that you
will be able to build in time, IN SPITE of the people, even sometimes family
and close friends, who are currently unable or unwilling to play that role.
My husband and I lost our careers as missionaries because we chose to stand
up to our colleague and the hierarchy of the largest evangelical mission
board in the world (ie. Southern Baptist Convention). We know the pain of
rejection which you are experiencing acutely at this time.
One word of comfort: It is good that you have one another, though hearing
one another’s stories is a bittersweet experience. Some of the MK’s I’ve
known who have suffered greatly because they really did not know another MK
survivor and have still found none in their own group.
Now, you are starting to build a whole community. Thanks again for reaching
out. Above all else, please take care of yourselves, first and foremost.
Submitted on 2009/07/09 at 4:38pm
I will pray. My heart breaks for you and those that have had to deal with this travesty. God is sovereign and we must trust and believe that His will will be accomplished, and at last the darkness of this abominable secret will come to light – the perpetrators repent and serve out just consequences; the victims finally come to a place of peace and grace, that the Lord and only He can give, that will transform them physically, mentally and spiritually.
Submitted on 2009/07/06 at 5:25pm
I would like to respond to the issue of a third party doing an investigation. There have been three independnet investigations of abuse into missionary schools by ICI’s (Independent Commissions of Inquiry). Their reports are on our website, http://www.mksafetynet.net The members of the ICI were all Christian in the very broad sense of the word. None of the ICI members had anything invested in evangelical missions so they did not need to protect missions/missionaries. The victims generally have the right to veto a potential member put forward by the denomination/mission agency if it is felt there is a conflict of interest. If you decide to go this way and set up an ICI, some of us who are involved with MKSN can walk you through it. Ideally, each ICI reflects the group who is creating it; but we can give you a template to work with.
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