We pray this note finds each of you well during these early weeks of Summer. Â First, GRACE apologizes for the delay in updating you as to the progress of our work in this critically important matter. Â We have spent the past two months interviewing additional former students who were subject to various forms of abuse while living at Fanda. Â We have also had the privilege and opportunity to speak with a number of family members of those who were abused and learned the indescribable pain inflicted upon entire families as a result of this abuse and NTM’s failure to respond to it.
We are deeply appreciative for your continued patience during this long and sometimes tedious investigatory review. From day one, GRACE has been committed to conducting a substantive and thorough review in a manner that was also as expedient as possible. Â We apologize that this review has taken a little longer than initially anticipated. Â The good news is that we are nearing the end of this momentous project and remain hopeful and prayerful that the results will result in substantive and lasting impacts upon the lives of those who have been so hurt and upon New Tribes Mission. Â Here is the anticipated schedule for the remainder of our work:
- On and between June 24th and June 26th, the GRACE team will be meeting with over 15 individuals who were adults during the days of Fanda and who were in some way related to the operation and/or oversight of the school. Â Some of these adults have been quite defensive of how NTM operated Fanda, while others have been extremely critical. Â As you can guess, these meetings will be critically important and most likely very difficult. Â We covet your prayers for these days of meetings. Â Please pray that God will give us the wisdom to search and find truth as we learn from, confront, and challenge those who are in attendance. These meetings will provide GRACE with the final pieces of the puzzle needed in order to prepare our final report and recommendations.
- The GRACE team will meet on June 26th for the purpose of collecting and finalizing our primary ideas and recommendations for the preparation of the final report.
- GRACE will spend the month of July drafting the final report and recommendations.
- GRACE will deliver the final report and recommendations to the MK’s and NTM on a date yet to be determined in August.
- Sometime after the delivery date, the GRACE team will be in communication with the MK’s for the purpose of answering any questions or concerns that any of you may raise regarding the contents of the report and/or the recommendations.
- Sometime after the delivery date, the GRACE team will meet in person with the NTM Executive Committee to review the report and to begin working out the implementation of our recommendations.
As we have mentioned in the past, the objective of our work in this matter is not the mere preparation of a report that can be reviewed and then filed away. Â Our primary objective is for NTM to demonstrate authentic repentance to each and every individual who was so damaged by all that transpired at the Fanda School. Â Another vital objective is that this work will result in NTM making substantive changes, both organizationally and culturally, to insure that all children are protected and cherished and that those who hurt them are exposed and prosecuted. We are committed to taking as long as possible to make sure these objectives are achieved.
Each of you has been the inspiration to the GRACE team during these past months of difficult work. Â Each of you are the reason why we have labored to do our work with excellence. Â Each of you are the reason why we have much hope for the future and much hope that true repentance will be demonstrated by NTM. Â Thank you for laboring with us on this incredibly important journey…we are the ones who continue to be so immeasurably blessed by and through every one of you. Â Thank you.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions about any issue raised in this email or any other matter related to this Fanda investigation.
Grace and Peace
Boz Tchividjian, Esq.
Executive Director, GRACE
April 10 Update – letter from Grace
I pray this note finds each of you well. Â I am writing to update each of you on the progress of our investigatory review related to the NTM Fanda abuse. Â Since beginning this vital work in October, GRACE has: 1) reviewed hundreds (if not thousands) of documents, 2) collected contact information and has communicated with over 100 former Fanda students, 2) individually interviewed 14 former students of Fanda, and 3) reviewed numerous written statements prepared by former Fanda students. Â The information we have gathered through the above process has provided us with substantive insight into the culture and environment of the Fanda School.
It has also grieved us greatly to talk with those who’s lives have been forever changed as a result of the horrific sexual, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse received while attending a Christian boarding school. Â It continues to be our objective to do everything possible to make sure that the results of this project will facilitate substantive changes at NTM to insure that child abuse and the failure to respond to it will never again be a part of the NTM culture.
We also remain hopeful that this project will result in NTM demonstrating substantive and authentic repentance to all of you.
Initially, our objective was to have our work completed in the late Spring and to have a final report/recommendations delivered to you and NTM by the early Summer. Â Unfortunately, we will not be able to accomplish this objective on that time line. Â One critical aspect of this project is for the GRACE team to meet with adults who had significant ties with Fanda, including but not limited to, parents, school employees, school and field leadership, and possibly perpetrators. Â Due to a variety of reasons, GRACE has had to schedule these meetings in June. Â Therefore, we believe that this project can be completed by the end of June and a report finalized shortly thereafter.
In the meantime, to make the best use of our time, we are currently drafting sections of the report that are unrelated to these upcoming meetings. Â We are also in the process of completing a number of phone interviews with former Fanda students…these should be completed by May.
GRACE remains fully committed and passionate about this vital project and the critical importance it has in the lives of so many. Â We will not rest until the work this work is complete and has been carried out with thoroughness and excellence.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions, concerns, or additional information which will assist us in our work. Â Thank you for allowing us to serve.
Grace and Peace.
Boz Tchividjian, Esq.
Executive Director, GRACE
Feb 23 UPDATE
VA went very well. About 15 former MKs were there to share their stories in individual interviews with the Grace team. Grace asked intelligent questions and displayed appropriate outrage about what happened at Fanda and the resulting NTM coverup. This was the first experience for some of us in realizing that by speaking up we are part of the solution – not the problem. To speak up is strength and bravery. Thank you to Grace for their hearts and time and expertise.
Grace will speak to many more MKs and Ms (missionaries and former missionaries) in the next month and they are shooting for final recommendations by end of spring/early summer.
Please email Grace if you still want your voice heard. We are so encouraged. Love.
Happy 2010 everyone. This is going to be an amazing year.
People have been asking for an update so I thought I’d let everyone know that things are happening! Those of us MKs who want to meet with Grace will be traveling to Virginia most likely the weekend of Feb 19. After that the phone interviews will commence and we should be seeing the final letter of findings by late spring/early summer at the latest.
So many letters are pouring in from MKs who have had an experience of abuse at other NTM schools around the world but because it is now out in the open are finding support/seeking counseling and starting to face those things we might have tried to never think about but that affect us nonetheless.
If anyone wants me to attend their interview/phone interview with Grace I am available. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love to all,