I’ve been processing my thoughts on this for the last couple weeks and will continue to do so in the days to come – it’s certainly brought up a lot of old emotions and reactions that I haven’t thought about in some time. My family lived in South America for three years, during my 10th-12th grade years of high school. They served with New Tribes Mission as teachers for missionary kids. During our brief tenure in Bolivia and Paraguay (my parents were short term missionaries, not career), three missionaries were removed from the organization in those countries (that I know of) for sexual abuse of minors. During that time other missionaries were confronted on other forms of abuse as well.
Some of God’s angriest words in the Bible are reserved for those that take advantage of children, hurt them, or cause them to stumble.
Recently I stumbled across a World Magazine article detailing an abuse scandals at an NTM boarding school in West Africa called Fanda, and the mishandling of it by the leadership. That pointed me to FandaEagles.com, a website created by missionary kids as a place for the abused missionary kids from around the world to have a voice. What has been heart breaking for me to realize is that the situations I saw where I lived were not unique to our school as I had always assumed, but far more widespread.
Why am I writing about this? It’s not to paint a horrible picture of New Tribes Mission. It breaks my heart to think in an organization with so many missionaries doing so many incredible things for God that such horrible sin has repeatedly reared its ugly head with the most vulnerable members, the missionary kids. What I do want to do is help spread the word that there is a place for hurt missionary kids to have a voice and find support. FandaEagles.com and it’s forums is a great place to start.