Ask a Counselor: no child soldiers, no child sacrifice

by Kay Bruner on November 5, 2017

Jesus talked quite a bit about the Kingdom of Heaven and its King.

Jesus told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like:

  • Seeds, broadcast into a field
  • Yeast in a loaf of bread
  • A treasure, hidden in a field
  • A pearl of great price
  • A net full of fish.  (Matthew 13)

Jesus told us that the King of this Kingdom is like:

  • A shepherd, leaving the 99 sheep to search for the one sheep that’s lost
  • A woman, sweeping the corners of her house in search of a lost coin
  • A father, watching and waiting for his lost son to return home.  (Luke 15)

Here’s what Jesus NEVER said:  the Kingdom of Heaven is a military industrial complex, an imperialist power waging war on its enemies, churning out child soldiers to sacrifice in the name of God.

I don’t often talk theology in this space, as most of the time I think your theology is your business.  But recently, a prominent Christian leader pushed me into the theology-meddling I’m about to do, when he published a blog that began this way:

Should a Christian couple take their children into danger as part of their mission to take the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world? Short answer: Yes.

Why? Because the cause is worth the risk, and the children are more likely to become Christ-exalting, comfort-renouncing, misery-lessening exiles and sojourners in this way than by being protected from risk in the safety of this world.

The article tells us that our children are to be “trained as soldiers” by providing them “training in self-denial and risk” as they watch mommy and daddy sweating under mosquito nets, and winds it all up by assuring us that when it comes to our kids, “there are things vastly worse than death.”

Now.  The person who wrote this article is the pastor of a megachurch in America.  So while he’s willing to literally sacrifice YOUR child’s life, he didn’t do it himself.  This, for me, is reason enough to blow the blog off as a piece of epic hypocrisy and move on with life.

However, the nationalistic, militaristic, child-soldier-sacrifice metaphors he employs are a long-standing, shameful part of the dark side of missionary life, and must be confronted whenever they rise, shambling like zombies, from their unhallowed ground once again.

We all know what the world of missions has done to children in the past, using the exact logic of this pernicious post.

Once you decide that children are disposable assets for the Kingdom, you’re on the way to all the child abuse done in the name of God at schools of horror like Mamou in West Africa—to name just one extreme example.

Many who weren’t abused in boarding school still know what it feels like to matter less than “the ministry,” to have their needs subjugated to “the work of the Lord,” to know that everybody else is welcomed eagerly in the Kingdom, invited and celebrated and appreciated, while they have to just keep banging on the door until somebody listens and lets them in.  I actually found this article shared in an online group of individuals who were processing the pain of being raised exactly as described.  It didn’t turn them into good little Christian soldiers.  In fact, it’s made them question the whole racket.

Here’s a newsflash for you, Mr. Prominent Church Leader:

Children are not objects to be used to advance some religious project somewhere.

Children are not less-important life forms, to be prioritized somewhere below The Saving of The Whole World.

Children, including the children of missionaries, are of equal value and worth to anyone else in the world, and must be treated with the absolute respect accorded every person who bears the Imago Dei.

Anything less is a slap in the face of God.  Here’s what Jesus had to say about children in the Kingdom:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

Matthew 18:1-7

A person who does not care for their own child is “worse than an infidel,” the Scripture says. (I Timothy 5:8)  “Caring for our own children” should not look like we’re traumatizing, ignoring, neglecting, or abusing them, with attempts to rationalize these behaviors as “the discipline of the Lord.” 

Anyone who says such things has fallen into millstone territory, I’m afraid.

While working on this article, I listened to The Liturgists podcast on Spiritual Trauma. I was not expecting to connect that podcast episode to this article at all.

But starting around 27:50, they begin exploring this question:

“What’s the difference [between a highly controlling religious environment] and a cult?”

One of the presenters makes this statement:  “In my past research, one of the big indicators of a cult versus just a fundamentalist religious sect will be the demotion of the family unit in a sort of Orwellian way to attempt to weaken or loosen the bonds of family to strengthen adherence to the faith community.”

They go on to discuss how an unhealthy, abusive “God” would make demands that would override a child’s pain.  “The strictures of the community get prioritized over the voice, the needs, the reality of that person, even in your own family system.”

And wow.  That’s exactly what this prominent leader is telling parents to do: ignore your child’s pain, because he says that there are more important things than your child’s voice, needs, and reality.

We have to acknowledge those cultic elements of missionary culture of the past, in which children were sacrificed to the “strictures of the community”—and then to recognize the times that these ungodly ideas continue to be espoused today, even by very influential faith leaders.

We have to see the lies, know the reality, and do better for our families today.

We are not called to deliberately–or carelessly–traumatize our children for God’s sake.  

When traumatic events occur, we should be the first ones at our child’s side bringing care, concern, and healing.

So.  If someone were to ask me the question, here’s how I would answer.

Should a Christian couple take their children into danger as part of their mission to take the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world?

Please don’t take your children into active danger, thinking that this will somehow make you a better kind of Christian than those softies back in your passport country and guarantee that your children will become perfect little soldiers for The Cause.

However, if the situation is reasonable, and if it’s a good fit for everyone in the family, go ahead, if that’s what you want to do.

Why?

Because the world needs Love.  Go and share it.

But: we don’t throw anyone under the bus. 

God’s work will be done in God’s time, and that work will be done in God’s way: 

with care and respect for everyone involved.

We have nothing to prove, no one to defeat or destroy in battle. 

We are not a military-industrial complex. 

We are Branches of the Vine.

A Body, fit together in Love.

When one part suffers, every part suffers.

We love and care for every part.

We honestly assess how things are going for our family—all the members of our family. 

We prioritize the needs of our family above the needs of any organization, church, ministry, religious system, or prominent leader.

And we care for our children as though they are the most precious gifts ever given to us. 

Because they are.

Resources

Jesus, The Gentle Parent, LR Knost

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids, Levine and Kline

The Liturgists podcast, episode on Spiritual Trauma

photo credit

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About Kay Bruner

Kay Bruner was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Brazil, Nigeria, and the wilds of Kentucky. She and her husband have raised their four children in Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and currently reside in the great state of Texas. Kay is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and divides her work days between counseling and writing. She is the author of As Soon As I Fell and blogs at www.kaybruner.com. She is available for counseling at her office in Dallas or via skype for a reduced rate to clients overseas. For more information go to: www.kaybruner.com/counseling
  • Anna

    Hi Kay, thanks for this article, which speaks a lot of truth, and points out some relevant weaknesses in the original article (which I also felt uncomfortable with when a friend sent it to me). In fairness, though, the original article was aimed to stop people from thinking that physical safety is the most important thing in life and making an idol of it. A lot of us do face criticism from others for denying our kids the level of health and luxury they would have in their home country. He was saying that it’s ok to deny your kids in some ways, in order to spread the good news. It may not have been the wisest article ever, but there was truth in it, too. He obviously wasn’t condoning child abuse of any sort on the field and it’s a little divisive, isn’t it, to suggest that?

    • I agree, Anna. So much of what Kay says here is true. However the audience to which the article is directed, I believe, is the North American church which currently worships safety and security, control and comfort. As a children’s ministry coordinator, I struggle with the levels of entitlement and selfishness I’m seeing in our children as they are ‘protected’ from any discomfort and hardship is defined as sharing a room with a sibling, or getting told no. I completely understand how these words (from the blog post) would raise serious concerns filtered through the lens Kay adresses, but filtered through the self indulgent lens of the North American Church it sounds a needed exhortation. How does one balance the two filters when writing on the Internet?

      • Anna Michelle

        To answer part of your last question, the first thing is to be well informed. The idea that facing risk makes us better, stronger Christians is a myth. (This is addressed by Anna Hampton in her book “Facing Danger” which is an excellent read for anyone who faces risk or knows someone who does.) It’s wrong to think that being in a dangerous situation will automatically teach us these big truths. People in risk can behave very badly, and turn further away from God, not towards him. And of course, the opposite is true. People can become stronger, deepen their relationship with God, etc.
        There’s also a difference between teaching against entitlement and selfishness, and entering into a risk situation. You don’t have to leave the US or your particular comfort zone in the US to learn that entitlement is wrong. While it’s true that seeing other parts of the world could help you get a better grasp on your own blessings, it’s also true that we take ourselves and our beliefs with us when we go to another place. How much better to be mature and healthy spiritually before you go into those situations!
        You really have two different issues here. One is teaching truths from God’s word that are foundational, which would speak against the entitlement and selfishness that you mentioned. The other issue is following God’s call to minister in an “unsafe” place with children.

    • Piper has said in the past that abused women should stay with their abusive husbands. So his record on condoning abuse is pretty shaky, and he has a history of saying “unwise” things with great confidence which then others have to defend as “not as bad as it seems.” I think when someone says something like this, we ought to believe them. And then stand against any kind of rhetoric that devalues other human beings, especially when it’s someone with a huge audience like his. I will always, always, always be divisive when it comes to the mistreatment of children. Count on it!

  • Traveler

    While I agree with you that it’s wrong to sacrifice your children on the altar of ministry, I don’t think at all that is what Piper is asking you to do. I don’t think he is advocating sending your children to abusive boarding schools. I don’t think he is proposing to honor God by neglecting their emotional or physical needs. I do think he is speaking against a preoccupation with comfort and safety that cripples the church. The reality is that no place is safe. Rural Texas churches can be physically dangerous. Having your children in mainstream Western culture can be spiritually and emotionally dangerous. There is no insurance package that you can buy that will take away the risks that life brings.

    For the past ten years, our family has lived in what is undeniably a “hard country”. However, our children have grown to love both our “host” country and our “home” country. I read Piper’s article and found it encouraging and refreshing. When I told our children about the article, our 13 year old responded “But isn’t any harder than .” I did a double-take. I love our host country, but in my mind it was undeniably harder — extreme climate, fewer modern conveniences, riots, exotic sicknesses, unbearable traffic jams, and occasional terrorist attacks.

    I am not glib about the costs of living in hard places, but I would quickly encourage others to go if God is calling them and they are emotionally healthy and prepared for the challenges. In those hard places, it will take more effort to nurture and care for your children so that they grow up healthily in all of life, but it can be done and it can be a rich experience for both you and your children. I look at other workers in the country where we serve. Many of the most effective workers are ones that grew up as children in hard places. They’ve learned that hard places are not just possible, they can be beautiful. That’s what Piper is talking about.

    • Anna Michelle

      I also live in what you could call a “hard country,” and we’ve done so for the past 8 years (different countries, same continent.) We’ve had quite a few almost evacuations, and one low-key evacuation, where we had to leave, but with a few days notice. I’m also a big fan of pointing out that the US is dangerous, too. One thing that I’ve started to notice is that I do have to be careful about equating the two. We are now in a place where we do all kinds of risk assessment and security precautions. Over the weekend, we practiced how to get into the safe room, who would lock the door to the house, etc. We went over what to do if you were outside (help your brother over the wall then follow if you are in this area, hide in this shed if you are in this area, etc.). One of the children cried through the entire exercise. It’s also hard for them to have all the families on the team leave a few at a time because of security risks, and become the only kids left on the team.

      As far as overall safety goes, you can consider that dead in Texas is the same as dead in “overseas country.” But as parents we can’t ignore the stress of living with day to day danger. My kids are thriving here, they like our life with all of its ups and downs, but it’s really just been recently that I’ve started to understand the difference between “the world is a dangerous place” and the stress of that danger in your face every day.

      • Sherri

        Great point Anna Michelle. I think there is a ‘stress’ that goes with living with danger every day that is different than living in a dangerous world. My husband and I have raised 3 kids in Africa. We were in Ethiopia which is safer than some areas, but not as safe as others.

    • Sherri

      Great response Traveler. Living in the hard places is not something that any parent should take lightly. I don’t know how many people told us over the years that they could not do what we do. They could not leave their comfort zone. I was also encouraged by Piper’s article.

  • Kristina Ogren Jaggi

    Thank you for this. I read Piper’s article recently and struggled with his words. I’ve lived overseas for 7 years. I have a 2 year old and expecting another in February. The struggle of living overseas with children is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. Its hard for me to read the words of someone like Piper who have never had to make those difficult choices for their children. Yes, Christ is first and He is worth it all. But I also believe that Christ has entrusted me and my husband with our children. We have the greatest responsibility to teach them about Christ and His Kingdom, to show them what a relationship with the Father looks like, to show them that He is first and worthy of our entire lives. However, that is not accomplished only on the mission field. It is a state of mind, a lifestyle of surrender, a place of total and complete dependence on the Father lived out in front of our children wherever we are.

  • Allie

    Can you please post the original link

    • The link is included near the top of the article with the phrase “he published a blog.”

  • Anna Michelle

    I completely agree! Children are the most precious gifts ever given to us, not to be sacrificed for “duty.” When it comes down to it that is at best bad theology, and possibly pride or worse. I’m coming at this from a perspective of someone who lives in a risk situation with three kids, and I have for 8 years (with time in the US during that period as well). Obviously, I don’t think it’s wrong to have your kids someplace dangerous, but it requires work as a parent to keep communication open, have tough talks, keep an eye on behaviors that might tell what words aren’t saying, etc.

    I’ve also been prepared to leave a risk situation if a certain trigger point was reached, and had someone in the US say, “If I was there, I would stay…” I knew this person well enough to know that he would be the first to panic, so I didn’t take it too seriously. But I do think that’s wrong on several levels. First, you really have to earn your creds to say something like that. Don’t say that from the comfort of the US. Second, everyone is different, and we all have different levels of risk tolerance or stress tolerance. We need to encourage wise, healthy decisions for children & for adults.

  • Kristin Tillotson

    I so appreciate hearing your thoughts on this article, which I stewed over for a few days after seeing it pop up on Instagram! Having grown up hearing a lot of “radical” talk and how somehow diving headlong into danger, living the heroic life, dying a martyr’s death was the most spiritual way to live- I was quite triggered to read John Piper’s article. It bothers me that Christian leaders feel that strong, flowery, heroic language is needed to wake up the Christian church when in reality I think if a pastor were to let his congregation sit in silence for 20 minutes to listen to the still, small voice of God there would be a greater awakening than the temporary emotional high that comes from hearing a passionate, quote-worthy sermon. I do not have children, and yet the principle behind what was communicated in his article has me feeling a bit defensive and upset. I hope parents will listen to the Holy Spirit in every part of their decision-making as they head off for dangerous places with their kids in tow…

    • Dalaina May

      And it’s very different for an adult to be “diving headlong into danger, living the heroic life, dying a martyr’s death was the most spiritual way to live,” and for the same adult to demand it of their children without the child’s consent.

      • Kristin Tillotson

        ^ yes, exactly!

      • Traveler

        The hero mentality is dangerous. It seems likely to be rooted in pride rather than love. I’d much rather see unheroic people serve with hearts of love because while love is brave, it also cares for the weak and it is easy to be entreated — it will listen to others’ wisdom.

        I have no desire to be a hero and there are many risks that I don’t take because I have a family. I have sometimes felt like a wimp, but there were times when I’ve called an acquaintance and apologized that I couldn’t come to an evening program because it felt like I was putting myself into inappropriate danger to do so.

        Your point about involving children in decisions is valid. I think this progresses as the children are growing up. A 12 year old will have very different involvement from a 3 year old. Parents should be engaging with their children, walking with them, and caring for them. If that isn’t happening, there will be damage regardless of the context.

        • Yes. I totally agree. It is different with different kids and at different ages. I wonder if there are some pretty practical guidelines however… On our team, for example, if new members would like to join, they have to do a vision trip first along with any children they have over the age of 7. If the children (over age 7) are not enthusiastic about moving overseas, we don’t accept them as team members but ask that they keep talking and processing with their child until the child is on board. I don’t want to play any part in damaging family relationships or causing permanent damage to TCKs because they lost consent, power, and voice over their own lives.

  • Dalaina May

    I think the key issue here is whether or not we believe children have agency – should children have a say in what happens in their lives including whether or not their family goes overseas. For most fundamentalists, the hierarchical structure they believe in demands a “no.” The parents (or just the father in some cases) hears from God and decides if this is the right decision for the family. Generous parents listen to their child’s preferences, but ultimately the decision is completely the adults’ (and sometimes the husband’s).
    However, if we really believe that our children are priests of the Kingdom right along with us, we actually heed their advice as if it came from an adult. If we believe that children should have true agency in what happens to their lives, we walk through these decisions with them rather than make them for them. Obviously, this shifts with a child’s age, but ultimately, nothing feels more abusive to me (as a former TCK) than being ripped away from home community with zero power to change it or protest it or be heard about our opinions about it.
    It isn’t just about whether or not a child will be safe overseas (as noted in other comments, that can be as untrue in home country as anywhere else) – though I would take issue with taking children into obvious danger like war zones in the same way I would question a parent who takes a kid to see if they can get a good look at a tornado.
    The point is that Piper’s very attitude starts with the assumption that children are objects of their parents’ decisions rather than individual humans with wisdom, preferences, and needs that should matter. The problem isn’t with taking children into danger so much as the mentality has no space or interest for a child’s consent in the process. Part of child agency is the ability for children to consent to partnering with their parents in ministry overseas (even if that just means being willing to go for them to be able to work). I think as a missions community and as the Church, we have a lot of room to grow in this area.

    • Jason Hill

      Delaina, I think these are wise and valid points, worthy of ongoing discussion. I wish that the article above reflected the kind of carefully thought out response that you have done here.

  • Jason Hill

    I agree with “traveler”. I think you have grossly misrepresented Piper’s comments. Piper would NEVER advocate “traumatizing, ignoring, neglecting, or abusing” your children, or using them as “objects to advance your religious project.” That’s not at all what Piper’s article was about. Piper is calling out the American church for its love of comfort and aversion to risk-taking for the sake of the gospel. Note what he said here:

    “What does a real, countercultural, Christian ambassador and exile from
    heaven think when he is told, “Provide for your household”? Provide
    what? Culture-conforming comforts and security? Really?”

    Piper is saying that the sacrifices associated with missionary service on the field (lack of “culture-conforming comforts and security”) are worthwhile for the sake of the gospel. When Piper advocates letting your child experience the “discipline of the Lord,” he’s not advocating child abuse, he’s advocating a lifestyle that puts serving God above comfort and personal safety. He’s not saying intentionally lead your child to their death! That’s absurd, and a complete misrepresentation of his article. When Piper uses the image of a “Soldier,” he’s not trying to evoke the image of a child soldier, but the image that scripture itself gives of a committed Christian:

    “I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need…” Php 2:25, ESV (Note the intense suffering experienced by Epaphroditus in this context!)

    “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” 2 Tim. 2:3–4

    “Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house…” Phm. 1–2

    Furthermore, calling Piper a hypocrite on the basis that his calling is not to foreign missions is highly judgemental. From what I can tell, Piper lives what he preaches. I have no doubt whatsoever that he would serve overseas were God to call him. And calling him a cult leader? Seriously?!?!

    I think you need to go re-read Piper’s article. Your blog post here reflects either a complete misunderstanding of his intentions, or an intentional attempt to twist his words and take them out of context. Christians owe each other the benefit of the doubt, which is why I’m going to assume you simply misunderstood Piper. And I think you owe him the benefit of the doubt as well.

    Piper’s article is a call to self-denying, radical obedience to Christ. It’s a call to redefine what it means to care for your family. It’s a call to a higher value on your children’s eternity than on their personal comfort. THAT is what Piper was aiming for.

    • Dalaina May

      One question: how does it prioritize a child’s eternity over their personal comfort to “So, risk your life — and the life of your children — to be part of greatness”? I don’t see the connection.

      Risking my child’s life (or their mental and emotional safety in some contexts) doesn’t have a thing to do with their eternity. Their eternity is really between them and God, and my obedience to God or lack of it doesn’t control it. (I say this as a mother with 4 kids living in SE Asia so I am not against families living overseas.)

      What do you mean by that statement? It sounds like you are saying if parents decide that their child’s well-being is more important than their ministry, then they are condemning their children to hell somehow.

      • Jason Hill

        Delain, as Anna noted, the article by Piper does have some weaknesses, and I think the quite you’re referring to is one of them. We don’t risk the lives of our children for “greatness,” but for the sake of following the calling of God and being obedient to him.

        The connection with our children’s eternity may not be directly obvious, but I think it’s crucial. Many Americans (not all) are serving the idol of comfort and ease. They refuse the calling of Christ—be it to serve overseas or just to tell their neighbor about Jesus—because it’s uncomfortable and risky. In so doing, they pass along the family idol of comfort to their children. Serving overseas (we are in Papua New Guinea) doesn’t guarantee your child’s salvation any more than staying in your home country condemns then to hell. But, again, Piper is speaking to those who stay because they’re afraid or unwilling to take the risks of following Christ to foreign lands. In that case, a parent is modeling disobedience to Christ and idolatry, which definitely does put their child’s eternity at risk. Far better for them to experience discomfort and physical risk and while doing so learn the value of sacrifice for the Kingdom and the value of carrying one’s cross in obedience to Christ.

        My main point is this: I think this article misses the point of Piper’s article. Furthermore, it lumps Piper in the same category as child abusers, Joseph Kony, and cult leading koolaid-drinking psychopaths. That’s disingenuous. I wouldn’t accuse any Christian I know of advocating the things that this article has accused Piper of advocating. This article takes what could be a simple theological difference or slightly different perspective and turns it into a character attack on Piper. That’s unfair, and certainly does not reflect the love of Christ. I think this article ought to be removed and an apology to Piper issued in its stead. It’s divisive, unfair, and unloving.

        • It’s important for kids to see faith and sacrifice modeled in their parents, but your answer ignores the legion of TCKs who have left the faith exactly because they felt sacrificed on the altar of ministry and could not serve a God that would endorse it.

          • Traveler

            Dalaina,

            I’m sorry for the pain that you and others have experienced as TCK’s. Every child, whether at home or abroad, deserves to be treasured, heard, valued, and protected. I don’t know your situation or the others that you refer to, but it sounds like there was something really important missing in those family relationships. Serving in ministry does not somehow magically sanctify motives or take away the pain of unhealthy or missing relationships. When these are missing, they leave lifelong scars.

          • Sure. And that is exactly what Kay’s point is. Those “things missing” in the family relationships are the agency of children within families. When children are objects, it’s okay for parents to risk damage (physical, mental or otherwise) for the sake of their goals without the child’s consent or input into the decision.

            Piper’s article (especially read in light of everything else he writes about families and children) pushes the idea that parents should make decisions for children (or fathers really because Piper is a gender hierarchalist). Piper believes in an authoritarian-style parenting where Father is God’s word and hand, and children (and wives) submit to his will. When you apply this to the mission field, it means he’s sanctifying the right of parent to take children into any situation without their consent if they think “God told me to.”

            Missions history is littered with the bodies and souls of missionary’s children who suffered physical, sexual, mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse “for God’s sake.” I think so much of that could have potentially be avoided if we allowed children to participate in their choices surrounding their lives, but that can only happen if we leave behind Piper’s authoritarian parenting ideas and believe children (and their mothers) are priests and so-heirs every bit as much as their fathers/husbands.

        • If Piper means to be respectful to the needs of children, he should have stated so in his article. I’ve given him an alternate statement that he can use if he’d like to clarify his respect for children. When it comes to the mistreatment of children, especially in the name of God, I will always be divisive. I will not give child mistreatment “a fair shake.” And I will always, always, always be loving to the victims of child mistreatment. I am a therapist to TCK’s. I see the victims of Piper’s mindset, the children who have been discarded in the name of God. I will always stand against that, without apology.

    • Sherri

      Well said Jason. This article has bothered me all day as it does not speak to Piper’s true point of the blog he wrote or his heart intent. Our children are now all in the US, and we are empty nesters. Our kids are our biggest cheerleaders for our ministry and support us. We are blessed. Even though they were denied many things and had to suffer in the world’s eye while being raised in Ethiopia. This is what I felt Piper was referring too. May this encourage those of you who still have children at home. The cost is hard, but HE is faithful!

  • Thank you for sharing this! As an M.K. who was taken care of very well, I can´t fathom how hard it must be for the kids whose parents have been duped into thinking that their family´s well being isn´t a priority.

    • I’m so glad you were well cared for. Thanks for caring about those who aren’t. <3 And you're right, parents get duped into this when authority normalizes it.

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