The mission. The mission. The mission. What could be more important to missionaries than the mission? But talk about the supreme importance of the work of the church can be used to silence those who would expose sin in the church. Russell Moore pointed this out last month, writing in Christianity Today about Guidepost Solution’s … Continue reading Hiding Abuse Does Not Protect the Mission
What struck me the most were her lifeless eyes. Without emotion, the young teenager related to me disturbing descriptions of abuse in her home. Her father would verbally assault her and yank her hair. He would beat and kick her mother, locking her out of their bedroom for hours. My horror quickly turned to despair. … Continue reading Dealing With Abuse Overseas is Complicated
Someone alleges abuse. Someone in power rushes to hush or silence the accuser, sometimes even using Scriptures or “biblical principles” as the gag. And it’s so wrong. It’s poison, offered as cure, both to the victim and those close by. But there’s an idea I’ve been developing that just might be an antidote. At least … Continue reading One thing we get terribly wrong in our response to abuse. And one way to get it right.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a young teacher at a missionary-run school. She was hearing from local children attending the school about abuse they were suffering by their parents at home. One of the older children had written detailed reports of the abuse, and even had photographic evidence. When … Continue reading Ask a Counselor: what about child abuse?
Today’s post has been submitted anonymously as a follow up to a piece published here, at A Life Overseas, in 2013. Today we hear from the daughter of ‘Jessica’ that wrote that article in 2013. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “Koman ou di?” – translation – “How do you say?” That is how it all started. As an eleven-year-old … Continue reading Telling My Story: Sexual Abuse on the Mission Field
After last month’s column addressing the question of domestic violence, a reader asked these questions in the comments section: How much abuse is too much abuse? How much abuse constitutes grounds for divorce? My quick answer was: ANY abuse is too much abuse, and ANY abuse constitutes grounds for divorce. The reasons I think this? … Continue reading Ask a Counselor: How much abuse is too much abuse?
The instant message to her friend said, “I hate them. They don’t know anything about me.” Four years earlier we had landed on foreign soil. The flight that carried us, and our 100 pounds each of luggage, was just short enough to cry the entire way. We felt strongly we were on the right path, … Continue reading Sexual Abuse on the Mission Field
by Shonna Ingram In part one of this series on trauma, I explained what trauma is and what it does to us. In part two, I told you about James’s story. As we think about his story, we notice that he is not in this situation because of one big, traumatic event. Instead, it was … Continue reading How to Start Healing From Trauma: The Unseen Trauma of the Mission Field Part 3
by Shonna Ingram This is the second article in a three-part series about the Unseen Trauma of the Mission Field. Today we will explore the way trauma shows up on the mission field. As I mentioned in Part 1, the first place we notice trauma is in behaviors and reactions. If you do a google … Continue reading How Trauma Shows Up on the Field: The Unseen Trauma of the Mission Field Part 2
by Shonna Ingram In 2008 my husband and I took our four children to East Africa to serve in a Bible translation project. We didn’t go overseas until our early 30s. We thought that having some life experience would give us a little bit of an advantage over those joining missions right out of college. … Continue reading The Unseen Trauma of the Mission Field: What Trauma Is and What It Does
While these numbers are disturbing, they are not the end of the story. It is not inevitable that missionary kids, and especially homeschooled missionary kids, will experience abuse and neglect during their childhood years. There are preventive care measure we can put in place to limit the likelihood that these traumas will occur, and protective factors to buffer them from negative long term consequences of the difficulties they do face. Here are four simple ways to engage in risk prevention for missionary kids.
“Soooo…..how’s Mongolia?” Let’s be realistic here. There really is no perfect way to start a conversation in the church foyer with someone you haven’t seen in three years. Especially if that person has been living in Mongolia. Uh, Mongolia’s good. All good. Cold, but good. Cue awkward silence while both parties are nodding and fake … Continue reading A Pocket Guide for Talking to Missionaries: Dozens of Missionaries Open Up About Questions They Love and Questions They Don’t