A Prayer of Repentance

by Marilyn on February 9, 2019

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To the women and girls of New Tribes Mission*

Lord, we repent for the sins against children. We repent for having ears that were deaf and eyes that were blind. We repent for the loss of innocence and beauty – things that were stolen from children molested in the dark of night. We weep for the damage to body, mind, and soul that these children, now women, sustained. We mourn for what was taken from them.

Lord, we repent for systems that allowed this to happen. We cry out for justice and we beg for healing for those whose lives bear the scars of abuse.

We pledge to never let this happen again. We commit to screening, to predeparture counseling, to hiring professionals that are trained to see warning signs. We commit to rigorous systems of accountability, to immediately believing the child who comes to us, to facing uncomfortable truth. We commit to changing systems that perpetuate abuse, to supporting victims throughout their lives, to holding and healing hurt children.

We commit to having our eyes wide open to abuse and injustice in all its forms, to having ears that hear beyond mere words. We commit to loving truth and hating and exposing lies. We commit to the hard work of change.

We confess and repent that we have viewed “ministry” as a god, as an idol that must be broken; that we have upheld the reputation of men and women and ministry as more important than the protection of children.

We beg you to pour your love and grace over the wounded ones. Honor their courage. Honor their humility. Honor their grace.

We repent. We confess. We fall on our knees before you in humility. 

May we be people who do justly, who love mercy, who walk humbly. May we be people whose love for God extends first to our children in holy honor and protection.

Lord, we repent. Lord, please forgive. Hear our prayer oh Lord. 


Author’s note: Like many of you, I read the story and watched short video clips about the abuse of children through New Tribes Mission. Like many of you, I was overcome with grief and anger. This is my response.

For articles from this community on abuse and responding to abuse please click here.

*Disclaimer: The author has no connection either from the past or present with New Tribes Mission or Ethnos360.

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About Marilyn

An adult third culture kid, Marilyn grew up in Pakistan and then raised her own 5 third culture kids in Pakistan and Egypt. After finally learning how to live in the United States, she finds herself unexpectedly living in the Kurdish Region of Iraq working at a university. She is the author of Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging and Worlds Apart - A Third Culture Kid's Journey. Her writing appears in Plough Magazine, Fathom Magazine, and a few other places around the web. You can find her blogging at Communicating Across Boundaries: Communicating Across the Boundaries of Faith & Culture. https://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/

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