Haiti’s Children: How you can help the victimized (Indiana Brethren Charity Fund)

Those of you who know Simeon Shankster (and ‘the Shankster boys’, as I hear them referred to), know they are godly men who love truth. If you don’t know him, he is a German Baptist pastor/missionary in Haiti. A truth warrior among truth warriors, with a much more tender heart than meets the eye in his ‘bolder moments’.
When I heard about Simeon and was told of his forthrightness, wisdom and compassion, I was thrilled that I would meet him while in Haiti. He loves deeply the people of Haiti. He cares for the people of CAM, but does not condone injustice, untruth and deception.
A report released after a meeting he attended with CAM officials, states that he cut ties with CAM (as seen is the Joint Report here), but makes it clear that the door is open when CAM returns to a biblical approach. It also addresses concerns over “obvious mischaracterizations of the truth presented in the Public Statement dated June 11th 2019”, which presumably would need to be rectified for him to partner with CAM.
That, in a nutshell, is what I can tell you about this man. And I will add that, having visited his home in Haiti, he has a lovely wife and beautiful children. I would trust them with the hearts of those I hold dearest.
If you wish to contribute to the needs of the victims of heinous crimes in Haiti, send checks to:
Indiana Brethren Charity Fund
7218 W 550 S
Delphi, IN  46923
Sometimes communion with Jesus is in serving the broken hearted.

Thank you for caring for the children! Thank you for remembering the victimized in the chaos and shock of these events.

Thank you for remembering the One who is ‘the least of these’ and suffers with them.
Matthew 25:40-45 New International Version (NIV)
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
As always…

Love,

~ T ~

Anabaptist Missionary Takes a Stand in CAM’s Haiti Sexual Abuse Case

A report (link below) has surfaced regarding a meeting between Paul Weaver, Eli Weaver, CAM’s lawyer, and some men from Haiti along with several other men was sent to me this morning (not by the author).

I have this to say; “Thank you God!” There are honourable men in our culture (as I have repeatedly said there were) who are willing to rise up and stand for truth, and against sexual violence. I pray that many will find the courage to speak against these crimes publicly, and insist on transparency and truth .

Joint Report of Simeon Shankster et al. meeting with Paul Weaver and Eli Weaver.

Many women tell me they “will believe it when they see it”, that men in our setting love truth more than power, prestige and good standing. Well, dear friends, here is one. Read this report, and thank God. It doesn’t fill in the gaps, but it at least makes it clear that the Public Statement was not forthcoming. I sincerely hope this gives other men the courage to rise up and use their voices.

Emasculated of God-given voice and authority, many are silent. Thank God there are reverse vasectomies in the spiritual sense as well. If you know the truth, and some of you readers do, you have a duty to the Kingdom of God and the children of Haiti.

There needs to be a very clear line drawn between the corruption of ‘silence and covering sins and crimes‘,  and standing for truth.  That line should not be blurred.

***

Dear Paul Weaver and Eli Weaver (CAM):

It is not too late for you to break rank and tell the truth. You are under God’s authority, not some board, and certainly not some lawyer. I can tell you that the worst that can happen doesn’t hold a candle to the worst that can happen with lies, half-truths or deception.

If God ever called you to ministry in the first place, then honour that call and rise up as godly men.

In your Anabaptist culture I learned this “We ought to obey God, rather than men” and “Be sure your sins will find you out”.

Live it!

And I also learned, “If we confess our sins, He is  faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness!” Thanks be to God you can still embrace that if you dare to face truth.

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

The link provides a PDF copy of the report for those whose vision my strain trying to read the screenshot (below) of the report.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.14.15 AM
Simeon Shankster is a seasoned missionary and pastor, and highly regarded in his church community. And he is unswervingly committed to truth.

 

© Trudy Metzger 2019

Pt 2: Religious leaders are NOT untouchable! How we can stop them…

“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men,
with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong.
If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power,
increasing as the power increases.
Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility.
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
~ John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton ~

****

Victims have long been brutalized by organized religion, and have been silenced. But God…

But God…

How I love those words. But God… He is gracious. He is kind. He is loving. He is for the brokenhearted and wounded. And He is a fierce and gentle Warrior. He has no room for abuse and victimization of the vulnerable in His Kingdom. He says He will cast down the arrogant and judge those who abuse their power. Those who do and justify these things are not affiliated with His kingdom. And those who cover these sins and silence victims do not represent anything of the heart of God or the life of Christ.

While God will not hold on forever, He is patient. He is loving. He is the Redeemer. He is the Restorer. And He will give even these offenders opportunity to come clean, to bring their own sins to Light and receive His grace and forgiveness.

But God’s process will not fall in line with the constitution.

He moves in Truth, Justice and Mercy… And He is calling…

But, having deceived many, betrayed many, violated some physically and sexually, and many spiritually, it is not enough for these leaders to fall on your knees and say sorry to God while you continue lying to the public and deceiving them. That is neither repentance nor receiving God’s grace. That is self-preservation. And what abusers try to hide, God will expose… or they will accidentally expose. Most offenders, no matter how skilled, make fatal mistakes in their cover-up plans and God is using those fatal flaws to expose them.

When King David had a man killed so he could have Bath Sheba, he thought he had a pretty good ‘secret’ going on. Shameless murder and the victimization of another man’s wife by the most powerful man in the country. But God…

God sent the Prophet Nathan to expose the sin, and when the prophet spoke, King David got it about repentance. Really got it! He, as king, humbled himself in sackcloth and ashes and let the whole nation know that he had sinned. There were no justifications or excuses. Never did he blame Bath Sheba. (Who was naked, by the way, never mind dressed to constitution standards). He owned his sin so he could give it over to God, and he understood it was his duty to protect her. And that is what we need from these leaders.

God has sent “Nathan” to some of you leaders, a ‘prophet’ to confront your sin, and you have lied, rejected and further covered up your sins and crimes. But God… He will not leave it at that. He’s not done, and the empire of lies is transparent; glass smeared with blood, but there are places exposed. And you still have the opportunity to take ownership for your sins, vindicate your victims, and repent.

Enough with blaming how she dressed. When it’s a male victim, whose fault is it then? (And please not the ‘he/she is troubled line! That’s all the more responsibility on you to protect them!) Enough accusing her of lying when you know the strangle hold of power you have over her and what she had to overcome to even tell one soul. Enough of all else except personal ownership, repentance and seeking help… Let the King David humility rise up…

If you are a spiritual leader (teacher, pastor, ministry leader, boys’ ‘rehab‘ centre support staff, Sunday school teacher, or other) – no matter how conservative or how not conservative – and you have committed sexual crimes and sins, whether against a child, a teen or a woman – I am committed to helping you get the help you need. (Yes, the law will be involved, no I will not keep a secret, but my motive is not destruction and I will walk gently even with you.) You don’t have to carry this to your grave, and your victim(s) surely should not have to! The first email I received from a pastor who had offended early in his life, came unsolicited in 2011 or 2012 from out of country. It was so shocking I fell to my knees and wept, and prayed for him and his victim, and prayed for wisdom. I then coached him through appropriate steps to take. I can tell you this, if you come forward and deal with your sins properly, which includes not covering for yourself or making excuses, you will fare much better than if it gets reported, whether by one, or a hundred and one victims. While I don’t expect a flood of these emails, I welcome them. Send an email here.

If you are a victim of sex crimes, molestation and abuse at the hands of a church leader or ministry leader in a Mennonite/Anabaptist church, there is a place to report and make public these crimes. (Ministry workers includes any staff at any Anabaptist organizations, whether missions, residential facilities where offenders are sent, schools, Bible schools and all religiously affiliated organizations, whether male or female). EDIT: (Since posting this and the previous and next blog, I discovered several websites doing the same thing we started here. As a result, and since there is no good reason to duplicate efforts, I am updating the info for reporting abusers. Please forward all requests to the contact info here: https://www.themaplist.org/#contact and check out the list already started here: https://www.themaplist.org/the-map-list/. This group is posting publicly, which we were not prepared to do.)

If you are a counsellor, police officer, or social worker – or any other professional –  wiling to be a resource for victims and/or offenders and are committed to confidentiality (except in the case of crime, risk to self or others, or involving minors), and if you are willing to serve conservative Anabaptist people, please email us here at Generations Unleashed. Before being connected with victims or offenders, to volunteer or offer counselling, someone will check your credentials, and you will need to go through an interview process before you are recommended to these exceptionally vulnerable victims.

As the magnitude of the problem looms before me, I am hopeful that some will do the right thing, and expose their own crimes and face consequences. I am also hopeful that as leaders rise up within who will be like Esther, and as more and more victims come forward and find a voice, those who have hidden behind their facades and the pulpit, will be crowded out of leadership roles by their own sins. As this happens, more and more godly leaders will rise up in their places. And I am deeply hopeful that as a result many victims will find healing, and offenders will find help for their addictions, forgiveness for theirs sins, and face the consequences of their crimes without excuse.

To this end I pray…

****

DISCLAIMER: This idea of exposing offenders was birthed (and discussed publicly) in 2016, through my work with victims through Generations Unleashed and the growing awareness that leaders victimizing their ‘flock’ and denying allegations is too common, leaving the victims with no voice. Any information collected through Generations Unleashed will be used to offer support to victims and connect them to resources, to hold offenders accountable, and to work in cooperation with law enforcement as required. All cases involving minors will immediately be turned over to appropriate authorities. It is the responsibility of each individual to be informed as to how The Map List will handle information sent to them.

 

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018