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At a turning point in my life in 2007, I realized that I needed to allow God to redeem the story of my childhood. That story was so painfully confusing that I did not speak of it for 35 years. Where did my prayers go, my cries for mercy and rescue screamed ...

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Scott Solary

May 20, 2010  12:09pm

It's so important for this issue to remain in the collective conversation. The Mamou Alliance Academy was not the only boarding school where abuse happened, but it was the first to have the results of its investigation to go public. To watch excerpts and to learn more about the documentary "All God's Children" please visit: http://www.allgodschildrenthefilm.com "All God's Children" tells the story of the children of Mamou - what they experienced at the school and in the aftermath as they tried to find support, help each other and prevent this from happening to others. - Scott Solary (producer, co-director "All God's Children")

Richard Mayhan

May 19, 2010  8:43pm

This is really sad and the effects are really difficult to overcome. My prayers are with you and with the cause.

John Clough Memorial

May 19, 2010  9:54am

Clough Memorial John,It is amazing how God uses the various childhood experiences of different people to get into His ministry to glorify Him and to be a blessing to others in need of which your' is an example.So is mine.I am an orphan,don't know my parent,brought up by missionaries who made my life comfortable though was in boarding home.I praise God for all those missionaries who were instruments in my life.This helped me to go into children ministry to care for the needy kids in a way our Lord wants us to bring them up.I glorify our Lord for our experiences.My last name indicates how I am named in memory of the hospital where I was brought up.

VIRGINIA KREMER

May 16, 2010  10:24am

My heart was broken as I read this article. I am a retired missionary who worked in a European country doing church planting. My original call was to teach missionaries' children and I even had worked out a plan so that the children could get an education and still stay with their parents!!! God seemed to have had another plan, but how I wish I could've been there for that little boy!!! In my childhood I also suffered from abuse. I call my school the ____ Concentration Camp for Children. Those teachers were not missionaries, but how can people who say they love and serve God, stoop to such cruelty to small and helpless children! They remind me of the Nazi death camps of WWll. God does change the suffering into good through the work of Compassion.

Loui se

May 15, 2010  8:42pm

Hello Mr.Stafford. I did not know you went through so much. This is so sad for you and the other children. What happened to your Mom? Did she ever recover?

Ani Kasakyan

May 15, 2010  9:13am

I could not stop reading. It touched my heart. I'm so amazed how God works in a little boys life and ending up using this same little boy later on in his life for other little children. Beautiful and moving story. I really don't know how I got here but I'm glad I did.

Joan Wiuff

May 14, 2010  8:21am

Despite your great disappointment Roy Hodges Light came through Wess loud and clear. If it hurts good MK staff so be it. Let them hurt! The should hurt!! All these finest of teachers and staff in MK should be rejoicing Not needing ANY apology for the truth that will save one little one from these horrors!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! GOD BLESS you Wess KEEP SPEAKING OUT!! May God's blood through the body and suffering of His Son Jesus Christ heal all your deepest wounds

Stan Okoro

May 13, 2010  9:23am

Thanks Wess for sharing your story. I almost couldn't finish reading it for tears in my eyes. I actually had to read it three different days. I am an African and a missionary and thankfully we didn't have to send our kids away for school. I felt the chill of every word because I know first hand what great ill some 'missionaries' have caused along the way. I'm so glad the God we serve is both loving and just. Those who refuse to repent of their sins will be judged accordingly and those who repent will receive forgiveness. My earnest prayer is for many of your friends with deep seated scares, that they would find healing in the bosom of our loving heavenly Father.

Catherine Darnell

May 12, 2010  1:21pm

I am a survivor who shared the same experience at a Christian Bible college in Canada. It was a training ground for Missionaries preparing to go the the field. Our school was home to staff kids and MK's. Over 60 individuals have come forward from this one institution. I lived and breathed every frame of the movie All God's Children

Roy Hodges

May 12, 2010  11:51am

Having sent five children through MK schools, grades 0ne to Twelve, my wife and I felt great shock and distress in reading of Wess's experiences. I was disappointed however to find that Mel Middleton's comments have been deleted, and there is now no word, in any of the "arm chair experts"'s comments, regarding the loving ministry and selfless dedication of the very large majority of staff and teachers in MK schools. I feel that these finest of teachers and staff in MK schools have been seriously maligned and deserve their proper recognition and apology.

shiko monica

May 12, 2010  2:06am

as former child of compassion kenyai came to know and accept jesus Christ through compassion even without understanding the indepth meaning of compassion.thanx wess for shedding the light.Jesus says that he has made us a light of the nations and its through this light that i and others have embraced life.we are earthen vessels with treasures in us.the glory of this treasures cant be dimmed,blurred or put off in any way for even in darkness they will still shine for jesus himself is the source of this light.

RJR fan

May 11, 2010  8:26pm

Maybe missionaries to hard fields should be celebate singles, like Paul. What a blasphemy this practice is against God, the Blessed Trinity, Who is simultaneously One and Three. To sacrifice the corporate entity, the family, in the name of saving disconnected individual souls presents a distorted image of the God of the Bible. No wonder Christian pastors in Rwanda often led the way in genocidal attacks -- Western missionaries had taught them that even nearest and dearest relations were expendable. Let alone subhumans from another tribe.

R Y R Y

May 11, 2010  12:28pm

I'd like to know what was wrong with the parents. Leaving their young children alone for 9 months? His mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown and yet doubtlessly telling other people about how one can find peacew/Jesus? I grew up in an evangelical home, had a good church experience as a youth, and still consider myself an orthodox Christian with conservative social values (pro-life, pro-marriage. But I do think the evangelicals have built a subculture based on not looking at/thinking about things on an intellectual level. I believe in evangelism, but there are times when people shouldn't evangelize (for example, when one is having serious psychological difficulties). Evangelicals just wind themselves up and go. Going is the thing. Not thinking. Not questioning. Obviously, the author's mother was the primary victim of her own nervous breakdown. So if I'm being harsh I'm being harsh because evangelicals are hurting themselves and their loved ones. Down with literalism!

Paul Coughlin

May 11, 2010  9:34am

Wesley found his thumotic capacity at a very young age, and in doing so has brought tangible expressions of God's love to countless children. His "gust of strength" is something more Christians need to embrace instead of crucify and leave at the cross, as if this capacity for strength, animated spiritedness, willpower, indignation and courage is itself a sin. This thumotic capacity does far more than produce only angry wrath. When seasoned by the Holy Spirit, it's a gift to the world. Without it, we are the lukewarm that Jesus warns against and rejects.

Zenaide R

May 11, 2010  8:44am

The first time I heard this story, was on Focus on the Family when Dr.Stafford was a guest there. As a victor of abuse, for a long time I didn't know what the purpose was to the pain I endured for years. I use to volunteer at a sexual assualt centre, but quickly found out that it wasn't my ministry. When I heard Dr. Stafford, I knew the voice of God was speaking to me through this man's story. I prayed for months and finally heard HIS voice calling me to HIS ministry of serving children whom the Enemy has stolen the hope from. May God bless every man, woman and child who speak out against all forms of abuse inflicted on any child. Thank you FATHER, for the courage you give people to come out of the darkness and share their story to give other hope of freedom in YOU...

Elizabeth E.

May 11, 2010  12:31am

Seems these "missionaries" needed to read what Jesus said about those who would harm the children should have a millstone around their necks. When I was in college I knew a number of missionary kids. My denomination insisted missionary children be taught at home until their teens or almost teens, even though it would limit the ministry of at least one parent. Then they would go on to a boarding school. I always saw it as recognizing children's emotional needs for their parents, but now I see it was also for the children's protection. When these people got kids at 6, they could bully and abuse them. Teenagers who have been with loving parents are not going to meekly put up with it, they will resist and/or tell. I noticed it was not until this boy had been away from this for a year with his parents on furlough that he told his mother.

Claire J.

May 10, 2010  11:03pm

Your life story was heart-wrenching. I'm always perplexed and appalled when adults treat children with less worth than they regard their selves. They were all children at one time, and they should know how it feels to be so intimidated by cruel hateful punishment. Where is the love of God in that. The children will then always remember the hurt but forget what it was suppose to teach. I believe they take out their own sadness and frustration on the helpless, who can't fight back. The other side of that is the rewards for those who love and promote good in the little ones. The blessings are continual, and new, and forever will amaze. God's rewards are eternal.

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doranna cooper

May 10, 2010  3:55pm

What a moving article! I am a POM and I pray for MK's and their parents. My daughter and son-in-law believe dorm parents should be called of God because it is a very important job. Their mission encourages parents who don't want their high school kids in the dorm, to come out of the tribe temporialy and serve in another capacity during this time. Tribal MK's need to be in a group high school setting to prepare (acclimate) them for college in their passport country. Parenting comes before "the Lord's work" and every parent needs to constantly be told that or don't be a missionary until your kids are grown or don't have kids at all. Background checks may not be reliable but teaching kids to tell the truth and that whatever they tell their parents will be believed is the foundation to protecting our kids.

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JoEllyn Fountain

May 10, 2010  2:55pm

Wess Stafford is an amazing person and I have stood alongside him at Compassion events in Uganda and I know he has a big heart and a passion for children. One side of his story is the abuse but please focus on how God has redeemed it for His purpose.

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D T

May 10, 2010  11:44am

Helps me to understand why some of the MKs at the Bible College I attended 35 years ago seemed so wounded.

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