Broken heart for the victims.

[vc_row 0=””][vc_column][vc_column_text 0=””]

The recent articles by the Houston Chronicle have broken my heart for the victims of abuses that were revealed as part of this story. it also breaks my heart for the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) in that they are a denomination very close to my heart and my childhood. I grew up in SBC Churches in the south and the SBC has played a large role in my spiritual journey for the better part of my life. In short, the articles bring to light over 700 victims of 220 people who, since 1998, worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches and were convicted of or pleaded guilty to sex crimes. 700 victims. 220 leaders. Wow. Any reasonable person would conclude that this is only a part of the whole story and that they must be many more victims who have not come forward. Time will reveal how many more will come forward. It is a tragedy. There are so many stories of sexual abuse from those close to me that I can only begin to imagine the devastation that will ripple out from these abuses and effect people and families for generations to come. I wanted to try and do two things in this blog post:

  1. Share just a little bit about our pain in tragic circumstances and what I am learning about pain.  
  2. I wanted to highlight the amazing response of the current SBC leadership to these revelations and hold them up as the standard by which we and future leaders will be judged. Their response is appropriately broken, they are not trying to hide. They are pointing people to the redeeming power of the gospel and calling their churches to live it our here in this tragic revelation
  3. I wanted to post a few of the most important articles that I have read since this news has come out in case others might want to read them as well (I certainly encourage those of us in Church and Missions leadership to do so).

Our pain.  I am not ready to go into details here about the pain that I experienced as a child or the pain that we, as a family, have experienced together both on and off the mission field.  Both Marinajo and I grew up in broken families, and I mean broken.  We’ve struggled our whole lives to try and deal with the pain from our childhood and, unfortunately, haven’t been able to protect our children from feeling the effects of this pain and from experiencing their own.