I had the privilege to speak to two classes at Wheaton College last week. In 1967 I was a camper at the Crusader Sports camps at Wheaton. From 1973-1977 I was a student at the College. From 1982-1991 I coached the Men’s Basketball Crusaders. This week, 2012 I returned to speak to students preparing to do ministry.
I am 57 years old and I have attended over 10,000 chapels, church services, club meetings, evangelistic meetings, missionary conferences, marriage conferences, youth conferences and never once did I hear what I presented to the students last week. The response was identical to what I experience across the country with the message of hope for healing from childhood sexual abuse…subdued silence.
This time speaking at such a familiar venue, I left energized to the simple truth that sharing the hope of healing may just be what Jill and I have left to do. Those that hear the message cannot avoid the truth that confronting the past pain and acknowledging the truth of being a survivor is the first step toward healing. Statistics tell us that 25-50% of individuals in any given group are survivors of sexual abuse. That means that there may have been as many as 14 in the classes last week that are survivors and another good chance most of those have never told their story. Everywhere I go groups shares how it is the first time they have heard this message in a public forum.
There is so much do with this issue. There is so little willingness to listen, acknowledge, and engage. I am grateful that Dave Sveen invited me to share with just a few that may hear the call to enter this world of ministry…the world of the broken. I will pray it is so.
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