Updating Our Child Protection Policy:
The New Normal

(First appeared in SIM Niger Newsletter, February 2013)

Child protection is not new. Jesus said that if anyone caused a child to fall into sin or to be exposed to sin deserves to drown in the open sea with a millstone around his neck (Matt. 18:6). Strong language to show that children are highly valued by our Lord and that he commands us to take steps to protect them. Cases of child abuse are also not new, even in the mission context. Many times these tragedies went unreported but they did occur.

What is new is the increase in instances of child abuse in the world in general. For example, in the US, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. Take a moment to think of that statistic through Jesus' eyes. Unfortunately reports of child abuse are increasing within Christian circles as well, even in the mission world. We are very concerned about this. These are our children! Also new is that organizations like SIM are extremely vulnerable to litigation where proper child protection policies have not been put in place or properly followed.

Honestly, I wish we didn't have to think about these things. I wish all this energy could be expended in more positive pursuits. I hated having to tell my own children of the ugly things that happen in this cursed world. But we must accept reality. Developing and maintaining child protection standards is the new normal. We ask for your prayers as we as a field take on this task during the next five months. Protecting children was on the heart of the Lord Jesus and it is on our hearts as well.

Safe in Him,