ICA used to be known as Ivory Coast Academy when it was founded by the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 1962. Christian and Missionary Alliance partnered with CBFMS in the building and operation of ICA, to provide an alternative to their boarding school at the time in Guinea, which was Mamou. Other missions, including SIM, sent students there over the years. The school was renamed International Christian Academy in 1990. Read more about the early history of this school.
Gospel Missionary Union had their own dorm at ICA, and Paul Friesen has written about his experiences there in the book “Ultimate Sacrifice.”
Now, a strong, new voice has joined the others in speaking out about abuse at this school. India Baker was almost 12 years old when she arrived at ICA. During the five or so years that she attended, she was subjected to physical, emotional and spiritual abuse, She endured sexual assault, witnessed others being abused, and saw the blatant cover-up when these things were reported to the staff.
India writes “See, I was taught that children should be seen and not heard. I was taught that God hated me. I was taught that I was a worthless sinful being and that I was not worth time, nor attention. The church is STILL teaching every child and adult that has ever experienced these things that same lesson by refusing to bring the abusers to justice. In the United States of America it is illegal to abuse a child. So why is it okay for the church to cover this up?”
Why indeed? Churches and missions claim it would be harmful to their ministry and create confusion among supporters if information like this gets out. We all know it would really be harmful to their financial bottom line and jobs and reputations would be in jeopardy.