Patrick’s Story, and an Opportunity to Help

Recently a former MK contacted me to tell me about his struggle with traumatic experiences in his past, and his goal to get a psychiatric service dog to help with his symptoms of PTSD. There is an opportunity to help if anyone is so inclined.

Patrick Murphy led a whirlwind life while he was growing up. His parents were with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). Beginning when he was in grade school, he lived in Haiti, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia. This doesn’t count time spent living in Hawaii while in training. In Penang, Malaysia, Patrick went to a boarding school called Dalat.

Dalat was originally a Christian and Missionary Alliance boarding school. In 1999 C&MA decided to close the school and another group took it on, turning it into an independent school that serves the ex-pat business community in Penang. Dalat shares a history of reported abuse along with other Alliance boarding schools such as Mamou Alliance Academy, which was featured in the documentary “All God’s Children”, Bongolo School in Gabon, and Zamboanga School in the Philippines.

While living in Indonesia as a young teen Patrick survived several near kidnappings and was mixed up in transporting drugs for a local mafia, during which he witnessed the killing of a close friend. He was living on the island of Lombok In January of 2000 when thousands of Muslims rampaged through the towns, wielding machetes and torching Christian churches. Patrick and his family had to flee the country. A few days after the riots Patrick and his sisters were sent back to Penang to attend Dalat.

Patrick did not do well at boarding school, and was assaulted by a teacher, so his parents sent him back to the States to live with an aunt in New York until the whole family returned a year and a half later. The life-threatening violence and fear that Patrick experienced growing up had a lasting effect on him.

Patrick is now a husband and father, and still suffers the crippling effects of PTSD. He experiences flashbacks, panic attacks and sudden speech impairment. He and his wife heard about how beneficial a psychiatric service dog can be for people in his situation. A psychiatric service dog is different from a regular service dog, and can be very expensive to raise and train from a qualified breeder. Health insurance does not cover these costs, and it is difficult to find help if you are not a veteran. 

Here are Patrick’s own words  “For those unfamiliar with the process of getting and training a service dog, it is a very expensive journey to pursue and health insurance does not cover any of the costs, despite the fact one must legally qualify in order to have one. Many who qualify for psychiatric service dogs struggle to get one because there are no resources for those who are not veterans. It is expensive to adopt a service dog candidate from a breeder with a proven track record and even more expensive to pay for the 2 years of training it takes to fully train a service dog. We knew this when we first embarked on this journey last year and have trusted that God would provide, as he has always has.

With the coming news of a puppy being born in May, we are reaching out to ask for support. While it is humbling to do so, we truly believe this is the right path to take to for me and for my family. We are hoping to raise $3400, which is a little over half of the costs of adopting a service dog candidate puppy and 2 years of training.

Cost of adopting our service dog candidate puppy: $2500.

Cost of service dog training over the first 2 years: $4000

We are hoping to raise this support by June 25th. Would you be willing to bless us with your support?”

Patrick has a fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/servicedog4patrick. You can find a lot more details there about the costs of the dog, plus a link to his family blog and a way to contact him. He explains the many ways a psychiatric service dog can help in a panic situation. I actually think I need one to ride with me on elevators! Can you relate to Patrick’s story? Feel free to comment and ask questions here.

Learn About “The Green Dot” Violence Prevention Through MK Safety Net Webinar

Imagine a school where a boy is chased down by a mob of other boys, where students are called out of the dining room and return with welts on their legs from strapping, where kids are publicly shamed for things like wetting the bed or leaning back on the legs of their chairs. Hundreds of missionary kids have grown up in boarding schools where those things and worse took place every day.

I would like to think that things are much different today, but stories from New Tribes and ABWE MKs tell us missionaries are still working hard to cover up abuse that happened in the not too distant past. Because missions are so good at keeping these things secret and silencing victims, we really don’t know the extent of abuse that happened in the past, or whether it is still going on today.

Now imagine a school where staff and students watch out for each other to make sure everyone is safe from violence. Staff are empowered to intervene if they witness abuse by other staff. Students keep a protective eye on one another and are allowed and expected to speak up when other students and even staff are seen committing violent acts.

Mk Safety Net Canada, a faithful advocate for missionary kids who have experienced abuse, is partnering with the violence prevention group Green Dot. They plan to provide a program tailored to missions which will train participants to identify and intervene when they observe interpersonal violence. The Green Dot model of violence prevention has been used in a long list of high schools, universities, military bases and community organizations. You can see this list on their website by clicking on their name above.

Green Dot will adapt the method to the unique situation of mission agencies, which are closed communities with a history of not reporting abuse to outsiders. They have had a good success rate working with similar groups in the past.

The goal of the program is to train people at every level of the community, so that they are engaged, proactive bystanders and potential witnesses to violence, and can actively intervene. This sounds like something that is really needed in mission boarding school settings. How many of the staff at Kent Academy, over the years, were witnesses to violence and abuse, but looked the other way?

Green Dot and MK Safety Net Canada are offering an informational webinar on March 3, 2016 at 2 p.m. EST to introduce the program and give interested parties a chance to join in the discussion.  To find out how to participate in the webinar contact MK Safety Net Canada at MKSNCanadaGreenDot@gmail.com.

Read a letter by MK Safety Net Canada board members, introducing this program in more detail.

 

 

 

MK Safety Net Conference 2015: Journeying Together

Did you attend, or wish you could attend, the MK Safety Net Conference in Chicago last year? You’ll be happy to hear that the time has rolled around again. You can register now for the 2015 Conference, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is a gathering for adult MKs and TCKs who have experienced abuse, and also for family, friends and others who are involved in this ministry. The organizers hope to create an authentic environment where abused MKs can share their stories. They also want to affirm the support that is offered to abuse survivors through MK Safety Net, and help them connect with resources they can use. Last year’s conference was a huge success. You can read some of the comments from attendees on the MK Safety Net web site.

The conference will be held at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17-19, 2015. The conference cost is $150 ($125 for early registration) and there is an additional cost for the hotel room.

Wm. Paul Young, MK and best-selling author of The Shack, will give the Friday evening opening address. Boz Tchividjian will speak on Dealing with Institutions. Joanna Colrain, a Trauma Recovery Counselor, will speak on Recovering from Trauma. Finally, Ivan Fleishman, a Psychologist for abuse victims, will speak on The Effects of Abuse on Families.

There will also be breakout sessions, on these topics:
• Topics covered by the main speakers
• Legal options for abuse victims
• Creativity in the healing journey
• Recovering healthy spirituality after abuse in a religious setting

You can register for the conference and find a detailed schedule here.

“The Unexpected Journey” MK Safety Net Conference 2013

“The Unexpected Journey – I will not be silent anymore” is the theme for the conference that MK Safety Net is hosting in April for former MKs and their families and friends. This gathering will be held in Chicago on April 19-21, 2013. There is a fantastic list of speakers including

  • William Paul Young, author of The Shack
  • Boz Tchividjian, founder of G.R.A.C.E
  • Andrew Schmutzer, author of The Long Journey Home: Understanding and Ministering to the Sexually Abused
  • Beverly Shellrude Thompson, founding member of Mk Safety Net
  • David Chlossey, national director of SNAP

Visit MK Safety Net for information on the program, where to stay and how to register.

Mk Safety Net Conference for April 2012 has been postponed until April 2013

From the MK Safey Net web site:  Due to circumstances we were not able to control, the MK Safety Net Conference is being postponed. It will be held next year, April 19 – 21, 2013, in Chicago. We are grateful that Paul Young, Andrew Schmutzer and Boz Tchividjian are available to participate in the conference next year. We will keep you posted about further developments.

MK Safety Net Conference April 20-22, 2012

MK Safety Net is sponsoring a conference April 20-22, 2012 for former MKs and their families.  The conference will be held at Holiday Inn Rolling Meadows Schaumburg in Rolling Meadows, (Chicago), Illinois.

They have some exciting guest speakers on their agenda, including William Paul Young, who is an adult MK and the author of The Shack, Boz Tchividjian of G.R.A.C.E., and Andrew Schmutzer, an adult MK and professor at Moody Bible Institute.   As the MK Safety Net web site states, all keynote speakers and breakout sessions will address abuse and trauma experienced by former MKs with a view to breaking the silence of abuse and offering resources to move toward healing.

They will discuss topics such as therapies that are available for trauma treatment, the impact of abuse on family systems, how to report abuse, and how to recover spirituality after abuse.  Whether you are an MK who has suffered abuse, or the friend or family of such an MK, it sounds like there will be something at this conference just for you.  I know that for myself the support group in this area is largely online.  What a wonderful opportunity to meet in person, and have an actual ‘real life’ conversation.

You can read more details about the location and scheduled events for this conference on the MK Safety Net web site.